In a surprising and unexpected move, the City Council of Temple City voted to kill a business moratorium on Tuesday, September 16.
The moratorium on non-sales tax producing businesses was enacted by the City Council in April 2008.
Supported by four of five members on the City Council, the emergency city law prevented businesses whose services did not provide at least 50% in sales tax to the City from moving into Temple City. Councilman Fernando Vizcarra was the only opposition to the idea.
“Is it helping?” asked Councilwoman Judy Wong. In April, Wong provided the fourth vote required for the emergency ordinance to pass.
In the approximately six months the moratorium has been in effect, the local economy in Temple City has not improved as desired. According to business community, there are currently forty-six empty buildings on Las Tunas Drive.
Wong, who had once supported extending the moratorium until 2009, then asked, “…why don’t we stop this?”
The issue of amending the business moratorium was placed on the agenda by Mayor Cathé Wilson on September 2. Wilson had wanted to reduce the boundaries of the moratorium from Kauffman Avenue to Oak Avenue. Councilman Ken Gillanders concurred with the Mayor’s plan.
With the economy worsening on national and state levels, and with heavy opposition from the Chamber of Commerce, it became clear that the moratorium would be severely languished or eliminated.
Councilwoman Wong made a motion to rescind the emergency ordinance. It was passed by a 4-1 vote margin. Councilman Gillanders was the only individual to vote to continue supporting the moratorium.
After the vote, Councilman Vizcarra made a motion to immediately cease enforcement of the ordinance. His motion was seconded by Mayor Pro Tempore Dave Capra; therefore, effectively canceling the unpopular law.
This article was written by Randy Shun. It was published in the Temple City Voice on January 23, 2009.