(Fifth and last of a series)
An economic vision for the next 20 years for Madera County would build on the county’s strengths and would emphasize those things which reasonably could be accomplished, which would build on to the natural and man-made assets of the county and would create jobs for people who are here as well as for those who would move here.
We’ve mentioned such projects as the vertical integration of the local dairy industry by bringing in a cheese or yogurt plant; the establishment of a Mexican cultural center, and expansion and improvement of the Hispanic commercial center in the city’s downtown area; expanding promotion of the natural and developed tourism attractions in the area, including casinos, festivals and wine tours.
Other advantages we should focus on would include Madera’s outstanding private-aviation airport, which could be home to even more aviation enterprises than it now hosts; and the outstanding and expanding medical community, which includes Madera Community Hospital and the dozens of satellite medical offices growing around it, Darren Camarena Health Center and Valley Children’s Hospital. Medical care, especially for the Baby Boomer crowd and children, will be among the fastest-expanding economic activities of the next 20 years.
To do all this we need a project similar to the Vision 2025 planning process which has worked well for the City of Madera. But it would have to be bigger.
It could begin with a steering committee made up of many community leaders. These could include, but not necessarily be limited to the chair of the Board of Supervisors, presently Ronn Dominici and next year Max Rodriguez; whoever is elected in November to be Madera’s first four-year mayor; Madera County CAO Eric Fleming; City Administrators David Tooley of Madera and Mark Lewis of Chowchilla; Madera Development Director David Merchen; Madera County Resource Management Agency Director Doug Papagni and Madera County Planning Director Norman Allinder; Madera Redevelopment Agency Successor Agency Executive Director Jim Taubert; Madera County Economic Development Commission Director Bobby Kahn; Madera District Chamber of Commerce President Debi Bray; Madera Community Hospital CEO John Frye, Valley Children’s Hospital CEO Todd Suntrapak, and other medical entrepreneurs; Madera County Superintendent of Schools Cecelia Massetti and Madera Unified School Superintendent Gustavo Balderas; School Board President Ric Arrendondo; Madera County Visitors Bureau CEO Dan Cunning and Film Commissioner Dave Wallin; water and ag leaders Carl Janzen and Rick Cosyns. These are just a few of the county’s best brains.
Others would include many political and business leaders, industrialists, developers, Realtors, water experts, farmers, ranchers, food manufacturers, merchants, and retired leaders of all stripes who might have time to serve on visioning committees and subcommittees.
Economic Visioning for the next 20 years would be a big project, but we have a blueprint for it in Madera’s Vision 2025, and as you can see from these names and many more not named, we have the brains, talent and imagination to carry it out.