In light of the recent issues regarding our downtown development efforts, maybe now is time for the mayor and the council to step back and consider changing our approach to the city’s development efforts
Currently we have three different groups involved in economic development and development support.
The BDA was formed to handle the development effort after the drastic government forced destruction of the downtown area many years ago.
The BDDC is basically a state prompted entity as the result of the city seeking financial assistance to develop what is now Depot square.
The mayor’s economic development committee basically handles individual requests for grants and financial assistance.
Ancillary functions now handled by BDA might be best handled by other existing city departments.
This current arrangement is not very efficient, creates some confusion as to who a developer should approach, work with.
There has to be ONE go to person, one entity for the developers, and for the city officials, to create some accountability some direction, and to keep us better informed.
This way our officials can be better informed and monitor progress, and respond to issues as appropriate. The public deserves at least that much.
Combining all three would also reduce overhead and expenses, and create a clearer focus on our development.
It would also provide an opportunity to involve some new/different people and introduce some new ideas.
Times change, circumstances change: it is time for us to respond to those changes.
William T. Stortz Bristol