A five-member committee will lead the search for a permanent president for the Downtown Improvement District (DID), but that process could be complicated by possible changes in the structure of local economic development organizations.
City and county officials have been meeting for weeks with leaders of the DID, Economic Development Alliance, Chamber of Commerce and other groups to explore ways to promote cooperation and efficiency, including some degree of consolidation. As a result, it’s hard to predict the DID’s structure or leadership needs as it works to win City Council’s reauthorization for another five years after its current term expires in 2015.
Directors of the DID, which works to promote downtown activity, cleanliness and development, appointed former Allen County Commissioner Bill Brown as interim president earlier this month after the resignation of Rich Davis. Members of the committee will establish a job description, required qualifications, a timetable and determine whether the search should be local, regional or even national.
Board member Rhonda Hanning suggested a person with deep Fort Wayne roots would be best equipped to reach out to property owners, who supply much of the organization’s funding.
Despite the possibility of organization restructuring that may include the DID, board member and city Redevelopment Director Greg Leatherman said the many of the group’s duties are required by law, which could shield it from major changes.
Board President Charles Heiny said many people have already expressed interest in the job, which Brown intends to seek on a permanent basis.