Waukegan Talk

Full Version: Waukegan Main Street, so useless
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What a useless do nothing group. I wonder how much tax money goes into it. There web site is horrible. what does the director do all day? Is it a prt time job or something?
Well, "the events" on Waukegan's MainStreet website are a bit dated...like over a yr ago. :roll:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.waukeganmainstreet.org/about.html">http://www.waukeganmainstreet.org/about.html</a><!-- m -->

I know that at least a few events have been held since 2009 down there. Question is, how many
others know that? Sure wouldn't find out from THIS above website.

Well, the new full-time MainStreet Director with her city subsidized salary of about $40,000 /yr with benefits prolly just
needs more time to get around to updating the organization's website she now heads .. after all, she has only
been at the helm for about six months now. Confusedhock:


(P.S.: Anyone seen this restaurant down there lately, still listed on above link as an eatery...
Grand County Café • 300 Grand Ave. Suite B)
:?: :?: :?:

--- WT Reader
This organization needs some organization!
RE:
Give Waukegan Main Street a chance. Violet Ricker and the rest of the members/volunteers have held many entertaining events. The Holiday Festival was a blast. They have worked on ways to promote these events months before the due date. The Holiday Festival was in the News Sun and flyers were sent out to schools. I can suggest one improvement and that would be to work with the churches on promoting these events. Locations downtown catered to the public during the Holiday Festival. The Genesee had free pictures with Santa and story time by Mayor Sabonjian and Alderman Sam Cunningham. Pierce Florist had hot cocoa, coffee, and pastries. Other places had food, music and bands. The Jack Benny Plaza was the gathering site for families to roast marshmallows, eat smores around the fire pit, and watch the lighting of the tree. Green Town Tavern was the mecca of bands and food. You missed out if you didn't attend. Like I said, give them a chance on these events, they are making progress. Yes, the Main Street Website was overdue and it has now changed significantly. See for yourselves: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.waukeganmainstreet.org">http://www.waukeganmainstreet.org</a><!-- m --> How about being proactive and send some suggestions.

On a tangent, head downtown and support the eateries and events that are downtown. Have you seen any movies at the Genesee? I can't wait for It's a Wonderful Life on December 23rd on that big screen. Open Mic and Trivia nights at Green Town Tavern shouldn't be missed. The place is packed for Open Mic around 8p.m.

Joplin Java inside Family Piano serves great coffee, cappucino, pastries, and so on. Family Piano holds benefit concerts, concerts and events.

Tatoo Artist Mark Hoffman will do a great job when his tatoo design and art gallery opens up close to Green Town. I met Mark and he said he won't stand for any riff raff. He has mostly catered to the middle class and upper class in the past. Libertyville is going to be sorry they denied Mark to open his place there.

Jerry's Tacos has great food and service. The Ceviche was delicious and I hope they do serve cat fish a variety of seafood in the future.

I like Fongs Kitchen for their soup and Crab Rangoon.

I tried Saje Jazz Cafe before they revamped. I enjoyed their Greek Wrap, it was tasty and I hope they bring it back.
The excitement is there, but the organization is NOT ... there is so much more that can be done to market the downtown, and suggestions are not taken, phone calls are not returned, volunteer appointments are cancelled last minute ... and yes I do attend the events downtown, and I'm quite familiar with all the places that have come and gone ... I continue myself to work towards the revitalization of Waukegan on a daily basis, but the bottom line is more could be done, and responses and follow-up should be more in place ... so so many worthy volunteers with years & years of experience either in their career or in their "history" of Waukegan itself are shunned - I have spoken to many people about this and the response is the same - lack of organization & follow-up - many many people do not receive return phone calls ... This is not a one-person show ... "it takes a tribe to lead a nation...."
I'm sure the Main Street folks all work very hard. But you will have to do more than tell us how wonderful you are and instead show a sustained benefit to our downtown and our city as a whole. It's still a ghost town, it's still visually unappealing, and many folks from outside Waukegan (and to be honest, many Waukegan residents) still have no desire to venture downtown for more than the occasional event.
Main Street can't do it alone. It seems the long standing perception that the city is hard to do business with is the larger problem. Also that it's not Wilmette but many art districts start out a bit seedy and expand and draw in restaurants, clothing stores, etc eventually. It takes public/private partnerships to tango, draw money in and plan well and realistically. Violet's enthusiasm alone has been so refreshing and has rubbed off on many. Living there you may not notice improvements. But visiting lately (grew up there and visit every few months) I can see the increasing # of stores. It "feels" better, pretty empty still but at least less down and out types hanging around. Even they mostly seem to interact well with more "normal" looking people. Odd the "boom" is more on S Genesee but I'll take it. Big Ed's seems to be the major attraction next to the Theatre. At least when there's turnover new businesses replace the old ones. If we truly care we'll go down there and buy something, go to a restaurant. I bought some chocolate at Sweet Things opening day just for that reason. I always feel guilty when I shop at Home Depot and not Ace. So though it may cost a bit more I make sure I stop in there too at least for part of my shopping. And I get the 5% with my Ace card.
What would lure businesses downtown? Think about who lives in Waukegan, what would sell or what services are needed?? The mains street vacancies are not a Wkn only problem. When malls were built in the 70s businesses all over the country moved out of main streets and into the malls. How to compete with Gurnee Mills? It's not an easy answer but a good market research group could figure it out. Downtown stores would be mom and pops, so prices would be higher than mall chain stores. Can you accept that? At least until the Street has boomed enough to attract a chain or two. Would you still buy from the mom and pops to keep the downtown alive? We need to be responsible for our own actions, put out money where our mouth is. We could take our own resident surveys to see what they want to see downtown and would actually use/buy. We need to think practically, not dream to be like some other city. What's wrong with a Mexican/southwestern style boot and hat store downtown? Hopefully they'd carry a few low cost fun items one might buy on a trip to Arizona or Colorado- or just anything people would buy and need. A shoe repair store that also hand crafts purses, wallets, sandals. Would those in power accept and work with such businesses (downtown) or do we/they only want what will make us look like Libertyville? We have to think outside the box and work with all the ethnic groups who live here.
Speaking of websites did anyone see the new City of Waukegan website?! <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.waukeganweb.net/">http://www.waukeganweb.net/</a><!-- m --> Big improvement. A little more inviting. The new mayor wouldn't have had time to do this yet so it must have been done under the old mayor. I'd like to see contact emails listed though. Residents should have that access and helps keep officals accountable if they have to communicate, respond to residents. Wkn Community Policing is now on Facebook. I emailed the lead person who gave me my Mom's ward contact. Had a good chat with him and a supervisor. We talked about crime vs perceived crime. Use the city site to find your ward police rep and report crime and suspicious activities. Form a neighborhood watch group. This kind of "guarding" your neighborhood and taking action to reduce crime will benefit all of Waukegan and that includes downtown. In general, Thank those who are making positive changes and offer your skills according to your interests rather than complaining. Or talk a friend into it if you have no time or feel lazy:-)