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Lucy Dunn, president and CEO, OC Business Council  

Click for Lucy Dunn's Bio

Thursday, May 20, 2010
Return local control of education now
Thursday, June 17, 2010
OCTA teaches jobs creation 101
Roses, radishes, squirrels sighted
In the garden of O.C. what we need is some serious cabbage, but instead we recently discovered some roses, radishes and a few squirrels. Jobs creation is No. 1. With O.C.’s near 10 percent unemployment and the state’s near 13 percent unemployment rates, we see signs of economic recovery, but no jobs creation. How do you create jobs? Reduce fees and taxes, cut regulations and eliminate opportunities for frivolous lawsuits. Anything else is a SQUIRREL, or a distraction, to the main event.

So, what does our garden grow?

Roses: O.C. Supervisors Pat Bates and Janet Nguyen, together with Lake Forest Council Member Mark Tettemer, who refused to approve an Orange County Fire Authority budget that included a FEE INCREASE (Squirrel!) on the struggling business community to cover a pay raise for nonsworn fire personnel. In a down economy, fees need to be reduced, not increased.

Roses: Joe Kerr, Tony Bedolla and the Orange County Firefighters Association, who offered to work with OCFA to avoid that fee increase with creative, out-of-the-box thinking.

Radishes: Orange County Fire Authority staff. Hello? Is anybody home? Ten percent county unemployment and you’re giving folks raises?

Radishes: Shawn Nelson, Sharon Quirk Silva and Pam Keller, who voted to kill Fullerton’s 30-years-in-the-making West Coyote Hills Project for parks, habitat, trails and homes. Fullerton has grown by 1,000 people in just two years, but only approved 12 building permits, according to data from Experian and the Construction Industry Research Board. This project would have helped keep the middle class in town and alleviated over-crowding, as well as turn fenced private property into some much-needed public open space for North Orange County. And do I need to tell you what a jobs generator this project would have been? Thousands, not including the multiplier effect. Squirrel!

Roses: Harry Sidhu and all the members of the Anaheim City Council for the June 3 Anaheim Job Fair at Gardenwalk. And the brand-new Lake Forest Chamber of Commerce for its first-ever job fair this month. The groups get extra points for trying to match employers, jobs and candidates in a tough economy.

Radishes: More election mail in my mailbox than I’ve ever had before.

Who are your roses and radishes? I’d love to highlight those good guys and gals helping to help put folks back to work and grow our economy! And the radishes? Well, let’s just smother them in salad dressing.

To see more Squirrel legislation, or to add your ideas of Squirrel!, visit californiasquirrel.com.