April 14, 2010
Dear Councilors Hempfling, Askeland, Booth, Walkey, and Wintrow:
This letter comes in response to a communication from Council to Community Resources requesting CR’s formal position on the issue of designation. After thorough consideration, including advice from former members and others present at the beginning, Community Resources (CR) board members believe conditions are not ripe for CR to become designated as the Village community improvement corporation (CIC).
We agree that close cooperation and collaboration between the Yellow Springs Council, Miami Township Trustees, Community Resources and other economic development organizations is imperative. Historically, there has been such collaboration; the consequence is the retention of approximately 100 jobs and 750 college students in the community.
As you know, designation imposes restrictions on our own ability to act and to be responsive in a timely way to the aspirations of the Village. By remaining an independent corporation, the Village retains in CR more tools in its toolbox to address economic development. By remaining undesignated, we are positioned to work creatively with the Chamber of Commerce, the new Yellow Springs economic sustainability committee and the Economic Sustainability Coordinator. CR will continue to work closely together with these entities on potential commercial developments including the retention and expansion of existing businesses.
As a corporation separate from a municipality, CR may assume certain community-building activities that would be difficult, either legally or politically, for the political entities to directly undertake. As an example: a designated CIC can be an effective tool as an agent for a municipality in expediting various administrative functions associated with the development or disposition of public property or other functions. This was the case of Miamisburg and the recovery and re-use of the Mound land and facilities. In any designation the powers and authorities bestowed must be explicitly set forth. The Visioning process is as yet incomplete, so we suggest waiting until a broadly-supported direction is defined and a role identified in which you deem a designated CIC would be effective.
Consistent with the nature of its efforts, CR intends to continue to make our processes and decisions as public as possible. Means include holding public meetings from time to time and information releases regarding significant decision points. Furthermore, we encourage and support Village staff in their responsibility to provide Council (and thereby the community) with regular updates as to the progress of CBE development projects they manage.
CR has long welcomed members of village council, trustees and staff to seats on the CR board; this continues. However, the village solicitor’s opinion, and at times, conflict of interest considerations, have inhibited village representatives from full participation. The invitation remains, however, as you would wish to take advantage of it.
Should in the future, Council and the Trustees deem it appropriate to designate CR as their CIC, upon appropriate resolutions in accordance with ORC 1740.10, we will be happy to entertain the possibility in accordance with our by-laws, which require a super-majority prior to agreeing to such an arrangement.
Lisa Abel Community Resources, Chair