2019-01-12 13:30:00

As the year 2018 faded out and now with the arrival of 2019 in our City of Hanford;

I have only key request, to ask of the new and remaining City Council leaders to “Be Unconventional!” In the planning of Our City, I challenge you, do not conform to how things were usually done and decided (e.g. reactive policy and decision making, stagnant economic growth, and being boxed-in the usual how business was and is done.) Strive to be “creative and unconventional” to bring in new business and family oriented opportunities.

The elections are over. The people has decided their leaders. Now, let’s get to work!First and foremost, keep God at the fore front. Pray for discernment on matters of governing. Don’t worry about praying before any decision, remember, whose government is above all, certainly not mans, but God’s.

Do away with developers’ interest in conducting your business. You will never satisfy their craving for more money and influence from you. Nothing is hidden from our eyes. Carryout, your civic “public service” with the best interest on our City’s future in helping families, seniors, the young and the weak through collaborative services and innovative economic development.

As mentioned, please think out of the box!Look at Silicon Valley, once they were thousands of acres of apricots, cherry and apple orchards tied with seasonal unemployment. Now, they lead our nation in technology. Why? They changed their mind set on innovative and pro-active ways regarding government, schools, community development and many other areas. There are so much jobs available in both large and small bay cities, they can’t find enough workers to fill the vacant positions! It’s the opposite scenario in the Central Valley. City Council members, roll up your sleeves, and throw out the Old Boys’ way and start revamping how we can bring high-tech, low pollution jobs into our city. Find avenues to bring family entertainment, such as a small chapter of the Fresno Chaffee Zoo. They were open to this concept 10 years ago. I guess hand Hanford was not ready then.

There are five Initiatives, I believe, The City of Hanford needs to address several key issues to meet and excel as a mixed rural/urban community:

1. Innovative Strategic Economic Base: Agricultural will always remain as the staple job market base, it is a given. Although, our City needs to integrate creative collaborative economic opportunities, which include bringing in funding for Hanford Downtown Business Incubators. Cities such as Fresno see this, with former Mayor Ashley Swearegin leading the way, in investing in their Downtown with Job Incubators, whereby, young engineering or business ventures will bring in new enterprises, aside from her leadership in the Fresno, CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation.

Our City is in great need of a Small Business Association to aid small startup businesses. We also need to be less burdensome to our Downtown businesses and encourage increase vitality and growth by doing away with burdensome fees and taxes. The present woes connected to the Faraday plant and its connection with the China’s investors should be avoided, which only lead to weakening our National Security. We should be sending proposals to Capital Venturists in Silicon Valley and not Communist China!

2. Strong Neighborhood Initiative: The City needs to identify those neighborhood which are plagued with gangs, high school drop-out rates, low employment rates and seek Federal or/and Foundations which can incorporate successful models of intervention and self-help assistance to these communities.

3. New Business Incubators in the Downtown: The City of Fresno, as mentioned earlier, are having great success with this concept. There are plenty of empty buildings in the Downtown. Let’s put them to use!There are many of young entrepreneurs waiting for a chance to create something great (products, jobs, etc.. )

4. Chapter Partnership with the Fresno Chaffe Zoo: Let us revisit how we can add to our City entertainment, aside from the regular events/program, such as the Farmers Market, The Superior Dairy, The Plunge.

5. Recruit Hanford citizen applicants for City and County Jobs: If one does a study of where most of our City personnel live, they do not live in Hanford, but from surrounding cities.

Alfred Benavides, MPA

Hanford Resident

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