For the past few weeks I have written extensively about the Board’s commitment to revitalizing the Village. Our commitment dates back to last June, when many of you members of the Covenant attended our Board meeting and expressed your unhappiness over the news that Stumps Market was going to close. You described the importance of shopping and meeting your neighbors at the market and at the post office. You mourned the loss of shops from bygone days and hoped we could hang onto those shops and restaurants that we still have. Most of all, you expressed the hope that the old sense of community would return to our Village. You looked to your RSFA Board for help in that effort. On that day, Board members added their personal words of support to your concerns. At our Strategic Planning meeting in August, we made the Revitalization of the Village one of our top priorities.
The first step we took in this effort was to establish the Village Revitalization Task Force. As a Board, we are committed to supporting the alternatives being pursued by the experienced group of volunteers on this committee. These members are working with consultants and with San Diego County planners to find solutions to parking, zoning and enforcement that will promote and support community-serving businesses, like retail and restaurants.
At the same time, the Revitalization Task Force created a spin-off, the Village Vibrancy committee, now known everywhere as simply The VIBE, to engage businesses and residents in the collective effort of finding ways to energize the Village. Over the past three months, the VIBE has organized a series of events to bring the community together. Originally designed as “laboratory experiments,” these events have provided entertaining examples of what a “vibrant” Village might look like, with merchants, non-profits and residents interacting and connecting in new and different ways.
The VIBE has kick-started Community Engagement in the revitalization effort in exciting ways! Residents, with help from professionals, have formed the core of the Village VIBE leadership. Now, merchants and leaders from community non-profits are joining forces with the VIBE and finding ways to coordinate their activities and goals. As the VIBE efforts continue, the RSFA Board hopes that this collaboration and partnering will continue to grow as well. If these combined efforts lead to greater participation in all community activities, then we may be well on our way to creating a Village whose spirit recalls that of the “old days.”
This Saturday, December 5th, the VIBE will be presenting the Holiday Marketplace in the Village from noon until 5:00 pm. The event will feature visiting artisans as well as our own local retailers. Pop-up food will complement the great dining options already available in the Village. A walkabout will allow you to visit participating businesses and collect some “holiday cheer” as you go. The event is benefiting from the collaboration of the Association Board and staff, the RSF Library, RSF Cub Scout Pack 766, the RSF Inn and many volunteers.
The most important ingredient for the success of this holiday event—and, indeed, of our entire Village Revitalization project—is You. Your participation is the key to the success of all of our community efforts. If you participate, you will be sending your RSFA Board the message that you are truly interested in the dream of creating a vibrant Village. Your ongoing support of our Village and its community-service businesses is critical to making the dream a reality.
Please join us on December 5th for holiday fun, food and frolic. Let’s rally for our retailers. Show them we support the dream.