Monday, May 18, 2009

VC: Arts, Sustainability, and Planning

{-- The Jafagirls did some spring decorating last year in the men's loo downtown, aka "The Chamber Pot Gallery"...

Dear People: Happy Spring Clean Up week! (Rumpke will pick up large items for free this week; I hope village garage sales went ok, despite the rain...!)


1) I am officially moving my office hour to Wednesday at 10 AM. Still at the Emporium. That seems like a better time for me, and, I think, for others. I'll be there this Wed.

2) There's an opening on the Environmental Commission--please let me know if you're interested! We are working well and efficiently--our next meeting is next Thurs. May 28, room A& B, if you'd like to check us out!

TONIGHT'S AGENDA: Although there's no legislation, there are a few big items on the agenda for tonight's meeting:

1) SPECIAL REPORT: YS ARTS COUNCIL: The steering committee for the center for the arts will report on a potential arts center, including, I have heard informally, a possible site. (I don't have any documents about this presentation at this time.)

2) OLD BUSINESS: ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: We'll continue our discussion of economic development, starting with A) a report from Village Manager Mark Cundiff, entitled "Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP)" (it starts on page 45 of the online version of the Council packet, if you'd like to read it.) Additionally, B) Council pres., Judith Hempfling and citizens Benjy Maruyama & Dimi Reber have written a memo entitled "Village Funded Economic Development Draft Outline" (which begins on page 10 of this online version of the Council packet.)

A. Mark's memo redux: Drawing on the thoughts that were presented at our last meeting, Mark calls for an "ESP" focusing on three main components:

  • Start up & Growth of new businesses, hoping that one is a new Antioch College, and making use of the resources of groups like the Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) at Springfield & Wright State and BALLE, the Business Alliance for Local Living.

  • Market & Recruit attracting new, existing business, primarily to the CBE (Center for Bus & Education, i.e., the Antioch McGregor building site), but also creating brochure(s) highlighting what spaces are available for development, cooperating with the Chamber of Commerce.

  • Retain & Expand exisiting businesses, assisting in expansion efforts, using the BusinessFirst program we're already a part of.

Staffing is the key question: Having considered in his last memo on this topic 4 possibilities--hiring a full time ED person, hiring a part time ED person, creating a new Development Corporation, or working with consultants/contractors, Mark now feels that the lattermost option is our best option: to hire consultants to work with interns/volunteers especially to:

  • research incentive programscolllect data (workforce within 30 min. commute, distance to airports, intermodal rail sidings, interstate highways etc)
  • gather info for brochuresresearch 'targeted' businesses
Mark suggests we need to decide whether to target BRAC businesses, and he is providing us a list of businesses that are being targeted by the Ohio Dept of Development and the Dayton Development Corp. He's not saying we have to choose those, but that staff would benefit from knowing what we'd like to see.

He is basically neutral on the question of a committee, but asks that we think carefully about the role any such committee would have vis a vis staff, esp. the VM.

B. Judy/Benjy/Dimi Memo redux: Economic development goals: increasing the tax bases, creating jobs that build on the strengths of the village (education, diversity, green energy, arts, health/wellness, local food, regional destination), meeting local needs locally, and providing opportunities for villagers of differing ed levels.

They suggest using resources we have (which they list) and others like BALLE, and focus on creating an Economic Development Advisory Board with reps from chamber, CR, energy task force, arts council, localization acitivities, antioch college, Council & V.Mgr ex officio. The group would bring these groups together and provide a venue for networking.

3) NEW BUSINESS: COMPREHENSIVE PLAN: Council has received from Planning Commission a new draft of the comprehensive plan (particularly section 4 "Land Use Principles and Objectives," which needed fairly major revision). (The draft begins on page 12 of the online packet, section 4 begins on page 26).

Planning assistant Ed Amrhein will make a brief presentation about the changes. We'll probably then lay out general areas that we'd like to see addressed. I'd be especially interested in your thoughts about how issues like "staying small" and the desire for open space are addressed in the new document, esp. section 4.

Sorry this is later than usual--it was a very busy, working weekend for me, with graduation on Friday, two sets of friends coming to visit, and most grades due today!



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