Monday, July 27, 2009

A DDA Presentation I'd Like to Hear

I have a friend in the commercial finance business that has an interesting business goal. His goal is for his clients to become financially stable enough to no longer need his services. His list of successes are his former clients, not his current ones.

I wish Ferndale's DDA had a similar goal.

Monday night, the DDA made a presentation to city council I'm sure anyone who's seen a couple of their presvious dog-and-ponies before could have narrated--without notes. The DDA helps stores with facade improvements, the DDA decorates downtown, the DDA hangs flowers, and this spring the DDA pimped pots.

According to their presentations, they're a $300,000/year arts and crafts committee.

To liven up their next visit to council and throw the city for a loop, here's a message I'd love to hear at a future DDA presentation:
Good evening mayor and council members.

After nearly 20 years of attacking blight in our downtown we're proud to announce our mission is accomplished. Our downtown sparkles. Its largest and most successful events are produced and promoted by downtown business owners, and surveys show residents and visitors alike feel both welcomed and safe on our streets, day or night.

Therefor we are resigning our commission, disbanding the DDA, and returning our TIF monies to the county where it may be used for parks, public safety, or even Treasurer Andy Meisner's Land Bank.

Or perhaps the money may be used for our next adventure, securing a Central Business District designation for Hilton between Eight and Ten Mile roads to stimulate another of Ferndale's assets which has, for too long, been ignored.
It's time the DDA decides whether it's accomplished its mission or not. I think it has, and the DDA and our downtown businesses should be congratulated. They've crossed the goal line, they've moon-walked in the end-zone, and now its time to give the ball to another team.

I think the next game should be kicked-off on Hilton.


  1. What exactly would you like to see done on Hilton? It is clearly a large part of your platform, and I'm curious as to what sort of vision you have for it. Much of Hilton seems to be light industrial to me, are you wanting to attract more light industrial, or something completely different?

    In full transparency, I am leaning towards voting for you and Galloway. Should keep things interesting and the debate balanced. I'm a trouble maker that way.

  2. Jason,

    My hopes for Hilton are part of the theme, "There's more to Ferndale than Downtown." I don't want to diminish our downtown or its reputation, but would rather compliment it by making sure it doesn't become an island.

    To do that, our downtown needs to be surrounded by healthy, attractive neighborhoods, and as many supplimentary businesses as possible. In short, our ability to increase Ferndale's daytime population helps bolster downtown's shops and restaurants--as well as shops and eateries throughout the entire city.

    Perhaps one thought might be, when the opportunity presents itself, for the city to make an investment on Hilton and allow its current address on some of Ferndale's most desireable property, and allow it to either generate new taxes or make room for a parking solution...