Five months ago, Carlene Giroud said she was taking her new position as Main St. Coordinator “one day at a time.” Her last day was Dec. 15.
“The board of directors for the Cottage Grove Main Street Program has made the difficult decision to dismiss the Main Street Coordinator,” a press release read. It went on to say, “Our immediate plan is to re-assess the needs of the coordinator position so the Main Street Program will continue to grow and be well positioned for new opportunities and partnerships with relevant local organizations. The Cottage Grove Main Street Program (CGMS) is committed to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development.”
The Cottage Grove Main St. Program is part of a national organization that focuses on main streets in communities by revitalizing historic downtown areas while supporting local businesses. Giroud was hired in a transitional role. Prior to her arrival, the coordinator was not a direct employee of the city. That changed. Giroud worked under city planner Amanda Ferguson, was paid by EBID and worked on addressing downtown businesses’ concerns and attempt to facilitate relationships.
It’s a job Giroud almost didn’t get.
“I read the newspaper every week. Every page,” she said. “I was going through and I saw the ad for the job and my first thought was, ‘That sounds like fun.’” But Giroud wasn’t convinced she had the necessary skill set and so she left the ad pinned to the wall in her office until an urgency filled her days before the application deadline.
She was eventually hired and tasked with first creating a newsletter to introduce herself to the community. She also placed new flowers in planters and hanging baskets on Main St.
Cottage Grove Main St. Chair Ruth Linoz confirmed Giroud’s list of accomplishments stopped there.
The board is now waiting to hear on funding that would to turn the main street coordinator into a full-time position. An answer is expected by March.
Until Giroud’s position is filled, businesses can contact Linoz with questions or concerns about the Main St. Program at (541) 315-5276 or through the organization’s website contact email at mainstreetcottagegrove.com by following the “About Us” link.