Orange County Business Council is pleased to announce the winners of the 2nd Annual Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet Awards, presented by Chase. The awards program was developed to recognize leaders in local government whose policies and programs eliminate the barriers to economic growth and private sector jobs creation. Awards were presented last night at an awards reception at the Center Club. The award winners are:
Award for Business Retention and Expansion
City of Los Alamitos: Business and Residential Improvement Program
The City of Los Alamitos’ Business and Residential Improvement Program reimburses residents who “buy” local when upgrading their property. The program not only increased savings and sales at local home improvement related businesses, but also developed relationships between homeowners and local businesses. When people save money, they have more to spend as consumers, which results in additional economic benefits and local growth.
An additional program was selected to receive an honorable mention in the category of Business Retention and Expansion.
City of Mission Viejo: Improve Don’t Move and Commercial Building Fee Reduction Programs
The City of Mission Viejo developed the Improve Don’t Move and Commercial Building Fee Reduction program. Mission Viejo’s incentive based approach to economic development resulted in measurable economic activity worth $28 million, a year-over-year increase of 30%. The Improve Don’t Move program has also saved residents and businesses nearly $500,000 in fees, meaning more money in their pockets to further stimulate the local economy.
Award for Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse (2 Winners)
City of Laguna Hills: Moulton-La Paz Commercial/Open Space Redevelopment Project
The City of Laguna Hills developed the Moulton-La Paz Commercial/Open Space Redevelopment Program to redevelop and expand the Moulton-La Paz Commercial Center, renovate the remaining unimproved open space acres, and sell the property at fair market value. This project represents an extremely creative approach to a complex public/private real estate development project. The city’s innovative program not only helped to expedite the project by one year, but also resulted in a savings to the developer of at least $300,000, and led to the completion of the project with zero dollars in taxpayer subsidies.
City of Anaheim: Anaheim Packing District
The City of Anaheim developed the Anaheim Packing District project in partnership with a private company, The Lab, LLC, on a unique historic site in the city. It also created a food-based themed campus to attract visitors for a top tourist destination city. This creative initiative will help spur economic development and job growth. By working closely with its private sector partners, the Anaheim Packing District project has led to the creation of 314 construction jobs, and when complete, will result in 108 full-time jobs.
Award for Responding to Globalization–OC is a major global center that most people don’t realize. Highlighting programs that maximize OC’s competitive advantages is very important to business.
John Wayne Airport: Air Service Development Program
The John Wayne Airport Air Service Development Program aims to bring new international non-stop service to Orange County and maximize utilization of John Wayne Airport to boost the local economy. As international trade has become one of Orange County’s primary drivers for employment and economic growth, convenient and dependable access to international trading partners has become a critical need for Orange County businesses. With the launch of service to Canada and Mexico, John Wayne Airport has helped facilitate the connection between local businesses and two of Orange County’s top international trading partners.
Award for Sustainable and Green Development
City of Huntington Beach: Sustainable Surf City
The City of Huntington Beach developed the Sustainable Surf City program in an effort to eliminate energy waste and utilize cost-effective on-site renewable energy. Like many Orange County companies, Huntington Beach has altered its business operations and practices to include new environmental sustainability practices, not only because of recent state and federal mandates, but also because efficient business practices increasingly make good business sense. As part of the city’s Energy Action Plan, the city has saved over $600,000 annually through energy efficient upgrades.
Award for Public-Private Partnership
OC Community Resources: OC Community Services
Among its many achievements, OC Community Services, in collaboration with a public/private working group, successfully developed Orange County’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness. The agency was instrumental in forming collaborative partnerships to help create initiatives such as OC4Vets, a program which resulted in the creation of critical job training services for military veterans. OC Community Services has also been a catalyst in working to address the county’s workforce housing needs by partnering with private developers to finance numerous affordable housing projects in Orange County.
Award for Public Sector Leadership
Will Kempton, Orange County Transportation Authority: Breaking Down Barriers
As a state transportation leader, CEO of OCTA Kempton has cultivated extensive contacts throughout the transportation community and has utilized these connections with the OCTA Board of Directors to accomplish many policy and legislative objectives, including OCTA’s recent program, Breaking Down Barriers. Partnering with more than 30 organizations, OCTA launched the initiative to bring together local and national leaders in the transportation industry to identify opportunities for expanding transportation projects to create jobs. As result of Kempton’s leadership and his pro-active Board, during the 2011–2012 Fiscal Year, a total of $179.3 million in public funds from Measure M2 and other state and federal dollars were invested in badly needed transportation improvement projects throughout Orange County. The investment of public funds in these transportation projects has resulted in 3,227 jobs being created during the fiscal year. This brings the total to more than 12,000 jobs which were created or sustained for contracts awarded since Fiscal Year 2009–2010. In addition, Breaking Down Barriers was included in the federal highway authorization bill of 2012, MAP-21, and is perceived by Southern California transportation agencies as one of the best tools for streamlining or eliminating duplicative review processes, saving potentially millions of taxpayer and Measure M sales tax dollars.
Bureaucracy Buster Award–this is a new award developed by the committee this year.
City of Laguna Niguel: Administrative Process for Cell Sites in the Public Right-of-Way
This program creates a process to implement wireless coverage in residential and other hard to reach areas. The creation of cell sites generates a new, long-term revenue source for the city and improves system capacity and reliability. As many cities have created unnecessary roadblocks to the implementation of dependable wireless service, Laguna Niguel has set the standard when it comes to cutting red tape for the implementation of new cell sites. Laguna Niguel’s business friendly approach to improving wireless service in their community has reduced the cell site permitting process by up to nine months. Cell service is increasingly becoming the only service used by residents and business. This is not only an ideal red-tape buster but also helps resolves potential public safety issues.
An additional program was selected to receive honorable mention in the category of Bureaucracy Buster:
OC Health Care Agency: Environmental Health: Food Vehicle Inspections at the Orange County Fair
Through the implementation of pre-Fair planning, posting of critical information on a customized website, and creation of a Self-Inspection Checklist, food operators were able to address food safety risk factors prior to opening day of the Fair. This expedited process not only allowed food operators to get up and running in a timely manner, but also resulted in substantial savings of staff time that would normally be dedicated to the food permitting process.
Award winners were selected by the Turning Red Tape Into Red Carpet committee, chaired by Dan Miller, past Chairman of OCBC, and Senior Vice President of Entitlement and Public Affairs at The Irvine Company. The nominated organizations include Orange County cities, school districts, county agencies and special districts. Each have successfully taken on the challenge of laying out the “red carpet” to business through innovative projects that cut regulations, reduce fees and streamline processes.