Council split on Vacaville economic development options

By From page A5 | April 09, 2014

VACAVILLE — The subject of economic improvement for Vacaville brought about varied and decisive opinions Tuesday as City Council members heard a number of recommendations from a stakeholder committee.

The recommendations, created by the Economic Development Committee, included:

  • Develop standard and expedited process schedules for planning, permits and special events to reassess performance standards accounting for current staff levels, which is 20 percent lower than before the economic crisis. Development-focused programs are also reduced by 50 percent because of lack of funding. This recommendation would involve internal staff review of various former departmental customer service plans to create an updated, realistic processing procedure.
  • Create a citywide branding effort in five years working with Visit Vacaville, a program promoting Vacaville and its offerings. If approved by the council, the recommendation would begin with a branding study that is estimated to cost about $86,000 with the Visit Vacaville program pledging to pay $40,000, the city matching that amount and the rest coming from other agencies.
  • Collaborate with the Chamber of Commerce to begin Start Your Business packets, which, with the help of an ombudsman committee, would provide step-by-step instruction on how to open a business in Vacaville. The project is currently in progress.
  • Study policy issues and report on increased demand for electronic signs in Vacaville. The study would include a collaboration with industry experts and a look at what has been implemented in other communities.

Driving much of the conversation was the issue of rebranding and what that means as far as the city is concerned – and whether it means changing the city’s logo. Ideas included a wider online presence, including a public interactive section, and a consistent message about Vacaville.

“I’m not completely behind (the rebranding recommendation),” said Councilman Ron Rowlett. “I’m not ready to change the city’s logo. And I really don’t want to spend money until we know what we’re going to get for that money.”

The other recommendation that garnered conversation, and differing opinions, was whether or not looking into electronic signage belonged under the purview of the Economic Development Committee.

Councilman Mitch Mashburn said it’s not something that should be tasked to the committee. Councilwoman Dilenna Harris disagreed and said, “I can see where it fits with economic development.”

Council members asked that both the issues come back to the council with additional information. They gave the remaining two recommendations the green light to move forward.

The current recommendations are part of ongoing work by the Economic Development Committee, which includes four stakeholders and Councilman Curtis Hunt, as a council representative.

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.


Discussion | 6 comments

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  • Tax PayerApril 09, 2014 - 5:24 am

    Possibly spending more money that we are told we don't have. Thank God there were a couple with some common sense. "Rebranding" equals a waste money to tax payers. Vacaville already has a strong brand.

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  • DavidApril 09, 2014 - 10:52 am

    Vacaville's "brand" is non-existent. There is nothing unique that sets it apart from any other city along I-80.

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  • The MisterApril 09, 2014 - 6:34 am

    I agree with TP... this "Rebranding" is a goat rope. The best thing the City can do is to 1) not pick winners and losers... one business over another to punish or provide perks to; and 2) get out of the micro-management of local businesses. If the City gets a well earned reputation for being small-business friendly, you won't have to promote Vacaville to outside businesses.

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  • SalApril 09, 2014 - 12:36 pm

    Funny Mister, that's exactly what Pam Bertani said when she ran for FF city council, and did nothing about it, oh wait, I heard she painted a bench.

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  • BJApril 09, 2014 - 1:09 pm

    i can vouch for that! Sal you are spot on, Pam said she would turn FF downtown around, instead she closed her own shop there and is running mid way her council tenure for a paid position, she used the people of FF to vote for her own selfish interests and the unions will in turn use her for theirs. They don't care for the community except when its time to get votes, then she goes around bar hopping showing her rather unattractive face around town. I hope she gets voted out of FF permanently.

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  • SalApril 09, 2014 - 1:26 pm

    Agreed she needs a make over and she really really really needs to rethink her wigs, what ghetto looks Pammy, one would think with the big bucks u could afford better hair, if not a little surgery.

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