View Full Version : Letter To CAPC Commissioners

Jan Ridenour
06-13-2002, 03:07 PM
The following is a copy of the letter that was given to the CAPC Commissioners yesterday by email and regular mail.

Since this has been a contract paid for by tax dollars, we are sending it to the businesses of Eureka Springs so that
you may know our exact words.

The attachments that are mentioned are copies of the cease and desist order mentioned and a copy of the extension that was given to the CAPC on April 17,2002
These items are in our office if you should care to review them.

Jan & Kim


All of the commissioners received the following by US Mail on Thursday, June 13, 2002. This is simply an email copy for you.
The attachments mentioned were sent by US Mail.

June 12, 2002

Dear CAPC Commissioners,

In late March, Kim and I were asked to attend three CAPC committee meetings,two for finance and one for advertising. This request came from three Commissioners after it was brought to light that, beginning in
November, 2001, CAPC employees and Commissioners Loudermilk and Satori had
ordered a new web site to be built, without the knowledge of the full Commission.

During those meetings, the committee members discussed how the CAPC wanted to proceed with their Internet presence. In the context of these meetings, Positive Idea made three offers to the Commission:

1). Since a great deal of money had already been spent on new site development, we offered to allow the CAPC to buy us out of our existing contract in early April so that internet advertising would not be disrupted
in the midst of the upcoming season.

2). We made an offer to simply run to the end of our existing contract, which terminates July 11, 2002.

3). We offered to extend our existing contract until February, 2003 in order
to give the Commission time to think about the direction they wanted to take with internet marketing.

On April 11, 2002 at a regular CAPC meeting, after much discussion and many accusatory remarks directed towards our company by Mayor Satori, CAPC Marketing Director Lynn (Carrington) Berry, and Chamber of Commerce
representatives, the Commission voted to extend the existing contract between Positive Idea and the CAPC until February 1, 2003.

Since the Eureka Springs City Attorney had resigned her position before this meeting, we offered to have our attorney write a very simple extension of the contact date, (copy attached). Positive Idea incurred the cost of this work. The extension document was given to Jon Loudermilk on April 17, 2002.
We were told the extension was being reviewed by Kim Dickens and forwarded
to an attorney in Springdale.

On May 6, we received an email from Jon stating he wanted to include a proration clause in the extension. Our reply was that we could either prorate the February payment or extend the contract to February 11 instead
of February 1. Either solution was acceptable to us. Jon also stated that the Springdale attorney wanted to change the "transition" portion of our contract, i.e. the end of contract provisions for transferring site contents that were originally agreed upon by the City Attorney and our own attorney.

On May 17, 2002, Jon sent another email stating that the Springdale attorney
wanted to discuss "transition" with our attorney and re-write the relevant contract provisions.

As Jon has been advised, we forwarded all materials to our attorney, including proposals from other companies and individuals whom Lynn Berry hired to assess and critique our work. Two of these companies showed no contact information on their assessments" and neither presented any online credentials. No one, including CAPC Commissioners who pursued the matter,
were able to find valid business addresses, phone numbers, or professional references of any kind on the companies who critiqued our performance.

The third company presented by Ms. Berry to critique our work is a business who has partners and business relationships against which just, prior to the meeting date of April, 11 we had to file cease and desist orders regarding copyright violations. (see attached) The representative of this company who publicly criticzed us at the April 11 CAPC meeting was in our office two days before this meeting to deliver a surrender of domain name to us under "cyber-squatting" laws. Cyber-squatting laws are regulations that protect internet businesses against impersonation by companies who hope to gain by pretending to be the owner of a developed and valuable trademark.

We also discussed another disturbing fact with our attorney. Since the April 11 meeting, numerous local business owners have reported to us that CAPC employees are openly discussing an attempted "hack" on our server. According to these reported conversations, the hack was allegedly ordered by Lynn Berry. A "hack" is an unauthorized attempt to enter a server; in this case,described by CAPC employees as an attempt to get existing CAPC site contents
without our knowledge. Hacking is considered to be an attack on a network, and all such attempts are recorded as potentially threatening breaches of network security. We were able to confirm that this attempted hack occurred, as reported, by viewing our server logs and noting the admitted date and
geographic source of the hacking attempt. This attempt originated from a geographical location that Ms. Berry has discussed in numerous meetings as a possible location for the future hosting of the eurekasprings.org site. Hacking is also a federal crime, which is prosecuted by the FBI.

As we have told two CAPC commissioners privately, we have no desire to press
charges or encourage further investigation of this matter. To do so may compromise Commissioners who have worked very hard to protect the interests of Eureka Springs,
since employees are generally considered to work at the direction of their employers. However, hacking attempts involve entire networks with multiple business users, and we do not have control over any other business that does not share our patriotism for Eureka Springs. We suspect that there will be no consequences for the city, though we do find the situation ridiculous,unprofessional, dishonest, and counterproductive in the extreme.

We sincerely appreciate commissioners Simon, Zumwalt, Van Caulil and Sumpter who have taken the time to gain a better understanding of our contract and
its fulfillment. We would also like to note that none of these Commissioners
exhibited any particular preference towards Positive Idea as a web site provider or any firm notion about the validity of "in-house" versus contract professional work. These Commissioners merely wanted to make the best
decision with full knowledge, and it was their desire to act responsibly for the economic well-being of our city that motivated us to offer an extension
in the first place.

As of this date, neither Jon Loudermilk, Mayor Satori, nor any staff member
of the CAPC involved in Internet decisions have ever been to our office, nor have they attempted to make any informed evaluation of our work during the entire length of our present contract.

No contract extension has been signed.

Our attorney's actual remarks about this situation were quite colorful, but since they involve language that is not considered suitable for business
correspondence, suffice it to say that our attorney agrees with the assessment of the two CAPC commissioners who have told us, "There seems to be a concerted effort to discredit you and your company." Our attorney
further notes that there does not appear to be a productive and professional way to conduct business with the CAPC. We certainly have better things to do than continue to fight this battle, and we assume that those who have dedicated their time to discrediting us can find a more useful occupation in our absence.

Hence, upon the advice of our attorney, Positive Idea will allow its contract with the CAPC to expire by its own terms at 12:01 AM on July 12, 2002. According to the transition provisions that have always been in place, signed by Jon Loudermilk in July 2000, we will provide the web site contents
on CD in exchange for full and final contract payment. As of this date, the
amount remaining due and owing on the contract is $10,800.

We assume that the very recent concern about "transition provisions" stems
from the fact that our contract required the CAPC to provide materials and direction to us for web site production. As all commissioners know, no materials or direction have ever been provided, and Positive Idea has met both the CAPC side of the contract and our own for three years.
Contractually speaking, we could have collected payment without doing any
work, since the CAPC has never met the provisions of its own agreement.
However, the fact that eurekasprings.org exists at all should be sufficient
testimony to our professional ethics.

We have no desire to seek vengeance on the CAPC. We would simply like to end this relationship quietly, professionally, finally, and without any further
accusations or argument. We do not anticipate any problems for the Commission since, at the April 11 meeting, the Chamber "expert" stated that there would be no problem in getting the web site up and running within twenty-four hours.

The end of this contract has absolutely no bearing on our Eureka Springs Tourist Center site at www.eurekasprings.com. (http://www.eurekasprings.com.) As always, we will put guest service first, and we will continue to support the businesses of Eureka
Springs who depend heavily on tourism. Without the constraints imposed by our involvement with the CAPC, we feel that both of these goals can be better achieved.

We wish the commission the best in their endeavors.


Jan Ridenour, President
Positive Idea Marketing

Eureka Springs Tourist Center
888-Eureka 0 www.eurekasprings.com (http://www.eurekasprings.com)

All About Love
06-13-2002, 04:26 PM
A great, big, personal thank you to Jan, Kim and all the girls at Positive Idea who work so hard behind the scenes without making a big to-do or publicly patting themselves on the back while they go out of their way to continually promote Eureka Springs world-wide.

CAPC has lost the most professional and competent organization they could ever have and so has Eureka. Most people here don't have a clue of what all the work involved in running and maintaining the CAPC site, besides everyone's web site in town who has the foresight to have a web presence so internet visitors and in person visitors can find information pertaining to their trip and also purchase local items off their computer.

PIMs is constantly coming up with new ideas and plans for promotions to put Eureka Springs in the spotlight as a travel destination. They don't spend valuable time bragging about what they are doing, they don't ask for funds from the city, they just get a plan and DO IT and I might add, do it successfully and professionally.

Envious stick and stone throwers have attacked them for years without ever taking the time to visit their office and see all the projects that are going on, all the thousands of emails from prospective visitors asking questions about everything Eureka, and all these questions are cheerfully answered. PIMs has issued many public invitations for people to come see how they are handling promotions, CAPC web site, and other matters, but not even the entire CAPC commission or any of the CAPC staff took the time to see what work is being done as per this contract. How can you make decisions for the town's interest if you don't know what is going on, the how and why of it?

I am so thankful PIMs now has more productive time to spend bringing other promotion ideas for Eureka Springs benefit. I am also thankful all this backstabbing, back biting, jealousy has not driven them from the town because then we really would be sunk.

Thanks girls, for a job excellently done.

06-13-2002, 05:59 PM
PIM - I think that you are a huge assett to this community, and to any business that relies on your services. As an advertising agency your team is so much more! And your product is a polished shining example of how functional a team effort can be.

I wish you the best in this event and all ventures you have on the horizon!

06-13-2002, 06:32 PM
Someone said a long time ago that we should fire the CAPC and hire PIMS. Drastic FU for the city; letting PIMS contract expire under these circumstances...and the WAY that they were TREATED. That is SUCH BULL. This city just bit a hand that helped them. SHAME ON YOU. And about the hacking...you are 1 lucky bunch. I would have SUED.
I'M almost pissed off enough to run for mayor. You have NO IDEA what a crazy mayor IS! You all NEED one.

06-13-2002, 06:45 PM
becs, you may have given us the answer: two crazy mayors. Aha ha ha ha ha ha haha hahaha...as the pig wanders down the middle of the empty street cackling like a hen getting ready to lay an egg...could be her next incarnation.

06-13-2002, 06:52 PM
(That was my EVIL laugh....)

06-13-2002, 08:15 PM
Maybe it is time to really "listen" to ROYAL

06-13-2002, 09:14 PM
When it comes to advertising, and a sound direction for Eureka, Royal is absolutely on the money. But back to PIM, The CAPC has made an hugely grievous error. There are so many other tasks they could and should be focusing on, why do they insist on attempting to fix the only wagon that isnít broke? They have finally lost my support . Lynn what in the world are you thinking? Positive Ideas Marketing is the most professional group of people this cities tourist industry has working for it! We didnít shoot ourselves in the foot this time, We just blew our brains out.

06-13-2002, 09:24 PM
Amen. Not sure, but I think Royal is too savvy to get caught up in the web, so to speak.

06-14-2002, 12:54 AM
Wow! It's good to see that you are finally dumping the city contract. For quite some time I have thought you two were nuts, but you have redeemed yourselves. Several of the postings I have read recently on this bulletin board are from people who are pleasant, positive and upbeat - even business competitors who are supporting each other. Finally, a few people are beginning to realize that we are all in this together and the most important thing we can do in this community is to network with each other.

My business has improved greatly since I began hanging out with happy postive people who wish to grow themselves as well as their businesses and I am chosing to accentuate all the positive aspects of my life, business and this community and will avoid persons and activities that only support 'pissing and moaning'. PIM just made a huge leap in that direction and I applaude them for it.

Now, let's all get busy having fun, making money and letting all our visitors and residents know about all the good stuff that's goin' on here. If you don't, the badboy is gonna get you!!!

06-14-2002, 02:44 AM
PIM, I feel like you do a great job for the area. I have now been in town now for about a total of three months, and since I have been here I have loved it. The only problem I have is it seems like no one is happy. All I seem to here is this and that, and how this is wrong and how this should be done like that, and the bikes, well my theory is, if it brings money to town(which they do), then so be it, our buisnes's will stay alive along with the town.
As I have noticed so far this is a major tourist town and I feel like it is keeping that way because of what PIM does for the area. I cannot repeat on how much this place is great, just as long as we go along with it.
I might be talking jiberish, but thats how I get when I feel like I can fix something, I am opened minded.
To end the note I would just like to say PIM keep up on the good work we love ya, and see you soon.

06-14-2002, 04:35 AM
Jan & Kim, This is just another example as to how far off track Eureka Springs has gone!

CAPC,Parks & Rec and Public works are all on a course for disaster. I think you are smart to throw in the towel as I did some time ago.

It is very frustrating to see all the TAX dollars wasted the way they are around here

As a business owner I can only hope that things will change soon!

Becky Davis
06-14-2002, 06:54 AM
Yep. Give them the ball and
let them run with it girls.
Breathe now. You are out of that political arena.
The rest of them won't come up for fresh air until they get their heads out of their rumps.

just wondering
06-14-2002, 06:56 AM
As always when government lacks integrity and trust, its over. jf501, "throw in the towel", was that by chance a Martha Stewart towel? Also VOTING AGAINST THE PARK TAX in November! jf501, come shop with me in Mo. and I will buy you a new big towel, FREE. Remember, Mo. has NO sales tax on food. Springfield normal sales tax is 6.35% on towels. Jan&Kim keep up the good work. We live in interesting times.

[This message has been edited by just wondering (edited 06-14-2002).]

Becky Davis
06-14-2002, 06:58 AM
Beau, You piss ant.
You are right on the edge of losing one voter that has supported you ninety nine percent of the time through thick and thin. ME.

[This message has been edited by Becky Davis (edited 06-14-2002).]

06-14-2002, 07:35 AM
Those who have not yet hitched your wagon or pushcart to PIM's star, what are you waiting for? Get those leads, reins, harnesses attached for the promotional E-ride or keep going around in the same small circle aka: rut that goes continually where? NO WHERE.

With much more time not spent on useless meetings, beratements, ad nauseum...they can accomplish mountains more than all the projects they have already brought to us. They have the creativity, ideas, and professional, experienced staff. These people are always accessible...none of this "I'll get back to you" or "We're working on it" bits of chicken lips, cow eyelids, pig whiskers, and turkey droppings rolled up and stuffed in a casing commonly sold as baloney.

I want the job as head cheerleader or could you tell? I only rah-rah for things I believe in and you all know the other thing. I'm supporting you.

becs, could you whip up a bunch of support thongs with pigs on them for the girls at PIMs?

06-14-2002, 10:31 AM
There are just not enough uses for the word "nauseum" - Oh wait.... maybe!

I will second that... cast your bread (dinero) on the water (PIM) and they will see that it comes back to you (sales) on every wave (tourist weekends, local sales, great promotionals, etc...).

How is that for the spiritual side of this whole ordeal.

Really- I think this could be the wake up call we are so desperately waiting for as a business community. I feel this little burg of ours needs more UNITY in our commUNITY and strive for a common goal. Lets step over the dead bodies and look for life- and a few POSITIVE IDEAS