For the first time in more than 20 years, the Brighton Downtown Development Authority has a different chairperson.

At its monthly meeting last week, the DDA Board of Directors elected someone other than Bob Herbst as its chair for the new year. The election of Herbst has been almost automatic from year to year, but Herbst says he has been the chair long enough and thought it was time to pass the baton on to someone else. As a consequence, Tim Corrigan of the Corrigan Oil Company was elected to chair the DDA for 2019, while Cal Stone, an event planner, was named vice chair and Lisa Nelson of Hush Intimate Apparel was chosen as secretary. Although Herbst decided to step down from the chairmanship, he will remain a member of the board.

Herbst had been the chairman almost since the inception of the DDA about 30 years ago. The first chairman was local realtor Scott Griffith, and Herbst, a now-retired pharmacist and drug store owner, was the second. Herbst says the DDA was started because there were a lot of empty storefronts in downtown Brighton and he wanted the downtown to be vibrant and successful. Since its creation, the Brighton DDA has been able to leverage many grants for projects that required local matches. Herbst says even with the recession, which began in 2008, the health and vitality of the downtown was better than it had been before the DDA was formed. Herbst says he doesn’t think the City Council would have been able to accomplish on its own what the DDA has been able to, since council has to spread the tax revenues all over the city, rather than concentrating on the downtown district, as the DDA is able to do.

Herbst says the accomplishment for which he is most proud as the DDA chair was the "Tridge" pedestrian walkway over the Mill Pond and the Mill Pond Walkway/Boardwalk, and most recently the new amphitheater and band shell, which are nearing completion. May 4th is the tentative date for the formal dedication of the new amphitheater and band shell, a project which will cost about three quarters of a million dollars and is being funded entirely through the DDA.

DDAs utilize the Tax Increment Finance Authority, or TIFA, to capture a portion of tax revenues of businesses within the Downtown Development District in order to fund various DDA projects that improve the community's downtown. (TT)