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City of Alameda Ignoring Dynamic Marine Industry

The City of Alameda – the bulk of which is on an island – is ignoring a dynamic marine industry in town. So says local businesspeople who contributed to the City’s Economic Business Retention Community Forums.

Tomorrow night, city staff will ask Alameda City Council to accept the report of the Economic Development Commission’s Business Retention Subcommittee. Among the many interesting comments compiled from community forums was the one from attendees about the city ignoring the town’s marine industry. One could be forgiven for thinking that our city leaders would make the best of surrounded-by-water situation – considering how obvious it is and how one as to travel over or under the estuary to leave the Alameda “mainland” – but they seem to be too pre-occupied with turf, and not enough with surf.

Many participants also complained about the hardship on their business from Measure H, the school parcel tax. Although this is not a City tax, Alameda City Council certainly gave a formal endorsement of Measure H on May 6, 2008.

The report contains nineteen recommendations to “help support and retain local businesses” but the four that are highlighted in the staff report look weak or watered down:

o Promote Customer service and facilitation, particularly with new business improvements and business expansions;

o Support Alameda Municipal Power’s Economic Development Incentive Discount program;

o Compare City fees with other local cities; and

o Revise information on the City’s website with new links to business resources.

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