City Council Planning Retreat

City of Fayetteville Planning Retreat
Embassy Suites – Fayetteville
February 7-8, 2014

What Happened:  The new City Council met for two days to listen to briefings and to decide on a strategic plan of top priorities that will be relevant for 2014/15.

General Comments:

  • Placemaking – create an environment you want to be in.  Third spaces (not work or home).  There are lessons learned.  An example would be the Crown Collisiuem.  A ball field instead of jail downtown.  These are two classic failed placemeaking errors to learn from
  • Next property revaluation will be January, 2017
  • There will be a “Crime Summit” April 11, 104

Economic Development – Deputy City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney gave a presentation on the possibllity of establishing an Economic Business Development (EBD) city department.  The following information is from her power point.

  • Establish an “EBD” fund @ $500,000 to assist with working capitol needs and to leverage private participation and to assist and incentivize city-wide business, recruitment, retention and expansion
  • Develop guidelines for the use of EBD funds
  • Develop an “Economic Development Strategic Plan”
  • Establish a comprehensive marketing program for economic and business development plan
  • Year 1, 2015 – create a Department of Economic and Business Development.  Reclassify special projects.  Hire a Director of Economic and Business Development.  Add an administrative Assistant in July, 2015.  Hire a business recruiter and development recruiter in the 3rd quarter of 2015.

What Was Said regarding the EBD:

Councilman Crisp – “We need an office, a central office.  A point where someone who has $50,000 can go to an office to guide them to a grant/loan/license.  A department to interact with all business out there…to direct a business on where they need to go.”

Councilwoman Jensen – “Starting my business at 40 was tough.  People need education.  They need training before we give them money.”

Deputy City Manager Small-Toney – “This is not an open door to Fort Knox.  There will be guidelines and requirements for businesses to be considered.”

Sideline:  There will be an upcoming worksession which will focus on this proposal.

City Council 2014/15 priorities:

  • police staffing
  • ex-offender 2nd chance
  • customer service initiative (City Hall)
  • economic development – local merchants
  • trade school for ages 18-24
  • parks and recreation funding
  • Performing Arts Center (ie. DPAC in Durham)
  • sidewalk improvement plan
  • land use plan
  • resurfacing streets

Other Comments from Council:

Councilwoman Jensen – “Expectations are high with this new council.”

Councilman Wright – “Let’s get about the works of the city’s business.  Let’s see how we deal with disagreement and get things done.”

Councilman Hurst – “This is going to be a more business friendly council.”

Councilman Crisp – “We go so bogged down with personaility conflicts.  This council understands each can give and take.  We won’t go out in a parking lot after a vote or go back to our districts with sour grapes.  We did have some setbacks.”

 

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