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Ex-commission member refreshes mayor’s memory

Published: Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

My memory isn’t as good as it once was. This is what I thought when I read what Mayor Burke said, referring to the position of executive director of the riverfront, “I can’t see someone year in and year out handling that on their own time.” 

Perhaps the mayor has forgotten that I:

n Was the commission member in charge of the initial committee for the position and said we couldn’t afford to pay an executive director until we paid off the initial cost and had a positive revenue source.

n Worked with the commission and city attorney to develop a policies/procedures manual, and designed the signage and forms now used for rentals.

n Worked with the commission to map rental areas, determine fees, and schedule all weddings, uses and events.

n Served from Feb. 1, 2009, to April 15, 2010, with no reimbursement; recognized at the dedication ceremony for my volunteer service.

n Resigned the position when he chose not to reappoint me to the commission; became a selection committee member for the next executive director.

n Met with him and commission chairman when there was a budget issue of salary for the riverfront executive director. I offered to return to the commission and position again as a volunteer. I outlined the need for wider inclusion of the general population with a program called “Friends of the Riverfront,” including families, students and a wider fundraising base. I later was told my return would create a conflict of interest.

Perhaps Burke has forgotten the document originally accepted by the commission, “20 Strategies for Dixon Riverfront Organization and Programming.” 

It’s time for a review and evaluation of the riverfront using this document to understand what progress has been accomplished. Yes, Mr. Mayor, a volunteer executive manager is an alternative. Both candidates you mentioned are capable of what is needed.

Note to readers – Michael A. Svach is a former member of the Riverfront Commission and first executive director of the riverfront.

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