Keith Mashburn recently had a letter to the editor published in the Simi Valley Acorn, but it was edited to make room for others. He asked that I publish the letter in its entirety here. Please read it over and share your comments.
My name is Keith Mashburn and I am a candidate for Simi Valley City Council. Each campaign season there are several important issues that are discussed as needing urgent attention from our city officials. One issue that has been trumpeted for several election cycles and once again has become a hot button issue in 2010 is the need for Simi Valley to do better in serving the existing businesses in the community and to encourage new businesses to move into our city. While we have heard this for years it has turned into nothing more than campaign rhetoric. Our current council members have had years to do something more than talk about the problem. The problem remains and must be addressed.
Recently our current city council decided the way we need to help encourage business in Simi Valley is to hire a person to assist businesses through the quagmire they face when it comes to opening or improving a business in our city. I know this problem first hand since I have owned several businesses in Simi Valley over the past 30 years; I have experienced the problems in dealing with our local government.
Since we are still stuck in an economy that is struggling, and with tight city budgets, I am a proponent of smaller government and lower taxes. This current direction from the city council does nothing to solve either the problem in business relations or ease an ever tightening budget; in fact it adds another layer of government at taxpayer expense. I would suggest what should be done is that we train our current city staff to address the problems that keep business owners from moving to or starting businesses in Simi Valley; that would both eliminate the need for a taxpayer funded “tour guide” and would help add revenue to our city tax base through flourishing businesses.
The city of Simi Valley should pave the way for the business community to be successful. This success will lead to more jobs in our industrial sector which will in turn lead to a stronger retail sector. Wow! What a concept, the city working to create jobs for its residents by actually supporting its business community.
Its time to roll up our sleeves and to go work! As councilperson I will be in my office at city hall, serving the people of this city. Being a retired firefighter, this is the only job I will have. I will visit surrounding cities that are having success in bringing business to their communities. I will contact businesses that have left Simi Valley to determine what factors led them to move. I will reach out to all business owners in this city for input on what changes can be made that will improve relations between the business community and the city. Lastly, I will meet with city managers to design a plan to mitigate the identified problems. This will be done with no additional taxpayer expense.
We need an outline for success; I will work to design and implement a solution to the problem instead of placing a band-aid on the problem that will cost the taxpayers more money.