A new form of political partnership is emerging that bodes well for the future of business in the region.
In Ventura County, new County CEO Mike Powers and Fourth District Supervisor Peter Foy, a small business owner with offices in Woodland Hills, have launched an effort to make it easier to do business with the county.
They have begun to meet with business leaders and organizations trying to expand or grow their companies in an effort to cut through some of the snags that can hold up expansion plans or development for weeks or even months.
This follows on the heels of an effort in San Luis Obispo County to undertake a similar project to make it easier for existing companies to get permits and get answers to questions about planning and land use issues. That county’s effort had some of its origins in redevelopment efforts in the city of Atascadero.
Getting quicker answers from government — whether they are yes or no — is a worthy goal and one that will reduce the overall cost of business considerably.
Moreover, bridging the big divide between business and local regulators also is a first step toward engaging business in bigger issues. When it comes to roads and transit, for example, Ventura County’s Transportation Commission has launched a broadly based planning effort at the website goventura2035.org. This is the first step toward creating ways to better connect the county’s cities as well as improve critically important arteries such as Highway 101 access to Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.
We’re encouraged that Darren Kettle and his team have actively sought to bring business into transportation planning. Combined with efforts by Foy and Powers to streamline decision-making, some important seeds are being planted that should yield future economic opportunity.