Council OKs new economic development committee

By From page A5 | November 14, 2012

VACAVILLE — Without any of the trepidation it showed previously, the Vacaville City Council approved creating a subcommittee Tuesday to work out ways to improve the city’s economic outlook.

The City Council unanimously approved the subcommittee and named Mayor Steve Hardy and Councilman Curtis Hunt to sit on it.

The committee will now come up with proposals for the council to consider to create a more business-friendly climate, provide more jobs for residents and assist in bringing new revenue to the city.

“This is definitely something we need to do posthaste,” Hardy said.

In addition to Hardy and Hunt, the subcommittee will have eight other members from the community who will apply to be appointed by the council. That number was bumped up from seven members after resident Roberto Valdez asked the council to increase general community member involvement from one to two members to better represent Vacaville’s large population.

The subcommittee members would include two people from the business community, one from the building community, two at-large community members, two from an economic development group, such as the Vacaville Chamber of Commerce, and one representing tourism or regional retail businesses. Those interested in sitting on the subcommittee will have about a month to submit applications to the Vacaville City Manager’s office. The members will be picked early next year.

The council held off on forming such a committee earlier this year because it wanted to wait to see if the city’s two tax measures, Measures I and M, passed. Both measures were approved Nov. 6 by Vacaville voters.

City Manager Laura Kuhn pointed out that while the two tax measures will significantly help city finances, the impact will not be immediate and that the city has to significantly improve its economic situation to stave off a deficit in five years when Measure M expires.

This is a first step to reversing city cutbacks to City Hall’s programs for promoting economic development and leaving its economic development director position vacant after budget revenue losses forced the city to cut spending.

Last spring, a majority of the council created an economic development ad hoc committee of local business people, a developer and two council members to work out ways to improve the city’s economy. After that committee presented its report, it was dissolved.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.
Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.

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