Mayor Brand Announces Business Friendly Fresno 2.0!

Mayor Lee Brand held a press conference earlier today at City Hall to announce details of his Business Friendly Fresno 2.0! initiative.  Mayor Brand was joined by City of Fresno Councilmembers Steve Brandau, Luis Chavez and Clint Olivier, Fresno Chamber of Commerce President Nathan Ahle, and several local business leaders.

The plan will include forming a committee of knowledgeable members of the business community who will complete a comprehensive review and evaluation of the City’s business permit and planning process.

“In my 9 years at City Hall, I have consistently demonstrated my ability to tackle complex problems through extensive research and collaboration that produced viable solutions, starting with the Better Business Act in 2009, Debt Mgt. Policies, Reserve Policies and altogether over 22 legislative acts,” said Brand “I’m confident that the team I have assembled today will follow the parameters I have set to take on the daunting issue of making Fresno business friendly.”

The committee will take a comprehensive and thorough investigation into the organizational structure, technology, training, staffing levels, protocols and other factors that ultimately determine the time it takes to get a project from start to finish.

Business Friendly Fresno 2.0! will also complete the implementation of Accela software that began rolling out under the original Business Friendly Fresno initiative.  Accela will allow people to electronically submit permit applications and architectural drawings as well as, track the plan check process online.  The software will help identify shortcomings in the processes and allow staff to develop appropriate solutions, set up more detailed and realistic performance metrics and goals for every type of permit.

The new initiative will also look at other options such as a Customer Service Representative position to help answer any questions and help business owners through the application process; a mid-year review and evaluation of staffing and funding, and evaluate best practices from other cities.

Business Friendly Fresno 2.0! Committee members:

Tim Orman (Chairman) – Mayor’s office
Anne Kloose – PG&E
Jeff Roberts – Granville Homes
Jeff Harris – Wilson Development
Dennis Gaab – Century Builders
Steve Spencer – Spencer Enterprises Inc.
Rick Ginder – Ginder Development Corporation
Lelan Parnigian – Fowler Packing
Mike Pickett – Don Pickett & Associates, Inc.
Larry Fortune – Fortune Associates
Sal Gonzales – Lance-Kashian & Company
Dirk Poeschel – Dirk Poeschel Land Development Services, Inc.
Ed Dunkel – Precision Civil Engineering, Inc.
Ruth Evans – The Evans HR Group
Nick Yovino – Former DARM Director
Nathan Ahle – CEO, Fresno Chamber of Commerce
Clint Olivier – Councilman, District 7
Luis Chavez – Councilman, District 5
Steve Brandau – Councilman, District 2