The City of Grosse Pointe's Downtown Development Authority, or DDA, is searching for a marketing proposal that will include an evaluation of the marketing efforts to date as well as a potential plan for the future.
DDA members voted Monday for City Manager Pete Dame to put out a request for proposals related to marketing. The decision came after much discussion about the process thus far in trying to find a company to do the work, which has been in process for since the DDA officially took over some of the responsibilities of the Village Association.
The association served as the point of coordination and marketing for all events in the Village and was member-based, meaning only those stores who paid an annual fee were part.
Since the DDA is only associated with the Village, a decision was made last year to align the two so the DDA performs the marketing and event planning while the association will provide manpower, volunteers and communication among the members to the City, said President Mike Kramer, who owns Kramer's in the Village.
Under the DDA's operation, all of the stores and businesses located in the Village are a part of the organization. Currently, the association and DDA are trying to update all of the information for each business in the Village so the website may be updated to include everyone and so communication can happen with ease going forth, Kramer said.
Monday's vote of 6 to 1 in favor of a formal request for proposals is the result of much frustration felt by board members and Dame regarding the process to select a vendor. Dame received three proposals so far and had one present to the board last month.
The board wished to have more proposals presented, leading to Monday's vote and discussion. The only dissenting vote was city councilman Chris Walsh, who said he felt it was unnecessary to take such a formal approach. Walsh noted Dame's professional experience in seeking such professional services and the board's need to acknowledge that by allowing him to perform his duties and respecting the process.
A timeline developed Monday is set up so that Dame can return up to three of the best proposals from the total number submitted to the City for presentations before the board. The next meeting has been scheduled for April 8--a week later than normal due to spring break.