Board members in attendance: John Davis, T.J. Kaikobad, Juan Lama, Meagen Shepard, Jane Marie Wilson, Tyree Goodlett. DDDA Staff- George WoodwardGuests – Dennis Mock (Mayor), Rob Bradham (Chamber of Commerce) David Aft (Community Foundation), Aaron Marcelli, Lt. Jaime Johnson (Dalton Police Department), Krista Long and Dana Silvers (Raspberry Row)
Call to Order:
Mr. Kaikobad called the meeting to order.
Krista Long voiced concern merchants not thoroughly involved in planning and execution of events to promote their businesses & downtown in general. Asked the board to consider more active role for merchants in future event planning. Following additional discussion by board members and guests, Mr. Kaikobad suggested that a Merchant’s Meeting be scheduled on a regular basis to insure proper communication and input.
A motion was made by Mr. Davis, seconded by Ms. Wilson to convene a meeting of the merchants every 60 days, to distribute a calendar of events for the year to each downtown business and to invite all merchants to attend committee and/or board meetings. The motion passed. Downtown merchants and owners need to know that their input is valued and appreciated. Mr. Woodward is to follow up with Ms. Long.
Deferred until next meeting.
Deferred until next meeting.
Mr. Kaikobad reported that following a special called meeting that he had entered into an agreement with Mr. Woodward. He circulated the agreement among the board.
Mr. Kaikobad also asked for a motion to approve a personnel committee to initiate search process for the next Director. Ms. Shepard and Ms. Wilson will join Mr. Kaikobad on that committee. Motion to approve by Mr. Davis, seconded Ms. Wilson. Motion passed.
The Chairman also mentioned that he had contacted Ann Arnold, retired DDDA/Mainstreet of Rome, GA. He indicated he would like to engage Ms. Arnold as a consultant in assisting the DDDA as it moves forward. He and Mr. Woodward were to follow up.
Mr. Woodward provided an update on the upcoming Downtown Sampler. Mr. Aft was invited to present an overview of progress to date on Burr Park. He reminded everyone of the Jeanne Fest at the Burr Park site on May 13th for the community to celebrate this wonderful new addition to downtown and to honor Ms. Burr. Mr. Aft took the opportunity to share with the board his interest in seeing the DDDA more proactively involved in moving downtown to the next level. Other guests also commented that the opportunity was right for the board to engage other stakeholders and utilize where appropriate its resources. There was general agreement that the DDDA, Chamber, City of Dalton and private sector needed to create a vision for downtown and work to see it realized.
Mr. Woodward presented a report outlining his activities to date and plans for moving forward. That report is attached to these minutes. Mr. Woodward thanked the board members for this opportunity and their cooperation.
Mr. Woodward brought the board up to date with the process necessary to move forward on another phase of Streetscape. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
Mr. Davis (CVB) reported ball season has started, more teams anticipated this year. These events are big economic boost. Room tax up again this year. Working with people in hospitality field to get them better educated about what our community has to offer.
Mr. Bradham (Chamber) brought the board up to date on the community plan the Chamber is heading up. Plan is in phases 3 and 4 and should be finalized by mid-year. He stressed that downtown was a principal piece of the plan and he urged the board to start whatever process necessary to be able to gear up.
Mr. Goodlett ( City Liaison )and the Mayor both spoke to the need for the DDDA to seek out expertise, input and to fully quaint ourselves with the resources at its disposal to fully realize a vision for what downtown could be. Mr. Goodlett asked the board to not only move forward with a vision but not to forget how important it is to keep clear, open lines of communication with business and property owners.
There being no further business the meeting was adjourned.