Filling in some details on finding Village leadership
Joe LaCavaBird Rock resident
It is critical for everyone to be well informed so we can work together to restore the vitality of our Village and our merchants. To that end I offer the following supplement to last week’s introductory article (Group mulls options for PLJ replacement).
(1) A CBD (Community Benefit District) is not necessarily a replacement for the BID (Business Improvement District). (2) Only the merchants can determine the fate of the BID, not some outside group. (3) PLJ is not the BID, simply a nonprofit that formerly had the management contract. (4) The BID is fully funded by the merchants and is intended to represent the merchant’s interests. (5) CBD and BID can co-exist, so this is not an either/or question. (6) CBD would not necessarily “represent the merchants” as the district is formed by the property owners (commercial, perhaps residential as well) who would have the most direct control of the assessments they are paying. (7) Who would be the local manager of a newly formed CBD is an open question. Who will be the local manager of the current BID is also an open question. (Currently it is the city.) (8) The boundaries, scope and assessments of a CBD are all open questions. (9) An alternative to hiring an outside firm to form a CBD, if that is the decision, would be a volunteer-driven effort.
The Bird Rock MAD was formed with zero upfront dollars, but it took a lot of volunteer time. An outside firm would have to be funded out of pocket up front on spec; some or all of those dollars may be reimbursable once the CBD is formed.
These discussions are an appropriate and healthy action for our community. As Rick Wildman noted there are a lot of questions to be answered and we will take our time in doing so in an open manner.
But let us not forget that our Village and our merchants need leadership and organized guidance now. Thanks to the independent actions of many dedicated volunteers we continue to limp along. But is this really the best that we can do?