Jobs are at forefront Tuesday

By Sean Janssen, The Union Democrat March 25, 2013 08:25 am

PUBLIC MEETING: Calaveras County Board of Supervisors, 9 a.m. regular meeting, 11 a.m. Lake Tulloch hearing and 1 p.m. study session, Government Center, 891 Mountain Ranch Road, San Andreas.

A study session on economic development is scheduled Tuesday afternoon at the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors meeting.

The session fulfills a campaign promise by Cliff Edson, the District 1 supervisor for San Andreas and Valley Springs.


It also comes on the heels of new unemployment data from the state of California showing another spike in the three months leading up to February — rising from 11.8 percent to 13.2 percent in January (see related story).

Edson said he expects representatives from the Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce, which also took on the county’s private nonprofit Economic Development Corporation, to be present and to accept plenty of suggestions from the audience during the 1:30 p.m. session.

“What I’d like to see is people come forward in a positive way with ideas on what they think Calaveras can do to attract some companies to bring economic development to Calaveras County,” Edson said. “There’s some smart people up here … government can’t do everything, but there are things we can do to support economic growth.”

Edson said he has met recently with leaders from Destination Angels Camp, the private-public partnership pushing for economic gains in the county’s only incorporated city, as well as the Chamber.

He expects Tuesday’s session to be “a discovery” forum to establish plans going forward and for it to spur follow-up sessions and possibly a new economic commission.

“We need to not only keep businesses here but to attract new businesses,” Edson said.

The county should try to maximize its strongest industries like agriculture and tourism while trying to start new ones in manufacturing and possibly high tech, he said.

“What we’ve got to do is figure out, first of all, what that will look like, and how do we get there,” he said. “We need to put together a group that can answer those questions.”

In other business, the board is expected at 11 a.m. to have another look at proposed restrictions on short-term vacation rentals at Lake Tulloch and when to implement them, as well as approve the appointment by Presiding Superior Court Judge John Martin of Stephen Siegel as interim chief probation officer in the regular 9 a.m. session.