Economic Development and Environmental Protection
Economic development and environmental protection go hand-in-hand. Without one, you will not have the other.
To create a community where we can live, work and play, we need to focus investing in economic development that creates higher paying jobs in the City of Novato so most of us will not have to commute for those jobs that sustain our quality of life.
In my meetings with business leaders, I have been impressed by the fact that they chose to locate their businesses in Novato for the same reasons we choose to live here. These executives want to see open space, breathe clean air, and enjoy the small town character of our community. They like to look out of their office windows and see cows. If we want to encourage economic growth, we must not do it at the sacrifice of the environment. If we don’t protect our environment, we won’t have the main drawing card that brings and keeps the kinds of companies we want in Novato. If we maintain a balance between economic health and environmental health, we will be able to continue to provide our community with a very high quality of life.
One of the priorities I believe we should invest more time on is working with the new owners of the old Pini Hardware building on Grant Avenue to create a destination place – possibly a restaurant or pub with a micro-brewery – that would help bring residents and visitors alike to our downtown. Secondly, we need to work with the owners (American Assets) of the old Fireman’s Fund buildings to get them fully occupied with employers that have higher paying jobs. Currently, the owners have started advertising these three large buildings with a total 710,000 square feet of office space. We need to work with them in securing a major tenant that will invest in their future and our town.
By building on the growing industries such as biotech, video games and other high tech industries that have made Novato their home, we can enhance endeavors to get higher paying jobs so we do not have to commute outside of our town for those high paying jobs. We’re making progress on a variety of issues. I know we’re not done yet – and, with your help, I’ll continue to work side-by-side with you to make Novato even better.