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City Looks to Fill Downtown Mall Manager Vacancy

May 18th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

With a number of priority issues to deal with when it comes to the downtown business district- plans are moving forward to hire a new mall manager. It was a topic of conversation this week in a meeting that included the Cumberland Mayor and City Council as well as representatives from the CEDC and the Downtown Development Commission. The manager position has been in state of flux in recent years with a number of individuals filling the role- and it has been vacant since the end of last year- with DDC chair Sandra Saville handling the job. Saville says that full-time downtown manager is critical with businesses facing challenges from the coronavirus outbreak and with construction scheduled to begin in October on the $9.6 million renovation and reinstallment of Baltimore Street through the pedestrian mall…

15 Responses to “City Looks to Fill Downtown Mall Manager Vacancy”

  1. May 18, 2020 at 7:00 am, mac said:

    Couldn’t this wait for another 2 years?
    As of now businesses are closed. To hear DDC talk construction will begin yet this year. The new manager will be managing a hole in the ground.


  2. May 18, 2020 at 7:27 am, Ken said:

    Is anyone going to have the conversation that reopening the street might not be the best thing to do post covid? Wouldn’t an open air mall be ideal for shopping in a post covid world? Restaurants and Shops will need their outdoor spaces to expand 100% so that they can social distance, but yet we are going to continue this project that will shrink the available space… Doesn’t add up. Stop the reopening now!


    • May 18, 2020 at 8:34 am, mac said:

      > Ken, you may or may not know the ‘reasoning’ behind opening Baltimore St. to traffic.
      The only real purpose for any of this was originally to replace the utilities under the pavement. Water, sewer and the installation of fiber optic cable for high speed internet.
      When it came time to look for the necessary funding to cover the work, the only agency that would give them any money was the State Highway Department. Their only stipulation was that there had to be an active thoroughfare.
      This is how DDC and CEDC came up with the brilliant idea to put one lane of traffic on Baltimore St. This was an obligation for the funding but now they make it sound as if it was the original intention.
      Not long after that came the purchase of the bank building to be turned into a boutique hotel. DDC and CEDC are hoping to make a bundle flipping that property into a cash cow.
      Business owners that currently have outdoor dining are worried that they may lose one of the draws for their continued existence.
      Our family frequents those restaurants and I too would hate to lose those outdoor dining options.
      Assuming that any of this work actually gets started and eventually completed it will be years away. By that time Baltimore St. may return to being just a street.


      • May 18, 2020 at 9:13 am, Ken said:

        Mac, thanks for the refresher, but I am aware of their excuses. I’m sorry you had to type all that out.

        What I am also aware of is that no one is being creative to solve the issue. One suggestion I’ve seen promoted is to develop the rear alleys behind the buildings laying the utilities to enter the rear of the buildings and to allow drive up business to enter for the rear. Look at Merchant’s Alley behind City Lights and Mark’s CafĂ©. That would also allow drive up access to the small M&T 40 Room hotel. Cities such as Winchester have done just as described as above. Paul Kelly and Larry Jackson are unwilling explore other options to preserve the center of our community. Their solution will turn Baltimore Street into a racetrack from Green Street to Park Street.


        • May 18, 2020 at 9:42 am, mac said:

          > They lose any semblance of creativity after securing funding from SHA. It has to have a road so it will by a road.
          Thank God they didn’t get funding from the FAA or they would be landing small planes on Baltimore St.


          • May 19, 2020 at 9:13 am, hollywood said:

            Our biggest fear should be that they break ground, dig half of the mall up and run out of money as usual. Project on hold. Not exactly Tinker St. (Woodstock)

        • May 18, 2020 at 3:04 pm, Lav said:

          > I’ve heard that they will be putting in those low, rounded speed bumps. So maybe that will slow down the idiots. Regardless, I personally don’t want to eat outdoors with exhaust fumes.


          • May 18, 2020 at 3:10 pm, Jay said:

            West Street in Annapolis has 2 way traffic and is more narrow than Balt Street and there is outdoor dining there. Cars passing by is not a big deal.

      • May 18, 2020 at 10:01 am, Jay said:

        I would venture to guess that the hotel will never happen. Also, I believe that they are still several million short on the street re-opening project. Can the project be started without the full funding and where will the rest of the funds come from. Basically the city, county, and state are currently broke.


  3. May 18, 2020 at 9:03 am, DJ said:

    Wouldn’t this be beneficial for all of these entities, the CEDC, the DDC and the Cumberland City Mayor and City Council to consolidate services to save money. What exactly will the Downtown Mall Manager do that isn’t already being done by these groups. Sure seems like another unnecessary layer of bureaucracy.


    • May 18, 2020 at 9:44 am, mac said:

      > Someone has a relative, golfing buddy or some other crony that needs a job.


  4. May 18, 2020 at 11:10 am, Ed Dodrill said:

    For some reason they are dragging their feet. I don’t think the council wants a downtown manager. They talk out of both sides of their mouths and do nothing. It can’t take half and year to do this.


    • May 18, 2020 at 11:25 am, Jay said:

      As stated earlier Ed – what is really there to manage downtown?


  5. May 18, 2020 at 2:47 pm, Ed Dodrill said:

    I would think with the virus and the construction they would need it now more than ever. Someone to work with thoem business owners.


  6. May 18, 2020 at 3:00 pm, Brian 5 said:

    I think it’s soon going to be too late. I lived in Detroit for 3 years. Cumberland is really starting to resemble it.


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