continuation of the discussion from the January meeting, members of
the Downtown Business Improvement District have determined they will
spend for marketing, but allow others to decide on the specifics of
approved a measure that would allocate 20 percent of their total
budget toward marketing activities, about half of which, $9,500,
will be directed toward representatives of the Diva Group and the
Downtown West Bend Association for their promotional activities, and
the remaining amount will be used to develop a strategy for
increasing the tenants in the buildings.
talking about not marketing,” board member Anthony Jasen said. “I
don’t understand what is the battle here. We have increased our
support toward marketing, I think significantly since I have been on
this board. I am sure what the fight is.”
regarding the marketing allocation featured an intense discussion
among board members dating back to the prior month’s session when
some members expressed concern regarding the increasing commitment
of budget dollars toward promotional activities.
collaboration with Diva Group members began a couple of years ago
when they were given about $5,000 by the BID for promotional
activities and to subsidize some of the events they hosted. For
2017, that marketing allocation for the Diva increased to $12,000.
January meeting, Anna Jensen, events director for the Downtown West
Bend Association, and Diva Group member Jeanne Renick, proposed a
budget that was almost $20,000. The amount concerned some,
especially Jasen, who believed the budget had increased to a point
that was tolerable.
questioned whether the money they contributed made a tangible
difference for increasing retail activity for the businesses in the
downtown. He continuously made references to return on investment.
Another member, Herb Tennies, questioned the impact the events had
for generating business.
On the opposing
side were Brian Culligan and Peggy Fischer, who appeared to support
ended with a delay on the measure, with members suggesting Jensen
and Renick receive assistance from one of their newest members,
Kathleen Murphy, who has a background in marketing.
“We met, and we
had to bring Kathy up to speed a little on what has taken place over
the last few years, and at that meeting it was really decided that
in order to cut apart the proposal we gave you initially, we need to
know what truly the amount you want to spend on marketing,” Renick
among the board members continued with the same actors entrenched in
“I would like
to echo a couple of things that I heard is, ‘the amount for the
budget is too high,’” Culligan said. “I would disagree, I think the
amount is appropriate. I think that it is appropriate. I think
marketing is a huge expense for an organization like ours that has a
responsibility for all of the businesses in the downtown.”
In the end, he
voted for the measure.
“I am going to
second that motion because any money is better than no money,”
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