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West Chester BID Blog

by Malcolm Johnstone

An Organizational Renaissance

January 6, 2016 -- Every five years, the BID reinvents itself. The most recent process took place during the better part of 2015 as dozens of downtown volunteers developed a comprehensive Five Year Plan with 17 goals that will guide the BID through 2020.

Each downtown business and property owner was provided the Preliminary Plan for an opportunity to comment or object to the BID. After multiple meetings, the Final Plan passed in November with no objections. Also known as the BID Re-authorization, you can see details of the process here.

For me, it's like starting with a new organization. At least four items stand out as signficant:

  • The Board of Directors agreed that my duties will shift to more outreach and Business Attraction;
  • A Communications Specialist has been hired for website development and social media;
  • Capital improvements such as a downtown banner program are being planned;
  • More attention will be given to the current and future planned downtown developments.

The Board of Directors Executive Committee meets tomorrow morning. It's the New Year start to a new and exciting era.
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The New Borough Council

January 5, 2016 -- Two new councilors, and one returning councilor, were sworn-in Monday night in a ceremonial fashion that occurs every two years after the November elections.

Saying good-bye was Cassandra Jones, Ward 2, who termed out and was replaced by Diane LeBold (the seven councilors and mayor can only serve two consecutive four-year terms) and Stephen Shinn, Ward 6, who was defeated for a second term by Jim Jones. Both LeBold and Jones had served previously on Council. Wards 2 and 6 are significant to the BID as each are in the downtown (think of Ward 2 as east of High Street while Ward 6 is west of High). Jordan Norley (Ward 4) was re-elected.

It's also a time when Council selects their own officers. Ellen Koopman (Ward 7) was selected President and Jordan Norley (Ward 4) was selected Vice-President. The President now has the duty to select members to serve on the council committees (there are six of those with three Councilors on each).

There are plenty of downtown issues and projects for Council to address which should keep them busy in the coming year. Stay tuned.
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Changes for 2016

January 4, 2016 -- Santa comes but once a year, which has always troubled us. Wouldn't it be more helpful to receive frequent updates on any naughty-or-nice issues that are occurring?

We can't change Santa, of course, but we can change ourselves.

Starting today, there will be increased frequency of newsy items concerning the BID delivered to your e-mail doorstep. The subject line will always begin with "West Chester BID". It goes to people like you, the downtown stakeholder. When you see "Downtown West Chester PA", on the other hand, it's going to everyone with information that's more relevant to visitors.

The first installment occurs tomorrow when I'll report on the Borough Council re-organization meeting taking place tonight (Monday) at 7pm at Borough Hall.


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