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Aug-20-2007 12:35TweetFollow @OregonNews
New Group Go Downtown! Forms in SalemSalem-News.com
The group says their mission is to establish Downtown Salem as the vibrant arts, entertainment, business and cultural destination through effective private-public collaboration.
(SALEM, Ore.) - Downtown Salem business leaders striving to form an economic improvement district to market the Central Business District have created by-laws and incorporated under the name Go Downtown Salem!
Local business owner Roger Yost says that in a series of meetings since receiving overwhelming approval by business and property owners in the city’s Downtown Parking District, the board of 13 has accomplished a number of things.
Those accomplishments according to Yost include forming committees to manage governance, marketing, infrastructure, finance, membership and communications. They also created a mission statement and identified the organization’s priorities.
The group received city council approval for $65,000 in funding from the Downtown Parking Tax, and elected a number of representatives including Property Owner Roger Yost as President, Le Shoe Boutique Owner John Whitney, who will serve as as Board Chairman, and Attorney Douglas Vande Griend who will serve as the Board Secretary.
Yost says they also retained Susan Bicknell, former manager of the Salem Meier & Frank Store, to be the group's Acting Executive Director.
The Go Downtown! mission statement Yost says, is to establish Downtown Salem as the vibrant arts, entertainment, business and cultural destination of the Mid-Willamette Valley through effective private-public collaboration for the benefit of businesses, investors, residents and visitors.
Organizers say Go Downtown! is dedicated to creating a robust retail environment, a unique brand image, a property and residential data base, promoting Downtown residential development, and being the primary advocate and voice for Downtown issues.
The board expects to achieve its goals through an equitable assessment of Downtown property owners in the EID; working with city government and allied organizations to create a safe and clean environment, an ongoing beautification program, and a calendar of events that attract people Downtown during working and non-working hours.
Board members include Alan Apodaca, Sue Cobb, John Gallagher, Paul Gehlar, Kathy Goss, Charles Johnson, Kevin Lafky, Mark Messmer, Tony Nielsen, Doug Vande Griend, Dana Vugteveen, John Whitney, and Roger Yost.
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