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!