Katy Golden’s last day as Holly Downtown Development Authority (DDA) director will be Sept. 15. She submitted her resignation letter Aug. 17.
Golden, 42, ran for clerk of Holly Township in the August primary election Aug. 4 and lost a tight race to incumbent Karin Winchester by just 67 votes.
Golden has been an enthusiastic volunteer for the Holly community.
The Times asked Golden questions on her resignation and future.
Q: What’s your biggest accomplishment as DDA director?
A: Over the last 3-plus years, I, the DDA board, and the devoted team of dedicated volunteers have accomplished a lot of things! I don’t know that there’s one specific project that I would count as my biggest accomplishment, but the improvements made in the historic downtown are certainly some of my favorites. The lights over Battle Alley, the circus mural, re-establishing and expanding free WiFi throughout the historic downtown, adding an outdoor sound system, installing removable bollards to shut down the alley when needed, and adding new street furniture and red umbrellas — these improvements sure have made Battle Alley come alive and become a destination for visitors and residents. I’m also very excited that the Holly Union Depot project has been revived; we’ve made some huge progress recently. Securing the $150,000 grant through the national contest hosted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation was a major accomplishment and a step in the right direction. As the admin and ‘voice’ of the @Downtown Holly Facebook page, posting positive stories, sharing events, and old photos of Holly was one of my favorite job duties.
Q: What was your biggest challenge?
A: It’s strange to admit, but my biggest challenge was time. Working in the government sector, there’s a lot of required ‘red tape’; the wheels of government naturally turn very slowly. At one time, I was attending 10 required evening meetings per month in addition to being in the office during the day. I like to work fast and see results quickly. I was known for saying, “Let’s just stop talking and do something!” It was tough for me to adapt to the pace of government.
Q: Why run for clerk when you were already DDA director?
A: I had never considered running for an elected office before until it was suggested to me that my skills and experience would be beneficial working for Holly Township as the clerk. I was ready for a change, so I threw my hat into the ring. Though I lost, it was by a very narrow margin. I am so grateful for everyone who supported and voted for me. This was my first (and will be my only) political race. Throughout the campaign, I realized that I’m honestly not meant to be a politician.
Q: What made you decide to resign from the DDA?
A: Life has a way of showing you when it’s time to make a change. I’m ready to pivot and try something new.
Q: What is next?
A: At this time, I’m not exactly sure what’s next. I’ve been networking and seeking a new full-time position where I can put my education, experience, and skills to work in a respectful, positive, and energetic environment where I can thrive and grow.
Q: Will you stay in Holly?
A: Absolutely, I will stay in Holly. I own a cute little condo in Holly Township and my teenager attends Holly High School (albeit, virtually at the moment). Holly has always been my home. I love my community.
Q: Has the pandemic caused you to reflect on things?
A: This is an interesting question as I hadn’t considered how the pandemic has affected things. I think everyone is reflecting as our world is continuously changing. If 2020 had to be summed up in one word, I think it would be “adapt.”
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed serving the Holly community as the DDA director and assistant village manager for the last three-plus years,” she said. “I’d like to think that I’ve made a lasting impact and look forward to seeing what additional beneficial changes will come when a new DDA director is hired.”
Job opening for DDA director
The village of Holly Downtown Development Board is seeking qualified applicants for the Downtown Development Authority Director / Main Street Manager Position. Please find the full job description, applications and background check release form under the Employment section on the Village of Holly website, hollyvillage.org. Forms also can be picked up at the Village Offices, 300 East Street, Holly MI 48442. Interested applicants should submit their paperwork to the Village Clerk/Treasurer no later than Sept.17.