A Better Balance of Business

The Questions:

What will you do to ensure rents in the core of downtown are affordable for businesses other than those that offer high priced goods and/or are owned by deep pocket interests?  How specifically will you find more balanced types of businesses in town and what would you consider to be “more balanced”?  What would you change in the design and zoning laws?

My Answers:

These are hugely important questions and I have many thoughts about how to encourage a better balance of downtown businesses.  My ideas intersect these questions so rather than answer them individually, I’ll respond to all of the questions with specific topics.

But before I dive into the specific responses, first let me explain what I mean by “balanced.”  My slogan says it - “Healdsburg for Everyone.”  A balanced Healdsburg is a place where every one of its residents feel like they belong.  A balanced community of businesses is one that serves a variety of interests.  Will EVERYONE be completely happy?  No, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t aspire to a Healdsburg for Everyone.

I CAN make the easy general statement that running a small business downtown is difficult enough and the city government should certainly not make life any more difficult or expensive for them.  I would love to suggest that the city could give certain types of businesses a break in their utility bill or for other paid services, but that would amount to an illegal subsidy.  Perhaps changing to a Charter City would allow us flexibility in implementing these kinds of policies.

So I'll continue my thoughts on individual topics separately.


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