Bill Rawlings, Menifee City Manager, spoke Thursday at a weekly meeting of Menifee Rotary Club, explaining that sales tax generation in Menifee is still far lower than in neighboring cities.
Here's a report from the Rotary Club...
The City of Menifee’s new City Manager, Bill Rawlings, told the members and guests of the Menifee Rotary Club on Thursday that the city is doing well. While there are many items that the City Council has directed to his attention, probably the one item most on his mind is developing strategies to bring back/keep sales tax revenue in the city. “We need the commercial ventures that will allow Menifee citizens to shop at home,” he said.
This list is a long one, and probably the item he hears more than any other is for a range of restaurants. And while there are two new restaurants now under construction, along with a bank and apartment complex in the city, efforts continue to be made to provide more shopping, dining and professional service opportunities in the community.
He noted that sales tax revenue per capita is about half of what it is in Hemet or Perris, and three or four times less than communities like Murrieta and Temecula. “If we could move from our present level to what Hemet experiences, we would nearly double that portion of the income side of our budget,” he said. The city budget for 2011-12 is about $17,500,000. “With just 21 employees, we are very low in this category,” he said. The largest part of the budget is for police and fire protection, the same for all cities.
Other pressing needs in the community, he said, pertain to infrastructure upgrades, especially Newport and Scott Roads, the lack of a sewer in Quail Valley and some flooding issues on the north side of the city. He repeatedly referred to Menifee with a population of “almost 80,000” noting that this provides good talking points as future businesses are invited to consider locating in the city.
Mr. Rawlings brings to the City over 23 years of high level management experience in municipal government and significant experience in economic development and redevelopment. He served as the Director of Redevelopment and Housing/Deputy City Manager for the City of Vista prior to accepting the Menifee City Manager position. He also worked for the County of Orange where his duties included responsibility and oversight for all purchasing and contracting as well as managing its real estate operation. Mr. Rawlings holds a bachelor of arts in Business Administration from California State University Fullerton and a Doctorate in Law from Western State University College of Law.
Menifee Rotary Club meets 12:00pm every Thursday at Menifee Lakes Country Club. For more information about the Menifee Rotary Club, contact Don Lunday at firstname.lastname@example.org or 951-566-7722. Visit them online at http://www.clubrunner.ca/CPrg/home/homeS.asp?cid=6013