Three staffers at the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau were issued official layoff notices on Thursday due to budget cuts, according to officials.
Earlier this year, the Solvang City Council voted to cut funding from the SCVB from $775,000 last year to $600,000 this year. On July 8, the Council then voted to terminate the contract for market and tourism promotion with a 30-day notice.
On Wednesday, the Council put a 30-day contract in place to cover the expenses of the Solvang Visitors Center and limited promotional activity through August 31 while long-term negotiations take place, according to Jessy Verkler, SCVB Chief Financial Officer.
"As a result of the amount and short duration of City funding, difficult budget choices had to be made," said Verkler.
According to the news release, Tracy Farhad, Executive Director, Brenda Ball, Digital Media Director, and Lana Clark, bookkeeper, received layoff notices. Daniel Lahr, SCVB Special Event Manager & Film Liason, and Susan Lee, Sales Assistant, will stay on through August pending negotiations. The Visitor's Center will remain open.
"The SCVB board gives many thanks to Tracy, Brenda and Lana for their years of professional, devoted service to marketing, promoting and sharing Solvang with the world," Verkler said.
The Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau had requested $850,000 from the City Council. SCBV says 85 percent of its funding comes from the city council.