Coastal Voices: Downtown’s happier times

Kyle Curtis

As I contemplate how the winds of change have affected our 3rd Street business area in terms of economic and social factors, and deal with the attitudes of the Business Improvement District leaders who take pleasure in flaunting their disparaging remarks toward those of us who question their actions, I also recall great memories from the past when there was no BID.

Those of us who can allude to being native Del Norters, including those who came and merged beautifully into our particular kind, can recall the happy times when this downtown area was a shoppers' delight.

It was possible to start at Safeway (Grocery Outlet site today), pay

all utilities, shop for the entire family's clothing, shoes, do banking,

lunch and order cakes at Glenn's, and then take a rest for coffee and

pie at the Coffee Cup before starting for home. A time of friendship and

socializing with everyone in business in the old-fashioned,

good-neighbors ethic.

The winds of change brought about a variety of shopping modes with

the building of Jedediah Mall, later Old Town on Northcrest, and finally

the corridor of Washington Boulevard with extended shopping and

business district. We seemed to to follow the flow of expansion and

adopted new patterns for shopping for neccessities in a friendly manner

and also came back to shop on 3rd street.

We can applaud the changes that a smart investor made in the old

Square Deal building and the old furniture store at the corner of Front

and M streets. These two ventures refocused sound economic change back

to the older downtown area. We need more of this downtown.

Presently a negative change is our present situation with BID, one

causing so much angst and hurt feelings among us, especially felt by

those of us in business for decades who recall polite and professional

attitudes always. We were a team of professionals dealing with declining

economics as time went on and yet happy with serving our wonderful

clientel, and remain so to this day.

It is sad to observe demeaning behavior from some newcomers to the

business world or those who have recently moved here and demand to

impose their attitudes of change for change's sake, in other words,

their way or the highway is the blatant message. I have heard it said,

"If you don't want to be part of BID just move." Why should we?

This attitude is also reflected in some City Council members who have

become despots instead of team members vested with keeping the

traditional goodness of this community that has always displayed a

friendly attitude to everyone, as seen when tourists compliment us for

all the years they've been vacationing here and often return to our


Some newcomers in various leadership roles have insulted us verbally

in meetings or in print, displaying their lack of common sense and lack

of leadership qualities and compassion for the position they occupy.

They need to accept our traditional ways or stop trying to ramrod their

agendas into our good nature.

Could it be these folks have a lack of professional attitudes here due to their lack of such in their past?

It saddens me to recall what we were and what we've become dealing

with all this unpleasantness from BID and some Council members. We need

Cooperation and Teamwork 101 for those lacking such skills. We members

are the ones with the wants, you Council members were voted in to handle

our business. If you keep having wants we will never get anything

finished up properly. Learn and be a part of us friendly Del Norters.

Just say no to BID!

Charlotte Fleshman is a BID member and a Fort Dick resident.

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