JAMESTOWN – There’s not going to be a St. Patrick’s Day Parade or related festivities this year, and that hasn’t gone unnoticed by residents and businesses in the city.
On Tuesday, the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation (JRC) held an informational meeting for businesses and community representatives interested in learning more about what the JRC has planned for the downtown and city. It was the first such meeting since the JRC and Downtown Jamestown Development Corporation (DJDC) merged services – a decision made by the boards of both organizations in 2012 and which was announced at the start of this year.
During the meeting, several business owners said they were disappointed that the St. Patricks Day Parade would not be taking place, nor would any related festivities. In the past, the event was coordinated by the DJDC, but it was said that in 2012 the DJDC board decided to not hold a St. Patrick’s Day celebration for this year. When the DJDC merged its services with the JRC, that decision was upheld. Businesses and residents – some of whom were paying members of the DJDC – were disappointed it was cancelled and wanted to know the specific reasons.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, several business owners said they were concerned that the DJDC board never consulted with them prior to going forward with the merger, adding that they were left completely out of the process. Business owner Jim Walton said that since he and dozens of other organizations paid dues to be members of DJDC, they should have had an opportunity to weigh in on the decision. Instead, they claim that at no part of the process were they approached by the DJDC board to get input.
The DJDC still exists, but its primary mission is to oversee the operation of the recently renovated Gateway Train Station on 2nd Street.
No members of the DJDC board were present during Tuesday’s meeting so none of the concerns or questions on either the cancellation of the St. Patrick’s Day Festivities or the JRC-DJDC merger could be directly address. However, an effort would be made to reach out the DJDC so it can schedule a meeting with its past members to address questions and concerns, specifically in regard to their paying dues to the non-profit agency without being allowed any input in the decision-making process.