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					                                     Joint Meeting

Marysville City Council           Planning Commission             MERC Committee

January 28, 2003                      4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.                Fire Station #62

The roll call was not taken verbally, but the recording secretary noted the following as in
City Council:                Mayor David Weiser; Mayor Pro Tem Mike Leighan,
                             Councilmembers Jon Nehring, Jeff Seibert, Suzanne Smith,
                             John Soriano, Lisa Vares, and Donna Wright.

City Staff:                 Mary Swenson,Chief Administrative Officer; Gloria
                            Hirashima, Community Development Director; Sandy
                            Langdon, Finance Director; Doug Buell, Community
                            Information Officer; Greg Young, Grants Administrator; and
                            Laurie Hugdahl, Recording Secretary.

Planning Commission:        Steve Muller, John Carroll, Becky Foster, Dave Voigt, and
                            Deirdre Kvangnes.

MERC Committee:             Dorothy Stanton, citizen; Mike Elmore, Marysville Park
                            Board; Gayl Spilman; Jack Myles; Caldie Rogers,     Greater
                            Marysville Tulalip Chamber; Zoe Hallgren, Housing
                            Hope/Marysville Soroptimists; Mary Kirkland, Downtown
                            Merchants Association; and Steve Leifer, Businessman.

Gardner Johnson:            Matthew Gardner and Jerry Johnson

There were also several citizens and members of the press in attendance.


Mayor Weiser called the meeting to order at approximately 4:00 p.m. He began by
describing why the group was meeting. He gave some background history of the way the
City arrived at this point.

First, he described the purpose of the formation of the Downtown Revitalization
Committee six years ago. The purpose of that committee was to look at the aesthetic look
of State Avenue, how that could be combined with the waterfront park, and potential
siting and/or financing for a museum within the community That committee was
completing its process and was then combined with the Economic Development
Committee. It is now referred to as the Marysville Economic Revitalization Committee

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The consulting firm of Gardner Johnson was then utilized to look at the economic impact
of Quilceda Village and economic development strategies for Marysville. Mayor Weiser
went on to say that Gardner Johnson was in attendance today to discuss the topic of
economic development strategies for the community.

He also stated that the group would need to decide by the end of the meeting whether or
not to have a MERC meeting in February. He said he would encourage the committee to
meet and that it’s hoped that by looking at today’s meeting it would serve as a
springboard to begin taking action and moving forward.

Chief Administrative Officer, Mary Swenson, began the discussion by saying they have
heard from constituents that the city has done these studies several times and nothing ever
comes from it. It is important to know that it is different this time. She explained that it
made sense to bring the three groups together because of the differing roles of each unit.
One of the purposes of the meeting was to begin to put together a timeline.


Mayor Weiser then invited each member to give a short description of his or her thoughts
regarding implementation of the study results and what he or she would like to see out of
this meeting.

Steve Muller, Planning Commission: Passed

John Carroll, Planning Commission: Commissioner Carroll stated that he wants to get
started right now.

Becky Foster, Planning Commission: Commissioner Foster also was anxious to get
started with implementation of the Plan. She felt there has been little progress in the last
18 years. Ms. Foster feels that there needs to be an economic center to create tax revenue.
She also stated that the Smokey Point Chamber has been working on ways to deliver
people attending the annual summer Fly-In held at the Arlington Airport into the
Marysville community and to create cohesion between the communities of Arlington and
Marysville. Their goal is to create good communication within the whole north end
including Arlington, Marysville and the Tulalips.

Dave Voigt, Planning Commission: Commissioner Voigt felt there were good
recommendations in the report from Gardner Johnson. He also had some water and
wastewater suggestions specifically in the area of water reclamation and re-use

Dorothy Stanton, Citizen/MERC: Ms. Stanton is the self-proclaimed misfit on the
MERC committee as she is not interested in business or economics. She feels that things
are the same in all communities that experience growth and she doesn’t feel things are

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going to change much. She expressed a desire to make growth more sensible for families.
She suggested taking every piece of available land and building a parking lot on it
equipped with shuttle buses.

Deirdre Kvangnes, Planning Commission: Commissioner Kvangnes said she likes
what Gardner Johnson has said in the report. She thanked them and said that we need to
get going with the plan.

Mike Elmore, Marysville Park Board/MERC: Passed.

Gayl Spilman, MERC: Ms. Spilman noted the discrepancy between what business
people and the citizens want. She said that Marysville already contains many of the seeds
to build on such as: building support programs, financial support with SBA loan
providers, and economic development assistance. She stated the city needs to do a better
job publicizing that there is a support staff here to help them. Ms. Spilman mentioned that
Marysville has been known as a bedroom community and needs to look at where to build
the business community. She went on to discuss the disconnection between the three
different business centers. Finally Ms. Spilman stressed the importance of utilizing an
outside mediator because of all the talk and no action. She stated they need to show
citizens they are serious this time.

Jack: Passed.

Zoe Hallgren, Housing Hope/Maryville Soroptimists/MERC: Ms. Hallgren stated
that she has lived here 44 years. She feels that once the surrounding area sees the
advantage of improving the community, then development can progress. She stressed the
need for the entire city to be united.

Mary Kirkland, Downtown Merchants Association/MERC: Ms. Kirkland stated that
action is the key. She discussed the specific action items in the Plan. She encouraged the
group to be direct, specific, and goal-oriented. She further suggested making quick goals
to stimulate enthusiasm.

Steve Leifer, Businessman/MERC: Mr. Leifer specifically wished to address
economic development. He stated that many communities are struggling economically.
For that reason it is important to be unique in the way that the city approaches things. He
felt that something beyond the recommendations needs to be done and that even if the
Action Items are done, it wouldn’t be enough to make businesses stay. In his opinion, the
following needs to be done:
          Businesses have to have a way of deferring up-front costs. There needs to be a
            reason for them to come to Marysville as opposed to somewhere else – such
            as tax help or financial assistance.
          Easing of environmental restrictions on developers. He feels the Stormwater
            Management manual allows for departures in the case of good science. He
            suggested proactively getting engineers to come in to develop specific
            standards for Marysville.

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        Partner the regulatory city staff with the developers.

Jeff Seibert, Councilmember: Passed.

Jon Nehring, Councilmember: Councilmember Nehring mentioned that the Council
realizes that economic development needs to progress and that they are willing to listen to
any ideas.

Lisa Vares, Councilmember: Councilmember Vares agreed with Councilmember
Nehring’s statement and added that Council is ready to take action. She mentioned that
the implementation plan, timelines and benchmarks are the missing elements.

Donna Wright, Councilmember: Councilmember Wright agreed that the city needs to
take action – quickly.

Suzanne Smith, Councilmember:          Passed.

John Soriano, Councilmember: Councilmember Soriano said he was happy to hear
that those involved with this plan were approaching this with a regional perspective.

Mike Leighan, Councilmember: Councilmember Leighan stated that the City Council
shares the same frustrations with economic development and the inability to get it
moving in the right direction. He sees business retention as a major issue. Businesses
expanding here have difficulty with the permitting process. He said there needs to be a
partnering effort of the different disciplines involved.


Matthew Gardner began by saying that they have primarily heard apathy from the
residents. He added that they will facilitate the process any way necessary, but it will be
up to the city to make things happen.

He then referred to several of the comments that he heard from the attendees:
        Marysville is a bedroom community. – He said this is accurate. People live
           here, but don’t work here and that needs to change.
        Importance of retaining current businesses. – This is very important.
        Economic development is not separate from social development. The two are
           much intertwined.
        Importance of creating a timeline. – The city needs to set goals and stand by
           them. Otherwise things will not change. Creating a committee is an important
           first step.
        Work together. – Be cohesive in nature, interdepartmentally as well as
           personally to overcome apathy.

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Finally Mr. Gardner mentioned that he was encouraged by the number of people in
attendance tonight.

Jerry Johnson then discussed the need to assign responsibility to really achieve things. He
referred to Tab 9 - City of Albany in the packet which shows how that city determined
who was going to do what, by when, and benchmarks set in order to actually accomplish

He mentioned that for small communities, such as Marysville, business retention and
expansion are the most successful strategies. He noted one city that has a staff member at
city hall to meet with businesses. This person meets with each business at least once a
year and is a contact point at the city to work as a resource for the business community.

Mr. Johnson then said that a lot of communities are looking at the same situation as
Marysville. Many cities are going through the process, but actually following through
with the Plan can set Marysville apart from the crowd. He stressed the need to agree on
worthwhile goals and to assign responsibility. He noted there needs to be a broad
agreement and a buy-in from the community.

Matthew Gardner then referred to Grant Administrator Greg Young’s Executive Summary
of the Gardner Johnson Economic Development Plan and discussed each Strategic

1. Foster Community Collaboration and Leadership

   Mr. Gardner stated they need to make believers out of the residents of Marysville. He
   stressed the importance of keeping residents aware of what the committee’s are doing
   as well as successes. He added that it is very important to have tangible results.

2. Enhance Community Image and Identity

   Mr. Gardner said this did not just involve “prettification”, but instead making a more
   cohesive nature to the city – not just three different areas.

   Mr. Johnson added that many communities are trying to develop cohesiveness.
   Commercial developers in downtown areas are competing with mall developers.
   Difficulties with parking and common facade improvements are some of the
   difficulties they face. The City needs to have specific objectives to make these
   competitive districts.

   Mike Elmore asked for examples of communities that have done that successfully.
   Mr. Johnson cited as examples sub-districts in Portland that have special niches such
   as an antiques area, a restaurant or entertainment district, or an ethnic area such as
   Russian or Latino districts. He explained that Portland has tax incentives to fund this.
   It is very difficult without the resources to pull it together as the strategic plans
   require architectural improvements, street-front facade improvement grants, and

Joint Meeting                      January 28, 2003                             Page 5 of 12
   design professionals to help with facade improvements. He added that regional malls
   are a different type of competitor and the city can’t really compete against them, but it
   is important to develop a mix of services that is consistent with the makeup of the
   neighborhood to allow people to link trips.

   Mr. Gardner said there is currently a plan in Moses Lake for facade improvement.
   Renton also is working on facade improvements. A particular city employee there
   was referred to as being an exceptional asset to the city because she welcomed
   working with developers. He noted there were several other examples in the packet

   Mr. Elmore expressed his frustration that downtown project businesses were not
   included and were very negative about improving appearances. He wanted to know if
   the bottom line has been good for existing businesses in communities that have made
   these changes. He also asked what sort of proof they could give skeptics that
   improvement would be good for them.

   Mr. Johnson said to focus on the goal of retaining and expanding businesses.
   Improvements need to be done in conjunction with existing businesses. The example
   in Oregon has worked because the taxes pay for it. State grants or tax increment
   financing can also be helpful in order to improve an area.

   Mary Swenson commented that there are tough decisions that the elected officials
   have to make. The elected body needs to be cohesive and moving in the same
   direction in order to get things done quickly and in an efficient way. She added that
   cities that have moved forward with changes have had assistance with loans and

3. Improve Existing Business Opportunities

   Mr. Gardner referred to Mike Elmore’s comment that many business owners were not
   aware of what was going on. He noted that this in itself was an issue. Mr. Gardner
   suggested creating an outreach program so business owners are aware of what is
   happening. He said to expand awareness of availability of local support programs that
   are already in place. Their interest will become greater as they become aware. Also
   they will be more interested if the city actually listens to them and takes action.

   Mr. Johnson noted the poor database that they had worked with during the
   development of the Plan. This included many bad addresses. Also, there appeared to
   be a problem because many of the property owners were not local.

   Mike Elmore referred to the city that had an ombudsman as a city representative and
   he thought that would help developers a great deal. Mr. Johnson agreed. Mr. Elmore
   asked if it could be a volunteer-type situation. Mr. Gardner thought that would
   definitely work. The important thing was to have someone available and to survey
   every business annually, if not even more often. Mr. Johnson commented that

Joint Meeting                     January 28, 2003                              Page 6 of 12
   meetings are not generally representative samples of the community. There needs to
   be a different way to get feedback.

   Ms. Swenson described Greg Young’s position with regard to economic development
   in order to show that the city is already making progress in this area. She explained
   that large developers are automatically tagged onto him. He works closely with Ms.
   Swenson and Mayor Weiser and acts as a contact for the developer.

4. Expand and Diversify Economic Base

   Mr. Johnson stressed maintaining businesses, but noted that there is a limit to what
   can be done. Mr. Gardner suggested the possibility of existing businesses in
   Marysville migrating to other areas in the city that would be more beneficial to them.
   Mr. Johnson then noted the importance of planning and deciding on different areas in
   advance. The city needs to give clarity to the people.

   Commissioner Steve Muller discussed the issue with business retention. He said
   Marysville has been known as a bedroom community, but feels things can change. He
   said they had made a mistake in looking at business retention as opposed to looking at
   what they wanted it to be. He believes downtown is never going to be a commercial
   corridor because of its proximity to residential neighborhoods. He said due to the
   residential nature of Marysville there are built-in customers here. The city needs to
   make it better for those who live here and businesses will follow. He stressed the need
   to identify cores and what the city wants them to be.

   Commissioner Muller then referred the Tribes. He said the city can’t compete head to
   head with them. He asked what could be done there. Mr. Gardner noted several things
   including: improving signage, expediting the waterfront park, and making it
   enjoyable for people to come back to Marysville.

   Councilmember Suzanne Smith had an issue with this approach. She said she doesn’t
   want to compete for the people going to gamble. She wants to take care of the people
   who live here. She said she did not feel comfortable catering to tourists or gamblers.
   Mr. Gardner explained that it wouldn’t really be catering to those groups because it
   would benefit all.

   Mr. Johnson added that the city should make it so people don’t have to get on the
   freeway because once they’ve gotten on the freeway they’re gone. The tourist trade
   can provide extra support for uncertain businesses, especially restaurants and retail

   Steve Leifer then commented on Marysville as a bedroom community. He said he
   remembered when Marysville had jobs for the people who lived here such as mills
   and farms. He asked if the city wants to stay a bedroom community or get some jobs
   for people who live here. He said they should encourage manufacturing and other
   industries to provide jobs for the residents here.

Joint Meeting                     January 28, 2003                             Page 7 of 12
   Commissioner Muller stated that Marysville is a bedroom community and it needs to
   be realized. That can change, but we shouldn’t start arbitrarily assigning zones.

   Steve Leifer commented on the opportunity to benefit from the Tribes.

   Mr. Gardner said there needs to be a mix between economic development and

   Mr. Johnson explained that one benefit of being a bedroom community is that it gives
   you a labor force to develop an economic base. Marysville should capitalize on the
   fact that people don’t want to have to get on the freeway to go to work.

   Mr. Elmore noted that successful communities also provide educational opportunities.
   Mr. Gardner agreed there needs to be increased educational opportunities to train
   workers to stay and to work here. He commented on the fact that many people are not
   seeing advantages of staying here. Mr. Johnson added that it becomes much more
   difficult once they leave and you lose the labor force. It is even more difficult to re-
   attract them.

   Mr. Elmore asked if you have to lay out all these plans to induce people to come back
   or can you just create the fertile soil and they will come. Mr. Johnson responded that
   you definitely want to create fertile soil. He added that seeming attractive and
   together is probably the best Marysville can do right now.

   Mr. Gardner responded that having certain attributes in place would encourage
   development. As examples he listed streamlining the permitting process and off
   setting environmental mitigation costs. Mr. Johnson suggested a global SEPA for a
   large industrial area so everyone was cleared and ready to go. Steve Leifer clarified
   that it needs to be tailored to the unique environment of Marysville. Becky Foster said
   that some developers have been trying with no luck for several years to get things
   done. Matthew Gardner affirmed that they definitely need to expedite the process.
   Mr. Johnson noted that not just the speed of the process was important, but also the
   risk factor.

   Mary Swenson explained that they have established a Community Planning
   Department under the direction of Director Gloria Hirashima. They have recently
   been approved to be a pilot program for EDC. She noted that previously the
   permitting process was divided between departments and was more confusing. They
   are starting to hear that the timelines are improving.

   Gloria Hirashima then commented that Marysville’s timelines are excellent compared
   to other communities. She described the biggest obstacle as north end development.
   She said it wasn’t unique to Marysville, but it was unique to the environment. She
   also clarified that the area has only been part of the city limits for 2 ½ years and they

Joint Meeting                     January 28, 2003                              Page 8 of 12
   are still trying to work out wetland and drainage issues in the face of changing
   regulations and drainage requirements. The staff is also improving its processes.

   Regarding the north end she suggested looking at the:
       Permitting processes (with staff as problem-solvers)
       Infrastructures (transportation issues, financial issues, drainage improvements,
         and alternative financing methods)

   Gayl Spilman said there is a problem with consistency. She believes the city needs to
   do a better job of encouraging developers. She said it feels like the city staff is trying
   to find ways to stop developers. She noted that one person can get different answers
   every time you ask. This also increases the risk factor.

   Mike Elmore said that the high groundwater problem makes it too expensive to come
   to Marysville. He believes the city needs to do the studies and prepare it for
   development. It will take creative thinking to get solutions that will work.

   Mary Swenson noted that City Council has a workshop scheduled on February 8th to
   discuss north end Marysville solutions. They will be looking at solutions, but it will
   also take money and innovative thinking. She believes staff has gone as far as they
   can without further direction.

   Gayl Spilman noted the short sightedness of the city spending so much money on the
   north end when it can’t even be developed. She referred to the 116 th Street area and
   noted that land could be used there. She believes the city needs to look at other areas
   to provide solutions.

   Councilmember Suzanne Smith shared several ideas. She believes that the priority
   needs to be existing businesses. In order to better serve them the city needs to focus
   on expansion, possibly have a seminar once or twice a year to assist them, and
   provide a good, accurate database.

   Some of her other ideas for promoting development were:
       116th Street – she wondered about putting a rail station there.
       Highway 9 and 528 – she noted that they are working on that area.
       Highway 9 and Getchell Hill – the city should be working to get this in the
       North end. – work on a regional detention. She noted she is not convinced it
         will work, but the city needs to take action there.

   Matthew Gardner went on to discuss more of the Strategic Directives.

5. Support Recreation and Tourism Advantages

Joint Meeting                      January 28, 2003                               Page 9 of 12
   Mr. Gardner suggested putting together a packet of information for people coming
   here for the weekend. The city could work together with the Tulalip Tribes on this.

6. Improve Transportation and Infrastructure

   Mr. Gardner implied the city needs to create incentives to promote utilization of
   public transportation. He also noted that Highway 9 is essential for strategic

7. Improve Government and Regulatory Environment

   Mr. Gardner commented that it is good to hear that the streamlining permit process
   has begun.

8. Enhance Employment and Housing Opportunities

   He noted the importance of serving built-in constituents. This also would make the
   city more attractive to developers. He encouraged providing workforce support,
   possibly a packet that describes workforce training and benefits.


Mr. Gardner reiterated that the comments had been invaluable. He said that they were
willing to assist in anyway they could with the implementation of the Plan, but that
progress was dependent on action by the city. He noted that the consultants are
intentionally not mentioned on the Plan because it needs to be the community’s plan.

Mayor Weiser stated that the city is a business. They don’t receive a lot of things from
the community until they somehow get to “yes”. He asked how they were going to get to
“yes” with economic development and what should be done now. He presented various
options that the city has for taking action.

Greg Young, Grants Administrator, suggested an implementation committee with
representatives from City Council, MERC and staff who would be tasked to develop an
implementation strategy and present it to another Joint Meeting. He suggested using
today’s meeting as a springboard for action. He then encouraged the committee to focus
on benchmarks and timing.

Jerry Johnson commented on the ways other communities have actually begun the
implementation process. He recommended using a smaller group to present the
recommendations to the larger group. They also should begin talking about funding
requirements. The smaller group could bring their suggestions before the larger group to
agree, disagree, or make changes to timelines and priorities.

Joint Meeting                     January 28, 2003                           Page 10 of 12
Gayl Spilman asked if the group could be broken down into separate parts determined by
the interests of the members. Mr. Gardner responded that that was the idea because this
topic is much too big for one group. Ms. Spilman noted that everyone has different
strengths, resources and interests. Greg Young stated that a smaller group could bring
ideas and suggestions back to this larger group to determine who wants to help. Right
now the important thing is to have one group in charge.

Councilmember Seibert encouraged anyone interested in starting a plan of action to begin
now and not wait until they are a member of a committee.

Steve Leifer then referred to the 107 Action Items in the Economic Development Plan
and asked Gardner Johnson if they had put together a list of cost-benefits to prioritize
them. Mr. Johnson replied that it was usually a judgment call by groups such as this and
that it would be very difficult to generalize cost-benefits for all communities.

Mike Elmore stated that the city needs to present what it already has on the table and
what it has planned for the near future so that they can discuss where the holes are and
what needs to be done beyond that.

Caldie Rogers added that the Chamber has a database that is kept current with the
businesses in the north county. She said the Chamber has fielded 4,000 information
requests in the few months that they’ve been in the new regional facility. The Chamber
has had 105 business appointments because of the demographics of what the Tribes are
doing. She said the tourists and developers are looking for support, service and industries
in Marysville. Ms. Rogers encouraged those who wanted the Chamber to do more to join
the Chamber. She noted that there are a few hundred members of the Chamber and out of
that number about 30 business leaders do the hands-on work. Ms. Rogers suggested
recruiting community leaders who can help out. Becky Foster echoed that the Smokey
Point Chamber does the same thing and would also be able to help out.

Discussion continued about the roles of the larger group and the smaller groups.

Greg Young concluded that the charge is to take everything in the report to break it down
into smaller areas, to give to a larger body and then dole it out to the masses that are
interested. He stressed the need for an implementation body.

The following attendees volunteered to be part of the implementation committee.

Suzanne Smith, City Council
Mike Leighan, City Council
Dave Voigt, Planning Commission
Steve Muller, Planning Commission

Gayl Spilman, MERC
Mary Kirkland, MERC
Caldie Rogers, Marysville Chamber/MERC

Joint Meeting                      January 28, 2003                           Page 11 of 12
Becky Foster, Smokey Point Chamber/MERC


Mayor Weiser thanked all those present for attending and participating. The meeting was
adjourned by Mayor Weiser at 6:04 p.m.

Approved this _______ day of ___________________, 2003.

____________________         _______________________ ________________________
       Mayor                       City Clerk         Recording Secretary

Joint Meeting                    January 28, 2003                          Page 12 of 12