By Don Reynolds, City Manager
As published in the February issue of the Mission Village Voice

What do you mean by “Economic Development?”  Just as the San Benito County is re-shaping its Economic Development Committee, so to is San Juan Bautista. 

At its last Council meeting November 14, 2023, it voted to conclude the current efforts of its Economic Development Citizens Advisory Committee (“EDCAC”). Thank you to those volunteers who contributed hundreds of hours over the past year to help our economy grow.  The fruits of this effort is recorded in the Annual Report with several solid recommendations.

December is the month the City considers its elected official “re-organization.”  Once the City Council considers the Mayor’s re-appointment or appointing a new Mayor and Mayor Pro-temp, maybe then it will be good to move forward with a new model for economic development.  The timing will be good to align the San Juan Bautista economic development efforts with the County and City of Hollister.

In 2016, the City adopted an Economic Development Strategy.  A new, fresh, post COVID19 strategy is needed and the sooner the better for the downtown merchants.  Business retention must be the top priority.  The County has retained an excellent consultant Municipal Resource Group LLC, to discuss roles, expectations, and responsibilities of its Economic Development Committee. The City’s Manager has been fully engaged with the County’s self-assessments as the County’s Chair Sotelo and Supervisor Curro work towards updating their by-laws and governance structure.  One big take-away from the work thus far, is that each agency must have the same story, understand their piece of the whole, and be working together in collaboration.

This is a good time to start the New Year with new Economic Development strategies.  For now, lets all pull together and support the City’s small, local businesses. The December calendar between the 1st and the 21st is full of fun!  Happy Holidays!