This week the state Assembly Community Development Committee heard from municipalities about actions they have taken to improve the look and feel of their communities.
They were invited by the committee’s Chair, Rep. Scott Allen (R-Waukesha) to tell the story of their community’s efforts to make good first impressions, develop brands and provide for a welcoming and vibrant downtown.
Elm Grove’s Village Manager David De Angelis emphasized “community engagement of civic organizations, the creation of a dedicated foundation for quality of life projects, developing a consistent brand, giving proper recognition and developing sustainable financing for any enhancements” helped enhance the village’s downtown.
Oconomowoc Director of Economic Development & Tourism Bob Duffy said that “in order to succeed in downtown revitalization, implementation is key including adoption of ordinances allowing for outdoor seating and efficient approval of restaurants and other businesses. Activity and progress become contagious.”
James Fenlon, Little Chute Village Administrator emphasized the power of Little Chute’s brand, which is symbolized by the windmill anchoring the Village’s downtown and the need to take the long view. “There are no shortcuts,” Fenlon said.
Rep. Allen’s goal is commendable: build stronger and more resilient communities throughout the state and help Wisconsin attract the talented workforce of tomorrow.
He plans to invite other communities for additional informational hearings. My guess is Franklin’s phone won’t be ringing.