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Local Editorials

Pay increase well deserved

Dixon's highly successful Main Street executive director will stay on the job after receiving a salary increase, which thwarted a bid by another community to lure him away. This merit-based pay hike was well earned.

Those who believe that a person should be paid based on merit will nod in agreement with the Dixon City Council's decision regarding the Main Street executive director's salary.

Josh Albrecht, the architect of last year's highly successful Mumford & Sons concert and associated festival, has been on the job for 5 1/2 years.

As executive director of Dixon Main Street, a nonprofit organization, Albrecht has done a fine job by all accounts – highlighted by his Mumford coup. The British band's concert and a related festival brought at least 15,000 people to Dixon last summer, demonstrated the practicality of having a downtown street fair, and made excellent use of the Heritage Crossing Riverfront Plaza.

It also served as a tremendous shot in the arm for a community reeling from the Rita Crundwell scandal.

During Albrecht's tenure, Dixon Main Street has added many new activities. Albrecht has shown foresight and vision. He is a hard worker who proved his ability to take a new idea, promote it, and bring it to fruition.

Overall, he is an effective leader and a good ambassador for the city. Perhaps that is why people in at least two other cities began recruiting him to come do community development work in their towns.

Not long ago, he was offered a comparable position elsewhere.

If Dixon was to retain his services, leaders had to act.

Working in conjunction with Main Street, the City Council agreed last week to boost its contributions so that Albrecht's salary could be raised from $40,000 a year to $65,000 a year.

That action prompted a pledge by Albrecht to stay.

While we aren't particularly fans of big pay increases (in this case, more than 60 percent), Albrecht clearly earned his.

When hired, his duties were to coordinate activities of Main Street program committees, manage administrative aspects of the program, assist in downtown revitalization, raise public awareness of the program, and build productive relationships with the Main Street community.

That he has accomplished, and more.

Scott Brown, Main Street Board president, described Albrecht as "a tremendous asset," adding, "We need him here to implement his bigger and better ideas for Dixon."

Just this past weekend, the Dixon Petunia Festival successfully utilized the downtown street fair and concert template pioneered by Albrecht.

With Albrecht staying at Main Street's helm, we hope many more good things are in store for the Petunia City.

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