Langley designates money for training, video

Rather than shell out $20,000 toward tourism promotion in Langley, the city will spend it six ways on economic development programs.

The Langley City Council heard the mayor’s proposal to change the fund’s intent from tourism contracts to social media training, business development, a leadership program, improving search engine marketing and a promotional video about Whidbey Island.

Mayor Fred McCarthy proposed the change, though it was not transferring money to a different city fund and did not require council approval.

“It doesn’t require any big shifts in money,” McCarthy said.

Of the total $20,000 set aside in the city’s budget for economic development, $5,000 will go toward producing a video, “Why not Whidbey?” In the city’s document about the discretionary fund, the video is described as promoting Whidbey as a place for “young people and families to consider relocating their businesses and families to the City of Langley.” Another $5,000 would go toward search engine marketing and coordinating the city, Langley Chamber of Commerce, Langley Main Street Association, I Love Langley and Whidbey Island Wonderment websites.

“If we make this centralized site, we have to include everybody,” said Councilwoman Rene Neff, noting that if the city sponsors or hosts the site, it could not exclude any Langley businesses.

No contracts were ever offered by the city from the $20,000, which was originally planned to be doled out to applicants, so Langley will not be revoking money from any organizations expecting funding.

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