The proverbial ceiling-high stack of dusty plans stored at Fresno City Hall got pruned a bit on Thursday.
The City Council spent a half-hour reviewing a report written by a group of business and community leaders titled "Creating Prosperity in Fresno."
The report, presented to the council in June, calls for a citywide effort to create jobs. The council in July passed a resolution calling for Mayor Ashley Swearengin's staff to work with group members on the report's economy-boosting ideas.
Both sides were to return to the council in August with an update. The deadline apparently slipped everyone's mind.
The five-page Creating Prosperity report listed four goals, nine issues/concerns and 18 solutions.
The goals include a streamlining of the project-approval process and a commitment to make Fresno more business friendly.
The issues/concerns include Fresno's high unemployment rate and uncertain funding of the code enforcement division.
The solutions include the diversification of the private-sector economy and reform of developer fees.
Perhaps the report's most provocative suggestion is to define "infill development" as all land within the 1983 sphere of influence. Infill development is the 2035 general plan update's guiding light, but city leaders and anti-sprawl activists have yet to agree on what that means.
Council Member Steve Brandau, who introduced July's resolution, and City Manager Bruce Rudd took center stage on Thursday.
Rudd said City Hall is always trying to cut costs and improve services. He said the report is full of good ideas that, in one form or another, have long been on the city's agenda. He said five years of budget challenges have forced city officials to put many reform efforts on the back burner.
Brandau seemed satisfied.
Council Member Lee Brand noted that he heads a subcommittee that has held months of hearings on how to craft incentives for developers to build in the inner-city.
Brand noted that Swearengin earlier this month announced the launch of a reform-minded initiative called Business Friendly Fresno. Brandau is a member of this public-private task force.
In essence, Brand explained why the the Rudd-Brandau exchange proved so tepid. "Creating Prosperity in Fresno" was made redundant by events.
The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6272 or email@example.com. Read his City Beat blog at news.fresnobeehive.com/city-beat.