In the spirit of continuity and experience, Clayton appears likely to end term limits for members of the Downtown Development Association board.
The 11-member body is the main cheerleader for Clayton’s downtown, organizing and hosting events while promoting businesses and the culture of Main Street. The town is on a bit of a roll right now within its downtown blocks, with renewed development interest and new businesses, leading the board to value acquired wisdom over fresh blood.
Currently, members can serve two consecutive three-year terms on the DDA before they fall off, though they can return for future terms once having left the board. Clayton planning director David DeYoung said the group has a lot to lose if it forces major players to leave the board, even temporarily.
“We’ve had several active members, seriously active in the CDDA, who are are going to come off the board and they’ve been very valuable members, and we didn’t want that to happen,” DeYoung said.
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The planning director, whose office houses downtown development coordinator Kaitlin Russo, lobbied and appeared to find support on the council to change the DDA’s bylaws to eliminate term limits. He mentioned that the downtown coordinator position has struggled with consistency in recent years. Bruce Naegelen was in the job for nine years, but his successor, Stephanie Ross, was gone after a six-month probationary period. Russo, having been hired in March, appears to have survived the probationary window.
DeYoung also wants the council to change the schedule of the terms, currently based on the calendar year, to one based on the July 1 to June 30 fiscal year. He said that if the council left term limits and the calendar in place, the group would lose its treasurer in the middle of the year.
“Bringing a new treasurer up to speed can be very difficult, as you can imagine,” DeYoung said. “What we’re really asking for is to remove term limits, the CDDA is the only group that has term limits, and change the time for expiration to June 30.”
The proposed changes will be placed on the council’s Dec. 19 consent agenda, meaning they are likely to pass without further discussion.
Clayton is also considering penalties for people who violate the town’s parks and greenways regulations. The town recently revised the signs on its trails, and the new proposal would give those signs legal authority. DeYoung said the new rules would join the town’s streets and sidewalks section.
“This will allow us to have some teeth behind some of the greenway signs we have up there,” DeYoung said. “It’s basically allowing us to have the right to pose and enforce our greenway rules.”
It would be unlawful to violate the trail’s hours of operations or prohibited activities. The proposed rules also restrict motorized vehicles to motorized wheelchairs.
The proposed rules have some teeth but not much of a financial bite. The first violation earns a warning, the second a $50 fine, the third $75 and the fourth $100.