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Eidson: Rome expects high interest in DDA job

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Assistant City Manager Patrick Eidson said Thursday he is confident the effort to replace Ann Arnold as director of the DDA will draw a large pool of well-qualified applicants.

Eidson told members of the Downtown Development Authority board that City Manager Sammy Rich has asked Chairman Steven McDowell to be a part of the process.

“We are in the process of finalizing a job description,” Eidson said. “It will be open to all internal and external candidates. We feel very confident that we will have high interest in the position, let’s face it, we have a great downtown and our Downtown Development Authority has a great reputation around the state.”

DDA member Ann Pullen said she would love for the board to be able to sit in on interviews with candidates when the process reaches that point. Eidson said that was why McDowell was invited to participate in the process.

“We want someone dynamic, someone who will take up where it is now, continue to move it forward and have that vision and bring fresh ideas,” said Evie McNiece, city commissioner and vice chairman of the DDA. “Really and truly, people are coming to our town because of our Broad Street.”

The DDA approved a facade grant of $4,250 for a new paint job on the Third Avenue side of a building at 250 Broad St. Owners Hal Ruland and Hans Van Eikeren expect to pay a total of $16,000 for the paint job. A second facade grant of $1,000 was approved for Homestar Financial and office manager Sonya Blankenship at 339 Broad St.

McDowell, owner of the Old Havana Cigar Co., was chosen to serve his sixth consecutive year as chairman of the DDA. Bob Blumberg will serve as secretary and treasurer.