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A Few Thoughts on the HDBID Move

By Eric Richardson
Published: Tuesday, July 03, 2007, at 08:38AM

I was in Atlanta over the weekend, and found it interesting to read right here on the site that Russell Brown would be heading up the Historic Downtown BID (HDBID). It's great news for Russell, who now will be getting some compensation for all the time he puts into trying to improve Downtown. I'm sure he'll do a great job in the role.

On hearing the news, two angles stuck out to me. First, this move offers HDBID a chance to finally get its act together and become a factor in the community. Second, for good or for bad, this move changes Russell's role as President of the Downtown Neighborhood Council.

To date HDBID has been a complete non-factor for the residents and businesses moving to the Historic Core. The organization has run with no staff and has done little outreach. The meeting dates on the BID's website are over a year out of date.

The only time the group had previously been mentioned on this site was in September of last year, when the City Council approved an alley closure the BID was to pay for. Nine months later and the closure has never happened.

Hopefully this move means that the BID is finally prepared step up and become a part of the Downtown process.

Russell was elected President of DLANC last October and has done an amazing job in that role. While I have no doubt that he will continue to do so, this move still acts to change his role on the council. Last week DLANC's Board was led by a resident. This week (or whenever Russ actually starts) it's led by someone whose job it is to promote business interests. That change isn't necessarily cause for alarm, but it is something that needs to be understood.

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