Well it looks like all of the bragging I’ve been doing about all of our volunteers and all of the things we have been able to accomplish over the last year or so has just been validated. By who you ask? Well, your Luling Main Street Program has just been Nationally Recognized again for the 2nd year in a row… But of course we are just as concerned about being validated by all you fine folks. We are always encouraged by the well wishes and attaboys from people who have noticed some of the changes taking place up and down the Main Street District. We are always open to your ideas and if you have any… your criticism as well. Look, – one thing I’ve learned in my short time in my little LMS bunker is that everyone needs to have a say. If everyone feels like they are being heard and their thoughts and ideas are at least being processed, then people will buy into whatever the end product becomes and will feel like they had a role in it. But if someone feels like their opinion doesn’t matter, they won’t buy in and may even have contempt for the end product regardless of how great a project or idea it was. That’s the way I see it anyways. We all have to be in the boat… and have to be rowing in the same direction so to speak.
Our program set some things into motion this last year that allowed us to rack up enough criteria points to be commended again for 2014. It is not a guarantee that your program will be accredited just because you submitted the required report by the deadline. As part of our participation as a Main Street City in good standing, there is a report we have to submit every year that Texas Main Street grades to see if we’ve achieved success in a wide range specified criteria. Only about 60% of the Main Street programs make the grade every year all around the state so you definitely have to be getting things done in your community. And if you look back on our history since 2003 we have achieved National Recognition status a little bit more than half the time so I guess that stat holds true for us as well. The good thing about this exercise is that not only are we graded on each of 10 criteria, they make recommendations on how to improve in each area. We are graded on these areas:
– Community wide broad based support of the program.
– Our vision and mission statements.
– Our plan of work. Is it sufficient in all of the 4 points of the Main Street Approach?
– Our Preservation Ethic.
– Board & Committee activities
– Adequate Operating Budget
– Manager Skills/Performance. Scored real high on this one… Haha!
– Proper Board Trainings
– Monthly/Qtrly Reporting done on time.
– Membership of the National Main Street Network up to date.
As it does every year, this process allows an independent overview of our program and helps us stay on track. After looking at the Annual Report of Progress we received from them I know we are heading in the right direction. But we do have some areas of improvement that our little group is going to have to look at and we hope to address those in the upcoming months. You can’t just wave a magic wand at it and make it happen. It takes cooperation from all the players in this community to get things done around here and we have to have everyone in the proverbial boat, like I was discussing above. Although we get more “pats on the back” than we get “grievances” from concerned citizens… all feedback plays a part in improving the Main Street District for all. So my door is always open to those who care to wander in…
“We have a strategic plan… it’s called doing things…” Herb Kelleher
-Derek Hall, Luling Main Street Manager
“It’s a Main Street Thing…” The Luling Newsboy & Signal [Luling, TX] 12 February 2015: Volume 135, No. 47