Julio Fuentes, new City Manager for Santa Clara, was introduced to the Chamber membership at Outlook 2013. Steve Van Dorn, President & CEO, conducted a discussion with Fuentes.
The new City Manager discussed his proudest accomplishment in his previous job with the City of Alhambra. It was the revitalization of downtown and turning it into a destination. His also spoke about his first impressions of Santa Clara saying it was a well-balanced community with diversity of the neighborhoods from high tech to historical areas. Fuentes also highlighted the friendliness and diversity of the community.
Fuentes also shared his top three priorities:
- RDA Wind-down: this is crucial – they will be looking at the assets that are at risk, the effort it took to create these assets and their benefits, and looking at the services that benefit from those assets. The RDA takeaway represents a $13 million loss in lease revenue, which equates to a 9%+ loss in funds.
- Maintain and stabilize the budget: add to the reserves
- Continue to create a positive economic environment & continue to solicit investment in the community: the City is here to serve the community and to improve opportunities for business.
To move past the loss of the RDA funds, the City will research other options for bringing businesses to the area such as electric rebates and fee reductions. He also focused on positive improvements to the City such as the Menlo Equities project, the new TownPlace Suites by Marriott and the Santa Clara Stadium project. He closed with the request to the audience that “if you’re looking to expand your business, the City of Santa Clara is here to help.”