Building Homes versus Building Jobs

Councilman Scott Mann wrote an op-ed piece for PublicCEO.com, explaining the City of Menifee's strategy to build revenues through offering low home building fees, and waving "Menifee Money" to families looking for a cheaper place to live (link)...

In May, we unanimously passed a comprehensive plan that slashes homebuilder fees by 65% and lowers the cost of the permitting process by 20% to incentivize development in Menifee. ...But we didn't stop just on the supply side, we also needed to look for new ways to attract new residents and stimulate sales tax revenues. The answer: "Menifee Money".
Considering it is we taxpayers of Menifee who are fronting the "Menifee Money" that will be given freely to newcomers, I'd like to ask councilman Mann what we're going to get back in return for such investment?

The obvious answer is additional property taxes. But getting additional property taxes is not a 100% profit gain. Adding more bodies to Menifee only increases the traffic, adds more burden to schools, demands more police and fire, and makes us wait even longer to get a table at a restaurant.

I tend to like the size of Menifee as it is. I don't really want more people here.

I think the better solution is to incentivize the growth of industry. Establish a business park, more industrial. Create a tourist center, like get that aquatic center going, find a place for an "Old Town Menifee".

Building more jobs here means employees will be patronizing the local eateries and stores for lunch, and buying gas. Instead of relying of Menifee residents to put up the tax base, Menifee can increase its take from people who live outside of town.

I've yet to hear a councilmember explain to me the strategy behind building more homes. Simply telling me that it will increase tax base just doesn't explain enough to me. Why should the city rely on taxing its own residents, instead of attracting outside dollars?

At this point, I'm withholding my vote for any councilmember who continues to show favoritism to homebuilders, until he or she can explain the advantages of building more homes, instead of more industry.




21 Comments:

  1. Thank You Steve for bringing this back out into the sunshine. Apparently they didn't want to hear about it from the earlier posts back in May.

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  2. We are working on expanding the job base in Menifee too. It will take time to develop the I-215 Corridor with retail, commercial and light industrial as well as other areas in the City.

    As an example, the City Manager and two councilmembers recently went to the commercial real estate convention to tout the benefits of bringing their businesses to Menifee. These efforts included socializing with corporate restaurant establishments and an entertainment type complex. We've also contracted with a marketing firm to help us develop these strategies to bring the right mix to Menifee.

    We're working on the very things that you suggest. Not all of it can happen overnight otherwise the very things that you don't want to happen will happen - overcrowding, more traffic, longer wait times at establishments, sacrificing quantity for the sake of quality. Recall that we just seated the Planning Commission.

    We are also diligently working to get the Newport Road Re-Alignment Project, the Holland Road Overpass Project, the Menifee Road Project, and many other capital improvements completed to help traffic flow in the City.

    I guess Steve that you and I will 'agree to disagree' on certain things, including the widespread economic benefits of the Residential Home Construction Industry. That's o.k., after all, we are in America!

    Thanks for posting my article.

    Sincerely,

    Scott Mann
    Councilman

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  3. I actually agree with you on a lot of issues Scott, and the same is true with the other councilmembers.

    So then are you saying that the reason why councilmembers are emphasizing home building is because the I-215 corridor is not in a position to attract business/retail/industrial?

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  4. Thank you Steve - I know that there are many issues we certainly agree on - IPA comes to mind - by the way... that was a good call!

    The answer on the I-215 Corridor is truthfully ... "yes" and "no". "Yes" from the standpoint that it is prime retail and commercial real estate and, if I can find it in my files, I will share with you at some point a powerpoint presentation that outlines the vision for the corridor. "No" from the standpoint of infrastructure, in some cases, and, in others, I believe it is a matter of timing and liquidity in the financial markets. The big investors and corporations are still holding on tight to their capital assets just waiting for the right moment to adjust their strategic business plans.

    There is still alot of money parked on Wall Street. There are significant and changing geo-political ramifications in certain parts of the world that are making the big dollar decision makers 'nervous'...not to mention our own federal government on certain issues.

    We will get there though and part of my vision is to get us there!

    Sincerely,

    Scott Mann
    Councilman

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  5. Thanks for your Post Steve,
    I have lived in Menifee for the past 4 years and love the people and city so much I have decided to open my own business here. I have certainly seen a lot of changes in the last 4 years within the city and I think most for the better. Although more homes will bring more people and traffic I agree with Councilman Mann that this growth is part of a bigger picture. We need the benefits of the Residential Home Construction Industry to help grow our retail and commercial industries. I'm sure that we would all agree that as Menifee grows we don't want to lose the "small town" feel that we have now..but that will our job as citizens to maintain. I appreciate the forum to provide for us on your website. Sincerely
    Shea Staszak
    State Farm Agency Intern
    Opening in Menifee Dec 09

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  6. We will get there though and part of my vision is to get us there!

    I just love this quote from Scott Mann. HIS vision, Scott, it should be the vision of the citizens of Menifee who voted you into office.
    And trust us, that is not exactly our vision of this city.

    Wake up city council! Listen to the citizens.

    Think.

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  7. Mr. Mann when you say entertainment can you elaborate?? I think we are in desperate need of a Movie Theatre. Hoepfully an Edwards Theatre. This will keep our money hear in Menifee!! What are your thoughts on this?

    Menifee Resident

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  8. The City of Menifee (especially Carmen Cave, Planning Director) is obstructionists when it comes to current/future developments. This is a bad start to a newly formed city.

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  9. We already have enough people here. Let's bring in more businesses.

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  10. Building more homes = hundreds of jobs! Do it!!

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  11. To "Movie Theatre" Poster:

    Bringing a movie theatre complex to the city is part of our strategic goals outlined in our Strategic Visioning Workshops. This, and many others ideas, have come from the numerous postings on this website as well as other venues.

    The City Manager is in negotiations with several different applicants on how a movie theatre complex might fit into their existing commercial plans / designs. This includes a 'restaurant row' concept. We are working on it.

    To the "obstructionist" poster regarding Dr. Cave:

    What you call "obstructionist" I call "prioritization. First, she is currently one person deep in the planning department right now and the CM's staffing plan is to give Dr. Cave some help. Secondly, the Council has given direction to training, seating and swearing in the Planning Commission as the top priority. This way the Planning Commission can start hearing projects in August or September. Also, she manages the Code Enforcement for the city so, please, be patient and keep the foregoing in mind before passing judgment on this outstanding professional.

    With respect to homes, jobs and commercial development:

    We hired the Buxton Company to help the city assess it's economic development needs and strategically identify the right marketing mix for our city going forward.

    Keep the great ideas coming and don't hesitate to e-mail me with comments, questions or concerns at smann@cityofmenifee.us.

    Sincerely,

    Scott Mann
    Councilman

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  12. I have one vote for the greedy land developing councilmen, including yes Mann, you all are out at the next election...so fill your pockets now with your buddy developers because that will be the last you see of Menifee's residence money. Don't run for office again you will be overwhelmingly embarrased.

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  13. Right On.....I agree!

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  14. And, not only Scott Mann, but John Denver also. John Denver has publicly stated he wants to see 250,000 citizens here in Menifee.
    So, as stated above Mr. Mann and Mr. Denver, line your pockets now, the future for you is limited.

    And, No! More homes do not equal more jobs. Get a clue.Apparently you have not witnessed new home construction in the area. It is third world labor that is used. Not just for framing and clean-up, but the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, etc. This is how developers are able to skim more profit and those dollars end up going to a third world country. No prejudice, just the facts as I see them.

    Think, use common sense.

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  15. I think it’s a bit early to hire consultants to provide direction for the city.

    The first priority should be to revise/establish city’s general plan. We need to determine a long-term vision for what we want the city to become and should not put such decisions in the hands of people who do not live here.

    I see no need to build houses in order to attract industry. The region has a large pool of potential workers as evidenced by the traffic heading south through Murrieta on I-15/I-215 in the morning and returning at night. If given the chance to work locally, I have no doubt that a large portion of those commuters would accept it. People don’t have to live in Menifee to work here.

    We should preserve the land that is most desirable to industry, office and commercial activity (i.e. that with the easiest access to I-215 and major arteries) and deny its use for housing. Allowing land to be devoted to residential tracts reduces the total amount available and drives its price higher. Industry and office parks will be more easily attracted if land values don’t skyrocket. Once land for the industrial/office base is established, houses can be built as in-fill.

    We don’t have a housing shortage now and we won’t have one anytime in the foreseeable future. When builders believe they can make money constructing houses, they will be beating a path to our door. Perpetuating the status of Menifee as largely a bedroom community is not my vision for the city.

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  16. ALLTHATMATTERSJuly 15, 2009 6:35 PM

    City councilmen going for the fast buck, Mann and Denver are leading concerns...Denver works out of Perris office and is trying to drive us in the same Bankrupt hell as our Northern neighbors. This has to stop..too many politicians are making decisions not for our best interest but their own. We elected them to make good decisions for our future..Our Future. This is criminal to bring more homes in a overstocked single family area. Where is the incentive for businesses. Get us a dam Movie theatre..so we don't have to burn our gas and go North or South.

    There is no praise for highway robbery, and the city council is ripping us every which way. They have the passive Seniors that will go along with their agenda's so they think. Menifee rise today and put down this corruption before it is too late..Check your calenders and bring a car load to the next council meeting and voice your concern.

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  17. I'm very concerned that the City Council went through at least 4 hours of agenda at a meeting last month and only cast 3 'no' votes for anything that came across their path. The 3 votes were not enough to vote down the measure, so in essence they approved every damn thing that came up that night!

    Is anyone concerned that the City Council is rubber-stamping the agenda without much thought about the cost of what they're doing?

    I've only been able to attend one meeting lately, is this something that happens all the time, or did I just get "lucky"?

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  18. Yes, so remember this. City council is not working for you the citizen of Menifee, only for their own agenda's and visions.

    Be aware that city council is going to continue to push the "At Large" vote, instead of the "By District" vote. "By District" is what the citizens of Menifee voted into law. "By District" gives all of the citizens of Menifee an equal voice in their future.

    Use common sense in the next vote coming up in 2010. Do not allow city council to overturn the "By District" vote. Mr. Mann and Mr. Denver, pay attention!

    Yes, city council will continue to rubber stamp projects, even though we do not have a planning commision that is overseeing these projects. And yes, the city now has a planning commision approved, but they are still in the training process, so currently the planning commision has no voice over what the city council approves.

    And finally, I hope the planning commision is fair and impartial, considering they were all hand picked by a city council member.

    All I ask, is that you think.

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  19. I am surprised to see that Menifee has a Police Department. When I called the Perris Police dept. for increased prtrol, as I could not get a Menifee P.D. phone number, back in May'09. I was told by Perris P.D. that Menifee P.D. does not exist. I told her that I had just passed a patrol car on the way home from work with the Menifee Police Dept. logo on it. She said that the dept. does not exist and that Menifee's Law Enforcement dept. is actually Riverside's Sheriff Dept. Is this true?

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  20. Yes to no Menifee Police Dept..it is farce and scam by the city council and County Supervisors.but guess what, we are still paying for it.

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  21. I was at a recent Planning Commission meeting. It is nice to know that there was one commissioner who was pushing to get public input. He actually said he wanted to hear from Quail Valley and Sun City, and learn from us what we want in our communities. Refreshing.
    I was sad to hear that not all of the Commissioners were in agreement with the idea, but hopefully this kind of thought will prevail.

    JM

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