The eight Pleasant Hill City Council candidates met last week to give their views on issues facing the city, and to answer why they would be the best choice to fill the three vacant seats in November. Pleasant Hill Patch was there to record the action.
But we want to hear what you think about these issues. So once a day, we’ll post a question, provide the candidates’ answers, and ask you what you think about those issues. This is your city, and your Patch. Weigh in with your point of view.
What would you do to help raise the city’s revenues from sales taxes?
One area is the Kmart shopping center. That’s a great opportunity to attract an anchor tenant like a high-end grocery store such as Trader Joe’s. Thousands of students cross the street there there every day. We need to attract the high-end businesses. That will help lift the other, smaller businesses in the area.
I’d like to bring in manufacturing that would bring in more people, who would then use the local businesses to shop and eat, and generate more sales tax.
I want to develop day care centers at k-8 schools and spend more money for education. You get more sales tax by having people get more money in their pocket. We need to encourage jobs, promote jobs, and make sure people are fully employed.
Our economy has turned the corner. We now have In & Out, Zachary’s Pizza and Nordstrom Rack are coming. We are attracting businesses. We want to continue to draw as many retail dollars as we can. The Economic Development Committee is gardening our businesses, giving them skills to grow their business.
We are a community that is open for business. We have an involved population that comes to events, volunteers, and shops. With the loss of redevelopment, these are challenging times. The city is putting out money to improve storefronts. Once we improve our appearance, it will be more shopping friendly, and more businesses will want to come here.
I don’t want the city to pick winners and losers in business. We need to attract business. We need to help them starting out, by lowering the business license fees. The fee in Martinez is five times less for business license fee. We should waive the fee for the first year for business taking over a vacant space. The fee is working against us.
We need to entice small, independent businesses. We should work toward development moving down Contra Costa Boulevard in the northern portion of town toward DVC Square and develop that. If we cut permit fees, how are we going to make up for that loss? We need to study how we can entice businesses into Pleasant Hill.
Government has a role in facilitating maintenance and growing business space. First, we need to make sure there is infrastructure that works. Second, we need a permit process that makes it easy. We’re working on that with Economic Development Committee with things like the Façade Improvement plan. The next two years are critical for attracting new businesses.
Those are the candidates’ thoughts. What do you think? Tell us your ideas to raise sales tax revenue. What should the city do to bring more businesses to town?