The Downtown Bend Business Association wants to force business owners who don't belong to it to pay for it anyway, and that has longtime downtown merchant Duncan McGeary hopping mad.
The Bulletin reported yesterday that the association is pushing a plan under which non-members would have to pay more in fees to the city's downtown Economic Improvement District, while members would see their EID fees shrink.
"WAIT! They can do that? They can charge non members - non-voting members - more money for not being part of their club?" fumes McGeary, who owns Pegasus Books on Minnesota Avenue.
"Lots of us moved Downtown instead of the mall to avoid interference by the Mall Rules. What next? Are they going to dictate our hours? Tell us what kind of Christmas decorations to put up?"
The new EID fee structure will go into effect if approved by two-thirds of downtown merchants and the city council in March. According to McGeary, about 60% of the downtown merchants belong to the association.
After quoting from the Bulletin story that "EID fees pay for all those things that a visitor to downtown Bend might take for granted, including flower baskets, holiday lights and snow removal," McGeary comments: "Oh, my God! We might lose the flower baskets? That changes everything."
There's much more in the same vein, and it's worth checking out. An inspired (and funny) rant from one of the best ranters on the Bend blogging scene.