We had a meeting Monday night with the CDA. A step in the process. It was an interesting meeting and I would guess everyone in attendance would probably agree with that. I learned about buy in. Hopefully we learned about the importance of a vibrant downtown. I learned it’s a process and things don’t happen overnight. Maybe we learned that we need to face problems if we want to solve them. I learned I have friends in Columbus that I want to keep.
Downtown Columbus could be incredible. That is why I am so passionate about our downtown. Columbus is one of the most intact historic small towns in Wisconsin. I know crap like that because I have this curse of being observant. Do you remember when someone came here to make a movie? Seems like that was a long time ago and it's neatly packed away forever as part of Columbus history.
Why did this happen here? For those of you that witnessed the filming of Public Enemies it was maybe the coolest thing ever in downtown Columbus. There are a lot of reasons it happened here. For one thing someone that gets paid a lot of money saw something in this downtown that we take for granted every day.
People that don’t live here notice the beauty and historic integrity of our downtown. It is very unique but do we see it? These days it tends to be a bit overshadowed by vacant storefronts and “For Rent” signs but that can change.
Hollywood isn’t going to come in and change it for us again though. It’s our town and it's our turn. We need to change it ourselves. The only thing better than the movie would be if that excitement could be recreated every day in our downtown. I’m confident it could but things like that are not easy.
Click on some of these photos to see them in a larger perspective. We have great bones. Movie set bones. Michael Mann saw it and the time has come for us to see it too. This happened here because downtown Columbus is special.
To fix this we all need people to be a part of the community of Columbus. If you are a business owner here we need you to be a part of the business community. I’ve not always been good at that but we need to change too. We are a team with more in common than not but we often get caught up in our differences instead of what keeps us here. Columbus has the ability to move forward as a proud city but it will be a group effort.
What makes a star? Charisma, determination, talent, good looks, luck? We have all that but this town needs to capitalize on it.
So all in all the CDA meeting went fine but we have some big hurdles to cross. Has doing this blog rubbed some people the wrong way? Sure. I guess expected that but it's not the intent. All I’m trying to do is open people's eyes. We tend to take things for granted right in our backyard. We have the makings of an outstanding downtown and a successful destination community. It takes synergy to make that happen.
We need to fix it, promote it and work to insure the success of our neighbor. If they don’t succeed neither do we. I feel pretty confident there could be some positive things for Columbus coming from the frustrations of the process. That is why we do it.