Death of Bay St. merchants’ group was no surprise

Last week’s formal announcement that the Bay Street Merchant’s Association would be disbanded was anticlimactic at best. By any meaningful definition of the word, it’s an organization that barely existed in the first place, given the flagging level of cooperation — and, for that matter, goodwill — that existed among its fragmented membership.

When the association’s euthanasia was confirmed at last Monday’s city council meeting, the reason given was that not enough people regularly participated to even elect a full slate of officers — a state requirement to claim nonprofit status.

It was ending more embarassing than tragic.

About the only good news to come out of the episode was that the Festival by the Bay, which was spawned several years ago by the Merchants Association, is expected to survive — albeit under the management of the Fathoms o’Fun Festival organizers.

The other good news — and we’re speculating here — is that the organization’s demise need not necessarily be a permanent condition. In time, when passions have cooled and a few downtown names have changed, maybe, it’s possible Bay Street’s merchants could again recognize the benefits of putting forth a united front and give it another shot.

Even if only for appearances’ sake, that would be a welcome development.

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