Madera Mayor Rob Poythress discusses his views on business development.
“Vision 2025 was developed by the citizens of Madera so that the city could have a plan. I definitely believe in planning for an outcome. You don’t just show up at the PGA championship one day and say you’re going to play golf. No. You have years of preparation. You go through all the junior tournaments. Only after years of practice are you able to make the cut. But the axiom is, you play how you practice. You play how you prepare. That’s the reason Vision 2025 was developed. Madera was growing, but there were a lot of people who weren’t happy with the direction in which things were growing.
“Vision 2025 has several elements to it: Public safety, services, a healthy city and a healthy environment, a good (system of) education and a good economy. Since then, we have planning in place for future growth, and how we want the city to look when it does grow. We’ve got plans in place for loop roads and for future growth that makes sense.
“One of the things we haven’t drilled down into, though, is business development. The function of the city, primarily, is to provide for the needs of its citizens — infrastructure such as public works, roads, sewer, water; we also provide parks and community services. We also provide safety services, in terms of fire and police. We also have mechanisms for people to move into Madera, and to conduct business here and to make it easy for them to do that. If we can do that really, really well, that’s a good thing.
“But I know there are things a city has to do to go outside its mission and actually promote business, and that’s something I’m not sure cities are necessarily good at doing. That’s because you have employees with the city who, through no fault of their own, are really good at running a city but business development is a whole different arena for your administrators.
“Certainly, when you look at leadership on the City Council and on the county Board of Supervisors, it’s an interesting mix of people, but does that make anybody who’s elected an expert on business development?
“I think, however, that a foundational, well-planned course of action for business development needs to be implemented.”
Next: The conversation with Poythress continues.