Downtown Waynesboro kiosk effort limping along

The effort to crowdfund a new information kiosk to promote business and events in Downtown Waynesboro is limping along in the direction of its goal: at $710 raised as of Tuesday afternoon, with a $5,000 goal.

The feedback that I’ve been getting from people on the project is generally supportive, in the form that those who know about it and have talked to me about it like the idea, think it will be good for downtown business, but …

There’s always a but. The but here is, But why doesn’t the city just fund the rest of it?

Which certainly can happen, and may very well happen. But, and now I’m the one putting the but in here, why do we always have to look to the city to fund everything?

One, because the city is we, the people, in this case the taxpayers, who have to fund lots of other things, like police, schools, road maintenance, et cetera.

Two, why can’t we try to do these kinds of things on our own, without city help? That was the idea behind the project, from the person who got me involved, Tom Carlsson, a board member with Waynesboro Downtown Development Inc.

We’re good at asking the usual sources for funds to do things like information kiosks. The impetus behind trying to go the crowdfunding route was to see if we can diversify the funding sources beyond the usual sources to add some new sources.

The hope was to be able to raise five bucks here, ten bucks there, maybe get a few twenties, maybe a couple of people chipping in three figures, and it would eventually add up to what we needed.

My sense is that we’re not getting there because we’re waiting for somebody else – i.e. the city – to do it.

If the project falls short for that reason, it would be a real shame.

Waynesboro has this reputation for being a community that is good at coming up with bright ideas, and lacks the leadership to do anything to make those good ideas come to fruition.

This isn’t a good idea withering on the vine for a lack of leadership; this one’s lacking foot soldiers.

The mission is laid out for you.

– Column by Chris Graham


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