1 of 1
Marisa GrayMarisa Gray
When a big business prospect comes to town, the Unified Government rolls out the red carpet. But when a small business wants to build something, the Unified Government rolls out red tape.
At least that was the view of the new mayor, Mark Holland, who spoke to a membership meeting of Business West Thursday, June 13, in the Board Room of Sunset Bar and Grill.
The new mayor said he hopes to make it easier for smaller firms to do business here. He said one of his new staff members is Jason Banks, a City Hall veteran, who will concentrate on economic development issues. He also mentioned that his chief of staff and policy adviser is Maureen Mahoney, a lawyer. He was quick to assure Business West members that he and his staff would be sensitive to small business concerns.
Business West members reminded the mayor that the organization had long advocated better customer service from those at City Hall. A cost-effective training program that would have been administered by the Community College was rejected. The mayor agreed there was a need for such training. Jane Winkler Philbrook, a Business West member and a recently elected member of the Unified Commission, concurred.
One of the ways that small business could be helped is having a “troubleshooter” at City Hall, according to Business West members. The mayor said it would be best if such a person reported directly either to the mayor or the county administrator.
A few years ago several builders and developers had a meeting with Mayor Joe Reardon and several senior City Hall department heads. The outgrowth of that meeting and a consultant’s report was the appointment of a troubleshooter who reports to Rob Richardson, the Unified Government’s planning director.
Although that has helped, small businesses, particularly those who are new to the community, need more help. A person who would report directly to the mayor or county administrator and had the authority to get things done and solve problems, could be very beneficial.
Having the mayor speak to our members is an annual event for Business West. Members were able to express their very candid views about public policy issues. Business West exists because it has members that invest in the organization. To see how you could put your membership investment to work by becoming a Business West member, telephone 913-766-4300 or 913-406-6266 (cell) or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marisa Gray is the president of Business West.