Per Mayor Slert’s request, here is an alternative idea for BID
In the March 4 article (“Survey finds support for ending BID”), reporting that 76 percent of survey respondents want the Business Improvement District (BID) to end, Mayor Charles Slert was quoted saying, “nobody has ever offered an alternative or solution” to BID.
Mayor Slert and other decision-makers, here is a real alternative:
1) Get BID out of the government realm and into the private world.
BID currently organizes a couple of parades each year and encourages business owners to work together to bring more people downtown so that the owners can make more sales. These are good causes.
BID should be just like any other club that has particular goals in mind. There is no reason to have our local government take part in activities that can be accomplished by the private sector.
2) Make BID voluntary. I doubt very much that the idea of BID is being rejected by business owners, but they are currently being forced to pay a tax, fee, or whatever you would like to call it. Based on survey results the majority of those paying do not want to continue doing so.
Who would balk at the idea of being able to voluntarily contribute to a business-promoting organization? Generally the issue of being forced to pay is what people disagree with. If BID exists to improve business, then those who want their businesses improved and believe that there is a benefit derived will be willing to contribute. The private BID could even publish a list of which license-holders contributed and which did not; or just those who do — keep it positive.
3) Encourage investment in the downtown area by not micro-managing things. The majority of the property encompassed by BID is owned by someone other than those running the downtown businesses. If you want to see investment, just get out of the way. Modify the zoning in the BID to include a broader range of possibilities. I would recommend opening it up to any type of development except heavy industry. If those governing desire to see more investment in downtown, then provide a broader range of possibilities to building owners.
None of the above ideas are “mudslinging,” as Mayor Slert suggested all opposition to BID is. Please consider these as thought-provoking, real solutions.
Individual liberty is the answer. Mull over the idea of something being rejected by the majority of the individuals affected, but being forced on them “based on what’s best for the city as a whole.”
Smith River spay/neuter clinic a good effort worth volunteering for
Maybe nobody knew, but there was a spay/neuter clinic in Smith River on Feb. 28.
I was told to sign up though the Internet under neuter-scooter a week ago because my neighbor and I have small Chihuahua-type dogs that have gotten pregnant by a Rottweiler-type dog and the vet bill to assist a pregnancy is $800 and a danger to the pet.
We dropped them off at 9–10 a.m. and picked them up at 7–8 that night. Some people had jobs to go to and they were put ahead of the line so they could get to work. They also had many people help volunteer, a real nice bunch.
I’m thinking about looking into volunteering the next time they come. They were looking for more volunteers. My neighbor and I are eternally grateful for this clinic.
They said that they are hoping to have this four times a year here in this county. With budgets the way they are, I hope they make their goal.