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California City Solutions: Menifee’s Mayor’s Roundtable Fosters Open Communication

September 23, 2016
This story is part of an ongoing series featuring Helen Putnam Award entries.
 
The 2015 entries are available on the League’s website as a resource for cities in a searchable database called California City Solutions. Menifee’s Mayors Business Roundtable Series was submitted in 2015 for the League Partners Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations award category.
 
The Menifee Mayor’s Roundtable started in 2014 as a networking forum for business owners with common interests and the city government. The program was created after business leaders expressed concern that the city was not hearing their issues with communication largely limited to city council meetings.
 
The mayor and city staff worked to design a more informal communication process so the business community and the city had a way to exchange ideas critical to the city’s growth and the service delivery systems. In addition, the city was looking for strategies to boost residential and commercial development to increase sales and property tax revenues and a way to address systemic failures that could be potentially hampering progress. One challenge was the divide between residents who had supported incorporation (urban community) and those against it (rural community).
 
The Mayor’s Roundtable has been highly successful with 15-20 people attending each event. These meetings lead to Menifee’s Business Incentive Program that has brought new businesses to the city. Menifee’s revised sign ordinance is another example of the program’s impact. The new ordinance provides greater signage options for businesses and made the signage permitting process more efficient. These roundtables also helped create the city’s Rural Business License Registration Program, which was coined Land-Use and Business Registration Program.
 
Through the Mayor’s Roundtable meetings, city staff started working on a program to assist these businesses and bring them into compliance to the city’s regulations based on the health and safety codes requirements. This has proven to be a productive effort and has helped the city bridge the rural and urban communities, which has been difficult thing to do since incorporation until the roundtable program was created.
 
The Mayor’s Roundtable has had a positive effect on the city and its relationship with its business community. The events are an important forum for this newly incorporated city to unify the city, local businesses and residents.


 
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