Local Artist, Business Owner, Nonprofit Leader, and Main Street Member Tossed Out of Conway Main Street USA Meeting.
This morning, at the Main Street Economic Restructuring Committee meeting, Barbara Streeter was ask to leave by Main Street board member Larry Biddle. Insiders say that as the meeting began Larry informed Barbara that all attendees had been invited with the exception of her. He asked what information she had to offer the meeting and what level of membership she was. After hearing Mrs. Streeter's responses he asked her to leave. Barbara once again voiced her interest in remaining in attendance. Mr. Biddle then suggested again that Barbara leave the meeting. At which point Barbara left the meeting.
The events this morning highlight continuing difficulties that have arisen between Conway Main Street USA, City of Conway, and Downtown Conway Merchants. In question is the current direction and leadership of the once beloved organization. With less than a 30% participation rate among downtown businesses, and three year stagnation regarding promotions, tourism, and development, many locals are beginning to lose patience with the organization.
Because Conway Main Street USA receives a large portion of their funding from the City of Conway, they are required by federal law to conduct all meetings open to the public. The fact that this issue not only involved a citizen, but also one of their own members, makes the events today that much more bizarre.Updated 12:50 pm 10/17
Emails obtained by ConwayJournal.com show that Conway Main Street was aware of Mrs. Streeter's intent to participate in the meeting. CMS replied two weeks ago to a request from Mrs. Streeter for the dates an times of these meetings. The reply stated dates and times for all four committee meetings.
It appears that the inconvenience and embarrassment may have been intentional since no notice was given that her attendance was not welcomed.