It’s obvious why they’re called Community Improvement Districts. In Gwinnett County, these tools, designed to rejuvenate older commercial neighborhoods, have stirred the desired renaissance.
One only needs to drive through these CIDs — Gwinnett has four — or talk to the entrepreneurs within to realize these communities are much improved for the effort.
One, however, has become the exception. The Evermore CID along the U.S. Highway 78 corridor in Snellville has lost its vision amid the bickering and infighting of its board members.
For years there has been squabbling. But the cutthroat tactics of this divided board have reached new heights — or depths, rather.
News out of the Evermore CID these days is more about fired employees, boycotts of votes and meetings and board member recalls than it is about the safety, aesthetics and improved business climate of the community.
The impact of the fracas goes beyond Evermore’s boundaries. Gwinnett’s three other CIDs have achieved success through cooperation and collaboration. But Evermore’s quarrels are giving CIDs everywhere a black eye.
To determine who’s right and who’s wrong in the Evermore debacle is pointless. The wrangling is not about differing philosophies of how the district should be improved. It’s about power and egos.
The recent announcement that community leader Wayne Hill was appointed executive director in an attempt to repair the board’s divide gave some hope. But regardless of who is at the helm, it seems the board is not interested in statesmanship, compromise or consensus.
That is shameful.
It is clear that because the Evermore CID is doing more harm than good, it is time to start over. The CID can work, but not with the leadership presently on its board of directors.
The need for a group resignation has been suggested by some board members themselves. However, true to form there is disagreement over the resolution presented Monday.
The best course of action is for all members to resign and for the CID to rebuild from scratch. If these leaders have any interest at all in what’s best for their community, they should realize this is the only viable and honorable course of action. And if they can, for once, put community interests before their own, they will do so posthaste.
If not, Evermore will be never more.