The results of the housing study can be found here:
We need more family oriented things to do. Period.
We need more businesses, more services here.
On Wednesday, September 25th, many members of the community met with consultants who worked over the past several months to get us numbers and figures on what we know to be a sad picture.
I’ve known about our housing issue since being in the Development Department in 2015. There’s been a problem here since gaming came in over 28 years ago. Despite the overwhelming clarity on the problem, nobody over the past 20 years has really dug in to figure out what to do about it. Even when staff members presented information to City Council, a couple of those presentations I personally either participated in or produced resources for while on staff, the information fell on deaf ears.
I hear these results loud and clear and they either reaffirmed the research I did while I was a staff member or painted a further depressing picture than I’d even hoped.
Folks, it’s bad. It’s real bad.
It’s a complex challenge with many chicken-egg components to it but rather than getting constantly caught up in what we can’t do or what we think might be too difficult to accomplish, I believe we need to see what we can do and get it done.
City staff are already working on ways to get in touch with different programs that were suggested we reach out to so we can tackle the infrastructure problem. FYI: The resource tool cited in the study mapping out the vacant land and current water/sewer infrastructure… I DREW THOSE MAPS. I have a lot of that information memorized and know it well.
So when I say that I understand the lay out of our land, the complexity of the issue, and the details that go along with each component, I mean it. I’ve done the leg work and I have years of real work in the area of our biggest problem right now.
I didn’t sit on an economic development board and hope things go alright. I donated personal time to making sure we had better resources to offer potential developers a clear view of where our resources exist.
If I am elected your Mayor, I will make sure the updates on the progress or all projects related to our housing issue are constant so we don’t let it slip through the cracks. If you’ve been to a City Council Meeting in the past two years, you know I ask questions time and time again if we need to make sure folks are on it.
What I’d like to personally focus on is business incubation programs. I’ve already done the preliminary research and I know what it’s going to take to get the new businesses here. It’s going to take boots on the streets, hard work.
If I am your Mayor, I will work with staff to create incentivisation programs to get new businesses here that meet the criteria we need to incentivize more affordable development. The survey results are clear: We want and need more family oriented businesses and entertainment.
Here’s just one simple idea: We (the city) set a criteria for certain perks if a person or company will start their business here. If their business fits the criteria for the family entertainment or services we need, we give them a few years break on city taxes, we drastically lower their permit fees, and we find other ways to make it easier to get a business off the ground. We LOWER THE BARRIERS TO ENTRY. They’d have to make a solid commitment to us as well but we MUST find ways to get them here in the first place and grow a more diverse economy. There are a lot of ideas and resources for moving this forward and I’ve already been working on doing the research.
We have to think outside the box and be creative.
In order to come up with the ideas we need to move forward, we need leadership who are able to think outside of the box and who will reward thinking outside of the box. I will do that with and for you. I have that skill in spades.
The severe lack of housing and lack of appeal for families who would want to live and stay in our community isn’t something that just happened overnight. It’s been a nearly three decade long problem. Don’t elect people who were a part of keeping that problem going. Elect someone who was ahead of the curve years ago and is ready to get it done.
I will get the ball rolling. Finally.