A Plan to Save Jobs and Clean Up Vernon

Gary Toebben on April 26, 2011 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The City of Vernon, located just south of Downtown Los Angeles, has less than 100 full-time residents and its motto is "Exclusively Industrial." That motto took hold in the early 1920s when stockyards and meat packing plants were the backbone of the city. Later, major companies such as U.S. Steel, Alcoa Inc., General Mills, and the Studebaker Assembly Plant defined Vernon, until recent years when BCBG Max Azria, Farmer John, Tapatio Hot Sauce, True Religion Apparel Inc. and Papa Cantella’s Sausage became the modern face of this jobs Mecca.

Vernon offers a unique mix of benefits for industry. Its city-owned utility provides water and power rates below those of neighboring cities. Its zoning code allows for industrial operations that other local cities do not offer. Red tape is virtually non-existent and businesses have access to first-rate police and fire services. In total, Vernon is home to 50,000 jobs and a cumulative $4.5 billion annual payroll ... arrowRead More

Thank You Ray Cortines For Your Leadership

Gary Toebben on April 19, 2011 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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Angelenos should all take a moment and thank Ray Cortines, retiring Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendant. Thursday was the last official day for the 78-year-old life-long teacher and educator. During his tenure the past two and half years, Cortines has had a "laser like" focus on putting children first and last. This focus may seem obvious, yet with boards, budgets and unions, educational leaders often do not maintain the discipline and priority of putting students first 

During Cortines' term, LAUSD’s base budget of $8 billion was decreased by $1.5 billion—a severe management crisis for any enterprise. Cortines navigated these waters and made tough decisions in order to minimize the negative impact on students. He dramatically cut the central support office by nearly half and increased the portion of resources going directly to schools and classrooms...
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City Hall Thinks It Knows What is Good For Business

Gary Toebben on April 12, 2011 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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When L.A. City Hall thinks it knows what's good for business, the business community usually ends up with a raw deal. As if Councilmembers don't have enough of their own issues to grapple with—starting with the City's own budget deficit—now they want to make hiring decisions for you. That's right, the “Hotel Worker Right of Recall” proposal from Councilmembers Paul Koretz and Janice Hahn would require all 50-room or more hotels that close for renovation or reconstruction to offer former employees their former job when the new facility opens...arrowRead More

Wilshire Grand Project Will Help Jumpstart Recovery in L.A.

Gary Toebben on April 5, 2011 at 12:00:00 am in The Business Perspective 
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The approval by the Los Angeles City Council last week of the $1.2 billion Wilshire Grand redevelopment project at 7th and Figueroa in downtown Los Angeles is an example of how to escape from a recession and begin creating jobs again ... arrowRead More