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Article published March 2, 2013
Bob Dandoy, Butler Vice president Butler Downtown
I am writing in response to “Project not cure-all,” a letter by Eric Haley that was printed in the Feb. 18 edition of the Butler Eagle. There are many organizations working toward the betterment of both Butler County and the city of Butler. One of these is the nonprofit organization Butler Downtown. It’s part of a nationally certified grass-roots effort to promote Main Street areas in cities such as ours. It does this by working to draw residents and consumers into the downtown area, creating a more viable retail and residential area. A more dynamic and healthy Main Street will only help to grow the services, programs and development pursued by other organizations and government entities throughout the city and county. Chelynne Curci serves as Main Street manager, coordinating the efforts of the many volunteers who work to achieve the goals of the group. Butler Downtown and Chelynne are in no way associated with the Centre City project. That project is under the auspices of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Butler. As clearly indicated in the original Eagle article about funding for Centre City, Art Cordwell serves as authority executive director and is the point person on development efforts. Haley correctly identifies several other projects in his letter as being under the control or management of other government agencies. Navigating the labyrinth of these organizations can be confusing, but it should be clear that no one entity totally controls the management and fate of our city. Although people of all walks of life make up its volunteer force, Butler Downtown is not a governmental, development or business organization. However, it works with these types of organizations to build a better community through a more vibrant and healthy Main Street corridor. Curci deserves much credit for any of the organization’s accomplishments. We certainly would like to be so powerful as to wave a hand and any ills in our community would be solved. However, that is far beyond our power. As is implied by Haley’s letter, no one effort, be it a big hotel/convention center project, a bike route, or Friday night concerts on a downtown stage (which is a Butler Downtown effort) is a cure-all. However, I encourage everyone to not be naysayers, but rather to support and celebrate each effort as one small step forward in our effort to revitalize our hometown. On one point, perhaps Haley is right. A pep rally should be held, but rather to celebrate the efforts of those who work to improve the quality of life in our community.