Emotionless Thoughts on Farmers Exit

Now that I’ve had a few moments to think about the news of Farmers Insurance leaving, I have some more rational thoughts to share and I’m hoping to get your feedback.

For years, we’ve been at risk for losing Farmers Insurance. When the Training Center moved out of Simi Valley, it only fragmented the Corporate presence even more. Consolidating by moving employees from Simi Valley into the Woodland Hills building with the other employees made sense from a logistical standpoint. It was bound to happen. 21st Century occupied most of the space in that building, and by vacating they presented Farmers with a simply logistical solution. I get that.

I do know that the Farmers Training Center moved out of Simi due to challenges with the City when they attempted to enlarge their facility. Though I don’t have first hand knowledge or quotes I can provide, this is what I’ve heard. I know the previous owners of a children’s gymnastics center in Simi Valley ran into roadblocks when they tried to expand and the problems they encountered likely weighed in on their decision to sell and move out of state. I also know that businesses face difficulty getting construction plans approved and face significant infrastructure costs that either delay the process, cost unforeseen thousands of dollars or both.

I don’t think the City could have prevented this move and I’m certain that it has been in motion for close to a year or more. But I think our City Officials have to focus on how to attract businesses like Farmers Insurance BACK into Simi Valley, and they definitely need to overhaul how they work with businesses. Perhaps our City Council Members can help facilitate that. Regardless, I think voters will be expecting them to.

Hopefully this comes off as a little more sound and reasonable than my previous post on the topic!

11 thoughts on “Emotionless Thoughts on Farmers Exit

  1. Mike:

    You said that “I do know that the Farmers Training Center moved out of Simi due to challenges with the City when they attempted to enlarge their facility.”

    Then you said the city couldn’t have stopped them from moving.

    Your statements seem in conflict with each other. Can you explain?

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  2. I guess that’s a bit confusing…

    The training center split a couple years ago after struggling with the city with their expansion. However, the move of the rest of employees that was announced today seems like a logical decision to consolidate the work force in an existing location (they currently occupy a portion of the Woodland Hills building).

    Arguably, the departure of the training center could be considered the start of a downward spiral that led to this announcement. I suspect many people will make that connection, I’m just not sure I have enough info to do that.

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  3. Soldier, I think you make some good points. Even after I posted this message, I got two private emails that told me more about an environment unfriendly to businesses.

    The story about someone moving to Simi and then wanting to move back after they get here is troubling. “How did we get here” is a fair question to ask. But like Tim mentioned in the other thread, we definitely need to know how to make it better.

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  4. The blame squarely points at the all city council members who have been there for too many years! I am just glad Farmers announced their moving before the election.

    Voters only have to look at Simi Valley Harley Davidson which is located and paying taxes in Moorpark as another example of how anti-business Simi Valley has become. They also made Simi Cycles cut in half their outside sales area. The city coucil just doesn’t seem to get that tax dollars fund this city, it is definately time for a change.

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  5. The council saying they didn’t know the cities building/permit process was so unfriendly to business, is like the city manager of Bell saying he had no idea he was being payed so much.

    Instead of being business friendly and building a significant tax base for the city, it seemed like they were always trying to have business’s jump through hoops to expand or better their properties.
    I hope at least some have learned, over the years, that just because a business is located here does not mean they will stay if you push too hard.

    It’s better for the city to pay $10,000.00 to move a sidewalk than to tell a business to do it and lose their $1,000,000.00 tax base

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  6. All these speculative comments coming from people who don’t run businesses of a size large enough to comprehend what occurred here. Farmers had two buildings, one it leased, and one it owned that was bigger, newer, wired better for modern technology, and more energy-efficient. The decision to move was purely business, that much is very easy to see. And no one lost any jobs.

    Farmers never “struggled” with the City over any expansion. To expand, you have to file some type of plans. Show evidence that there were plans of expansion before you make allegations otherwise.

    All you political opportunists, I imagine you will come out with news releases stating you are Yankees fans come October.

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  7. Al,

    Mike Chandler said they had problems with an expansion. I am interested to what extent that is true. But Mike is not a political opportunist. I agree with Mike it might not be directly connected to this loss of jobs to Los Angeles.

    If you really think that Simi Valley planning and code enforcement don’t waste money and time of local businesses I’d ask you to talk to more small business owners. I have many documented cases where they wasted time and money.

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  8. Thanks you, Brian. To Mike Chandler, please source this statement: “The training center split a couple years ago after struggling with the city with their expansion.” Making such statements without a source reduces (or even erases entirely) credibility.

    Same goes for Ted Mackel, who has made very similar statements in other areas online. Please present evidence.

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