By Kevin L. Faulconer
Council President Pro TemOur tax dollars must be used to support our neighborhoods, businesses and local jobs, not block the way to progress with unnecessary red tape.
Here is an example. You may have noticed the restrooms on one of our local beaches have been closed for over two years, replaced with unsightly portapotties on the sand.
Why has it taken the city so long to fix a facility used by countless residents and tourists. It’s not due to budget cuts, environmental regulations or neighborhood controversy.
It’s because the city contracting department stumbled through three construction bidding rounds — once rejecting a bid because it was not properly submitted in a three-ring binder. I’ve been a leader in the campaign to bring “regulatory relief” to City Hall. The Ocean Beach restroom project illustrates what happens when red tape gets in the way: regulations overrule common sense, jobs are put on hold and San Diegans’ time is wasted. My goal is for businesses to spend less time navigating city bureaucracy so they can focus on running a successful business, strengthening our local economy and hiring more San Diegans.
I promoted a recent regulatory relief workshop around the question, “How can City Hall help a business create a job?” Dozens shared red tape horror stories and recommendations to improve city customer service, including: eliminating annual permits for home businesses; creating a “starter kit” for new businesses and contract bidders; clarifying regulations to avoid different interpretations by different bureaucrats; and expanding online permitting.
The workshop is just the beginning. I will be releasing an action plan to reform the most burdensome city business regulations that are needlessly hurting San Diego’s economic recovery — and the jobs that come with it. So what about the Ocean Beach restrooms?
A local construction company was ultimately selected and the restrooms are scheduled to open in time for the summer. As for the city contracting department, I asked for a full performance audit of their operations and there is currently an opportunity for new management at the department. What regulatory relief do you need to succeed? Tell me on the Regulatory Relief San Diego Facebook page, @RegReliefSD on Twitter or at firstname.lastname@example.org.