City officials lavish praise on the retail services data consultant.
Written by MATTHEW WONG / Published September 24, 2010
Nearly a month after City Manager Jose Pulido fired Avant Garde, the City Council of Temple City on Tuesday agreed to hire a new economic consultant: The Buxton Company.
The Texas-based company will be paid $60,000 to prepare a retail development strategy for Temple City. The Buxton Company will also provide Temple City access to SCOUT, its exclusive online marketing system.
“We help communities with their business retention, attraction, and promotion strategies,” Lisa Hill, vice-president of the CommunityID division, said during her presentation on February 16, 2010.
She continued, “This is not just an effort to attract new businesses. It’s also a pretty serious step toward business retention.”
According to Hill, The Buxton Company has served the public sector for the past eight years. The company itself was founded in 1994.
After her presentation, city officials lavished praise on the company.
“I thought at the time and I believe that all of us were very impressed with Buxton and what they had to offer,” Councilman Tom Chavez said, in reference to the presentation Hill gave last March. “But, it seemed at that time it was always something that was going to come a little bit later after we decided what strategy we were ready to go with.”
Mayor Pro Tempore Vincent Yu also praised the consultant.
“I’m impressed with Buxton,” he said.
Meanwhile, a local businessman raised the question of whether the city wasted its money and time with Avant Garde, which the city hired from April 2009 through January 2010.
“What kind of bang did we get for our buck,” Jerry Jambazian asked. “Did we waste 10 months and a $100,000?”
In response, Mayor Fernando Vizcarra responded that the city’s partnership with Avant Garde was akin to “an educational process.”
“I think we learned from the experience,” Vizcarra said. “We have a better idea of the direction that we need to go in.”
He added, “It’s trial and error. I think the worst alternative is for use to not [have done] anything.”