WALTON CLOSE TO HIRING NEW TDC DIRECTOR By: Kari C. Barlow, NWF DailyNews Walton County is considering hiring a Louisiana tourism official to head the Tourist Development Council. Commissioners voted to begin negotiating a contract with Jay A. Tusa, who is currently the director of communications and research with the Louisiana Office of Tourism in Baton Rouge. “He was ranked the highest of the finalists,” Walton County Spokesman Louis Svhela said. Interim TDC Director Stan Sunday, County Attorney Mark Davis and Human Resources Director Ella Mae Walters will work with Tusa to finalize the hiring agreement, which requires the approval of the board. Tusa has worked in the tourism and marketing industry for more than 21 years and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Loyola University. He was one of three finalists, who were culled from a pool of roughly 30 applicants. The other finalists were Julie Morgan, tourist development director in Santa Rosa County, and David West, director of tourism and economic development for i76Solutions of Schwenksville, Pennsylvania. Svhela said he expects county commissioners to take a final vote on Tusa’s hiring at their meeting March 22.