Creating a marketing plan to entice new businesses, cleaning up the downtown, and expediting the new business start- up process should be a priority. My goals are to make this happen.
5 ITEM ACTION PLAN TO IMPROVE GILROY AND DOWNTOWN
I co-wrote my goals into a 5-item action plan and presented it to the mayor, city administrator, council, and law enforcement. We pushed for the following items. Some we accomplished, but progress is still slow on the critical ones.
WHAT WE ACHIEVED:
1. Improve ambiance and desirability of Gilroy. Maintain a high standard for all projects.
- Got more frequent power washing of downtown sidewalks
- Reduction of drug dealing in the parks and cleaner parks
The council must maintain a higher standard for the projects that it approves.
- We provided strategies as to what other cities are doing to help the homeless dilemma.
- Fewer homeless in the downtown and faster police response
3. Make it easier to start a business in the downtown. Based on our research/interviews, it can take 2-3 years to start a business in Gilroy. (The City is working on deploying a land management/planning system to expedite the process.)
More work needs to be done in the short term to expedite the process. Ordinaces/fees/processes which impede growth need to be re-evaluated and changed if necessary.
lITTLE OR NO PROGRESS FROM THE COUNCIL:
4. Requesting council to enforce the Vacant Building Ordinance (5D) to eliminate the blight of vacant buildings in the downtown.
The lack of action by the council on requiring building owners to maintain their buildings is causing downtown blight. Shower curtains on windows, dirty storefronts, etc. should not be allowed in the downtown historical area. The council has not enforced this ordinance nor changed it to make it more forceful.
5. Marketing and anchor tenants: Suggested the City/EDC/local developers and real estate agents create a marketing plan, find an anchor tenant(s), and we provided a list of businesses that create a successful downtown. There is no marketing plan as yet to entice new business to our downtown. Four businesses have closed this year.