Executive Summary #01
Developing Our Economy: Forum I
On January 18, the Shasta Builders’ Exchange, along with Shasta Voices and the Redding Chamber of Commerce, hosted the first in a series of public forums related to promote economic development. Over 100 people attended including elected officials, prominent builders and tradesmen, as well as members of the press (read David Benda’s article at Redding.com).
Promote Economic Development
A primary tenet of the Shasta Builders’ Exchange is to promote economic development, thus helping to drive the construction industry. Working effectively with local building departments is critical to producing consistent, sustainable growth. So, our first forum was with the Development Services Department for the City of Redding.
Larry Vaupel, Director of Development Services, Paul Hellman, Planning Manager and Jim Wright, Building Official, comprised the panel. They answered questions that were given to them in advance by the hosts, followed by questions from the audience.
- What should be done to improve the permitting process and lower barriers of entry for new businesses to reduce costs and delays?
- Do you support self-certification of engineering plans, allowing for the City to simply double-check plans already certified by a qualified engineer?
- Are there ways the City can still plan for and fund future infrastructure needs, yet not have a fee structure that stifles current growth opportunities?
- From an economic development perspective, what is the brand vision for Stillwater Business Park?
- Why does the Development Services Department have a reputation for NOT supporting business growth?
- What ideas and plans will attract investment and new wealth to the Redding area?
The Forum lasted 2 hours and the audience remained engaged. Most reviews were favorable, although some labeled it as another “dog & pony show” by the City.
Our intent was to provide a constructive forum for the community to effectively interact with key City staff. The goal was to open dialogue, and “pull back the curtain” on the mystery, and perhaps misinformation that is often generated in the public domain.
I believe we accomplished that goal.
Creating effective dialogue, better understanding the governmental processes, and having a community “voice” in decision making are significant elements for building a sustainable economy. We believe this forum was a good first step.
by Joe Chimenti, Executive Director, Shasta Builders’ Exchange
NEXT: COMING IN MARCH
Developing Our Economy: Forum II
Redding Development Impact Fees – the Community’s Perspective
Image by Jarmoluk. CC0 Public Domain.