According to economic expert Traci Stanford, Downtown Hays Development Corp. executive director; Jana Jordan, Convention and Visitors Bureau director; and city commissioners, Fort Hays State University students do not know where downtown Hays is.
This was one of the topics at the Aug. 8 Hays City Commission meeting. After 12 years promoting downtown (Chestnut Street) with hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars with building restorations, directional signs and billboards throughout the city, barbecues, parades, art walks, banners hanging on streetlights, and ads on local radio/TV, it is still apparently not enough.
Now these so-called economic experts, with the blessing of commissioners, want to add yet another parade, a scavenger hunt with more than 600 prizes and a hog roast. No cost was given, and not one commissioner asked what the cost of this would be. The parade will be led by Chancellor Hammond and the economic experts, and start at FHSU go to 10th and Main (remember, where they tried to build a pavilion?) where they will be met by city commissioners who will discuss the various shopping opportunities, and one would think the many vacant restored buildings for rent/sale in the downtown area to students.
Quite frankly, I don't believe FHSU students do not know where downtown is. I think they deserve a lot more credit than that. I do believe it is just another whimsical speculation by the so-called economic experts and commissioners, which will just further add to the taxpayers' burden for years to come.
Most companies do their own marketing and research and would not rely on local agencies with such meager resumes. It shouldn't matter what end of Hays shoppers spend money. Certain businesses should not continuously receive preferences.
Commissioners Phelps, Steward and Schwaller are all affiliated in some way with Downtown Hays Development Corp. Tell them this is unethical behavior, and this agency should be removed from the city's budget.