Recently, the city council voted to appoint me to the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (CVB). The purpose of the CVB is to sponsor events and attract visitors to the city. At our last meeting, I suggested a unique way to showcase our creek, creekwalk, and various events that we sponsor by purchasing a quad-copter that has an attached HD camera. We voted unanimously to appropriate the funds needed to purchase one of these devices.
One of the things we envisioned when making this decision was to have the drone fly down our creek to showcase our greatest natural resource in the city. We are planning on putting in a canoe launch soon and getting people on our creek is a priority in our overall planning. We also wanted to utilize it in showing our nature trail that follows along the creek which we are in the process of expanding at both ends. The other thing we discussed was using it to get aerial footage of our outdoor events such as 1890’s day and our Christmas parade.
There are some legitimate concerns that we considered going into this decision that I wanted to address. The first concern is privacy. The CVB will use this technology explicitly for promoting the city. Law enforcement will have no access to it. We don’t want our citizens or visitors to have the impression we are moving toward invasive uses that violate their rights. We will not be flying over people’s back yards or peering through their window. Another concern is that we are using our money wisely. The funding for the CVB comes from hotel/motel taxes from people visiting from outside the city. Half of that tax revenue goes to the city’s general fund and the other half goes to the CVB to be spent on attracting visitors. Compared to the things we have used this money on in the past, this is a relatively small acquisition ($1,200), but it has a potential to give us wonderful footage of the best things we have to offer. I welcome any comments or concerns.
My e-mail address is ViceMayorMillwood@gmail.com.