Snoqualmie tourism committee gets name change

Though the name has changed, the focus has not.

Snoqualmie's Community Relations Committee is now the Community and Economic Affairs Committee (CEAC).

"We really haven't changed the mission of the committee, we're just giving it a better descriptive name," said chair of the CEAC Kathi Prewitt, noting that the committee focuses on tourism and the community.

"We felt like the name really wasn't reflecting what we were actually doing," she added.

The name change was approved by the City Council at its Jan. 9 council meeting.

City Council members are appointed yearly to at least one committee post (each member with the exception of Prewitt is presently on two; Prewitt is involved with three) as suggested by the mayor pro tem and approved by the council. City Councilmember Maria Henriksen currently holds the pro tem position.

The city has four additional committees including Finance and Administration, Planning and Parks, Public Safety and Public Works.

"We recognized that it's not just a community in terms of our citizens, but also the business community," Prewitt said about the CEAC, which works closely with the Parks and Planning Committee, as well with the as the Finance and Administration Committee. "[But], we're still doing that community-at-large type of work."

The committee also includes council members Henriksen and Jeff MacNichols, along with staff attendees Bob Larson, city administrator, confidential assistant to city administrator; Jeanne Lamon, deputy city clerk; and Nancy Tucker, planning director.

Lamon noted that in the past, the committee was less active in its involvement.

Prewitt noted that it focused on sign ordinances and special events.

The focus on signage and events will continue, but the committee is proactively addressing tourism issues, too, as they relate to the community and local businesses, Prewitt added.

The main focuses of the CEAC right now are on the Economic Development Plan and tourism, Lamon said.Prewitt said.

Additionally, the CEAC is working toward setting meeting agendas and objectives for the Economic Development Commission.

Additional focus areas include the sign ordinance review, the pilot sign project, the upcoming special census and the city's branding plan.

The Economic Development Commission's goal is to promote economic development in Snoqualmie, Lamon said.

The sign ordinance focuses on revising the regulations related to the allotment of sandwich boards and other signage. The committee will have to decide on its key points and then draft a proposal. If approved, it will then be submitted to the council.

The pilot sign project proposes developing better signage for Snoqualmie as suggested by the city's Economic Development Plan.

Its goal is to direct people to tourism locations, Lamon said.

The special census is a census much like the national census that occurs every 10 years, except that it will take place this March (the national census doesn't occur until 2010) and will focus only on Snoqualmie.

"Our community has grown so quickly ... we're afraid that we're undercounted with the state," explained Prewitt.

The branding plan focuses on developing the city's identity through some identifier, as yet to be developed, Lamon said.

Committee meetings are open to the public and do allow for citizen comment.

The Community and Economic Affairs Committee meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 6 p.m. at the City Administration Building, 8020 Railroad Ave. in Snoqualmie. For information, call (425) 888-1555.

Economic development is such a critical piece,

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