By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Main Street looking for new location
Placeholder Image

Main Street McMinnville is looking for a new home after having to pay $5,280 in back rent to the Chamber of Commerce.
What was once a complimentary stay in the basement of the Chamber of Commerce building in downtown McMinnville will now cost the nonprofit organization in monthly rent. The new expenditure, the Main Street McMinnville board fears, could stretch its budget. That fear led to discussions MSM may want to seek a new home.
The move to look at other locations comes after the resignation of co-director Brook Holmes and the appointment of interim executive director Paige Chastain. Holmes resigned during a contentious meeting earlier this month during which MSM board president Vanessa Miller was impeached.
The shakeup in leadership -- and allegations of past nepotism -- has led to the board ordering an audit of MSM to settle the fears amid the swirl of controversy.
Rising out of the shakeup is the fact the executive director role will now be handled by one person – that person presently being Chastain – who had worked as co-director with Holmes. Cutting the staff in half, some board members noted, means a smaller office might work. The organization might be able to absorb rent payments for a while with a smaller payroll.
“That’s 30 hours we aren’t having to pay,” said board member Cliff Davidson, referring to the revelation the co-directors were being paid for 60 hours a week despite the fact it’s only a 40-hour-a-week job.
The controversial pay discrepancy grew out of Chastain leaving on maternity leave and a clandestine vote to increase the pay of Holmes since she was having to do more work.
Once the issue was discovered, which could have raised the eyebrows of federal authorities in connection with maternity leave law, Chastain was also given a raise, bringing the total director’s paid time to 60 hours.
As for potential new locations for MSM, board secretary Kelly Basham said it would be nice to find something that’s rent-free, bringing suggestions the board make inquiries with the city of McMinnville about the small office located between Region’s Bank and the downtown museum. The office has an opening onto Main Street and would have higher visibility than the Chamber basement.
The idea of asking Security Federal for space was also floated among the revelation MSM has moved all its accounts to the bank.
“We are helping them because they help us,” said MSM board president Dillon Rowland of the consolidation of accounts, noting the bank allows use of its lawn for Main Street Live and also provides meeting space for the board.
Basham and Rowland, who both work at Security Federal, said they would look into the possibility. It was also noted the executive offices could be moved upstairs at the Chamber where rent is lower but the space is much smaller.
The plan is to evaluate several options and report findings at a later meeting.