Arroyo Grande needs new leadership
November 1, 2014
OPINION By JIM HILL
Arroyo Grande has focused its economic attention on the Village, to the exclusion of most of the city. Arroyo Grande residents are proud of the Village, and economic development there is a good thing, but why doesn’t the rest of the city get to share in these benefits?
Arroyo Grande needs head of household jobs throughout the city. The Village is not and cannot be big enough to provide these. Private business throughout the city is the cornerstone of our economy. Businesses in all areas of the city need to be promoted, supported, and encouraged to expand local employment.
By pushing the proposed city charter with its explicit attack on prevailing wages while simultaneously allowing unregulated deficit spending, the mayor and council have declared they do not care about working people or taxpayers in Arroyo Grande.
We need to assure that balanced budgets are maintained, head of household jobs are paid at the prevailing rate for the benefit given, and businesses are encouraged throughout the city.
Everyone in Arroyo Grande is aware of the drought and the depletion of our Lopez water reserve. Most are aware of the chronic overdraft of our groundwater basin.
The need for water conservation is well known here – yet the city council insists on paying thousands of dollars to friends of the mayor to reiterate these well known facts. The city can and should communicate the need for conservation at council meetings and through bill enclosures, and could expand on this by supporting retrofits and giving recognition for reducing usage.
But additional advertising contracts to well-connected favorites is another waste of tax dollars.
Job creation is a function of local business (including agricultural) activity. Most of us were attracted here because of the favorable climate and businesses react similarly. A favorable business climate includes reasonable regulations, taxes that are a good value for the services provided and consistent, fair treatment by the city- not insistence on use of favored contractors or lesser consideration than a well-connected few. The city needs to champion all our businesses, not just those located in the Village
Labor negotiations need to be based on knowledge of the services needed combined with mutual respect and trust. The mayor and city manager have failed in this area to the detriment of residents and city employees alike.
Good management facilitates pride in employment that is the cornerstone of quality services and value received for taxes and fees paid. Public officials such as the mayor who demand and have come to expect special treatment destroy morale and erode quality of service to residents.
Jim Hill is running as a write in candidate for the mayor of Arroyo Grande seat.
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