Today, I submitted my resignation from the South Side Improvement District Steering Committee, on which I have served for over a year, because I cannot agree with the committee's recent letter to Councilman Kraus.
I was not present when other members of the committee drafted the letter, I had no hand in writing it, and I do not agree with either the spirit or the content of the letter. While I support the concept of a Neighborhood Improvement District for South Side and I appreciate the service given by members of the committee, I agree with Councilman Kraus that it would be unwise to introduce the plan adopted by the Planning Forum to City Council.
After the Steering Committee introduced its plan to the Planning Forum in February, Councilman Kraus met with the Steering Committee's co-chairs and me. He subsequently met twice with the committee. He made clear that he could not and would not support a plan that included assessments on homeowners. He urged the committee to reconsider its plan. The committee chose not to do so, and the Planning Forum adopted a plan that a large number of community residents clearly do not support.
I hope the time will come that South Side residents and businesses will be able to get behind an improvement district plan that they believe in. I still believe that an improvement district can make an enormous and needed contribution to improving conditions in South Side by supplementing the services the city provides.
In the meantime I support the efforts of our elected officials to work with the community in other constructive ways to address the problems the Steering Committee hoped an improvement district could address.