Sandwich Considers Eliminating Visitor Services Board

SANDWICH – The future of the Sandwich Visitor Services Board is up in the air as selectmen contemplate its need.

The board is a review group that requests or can pick projects they’re interested in and make decisions about how money in the Promotions Fund is apportioned.

It was originally established by a petition article at Town Meeting and special act of the State Legislature in 1997.

At that time, Sandwich did not have its own chamber. But now that they do, selectmen are questioning why it’s needed.

“In my mind, it has always been that the Visitor Services Board has been an intermediary and I’m wondering, do we still need the intermediary or is the goal of the Visitor Services Board, can those things be fulfilled by the Chamber?” said Selectmen Chair Susan James.

Selectmen discussed the option of amending the current special act and rewriting it, which would eliminate the board and give the funding directly to the Sandwich Chamber.

Chamber Executive Director Jay Pateakos said that it would put them in an uncomfortable situation.

“Asking for the Sandwich Chamber to administer money is going to cause strain,” said Pateakos. “What if she wants more? What if the garden club wants more? And suddenly the Chamber is the bad guy, that’s a problem in my world.”

No decision was made at Thursday night’s meeting, but selectmen agreed that they will continue the conversation.


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