Huntsville's non-profit downtown development organization is in a bit of a transition. The director of Big Spring Partners recently announced she's retiring. The organization is already working without people in two of its other positions. What does it mean for downtown revitalization in the Rocket City?
Dr. Mary Jane Caylor has led Big Spring Partners since 2005.
"We are in the revitalization of downtown Huntsville what ever that encompasses," said Dr. Caylor.
The organization does not plan concerts, conventions, exhibits or festivals as some may think.
"Ha, ha, ha. I guess it is just a misconception on their part," added Caylor.
BSP's mission is to showcase downtown Huntsville as an active center for culture, entertainment, government, shopping and work.
The organization was involved in Huntsville's Hilton change to a Holiday Inn, installed a children's fountain during the city's bi-centennial celebration, built a Thrasher family memorial and more recently the new veterans memorial.
"We really have our fingers in a whole lot of pies," added Caylor.
Caylor will leave her post in the fall. The organization recently lost its marketing director and events planner. Both jobs were part-time.
"Let's face it. People need benefits. We don't pay benefits on that. We don't pay any of the kinds of things people are looking for in a job," added Caylor.
Where will Caylor's departure leave Big Spring Partners and downtown Huntsville?
"It is my hope and dream they will continue to do the kinds of things that we've been doing for seven years," added Caylor.
The city of Huntsville pays a portion of the salaries for BSP's part-time employees. A resolution making that happen expires in September. Caylor says both part-time positions are frozen as of now. Caylor's retirement takes effect at the end of September. Her departure will leave Big Spring Partners with only one full-time employee.