In response to Michael Haynes' column of a couple of weeks ago ["Restaurant Coattails and Retail Sales," Shot of Urban, Oct. 29, 2009]:
Downtown Knoxville has certainly progressed over the last decade, thanks to names and faces that get little recognition for their energy, ideas, and considerable investment. You know who you are and thank you.
On the other hand, just imagine the progress over years, and especially in these troubled economic times, that could be yielded from the $500,000+ per year in CBID taxes paid and not invested in real, productive retail and economic development. Facade grants are just too easy. Special-event sponsorships are simple and fine. However, why not invest in real tools and talent to fulfill the years of paid consultant recommendations (more than we can count) for our center city, add parking and other security technology where needed, and really grow retail shopping options via prudent investment in those who matter most to our downtown success?
After taking on the CBID shortcomings two years ago, I understood the crazy need to embrace the status-quo and keep downtown taxpayers in the dark about the lack of CBID creativity and business savvy.
Thanks to Mr. Haynes, my interest and desire to see a very Good downtown move to Great, with very diverse offerings, has been fired up again. Let's hope and pray that our CBID ignites, as well, someday.
Resident, Downtown Knoxville