MAR 2012 – City News by Mayor Pro Tem Paul Foster

      I am pleased to report that local merchants are excited about a budding campaign to improve the curb appeal of the City’s downtown and brand the area as a safe, family friendly shopping, dining and entertainment destination.

        At our Feb. 21 meeting, the City Council approved efforts to improve and expand Market Night events and related improvements downtown. Following that meeting, City Manager Enrique Martinez and I, along with staff from the City’s Development Services Department, met informally with a focus group of downtown business owners to discuss goals, objectives and programs to support and expand the downtown business area and solicit participation by local merchants.

        The ultimate goal is to attract shoppers and bring in new business as well as retain those businesses currently in the downtown.

        The program envisions a sparkling and vibrant downtown, beginning at the downtown freeway off-ramps and including enhanced landscaping and new distinctive gateway and way-finding signs. Merchants suggested carrying the orange crate planter theme atOrangeandPearlthroughout the downtown, including monuments and way-finding signs.

        A plan to move Market Night vendors to alternate sides ofState Streetto garner more local business participation and encourage local businesses to keep their stores open during the event was also presented. Staff also announced three community events that will take place over the next three months: a wine tasting, a chili cook-off, and a gourmet mobile food truck event.

        The business participants were enthusiastic about the proposals and offered suggestions for improving the downtown curb appeal. Out of the suggestions, three top priorities were identified. 

  • Entryway landscaping improvements
  • Up-lighting trees onState Street
  • Orange crate themed signs

        City staff will conduct additional informal outreach efforts with the business community on March 15 and March 29.

        As these efforts move forward we will continue to keep you fully informed. Any constructive comments would be most welcomed!!!