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Business Development Commission Meeting Minutes



Meeting Date:

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Meeting Called to Order:

8:11 a.m.

Meeting Adjourned:


Next Meeting Date:

Thursday, September 27th, 2012







Pat Richards



Chalegne O’Brien



Julie Campbell



Lee Moss



Greg Bratcher



Mittie Bond



Sue Sullivan



Charlie Downs



Rebecca Olson





Also Present



-Council Liaison-Mayor Gerry Welch



-Staff Liaison-Mara Perry



-Staff Liaison-Joan Jadali








Call to Order

Pat Richards, Chair, called the meeting to order at 8:11 a.m.


Review of July Minutes

The minutes were reviewed from the July meeting.  Sue Sullivan motioned for approval, with a second from Julie Campbell.  All voted in favor.


Vacant Building Ordinance Update

Mara Perry gave an update on the vacant building ordinance.  She explained that both the original ordinance for third reading and an alternate ordinance for first and second reading were on the City Council agenda.  The original ordinance was voted down and the alternate was moved forward through the first and second reading.  The alternate ordinance creates a new vacant non-residential building inspection section under the current Property Maintenance section of the code.  Mara explained that they also added a new “certificate of life-safety” and a definition for vacant non-residential buildings.  The section on window coverings was added to the interior inspection section.  Pat Richards asked whether this would be a yearly inspection.  Mara explained that this would be every other year.  The Mayor discussed the recent litigation against the City of Ferguson regarding one of their new ordinances for rental properties.

Marketing the City as a Destination

Pat started the discussion regarding advertising for the City as a whole and the need to market the City.  The group discussed the differences between virtual and paper marketing and the pros and cons of the two media.  Maplewood currently sends out a hard copy flyer of some of the updates events and projects that they are working on.  Discussion of the cost implications to this were brought up.  Mara asked how many people were receiving and reading the Planning and Development newsletter that is sent out monthly.  Many of the commission members do not get this e-mail.  Lee brought up the Webster Kirkwood Times as being where many people hear about things going on in the City.  Discussion then was directed to how can people be Ambassadors for the City and promote the City.


Marketing ideas were discussed including: WHERE magazine and the Menu Guide; the CVC marketing; marketing to patrons of the Rep and Opera Theater; Alive magazine; Town and Style and where to put ads for the City at large.


Business Communications – How do we reach our businesses?

The discussion of how to market the City led directly into the concerns about how the businesses communicate with one another within their districts and between districts.  How do you engage business owners and how to get them to be Ambassadors for the community became a key issue. 


The question of what kind of e-mail and mailing lists for each of the Districts and trade associations was discussed.  The Mayor brought up that Old Orchard is hiring a staff person who can help get a contact list together.  Ellen currently keeps a list for Old Webster.  The trade associations have other lists.  The Chamber also has a different list that can overlap with all the others. 


Goals for the BDC

Discussion revolved around goals being tied to both the issue of marketing and communication.


1.    Develop better communication between businesses

2.    Compile contact information for both electronic and hard copy distribution to the various members of all the organizations that is kept up to date

3.    Develop how to get messages out

4.    Increase networking among businesses


Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday, September 27th, 2012 at 8:00 a.m. 





The meeting was adjourned at 9:18 a.m.