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Successful businesses no longer need assistance

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Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:26 am, Thu Jun 14, 2012.

I've always believed it's a good idea to help an individual or business get on their feet. Sometimes a little help from a public or private agency is all it takes for someone to become successful. Grants, scholarships, low or no-interest loans are examples of helping. Once an individual or business is stable, the welfare stops.

When our economy was at its lowest, the city of Lodi changed its funding for "Visit Lodi!" the visitor and Conference Bureau, from a set dollar amount from the general fund to a percent of Transit Occupancy Tax. This sounded good at the time. Now that they are self-sustaining with an 11.2 percent increase in TOT last year, its time to stop the $100,000-plus a year general fund support.

These dollars can keep the pool open at Hutchins Street Square for seniors, recreation and after school programs for our children, along with a host of other needed services cut due to the economy. When everyone in Lodi has taken a cut, it doesn't make good sense to give "Visit Lodi!" a raise.

Our economy is growing in Lodi because of the efforts of the wine commission, festivals, fairs, city-sponsored functions, art and cultural events, weddings and individual wineries all promoting Lodi. All these events bring people into Lodi, where they spend money and fill hotel rooms. No one person or agency can quantify that they alone created the increase in the TOT. National hotels have built two new facilities in Lodi since 2008, recognizing that Lodi is the new Napa. This is a community effort that no one person or agency can claim as their own success without looking foolish.

Times are tough for all of us: layoffs, closures, reduction in pay, food prices going up, rent increases, gas prices soaring; everyone is experiencing a squeeze.

The welfare needs to end. I'm happy for the Visitor Center's success of a 11.2 percent increase. It's now time to wean Visit Lodi! from the government teat.

Jane Lea

Lodi

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Welcome to the discussion.

24 comments:

  • Walter Chang posted at 8:38 am on Sun, Jun 17, 2012.

    Walt Posts: 1151

    "I think eventually, things will be ok."

    Thanks!

    That's all I needed to hear....

    Hope for the future!!

    Darrell, happy Father's Day to you.

    And to all the others. Enjoy.

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:11 am on Sat, Jun 16, 2012.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2050

    I was formulating a suitable rebuttal for both sides of the argument but realized it all boils down to a very simple business mentality:

    Success in business is absolutely dependant on a proactive management mentality.

    The more aggressive a government is in expectations the more proactive the management needs to be. The reason Walter's businesses are successful is due to proactive leadership. The problem is a vast majority of people don't know what they don't know. California's tax code is very complicated and legal expectations are very high. Think of business in California as hot peppers. For most people it is way to hot to own a business, but for others it is that spice that attracts them.

     
  • Thomas Heuer posted at 9:38 am on Sat, Jun 16, 2012.

    nth degree wise Posts: 1593

    Walter
    One ellava post. To participate is to understand and I think you got it now.

    Darrell stated
    'All I do is observe and experience reality..." He left reality long ago. He spends his day mostly trying to fabricate a reality. Hence the gloom and doom. To those who complain about owning a business I want to encourage them to try getting and holding a job. It creates a whole different perspective from having to show up on time, staying the whole day, not being able to post to the LTE constantly or wondering if you can get the time off for one of your kids school functions not to mention Dr appointments. Yeah stuff like that. Reality.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:56 am on Sat, Jun 16, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    People I know tell me that they are not motivated or interested to growing their business in California."
    Darrell, that's a cop out!

    Really? Interesting... Unfortunately, you are wrong. Motivation in expanding an existing business in California for many businesses is low. Existing businesses are doing good for now, but most expansions of existing California businesses are going out of state over seas. If you take a trip to China you will notice thousands of American operations thriving there.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:35 am on Sat, Jun 16, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Mr Chang... I need not sound the alarm... All I do is observe and experience reality then draw conclusions. Lastly, your conclusion that I think the sky is falling is silly.
    I think there are many businesses that do well and can easily make profit. There is reason to be optimistic for some businesses that will thrive in bad times. There always are.

    You may have had the pleasure of doing business with three businesses that are doing well... I have the same experience with dozens of businesses...

    That however is irrelevant. That you conclude that things are just fine because you see so many businesses around you doing well ...reminds me to that movie where everyone on the ship was in a grand party, everybody thought life was grand, then the Titanic sunk.

    My thought is that we do not have to sink, things can change... the ship needs to change course and you can then continue to go to your chamber meetings and enjoy life. Hopefully, people like you will participate in a solution rather that sticking your head in the sand... I think eventually, things will be ok....despite people like you that enjoy their ignorance in bliss.

     
  • Walter Chang posted at 9:12 pm on Fri, Jun 15, 2012.

    Walt Posts: 1151


    Darrell, how can anyone possibly be successful in California??

    It's hopeless!

    Those leftist thugs, union boot lickers and liberal politicians in Sacramento and Washington did this to us!!

    We're doomedt!!

    Kim, we need a revolution!

    Meg lost the election to Moonbeam.

    Darrell, sound the alarm!!

    Again and again and again and again...

    Sam, thank you.

     
  • Walter Chang posted at 9:11 pm on Fri, Jun 15, 2012.

    Walt Posts: 1151

    Darrell, I had the pleasure of doing business with 3 thriving establishments in Lodi.

    At each location I found warm smiling people and happy clientele. I found managers and supervisors out on the floor greeting and helping customers.

    As far as I could tell, there was nobody in any office, trolling the web in search of ugly!

    I also observed at each location: ADA compliant parking and/or restrooms, wide accessible doors, clear aisleways, emergency lighting, lighted EXIT signs, various permits and licenses tacked on walls, fire suppression systems, fire extinguishers, cameras and a menu with no "fine print".

    Is this the oppressive government meddling that some drone on and on about??

    One place had a Defibrillator - not yet mandated by our "nanny state" but you know it's coming!!

    Let's not forget that these businesses must also: pay wages, pay material cost, pay rent and utilities, pay taxes, have the proper permits and licenses, follow various rules and regulations, have insurance and bonds, etc.

    And manage their waste too! Outrageous!!

    FISCO sells poisons, low explosives and aerosol cans with propellant containing volatile organic compounds. Can you imagine the paper work that government requires?? Wow!!

    continued...

     
  • Walter Chang posted at 9:10 pm on Fri, Jun 15, 2012.

    Walt Posts: 1151

    People I know tell me that they are not motivated or interested to growing their business in California."

    Darrell, that's a cop out!

    You should perhaps consider getting to know some new people.

    I can't imagine I would hear any of the tales of woe, like you tell, at a Lodi Chamber of Commerce luncheon or mixer. The positive, enthusiastic and motivated business men and women would be most abundant with maybe a few dour individuals silently lurking about.

    You're probably not the Chamber type though??

    A point: One reaps what one sows.

    Today...

    I came to Lovable Livable Lodi for a few errands and meet a friend for lunch.

    I went to Motion Industries to get a couple of O-rings. The counter was busy. I paid some sales tax.

    I went next door to FISCO. The place was hoping. I needed an air hose, good price and quality but probably made in China. I paid some sales tax.

    I met my buddy at Lodi Beer. The patio was full so we sat near the bar. I recommend the Lodi Light Lager and the Reuben sandwich, they go perfectly together. This is a fantastic restaurant and brewery on School Street. I tipped graciously and perhaps paid some tax or taxes.

    continued...

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 6:34 pm on Fri, Jun 15, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Sam...as a Republican, which Republican politicians do you currently appreciate? What Republican positions do you support? Just curious.

    I personally so not think of myself as a Republican...

     
  • Sam Heller posted at 4:55 pm on Fri, Jun 15, 2012.

    Sam Heller Posts: 176

    ... and Walter, I am a Republican.

     
  • Sam Heller posted at 4:55 pm on Fri, Jun 15, 2012.

    Sam Heller Posts: 176

    Walter, I do love your posts ! Thank you.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:07 am on Fri, Jun 15, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Mr Chang stated...I suppose trolling the internet all day for nasty and negative things to post and share here, makes them feel better??

    Actually Mr Chang... I consider your posts more nasty and negative than most... you have a unique style that is interesting, but very negative with no intent to help. Many people that disagree with me have intent to make things better.. I do not get that from you... Unfortunate since you have so much to offer but do not even try.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:03 am on Fri, Jun 15, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Mr Chang stated...Perhaps if some of our “local business people” that post here, way too frequently, would only concentrate on their own business…

    Interesting perspective... look at this in a different light... People I know tell me that they are not motivated or interested to growing their business in California. These same people would move to another state but think of California as their home and are not willing to leave as family and friends are rooted in this state. There are more important things in life than money and business to some.

    So why try to concentrate on business in California. What would be the possible motivation. The risk is too high, the likely hood for success is low. The complexity is massive in California's system because of compliance, regulations and mandates.

    It is much safer to focus on what you know works and not try to do more. I used to work 14 hour days...now 8-9 per day is enough. That leaves much time to do other things I enjoy.

    So why in the world would anyone be motivated to try?... in California. Meg Whitman spent 150 million of her own money to campaign on making California more business friendly, streamline regulations and change the atmosphere of government to supporting business instead of fighting it... and we end up with do nothing Brown... California is a business grave yard and makes no sense to concentrate of making business more successful here... just ask the employees I other businesses did not hire who are getting their unemployment checks.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 7:44 am on Fri, Jun 15, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    Our economy is growing in Lodi in spite of liberal politicians “pulling the strings” in Sacramento…

    Now you finally get it Mr Chang... "in spite of" is the obvious... in spite of massive regulations and interference by government, in spite of the liberal politicians who want to micromanage business and create laws in the spirit that business is evil in it's intentions, in spite of ordinances and policies that make it hard to succeed, in spite of making California the least business friendly state in the country, some businesses can still make money.

    The point is, imagine how much better it would be if we created a business climate that attracted companies ( and jobs) to come instead of flee. What if the liberal California political establishment viewed the private sector as a partner and did what ever it could to do what business needs to grow and expand?

    Then... we would not say in spite of... but because of...

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 12:06 pm on Thu, Jun 14, 2012.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2050

    I agree Steve. While construction, manufacturing and even retail may still suffer for a while, Tourism very well could recover before these other industries. There MUST be a two tier plan to build tourism in this area, first is what can be done here and now (withing two years) to bring in the people and dollars. The second tier has to be long term planning, annual events that can grow over time and become as much a part of Lodi as the wineries are.

    Love the idea of a Motorcycle/Vespa rally. Something that lasts more than a day. If you look at the success of Stugis year after year and the absence of anything similar in the area, I believe it is worth looking into.

    Would also love to see a cycling rally in the area. A week of events centered around bicycles from sprints to century rides, guided cycle tours of the area and social events. Maybe even expand the rally to be a fitness rally where a variety of fitness activities can be enjoyed. Envisioning something like a "Vineyard's challenge" even where an entrant would on three consecutive days, ride a century, run a marathon and kayak Comanche res.

    My point is that there is so much more that can be done than just push the wines.

     
  • Gary Musto posted at 11:34 am on Thu, Jun 14, 2012.

    Gary Musto Posts: 506

    Stockton is in the process of declaring bankruptcy in spite of liberal politicians in Sacramento pulling the strings and having a Democrat in the White House, no?

     
  • Steve Schmidt posted at 11:12 am on Thu, Jun 14, 2012.

    Steve Schmidt Posts: 2574

    Kevin, we have to work with what we have. Home building in our area is unlikely to recover in the mid term, manufacturing is going overseas and probably not coming back and retail without an economic base is an unsustainable ponzi scheme.

    That said, the grape thing gives us a solid foundation to build on. A motorcycle (or a Vespa rally for that matter) might well be attracted by the wide range of local wineries.

     
  • Walter Chang posted at 10:31 am on Thu, Jun 14, 2012.

    Walt Posts: 1151

    Whoa! This can’t be right?

    Our economy is growing in Lodi in spite of liberal politicians “pulling the strings” in Sacramento…

    And a Democrat in the White House??

    Could this be an example of government intervention actually helping business??

    Kim, please say this isn’t so!!

    Darrell, this can’t this be true!!

    Perhaps if some of our “local business people” that post here, way too frequently, would only concentrate on their own business…

    Wouldn’t things be better for their respective companies??

    I suppose trolling the internet all day for nasty and negative things to post and share here, makes them feel better??

    But that’s about it, huh??

    Jerry B., this message is not directed to you.

    Steve, I agree, let’s double down!!

     
  • Bob Johnson posted at 10:23 am on Thu, Jun 14, 2012.

    Bob Johnson Posts: 30

    Timing is everything. In this same issue Vern Vierra touts the benefits of the Visitor Bureau and Jane Lea questions the wisdom of its relationship with the city. What she may not realize is that the contract was changed by unanimous council vote to go away from a total subsidy and into an incentive based contract. The more the Bureau makes the more the city makes. It sounds like a win-win to me

     
  • Kevin Paglia posted at 10:19 am on Thu, Jun 14, 2012.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2050

    While I don't necessarily disagree with you, Steve, I think it is narrow-minded to focus so tightly on such a small/limited market. Especially when that market has extreme competition from regions doing a MUCH better job of creating tourism. Look at the Willamette Valley in Oregon (http://oregonwinecountry.org/). After ten years there and five years here I can tell you our winery tourism endeavours are nearly amateurish. King estate winery is a phenomenal winery there http://www.kingestate.com/.

    I know Napa valley has at least a couple long distance cycle tours through the region that brings in people from all over as well as raise money for charities. Lodi has some GREAT cycle opportunities and wineries. I would think combining these tourist attractions may be a big draw.

    Along the same lines I would LOVE to see a Lodi sponsored motorcycle rally. there really isn't one in the central valley to draw people and, done right, can be a HUGE tourism attraction. Like cycling, there are also great motorcycling routes around Lodi.

     
  • Steve Schmidt posted at 8:37 am on Thu, Jun 14, 2012.

    Steve Schmidt Posts: 2574

    As a city, we should be doubling down on growing wine related tourism, not pulling back.

     
  • Steve Schmidt posted at 8:36 am on Thu, Jun 14, 2012.

    Steve Schmidt Posts: 2574

    Right.....

    Now, at a time when the San Joaquin county economy is in the dumpster and Visit Lodi is one of the only forces helping to grow local businesses, now is the time to cut their funding.

    Ms. Lea reminds me of the proverbial small town mayor who decided to start rationing the fire departments water in the middle of a wild fire.

     
  • Darrell Baumbach posted at 8:10 am on Thu, Jun 14, 2012.

    Darrell Baumbach Posts: 9405

    question...is the Lodi Conference & Visitors Bureau a business ? Is it completely independent of the city as is presented here? If it is a business, what is the mission of the business? I thought that this organization had a purpose of supporting businesses in Lodi to increase to profit margin for businesses other than themselves.

    Just curious.

     
  • Kim Parigoris posted at 7:23 am on Thu, Jun 14, 2012.

    Kim Parigoris Posts: 470

    Very good observation and good idea! It seems that our government sometimes sets up a policy, forgets about it, and it becomes precedent. We need to re-visit different scenarios as the dymamics change.

     

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