Glendale wants to improve its climate to keep and grow the business community in the city.
City Council last week in study session agreed to move forward with the creation of a temporary subcommittee and to solicit feedback from the business community. Mayor Jerry Weiers was absent. The item is expected to come before Council at its next voting meeting.
“This sends a positive message to all business large and small in Glendalethat we are interested in them and what they do,” said Councilwoman Joyce Clark, who came up with the idea. “It sends a positive message to businesses thinking about moving here that we are serious about improving the business climate. I’m not saying it’s bad but it can be made better.”
The one-year subcommittee will be made up of three council members and representatives from the business community who will review the city’s codes and make recommendations to the Council.
Ms. Clark said during her time on the Council off and on since 1992, there has never been a review of the city’s policies, regulations or laws pertaining to businesses in Glendale.
The subcommittee will remove outdated, ineffective and redundant business regulations on the city’s books, she added.
The committee will look at everything the city does relating to business and see where it can become more business-friendly and enhance its reputation as the premier business community in the Valley, Ms. Clark said.
Development Services Director Sam McAllen said the subcommittee would take an average of two to three hours a week of staff time. For the duration of the committee, it is estimated to take 1,040 hours to 1,560 hours of staff time, he added.
Councilman Ray Malnar suggested increasing the seven- member committee to include a contractor or builder because that profession, which creates job opportunities in Glendale, is affected by city fees and policies.
Councilman Jamie Aldama suggested adding two representatives, one from the minority business community and one from a woman-owned business.
Councilman Bart Turner said the idea of a subcommittee is a worthy endeavor, however, it is a step too soon.
He cited the large use of staff hours, a city resource.
Instead, he suggested the city find out what the issues and/or frustrations are for businesses in Glendale by getting it from the members of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, soliciting input at city hall’s second-floor service counter and establishing a hotline for merchants.
Try that for a year and then see if the committee is still needed, Councilman Turner said.
Councilman Aldama asked what the staff hours equated to in money.
Mr. Allen said staff only went as far as to identify which departments would be involved in the committee. Departments involved include Building Safety, Fire Marshal, Planning, Economic Development and City Attorney.
Councilman Aldama noted despite the cost of creating the committee, its recommendations would generate more revenue for Glendale.
Councilwoman Lauren Tolmachoff suggested the council move forward on both proposals.
“I have no problem doing both at the same time,” she said.
The council also agreed to expand the subcommittee to 11 to 13 members, taking in Councilmen Aldama’s and Maynar’s suggestions.
Staff estimated the new sub committee could be up and running within three to four months upon approval.