McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

February 5, 2013

City Council: Special meeting

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — A special meeting of the McAlester City Council is set for 5:30 p.m. today in the council chambers at City Hall.

Only one item is on the agenda, calling for discussion of Marketing Alliance’s proposal presented at the city council meeting on Jan. 8.

The discussion is also expected to cover aspects of the Southeast Expo Center, since the subject had come up during the Jan. 8 meeting.

Marketing Alliance’s Jan. 8 presentation mainly focused  on a discussion regarding the city’s hotel/motel tax, which had originally been passed to promote tourism in the city.

Tonight’s meeting is set strictly as a workshop, with no items set for a vote on the agenda.

Mayor Steve Harrison said if the council does hold a vote on whether to accept Marketing Alliance’s marketing proposal, it will be set on the agenda for a future council meeting.

Marketing Alliance President John Abbate and Strategic Planner David Goswell presented the company’s findings to the McAlester City Council during the council’s Jan. 8 meeting at City Hall.

MPower Economic Development Executive Director Shari Cooper had accompanied Abbate and Goswell to the meeting. She told  the councilors they needed to decide if the city wants to try something new, or keep doing things the same way.

Abbate told the council in January there should be a concept behind the city’s tourism marketing plan — guiding and managing tourists to come to McAlester.

Among the suggestions for the city: create a charter-driven convention and visitors bureau, which would be concerned only with tourism development.

Councilors are expected to discuss that suggestion and other ideas during tonight’s meeting.

Contact James Beaty at