What is economic development?
From a policy perspective, economic development can be defined as efforts that seek to improve the economic well-being and quality of life for a community by creating and/or retaining jobs and supporting or growing incomes and the tax base.
What is Grand Terrace Economic Development?
Grand Terrace needs to focus on the development of remaining land on Barton Road and Commerce Way to include the attraction of commercial and retain businesses. The selling of City owned land will result in the land being moved back on to the tax rolls contributing to the City’s existing share of annual property tax. The development of the land will increase the value of the land which will correspondingly increase the share of annual property tax to the City. When retain/commercial businesses are attracted to our city this increases the sales tax base for the City in addition to the property tax.
Why is ED so important to the city’s future?
The associated increase in property and sales tax will increase revenues to the City’s general fund allowing us to increase law enforcement, maintain parks, better maintain roads, sidewalks, trees and afford other desirable amenities.
What does it get me if I vote for it?
Our sheriff contract currently provides for, among other services, 208 patrol deputy hours. That equates to having a deputy patrolling the City 24hrs a day 7 days a week. It also provides a second patrol 40 hours a week – times of patrol during the week are scheduled where the sheriff lieutenant believes it is most needed. The parcel tax will pay for an additional 40 hour a week patrol deputy that will also be scheduled during the times that the lieutenant believe are needed.
What is good about it?
Additional scheduling resources for the lieutenant; better patrol coverage during certain times of the day, and a little better response times for non-emergency calls. The funding of an additional patrol deputy could only be spent after the 208 hrs are funded.
What is the downside to it?
It won’t show a marked difference in overall response times and it won’t mean a measurable improvement in the crime rate.
Why did you vote No on placing the
tax on the ballot?
The measure started as a grass roots effort by residents. A group of residents were collecting signatures to place the proposed tax on the ballot. Through their process of gathering signatures they didn’t have enough support for the measure to put it on the ballot so my colleagues decided to put it on the ballot for them. My belief is that if there wasn’t enough support for the tax when the signatures were being gathered there wouldn’t be enough support for a 2/3 vote of the residents to pass the tax. Further, the tax came to council before the budget process and I believed that there was a way that we could make cuts to at least fund a 40 hr deputy through overtime hours as we had been in the past. Some cuts that I looked at would not have been one-time cuts and would have allowed us to get close to funding the deputy for each fiscal year that we considered. This, in my opinion, would get us down the road to the economic growth that we should be seeing with the development of vacant parcels and attraction of business that are imperative to the future of the City.
I also didn’t think that this proposed 40-hour was the best use of a tax measure. A more serious approach to increasing law enforcement coverage is a second 24/7 deputy would be a better option. That was the topic for discussion and analysis that I would have preferred. Instead, the tax was rushed to the ballot without a thorough review.
The future of Grand Terrace is good. We are working to attracting retail businesses and restaurants. The Lewis Group's mixed use Gateway project being developed north of GTHS and along the freeway will bring us high-end lifestyle residential and will create even more need for places to shop and dine. With increases in property and sales tax we can afford to provide more law enforcement create desired amenities.
What can be done about the crime in Grand Terrace?
The first line of defense against crime in City is with the residents and businesses. The more vigilant they are, the more they take care to make it less attractive for opportunistic criminals. Additional neighborhood watch organizations around town would be a great deterrent to crime in the neighborhoods and through.
What is your position on law enforcement in GT?
Our law enforcement contract with the sheriff provides us great coverage. We get the law enforcement service we need when we need it. We have the full power of the San Bernardino County Sheriff Department behind us when it is needed: helicopter, crime lab, detectives, grant writing for LPR cameras for patrol cars, diligent patrol officers who work to keep the community safe.
When the City of Grand Terrace
has the funds to increase law enforcement and the need for additional law
enforcement is needed, I will fully support increasing the contract with
the Sheriff Department for this purpose.
Senior services – Part-time coordinator at the Senior Center has been added to the city staff recently to assist with the running of the senior center and coordinating the activities, including daily lunch services, senior center activities, bus trips, etc.
Currently we have summer library programs for youth, leagues, community day, Halloween event, summer swim program. There are local businesses that provide dance, cheer, afterschool and summer programs. The city of Grand Terrace fully supports the sports leagues through partnerships, fee waivers and grants from the community benefits fund.
My annual physical and labs
results indicate that I am in excellent overall health. In addition to
that, I feel great and anyone who sees me on my daily walks in the
neighborhoods and around town with my husband can see firsthand that
I'm doing great.
It is crucial to me that the City remained focused on fiscal responsibility. When revenue increases it is tempting to begin creating programs as a way of serving the residents. It is my belief that what is crucial to the stability of the City is to build reserves and maintain current infrastructure while attracting businesses (restaurants, shops and services) to provide the options that resident's desire. I am focused on seeing the development of our successor agency property completed, seeing the completion of the freeway interchange representing our city as President of San Bernardino County Transportation Authority and Council of Governments (SBCTA), continuing my work on the Executive committee of our Joint Powers Insurance Authority.
There were cuts that
could have been examined to pay for increased law enforcement and to
better ensure we weren’t increasing staff size unnecessarily. I didn’t think the
budget was in the resident’s best interest, so I voted no.
Can you explain the cuts you wanted to make to the FY18-19 annual budget and why?
The cuts I wanted to make were related to an administrative assistant position that has been difficult to fill. There have been a series of employees in the position that don’t seem to be a fit. To me that doesn’t allow for staff to work at its best when there is a new member that needs to come up to speed and at the time they should become a contributing member of the team a new person arrives, and the transition begins again. My suggestion was to create an administrative team to support the needs of the City across departments; this would allow for cross training and perhaps better communication between departments.
The second cut I suggested was for a second part time code enforcement officer. It was my suggestion that the full-time officer have a schedule change to cover weekend code enforcement needs and have the part time officer serve as on-call with a review at six months. Since the code enforcement/animal control is new, the City Manager stated that he doesn’t know what staff will be needed and is hiring out of an anticipated need. This would amount to an expense the residents will continue paying even if it is determined that the staffing is not really needed. This is not the best way to manage this new department and it is certainly not the best thing to do when placing a tax before the people of Grand Terrace, which was the situation when I proposed these cuts.
I'm asking you for your vote.