Dear Editor: Mike Buffington's recent editorial relating to the Jefferson Downtown Development Authority was, I thought, incomplete at best.
While I agree that not all of our events are a huge success (like the produce market as you mentioned), they represent an opportunity for residents to select what appeals to them from a varied palate of events. Most of these have super attendance from Jefferson, as well as other communities.
The DDA is statewide and was created by the Georgia General Assembly. It applies to countless communities within our state. It is the economic development arm of Main Street Jefferson. The DDA receives no city funds or tax monies.
The other arm is event-planning, Main Street Jefferson.
The area geographically covered for both entities is a one-half mile circle whose central point is our town square. Within this circle, Main Street is charged with public relations, special events, fund raising, business assistance, property development, public spaces and historic structures.
Each of these items has myriad facets, they are not just a line item.
The redevelopment of the Roosevelt Theater, now in process, is an example of work being done in just one of these areas.
The editorial seemed to imply that there are only two events that were planned by the DDA. Neither is the case. Yearly events sponsored by Main Street are: Arbor Day, the farmer's market, the Freedom Festival, Movies by Moonlight, Halloween Walk, Jefferson Holiday Market, Downtown in December, Second Saturday Concert Series, Christmas Parade, Christmas Tour of Homes and Festival on the Square and Jefferson Community Theater Shows.
Finally, I would like to address the issue of DDA (actually Main Street) office space. Perhaps you've not seen it. I have.
It is a shared space with the Crawford Long Museum entrance and admission ticket area. Also housed in this small space is the CLM gift shop and racks of tourist brochures.
The actual office of the director is about the size of a small kitchen. Filing cabinets, loose files, equipment, hard hats, calendars all have no home.
Any meeting has to be scheduled off-premises and pertinent information lugged to that location.
It amazes me that so much is accomplished under these conditions. Perhaps not so obvious is that the workplace of the museum is compromised as well.
I would take my hat off to Beth Laughinghouse, director, except that there would be no place to put it except the floor.
Carolyn C. Porter