A decaying downtown is forcing the City Council to consider several economic plans aimed at attracting new retail businesses to Temple City.
On Tuesday, May 20, the City Council discussed two differing proposals: Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Cal Poly Pomona Department of Landscape Architecture.
The SBDC plan requests for a $10,000 contribution from the City for development of services provided for the Temple City Chamber of Commerce business members.
The Cal Poly Pomona proposal requires a $40,000 contribution with graduate students planning the study project. This idea includes an analysis of the City’s economic and planning states of affairs.
Charles R. Martin, City Manager and City Attorney for Temple City, has expressed deep concern over the city’s economy. Martin has warned that the City’s declining sales tax receipts may cause the City Council to institute a utility tax to raise revenue for the local government.
The City of Temple City operates on revenues funded by the state and sales tax generated by local businesses. Although the City has approximately $30.2 million dollars (as of April 30, 2008 ) in monetary reserves, most of the savings have been earmarked for sewage reconstruction, storm draining improvements, and the building of state mandated low to moderate income housing.
Bryan Matsumoto, a Temple City resident and representative for the Cal Poly proposal, was in attendance at the City Council meeting; however Councilmembers ultimately decided to postpone a vote on either the SBDC or Cal Poly plans.
Councilman Ken Gillanders suggested both items be tabled until after the June 3rd primary election when California voters decide on Proposition 98. Mayor Cathé Wilson and Mayor Pro Tempore Dave Capra concurred.
Councilman Fernando Vizcarra and Councilwoman Judy Wong disagreed, stating the SBDC proposal would not be affected by the outcome of Proposition 98. Nevertheless, Councilmembers voted 3-2 to table any action concerning the proposals with Councilmembers Vizcarra and Wong casting the dissenting votes.
“Every city has passed us by in business and housing development,” stated Bob Welemin, a Temple City resident. Welemin was among others who voiced disappointment over the City Council’s decision.
In April 2008, the City Council voted 4-1 to enact a moratorium on non-retail businesses along Las Tunas Drive between Rowland Avenue and Sultana Avenue in order to encourage retail businesses to move into town. The moratorium was extended during the May 6 Council meeting.
“I don’t know if Temple City will ever recover from our downtown situation” Welemin added.
This article was written by Martin Mao. It was published in the Temple City Voice on August 6, 2008.