The new leader of the Cheyenne Downtown Development Authority thinks it's time downtown Cheyenne got a little respect.

Amy Surdam, who officIally assumes leadership of the DDA on June 15th, calls downtown "the heart of the communIty". She goes on to say "we all in the community need to start acting, thinking and feeling like downtown matters". She says a vibrant downtown is essential to economic development and overall growth in Cheyenne.

She also defends the DDA against the perception that it doesn't really do very much by saying the real problem is a lack of communication. ''The DDA has a lot of wonderful programs" she says "I just don't think people are as aware of their involvement as they should be".

Although she doesn't start her new job until next month, Surdam says she's already been busy talking with downtown business owners about their concerns. She says three main themes keep coming up. They are "a lack of parking. the transient population, and graffiti".

Surdam says she also wants to work to ease the regulatory challenges some businesses say they face in Cheyenne. Surdam says once again. communication is a key.

She says she wants to communicate to businesses what they can do to meet city codes.

She also says if some regulations are too stringent--as some local business leaders maintain--she wants to talk with city leaders about what can be done to improve the situation.