OTE - Oregon Travel Experience

OTE proposed 2013 to 2015 biennial budget

Posted on: June 4th, 2013 by Madeline MacGregor in News & Press | 2 Comments

Proposed budget

The Oregon Travel Information Council (OTE’s governing body) has released for public comment, a draft of the 2013 to 2015 proposed agency budget. This document aligns with state budget guidelines and provides a comprehensive overview of the agency’s accomplishments, challenges and investment plan.

You may review the draft in PDF format

Public comment online

The following link provides an online location for members of the public and interested parties to leave comments: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FCLDW5L

Commentary will be collected until a June 20, 2013 Council telephonic meeting, when the budget proposal is scheduled for adoption.




Erika Hart

- Comment left on: June 10th, 2013 at 2:02 pm

I would like to say when traveling I do enjoy using the clean restrooms that are up and down the I-5 corridor however I think the kiosks could be a little more user friendly they are always in a place I would not venture to.
As a taxpayer I always like to know where my tax dollars are being spent. I decided to look up your organization the Oregon Travelors Experience. I do follow many of the state organizations and how they spend their allocated budgets.
I could not find an email to the counsel so I am hoping you are able to pass this on or answer my question.
I noticed the agency (OTE) has a small number of employees and as with many state agencies I see too many large titles which to me equals large budgets and less production.
Is it necessary for such a small agency to have a CEO and a COO?? I looked over the past meetings posted on your site and I do not see your counsel addressing this issue.

Madeline MacGregor

- Comment left on: June 12th, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Hi Erika,

We’re happy that you are enjoying OTE’s well managed rest areas. Our rest area model was approved unanimously by both parties of the Oregon Legislature in 2009, and our duties greatly expanded by the same group of lawmakers in 2012.

Our staff are committed to excellence in customer service, which means that we genuinely care about how our programs are run.

In order to operate 20 very busy public rest areas, we plan carefully to make sure our budget uses public funds wisely. Rest area operations are funded solely by state and federal dollars, while our signs and kiosk programs are funded by permit holders.

These two different revenue sources are not allowed (by law) to be mixed. Highway funds are strictly for roads and bridges or byways (like rest areas) and cannot be used for information center improvements. In addition, our agency uses no General Funds.

We agree the information kiosks need some updating and attention! In fact, we have started a new partnership with key tourism organizations to see what kind of modernization plans we should develop.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could bring the travel information centers (kiosks) into the 21st century? We are investigating electronic displays, better lighting, and other structural changes that might make the buildings more inviting and informative.

Keep an eye on us as we move through our next couple of years, because we think you may begin to see improvement in the travel information centers.

Since we are a semi-independent state agency, we tried to find ways to describe what each of us did by creating position titles that mirrored the private sector. As we move forward into the next leg of our strategic planning over the next two years, you may see certain job titles begin to align with other state agencies.

At present, our staffing ratio is on par with other state boards and commissions, which truthfully finds each one of wearing more than one hat! Every single one of us (including managers and executives) makes certain our boots hit the field and on the ground. Our unusually dedicated small office staff answer phones, perform database work, and help our permit holders receive the services they need.

We hope that you will review the budget and the Council’s mission and priorities for the next two years. You are certainly welcome to attend a Council meeting and give public testimony. The Council’s meeting dates are posted on the website at http://ortravelexperience.com/about-us/information-center/meeting-minutes/

Thanks again Erika, for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. We read every comment (and email) and respond personally to each one. Your input is valued and appreciated.

The crew at OTE

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