Councilman Steve Velasquez relinquishes position on EDC board, council selects new board member Tuesday evening
By Paul Myers @PaulM_SGN
LINDSAY – The Lindsay City Council decided two weeks ago, on Aug. 14, there needed to be some new blood on the Tulare County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) board. In part because the City was unsatisfied with the EDC’s one-size-fits-all service, but also because Lindsay’s representative to the board, Steve Velasquez was ready to move on.
“I take personal time, I take vacation time, to attend these meetings and I am not going to waste time I could be spending with my family,” Velasquez said.
The discussion originally began two weeks prior during their July 31 council meeting. With mayor Pam Kimball absent with notice the rest of the council asked themselves if they were getting the best bang for their 5,500 bucks they spend to be a part of the EDC. The overarching discussion was no.
“I think getting out of this is a mistake for us as a City… if we want to get out of this board then we aren’t doing any marketing. We aren’t doing any marketing with our staff,” Velasquez said at the time.
However, the discussion did not revolve around what it is the EDC does, instead it was about what the EDC has provided. On the informational item, city manager Bill Zigler told the City Council the EDC has not brought “deliverables.” And without tangible industry to show for the money Lindsay is spending Zigler said they are going to become much more critical of their dues moving forward.
“When we look at what we have to pay for PERS and unfunded liabilities… come next year when we have to review the budget $7,500 or $5,000 is a lot of money,” Zigler said at the July 31 meeting.
Zigler said during the Aug. 14 discussion he had been to an EDC Aug. 10 workshop where some headway was made about the expectations of the EDC, from cities point of view.
The discussion ultimately left Zigler as the alternate to the EDC board, instead of having him serve as a full time representative.
Lindsay city council with all members present did not come to a consensus over who would replace Velasquez as representative. Although it was on Tuesday, Aug. 28’s agenda and may have been decided after press time.