Things you should know about the Downtown Development Authority

It seemed a logical choice for me to look into the functionality of the government entity known as Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the main question my inquisitive little mind wanted answered; was the DDA accomplishing the bare minimum needed to make it look like they are fulfilling what we assume their responsibilities are as outlined in DDA act 197 of 1975? I did find and listed at least one inefficiency and also found something I considered to be a threat (next post). I’m hoping someone will list in a comment all the pro things the DDA has done, In my defense they’re not visible to the naked eye or deterioration of my sight has advanced without my detecting it.

Without laws and enforcement we have anarchy, we have convenienced ourselves by appointing a legislative part to be managed by a select number chosen from the whole body who are supposed to have the same concerns at stake as those having appointed them. Man is inherently prone to sin, therefore give him power and the temptation is too great, thus government is a necessary evil at its worst state. In order to keep balance government must not be large enough to usurp power and wealth for use against the citizens but only large enough to have a fair representation. This philosophy is the very basis of the United States of America “Declaration of Independence”. With that in mind, I consider the DDA government bloat.


Fast forward to 2002, In order to complete their vision 2007 the DDA kicked it off with a $30,000.00 market analysis called “Blissfield Commercial Area Economic Enhancement Strategy 2002”, prepared by HyettPalma Inc.

During the meetings held as a part of this project, participants repeatedly said they would like Blissfield’s commercial area to:

  • Have more variety in terms of business and uses;
  • Have an improved image, make a better first impression and have an upgraded appearance;
  • Be family oriented;
  • Target local residents and not just visitors by having more than the current “antique niche,” and;
  • Be known as “a town that cares” that makes people say “Hey, I want to stop here!”

The recommended Development Framework and Course of Action – presented in the Blissfield Commercial Area Economic Enhancement Strategy 2002 –were tailored specifically to leverage Blissfield’s current assets and attain the community’s stated desires for the Village’s commercial area.

Does any of this sound familiar? Yeah, we’re still in need and are saying the same things in mid 2010.

Read more on the DDA website

In October of 2009 another DDA Market study was completed by Eli Kafer and Kara Brown, listed as project managers from the company owned by Eli Kafer (a Blissfield native) Catalyst Studios.  One year later in 2010 we are heading into another market analysis, this time complements of MSHDA in the form of a program called “Michigan Main Street”, almost a duplication of the of “Cool Cities” program, these are State run initiatives for cities and communities to compete for the funds that Michigan has collected from us. If the state has collected enough revenue to set up these kinds of competitions are they collecting too much in the first place, or is it an upper level mechanism to ensure we are an accessory to the debt?

How long will the DDA collect and repeatedly spend our money for the same repeated answers? They still cannot accomplish what we may have assumed their responsibilities are or the purpose their market studies and solutions were supposed to address. I may have missed something but I couldn’t see any good, nothing beneficial for the community. I saw false hope, job security and bloat, a growing mistrust of the government, systematically degrading the community to feed a machine that drains our funds with the approval we gave, as it was presented to us.  

That information is firmly disappointing, my next post will explain the DDA threat, I hope you weigh in with your thoughts and check back for part 2.

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3 Responses to Things you should know about the Downtown Development Authority

  1. Annie says:

    These “fundamentals” have been going on since the program began. After all, if you have an opinion that doesn’t fit in with the “majority” of other members on a committee or council, etc., you can guarantee not getting “in” their group.

  2. Pingback: Wasting Time, Money And… | Blissfield's Blog

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