For the second consecutive year, the Orange County Business Council (OCBC) has named its picks for the programs and projects that have best cut the bureaucratic red tape so often associated with government work. Through its Turning Red Tape into Red Carpet awards, sponsored by Chase, leaders in city and county government were recognized for their efforts to be more efficient and more cost effective. This year’s honorees were feted at a reception at the Center Club in Costa Mesa on Nov. 29.
“Orange County and its cities are producing diverse, high-quality and innovative solutions to ‘cut red tape’ and ‘roll out the red carpet’ for job creators,” says Lucy Dunn, president and CEO of OCBC. “The 2013 award winners of this prestigious business honor will not only positively impact Orange County, but all of California. These new strategies are a welcome change of culture in government that comes at a time when the economy is recovering, and when efficiency and effectiveness in government guarantee business success.”
Business Retention and Expansion
> City of Los Alamitos: The city developed the Business and Residential Improvement Program to reinvest in the local economy, incentivize, promote property improvements and reduce construction costs. The program reimburses residents who “buy” local when upgrading their property, which increases tax revenues for the city.
> Honorable Mention – City of Mission Viejo: The city’s Improve Don’t Move and Commercial Building Fee Reduction programs save taxpayers money, encourage residential and commercial building improvements and stimulate the local economy.
Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse (2 winners)
> City of Laguna Hills: The city developed the Moulton-La Paz Commercial/Open Space Redevelopment Program to redevelop and expand the Moulton-La Paz Commercial Center, renovate the remaining unimproved open space and sell the property at fair market value.
> City of Anaheim: The city developed the Anaheim Packing District project in partnership with the Lab LLC, to create a food-based themed campus with three components: Farmers Park, featuring cafes; Farmers Market, anchored by the Packing House; and former Packard dealership buildings that showcase the historic preservation and reuse of the buildings.
Responding to Globalization
> John Wayne Airport: The John Wayne Airport Air Service Development Program works to obtain additional air service to support O.C. business and leisure travel. The goal is to bring new international nonstop service to JWA to boost the local economy.
Sustainable and Green Development
> City of Huntington Beach: The city’s Sustainable Surf City program eliminates energy waste and utilizes cost-effective on-site renewable energy. The program protects the quality of life through sustainable development, while improving bottom-line performance of the business community and the city’s operations.
> OC Community Resources: The OC Community Services Division of the OC Community Resources Department received the Partnership Award for its significant partnerships formed to support economic development. Among its many achievements and in collaboration with the public/private Working Group, the OC Community Resources Department successfully developed and finalized the county’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness. OC Community Services was also critical in forming collaborative partnerships to help create OC4Vets, a program that resulted in highly coordinated, seamless wrap-around services for military veterans, including critical job training services.
Public Sector Leadership
> Will Kempton, CEO, Orange County Transportation Authority: Will Kempton has cultivated extensive contacts throughout the transportation community and has utilized these connections to accomplish many policy and legislative objectives, including OCTA’s recent program, Breaking Down Barriers. Partnering with more than 30 organizations, OCTA launched the initiative to bring together local and national leaders in the transportation industry to identify opportunities for expanding transportation projects to create jobs.
Bureaucracy Buster> City of Laguna Niguel: The city developed and implemented an Administrative Process for Cell Sites in the Public Right-of-Way, which creates a process to implement wireless coverage in residential and other hard-to-reach areas. The result is a new long-term revenue source for the city and improved system capacity and reliability.
> Honorable mention – OC Health Care Agency/Environmental Health: The Orange County Heath Care Agency created food safety and inspection tools to expedite the inspection and permit process for O.C. Fair food vendors, so they could open on time and remain open for the duration of the fair.