CLINTON — After 13 years of serving as director of the Clinton Downtown Partnership, Steve Bamman abruptly resigned Friday.

The news came as a shock to several people close to the situation. According to Tim Clark, chairman of the Downtown Partnership Board, Bamman did not give a reason why he was leaving or if he was pursuing another job.

“It came as a bit of a surprise,” Clark said. “I think he's just going to retire and take a step back.”

Clark said the plan is to replace Bamman, who is the only person to serve in that role since it was created in 1997. A meeting will be held later today between several board members and Julie Allesee, Clinton Chamber of Commerce president, to discuss filling the position and possibly appointing an interim replacement.

The departure comes at the same time the Chamber is in the process of renewing the Self-Supporting Municipal Improvement District tax. The SSMID area is funded by downtown property owners and funds provide ongoing financial resources for maintenance, administration and capital projects for the downtown area.

What impact Bamman’s resignation will have on renewing the SSMID is unclear. Several downtown property owners have presented a proposal to challenge the existing plan but that idea met resistance from Bamman and Allesee.

“There are a lot of provisions put in place when you have a Self-Supporting Municipal District,” Allesee said. “It's very important that you have the general contact with someone who's been consistent with the program.”

Under the Capital Improvement portion of the Downtown Partnership funding, Bamman and the Downtown Partnership Board of Directors added 100 parking stalls to the area, redeveloped the Sixth Avenue South parking lot, installed Wayfinding Signs in the District, purchased parking hand-held computer system to assist the city of Clinton and established a parking validation program in the Downtown area.

In addition to those improvements, Bamman oversaw the snow removal, plantings, weed and litter control, fountains, flower beds, electrical repairs and the installation of Christmas lights in the District.

“It's going to be tough to find someone capable of doing all the things that (Bamman) has done,” Clark said.

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