Mayor Kevin Glover has suggested that the Scotch Plains Management Corporation suspend the Special Improvement District’s fee for this year.
Glover stated that he is dedicated improving the downtown however, there needs to be a more firm plan of action on the table. At the Jan. 29 Council Meeting, Glover said that he has questioned what the value of the SID has been.
The Alternative Press reported that Glover stated that it was time to take a step back and see what to do with the SPMC and figure out who it should be benefiting.
Each year, businesses that are designated as part of the SID pay a $400 fee, which was supposed to go towards improving downtown Scotch Plains, now Glover is looking to have the SPMC suspend the fee for 2013.
“The real question is what should our downtown look and feel like?” Glover asked at the Jan. 30 meeting.
“We have a lot of folks who drive through here everyday, but they just don’t stop. We need to get them to see what we are doing right and use that as an anchor to encourage others to come here,” he was quoted saying on The Alternative Press. “Our downtown just needs some focus.”
Glover used the example of President of the Business and Professional Association, Lisa Mohn’s success in putting together the Summer Farmer’s Market, as he often does, to exhibit a way downtown has drawn in people from other communities.
“We need more things like this to draw people,” he was quoted saying in The Alternative Press. “I really feel that we need to make some robust changes and things have been slow to happen due to many changes of SPMC board members and personnel.”
The firm overseeing the SPMC resigned earlier this year and the board had accepted their recognition, Glover said. Also, the SPMC has chosen new officers for 2013.
He added that the SPMC is preparing a $0 based budget, but they are still working with enough funds to operate for the rest of the year.
Councilman Bo Vastine voiced his concerns at the council meeting that the Mayor and the SPMC do not have the authority to suspend the yearly payment, stating that it was originally voted as an ordinance.
As of right now, the actual decision to suspend the fee has yet to be voted on, it is just being looked at.
In the meantime, SPMC Chairman Domincik Verdick and Mohn said the SPMC are working hard to do great things for the township. Mohn said they are working on things like a beautification committee and publication committee.