Remember this, from our financial consultants last April?
[I]f you survey potential businesses, would they consider DeKalb business friendly? I don’t know the answer to that question. We have heard anecdotal evidence; some say that DeKalb is one of the most business-unfriendly cities they’ve ever encountered. Well, if that’s the case, economic development will be a challenge. So, it’s something that perhaps could be addressed.
Yesterday I spent the day at the DeKalb Farmers Market. I’d previously understood from the ReNew person in charge that the city had agreed to keep Locust Street open for the duration of the market, which runs until 6 p.m. But they got antsy to start setting up for Corn Fest by mid-afternoon, put up barricades and killed traffic. Vendors started fleeing as early as 4 p.m., leaving little for the after-work crowd to shop for.
That’s not even getting into the impacts to downtown business people in buildings. Some of them already know they will see their worst weekend of sales for the year this weekend with Corn Fest back downtown. And even if the city’s/Corn Fest’s impatience didn’t worsen the sales outlook, the powers-that-be clearly squandered an opportunity for goodwill. There was some real anger expressed in the Van Buer parking lot yesterday and the blame was laid squarely on the City of DeKalb and Corn Fest. It sounded a lot like what the financial consultants heard.
DeKalb is run by a relatively small group of self-anointed VIPs, within government and without, who regularly tramp roughshod over the interests of others in the community. Some are the very same people who talk about economic development all the time yet seem to lack a clue about how to provide it.
Here’s one: Get over yourselves and start thinking about somebody else for a change.