Hansen leaving DVA post

Earl Hansen is confident about downtown Vernon’s future

Earl Hansen is confident about downtown Vernon’s future.

Hansen will retire as executive director of the Downtown Vernon Association Sept. 14, after six years with the organization.

“Father time sometimes whisper in your ear that there are flowers to smell and mountains to climb,” said Hansen, who will remain in Vernon.

“It’s time to move on and for someone else who can bring new energy downtown and bring it to the next level.”

But while he is departing his job, Hansen says the central core remains vibrant and is critical to Vernon’s social and economic interests.

“Downtown is the hub of Vernon,” he said.

“We have got involved again with Winter Carnival and we’re drawing about 650 people to the Civic Sounds concerts on Thursday nights.”

He admits, though, that downtown continues to experience some challenges.

“Development of the north end is always a concern for merchants,” he said.

“One issue people would also like to see some movement on is parking.”

Hansen says there has been significant progress in dealing with public perceptions about safety.

“There was a lot of drug crime six years ago and the situation expressed by businesses was their customers didn’t feel safe. The RCMP was eager to work with the DVA and we brought in security,” he said.

Ruth Hoyte, DVA president, has considerable praise for Hansen.

“Earl has been the dedicated leader of our staff team and has made noteworthy contributions in several key areas of DVA activity including security, mural development and special events,” she said.

The DVA is initiating a process to find a new executive director.