WTDA seeks new director in wake of Davis’ resignation

Published 6:12 pm Thursday, May 24, 2018

The search for a new Washington Tourism Development Authority director is underway.

During its meeting Wednesday, WTDA’s Board of Directors discussed the resignation of Lynn Davis after 15 years in that position. Davis resigned last week. After a closed session to discuss personnel matters, the authority unanimously voted to appoint Paula Stephenson, a long-time WTDA employee, as its interim director.

“As approved by the board, we’re moving forward with a draft position and immediately begin a search, with the City of Washington, for the new director,” said WTDA Chairman John Butler after the meeting concluded Wednesday.

Butler said the new director would be considered at city employee, under terms of the interlocal agreement between the city and WTDA. “In accordance with the interlocal agreement, the process is basically that the city provides assistance on the recruitment side. The TDA board review candidates, and then once those candidates are prioritized, or decisions are made, we notify the city manager for final approval, then execution of an agreement with that director with the city.”

For now, WTDA has no intention of working outside the interlocal agreement, Butler said. Also for now, Butler doesn’t expect significant changes, if any, in the duties and responsibilities of the new director.

“I think it’s going to be pretty much the same. There may be areas that we might adjust. Every year, certainly every couple of years, the board looks at goals and objectives. I doubt those will change, but it certainly presents an opportunity for the board to look at whether or not we should adjust those goals and objectives. For now, I don’t see any changes,” Butler said.

Under the interlocal agreement, the salary and benefits of the new director would be paid by WTDA from the revenue it receives from the city’s occupancy tax. “The authority’s executive director and other authority staff will be hired, disciplined and, if necessary, terminated consistent with the rules, regulations, and policies of the city by the city manager, or his designee, in and after consultation with the chairman of the authority’s board of director,” reads the interlocal agreement,

In other business, the authority appointed member Bill Clark as its deputy finance director. Among his duties, Clark will process and pay bills incurred by WTDA. The authority also authorized Stephenson to perform similar duties. A check issued by WTDA requires two signatures of authorized WTDA personnel.



About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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