Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

April 28, 2014

Council OKs new Main Street leader

By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — The Corsicana City Council on Monday approved the hiring of Sara Elizabeth Wilson as the city's new Main Street Director.

Council approved the appointment by City Manager Connie Standridge at its regular meeting Monday. Wilson replaces Steve Dieterichs, who left the post April 3 to take a similar position for the city of Granbury.

Wilson, 25, is from Tyler, and moved to Corsicana in January. She is a 2012 graduate of Baylor College, majored in Communications, and has worked in the tourism and event management industry since October 2012, coordinating and organizing tours, meetings and conventions. Her resume also includes education and experience with marketing research, digital media production and online media.

“I've been looking for something close to Corsicana and I finally found something that I thought would fit my personality and lifestyle,” Wilson said of her choice of Corsicana and the Main Street position.

Wilson was one of 11 applicants for the position, and selected from the four finalists that were interviewed for the post, said Standridge.

“I think she will bring a lot of interest and great ideas to downtown,” Standridge said. “We are very fortunate to have her.”

Corsicana Mayor Chuck McClanahan said he was excited to have Wilson join the city.

“I think she brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Corsicana that is just going to help promote and facilitate our downtown even more,” McClanahan said.

In other council action Monday, unanimous approval was given to several “housekeeping” changes to the city's codes, including changes to regulations governing Planning and Zoning application fees; swimming pool code; mechanical code; gas code; plumbing code; buildings and construction; backflow devices; and the sign ordinance. Moving fees from the actual ordinances to the municipal fee schedule, and some changes to correct typographical errors were part of the housekeeping duties.

Council members again tabled proposed modifications to the city ordinance regulating maintenance of downtown properties. Council was considering adding limits to the amount of time windows of occupied buildings in the downtown area may be boarded to up to six months in any two-year period, and specifying the location of windows affected by the ordinance. The amendment would also have given property owners with non-compliant windows or doors one year to bring them into compliance.

Council member Don Denbow said he wanted more input from owners of downtown buildings and businesses before making any changes that would impact those business owners. Councilman Tom Wilson also voice concern about the possible expense of making changes to buildings that would be required with changes to the ordinance.

A new multi-tenant shopping center is planned for West Seventh Avenue where the Longbranch Saloon and Higgenbotham Insurance is located. Council granted the developers of the project a variance from the decorative masonry requirements for the new building, approving the use of a substance known as “synthetic stucco” on the building's exterior. The new strip center will include a Pizza Hut restaurant, said Audrey Sloan, the city's planning and zoning director.

In the public forum section at the meeting, Jeff Smith spoke on behalf of Waker Realty, complaining about a $90 fine the business recently received from city's code compliance officer for not removing a trash can from the curb of the business after a Friday trash pickup. Smith said the real estate office often has people out working in the field on Friday afternoons, sometimes not returning to the office to be able to remove the receptacle. Smith said his research showed the city has collected some $1,700 in such fines in the last year, and felt that the city's efforts could be better put to use in other areas rather than monitoring trash cans. He added that warnings should be issued before fines are levied on such violations.

Council members also approved the mayor's appointments to several city boards and commissions, and approved a change to correct a mistake in the effective date of five tax abatement agreements.

—————

Bob Belcher may be reached by email at bbelcher@corsicanadailysun.com