Linda Harris, Decatur’s assistant director of community and economic development, chimes in with the city’s official response to the Taste of Decatur kerfuffle.
The executive summary: 1. The event didn’t need a special permit because it was to take place on the properties of various local businesses 2. Ms. Harris would like you to e-mail your complaints about the event to her ([email protected]) so the city can address them.
Her entire letter after the jump.
(Post by Andisheh Nouraee, subbing for Mr. DM)
Decatur holds a number of year-round special events, concerts, and festivals organized by City of Decatur non-profit organizations and sanctioned by the City of Decatur. All of these events are posted on the city website and promoted in our Shopping, Dining, and Services Guides. The special events held outside on and around the square must have a special event permit and benefit a City of Decatur organization.
In addition, we are bombarded with calls from people and organizations wanting to hold events in Decatur. We try to listen and be receptive, particularly when we believe an event will benefit our businesses, especially in this economy. Under our current policy festivals and events must benefit a City of Decatur organization.
The Taste of Decatur organizers did not need a special event permit because they planned to hold the event inside Decatur restaurants and shops. It was our understanding that they would sell tickets and give a certain number of tokens. The tokens would be redeemed in participating restaurants and shops. The organizers said they would be responsible for recruiting the businesses and coordinating the details. They also offered to make a donation to the Decatur Youth Fund from their proceeds.
We work hard to make sure all of our city-sanctioned festivals and events maintain the highest standards so that our visitors enjoy Decatur and return often. We regret that this event fell short of both our expectations and those of some of the participants. We invite you to share your experience with us via email to [email protected] so that we have a record of your concerns and suggestions and can address them accordingly. In return, we will send you a special “thank you” and hope you will consider visiting again in the future.
Community & Economic Development
City of Decatur
678-553-6512 (direct line)