Heart of Danville made good choice for executive director

Published 7:04 pm Monday, July 29, 2019

I would like to commend the Heart of Danville board on selecting a great candidate for the position of executive director. It was also disappointing to read about Mayor Perros and Commissioner Terry chiding the Heart of Danville for their selection based on accreditation and preservation.

I am baffled when I hear the city make comments about the Heart not valuing preservation. The Heart has facilitated a facade grant program for the last five years to encourage property owners to rehab their buildings. The Heart also works with property owners (in and out of downtown) on utilizing the Historic Tax Credit, and the Heart also promotes Danville’s historic character with their Throwback Thursday social media post.

National Main Street Center does not require a Main Street director to have a background in preservation. There are enough professional development opportunities through both Kentucky Main Street and National Main Street Center to ensure any director has the tools they need to excel at the job. In fact, in the history of the Heart of Danville, there has only been one director with a background in preservation, Dr. Bethany Rogers. The Heart’s Main Street Accreditation has never been in jeopardy because of their hiring decision; why would now be any different?

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In the conversation at Monday’s commission meeting, I did appreciate Ron Scott’s statement that the Certified Local Government (CLG) designation is an agreement between the city and the state, not the Heart of Danville. Hopefully, he can get other members of the city commission to understand that it is the city’s responsibility to ensure that the CLG requirements are met and that that responsibility is not on the Heart.

I wish Dustin and the Heart of Danville great success.

Nicholas Wade

Former Heart of Danville executive director