The decision by Commissioner Ryan Owens, Commissioner Chester Kavanaugh and Mayor John Bowling to cut the Heart of Danville funding has more long-term ramifications than short term. As was stated by Commissioner Gay at the city commission meeting on Monday night, when times are tough, cutting economic development agencies makes no sense. Business recruitment leads to job creation, which leads to increased payroll tax for the city.
The short-term effect of these funding cuts will be eliminating events and eventually closing the office when the money runs out. The long-term effects are much greater and more lasting. When crime drops, do we cut police protection? Danville hasn't had a major fire - do we need so many firefighters on the payroll? Of course we do! These departments are kept strong because we never know when a criminal act or a fire may occur.
The same analogy can be used for downtown. Main Street is typically the first place visitors go when trying to get a feel for a community, not the bypass or the strip centers, both of which are contributors to our community's economic foundation. But, it is downtown that tells the story of a community. Just because things are looking good now, that doesn't mean we have achieved the end all in downtown revitalization and can quit.