July 19, 2017
Board members in attendance: TJ Kaikobad, John Davis, Caleb Carnes, Jane Marie Wilson, Meagen Shepard, Juan Lama, Tyree Goodlett, and staff, George Woodward and Kristi Watson. Guests attending, Krista Long.
Call to Order:
Ms. Wilson called the meeting to order as Mr. Kaikobad was delayed.
There were no public comments.
Motion to approve minutes as distributed by Mr. Davis, second by Ms. Shepard and motion passed.
Motion to approve financials as presented by Ms. Shepard, second by Mr. Davis and motion passed.
Mr. Kaikobad introduced Ann Arnold, Consultant. Ms. Arnold provided an overview of her anticipated consulting work for the board. She and staff reviewing Bylaws and Policies, organizational procedures and protocol following the Board Meeting. She spoke of the importance of downtowns to cities like Dalton and the need for the DDDA to provide leadership; she stressed the importance of consensus building and collaboration with other stakeholders in areas of the state where DDA’s and Main Street programs have been highly successful local governments have financially invested in those programs. DDDA should focus on economic development and resist the temptation to become distracted by promotions and events. Ann’s concern is turnover. Every time you lose a manager you take a step back. Budget is too low to secure qualified, downtown manager. “It’s very normal for a city to be highly financially involved. I do training that’s something I encourage. I don’t think a city should even authorize a DDA if they’re not intending to fund it. You are an arm of the City. You are doing things for the City that they can’t do themselves. You’re developing a product for the community that other people are unable to do. You are in fact developing a product that tourism can sell and the Chamber sells. You’re creating reinvestment of downtown and thereby protecting the viability of downtown, the City’s center. That center of the City is what drives area business and industry. When a prospect comes to a community they want to see your downtown.”
“Central. Business. District. You’re not here to be all things to all people. Although Downtown belongs to everybody, it is the heart and Soul. It’s birthplace. It’s the Mother. It’s where it all began. And if it didn’t start here, you wouldn’t have everything else. It’s your history, it’s your Identity. I don’t care where you go in this entire country, you go to any city in every state, you don’t have a relationship to that community until you see its downtown. Because every strip center is the same, every Walmart is the same, every mall is the same. But everything downtown is different and unique. And that’s what you’re trying to protect. So don’t worry about trying to be all things to all people because that’s not what you are. But by creating this center and making it as economically, socially, and in so many different ways that it could possibly be and let everybody benefit. It’s the place to be.”
Personnel Committee: Ms. Wilson reported that Kristi Watson has been interviewed for Administrative Assistant position. If other candidates are deemed qualified they also will be interviewed. Posting for Executive Director Position will remain up until July 31st.
Merchant’s Meeting: Ms. Shepard reported next meeting to be held August 9th at 8:30 am. Notices would be going out to businesses next week. Agenda items: Fall Sampler and Silver Bell Sprint, Holiday Open House, and Infomercials.
Interim Director’s Report: Listening Session on Burr Park was held, construction to begin soon.
DSC-Focus Groups August 15th tentatively scheduled.
City of Refuge to go back to planning and zoning to reapply for zoning to mixed use zoning permit.
Façade Grants-Asked City for additional funds seeking $11,000.
Tax Assessor to provide further information about increase in property values and how it effects DDDA income.
SPA games requested 30-$5 downtown dollars.
Mr. Woodward apprised the Board of the opportunity to advertise in GA Trend’s September edition which would profile Dalton-Whitfield. After some decision, Mr. Davis motioned to approved expenditure up to $2,500, Mr. Lama seconded the motion, motion passed.
Creative Arts Guild banners received approval of board.
Beer Fest- Entertainment announced-The Dead Trees & Remembering January.
City: Mr. Goodlett reported that communication with respect to City of Refuge rezoning request could have been better communicated.
He indicated there is a need to sit down and look at infrastructure needs for downtown with all stakeholders.
Also, Mr. Woodward should attend DPW Committee to discuss schedule for power washing sidewalks.
CVB: Mr. Davis informed the Board he was asked and had accepted position as Co-Chair of newly formed Dalton Council. The council will be convening in near future to review community assessment data and formulate an implementation process. More to follow.
Motion to adjourn Board Meeting by Mr. Lama, second by Ms. Wilson meeting was adjourned.