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Market Square marketers change leadership

7:47 PM, Nov 21, 2012   |    comments
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The Market Square District Association, or MSDA, held elections this week and is expected to start new plans in 2013.

Chyna Brackeen, the newly elected president, said the board did not meet quorum at its last meeting, so it could not elect officers. 

Brackeen said the new board has 11 members who will  be looking into how they can best serve  members, including business owners, property owners, and residents.

Local market square business owners said they are happy to hear about the upcoming changes.

"It really needed a change. I mean it was stagnant. It was not going anywhere. I don't think it was listening to the people that lived on the square," said Bernadette West, co-owner of Preservation Pub.

Business owners and MSDA leaders agreed the district has changed over the past 10 years.

"Downtown has just exploded. We've got a ton of new businesses as you can see, and people come down here on their own," said Brackeen. "Of course there's still a need for marketing but it's not as prevalent as it once was."

Brackeen said MSDA will continue marketing, and business owners said they hope the board will actually get more hands-on, even though increased foot traffic is obvious.

"We're a weather-dependent area. Sunny days are great, but it's supposed to be cold and 40 on Saturday. We need all the help we can get, especially in the winter" said West.

West also said she and other business owners felt the board had been distant.

In previous years, there was only one annual meeting open for all members of MSDA.

"One thing that we want to do moving forward is have more general membership meetings, but again, anyone is welcome to show up at our monthly board meetings,as well. We definitely value the input of the membership. We want to know what they want from us," said Brackeen.

West said that change will be a step in the right direction, but there will still be challenges. With dozens of storefronts in Market Square, the owners have varying wants and needs.

"You live in your neighborhood, but anyone in the whole town can come to your front yard and throw a party. Well, you know, you want to have a say in what's going to happen in your front yard," said West.

The board will not meet until January, since many will be slammed running their own businesses during the busy holiday season.

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