Wanted: A business-minded person or people to take over a fledgling organization and its $2,390 bank account.
That's the call for help that went out recently from Grovtown City Councilman Sonny McDowell. In 2007, before he was elected to office, McDowell founded the Grovetown Merchants Association as an organization to represent the interests of the city's growing business community, especially regarding Grovetown's long-term planning efforts.
The News-Times signed up as one of the first associate members (those headquartered outside the city) to join the organization, which soon boasted a roster of nearly five dozen members and associates.
Immediately, McDowell and the Merchants Association focused on the 2010 Initiative, a planning document outlining steps to improve the city and its commercial corridors. They even persuaded City Council to pay for it, though it has yet to be implemented - and that's one of the things the organization could push if it were more active.
Fortunately for the city, but unfortunately for the organization, McDowell was elected to city council last November, taking office in January. Between public service and running his own business, he just hasn't had time since then to push the Merchants Association along.
Rather than simply let a worthy cause die, McDowell recently sent out letters to the organization's members, calling on them to step up to the plate to reactivate the Merchants Association.
"I am still a believer in this organization and will be its champion in city government whenever possible," McDowell wrote.
McDowell also pointed out to reporter Valerie Rowell that with the 2010 Initiative under its belt, the organization needs to be active as Grovetown City Council drafts its Urban Redevelopment Plan for the city center.
Clearly there's plenty of work to be done, and the organization has too much potential to sit idle. Surely there are other leaders in Columbia County's largest city who are willing to step up, take over the Merchants Association bank account and get to work.
If so, they should contact McDowell at email@example.com.
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