Man...have you ever wished you were two people at once? You know, the meeting you're still in is running late and the meeting you should be at next is already underway? Don't you HATE when that happens? Those are the days I wish I had my own "Mini-Me" like Dr. Evil of Austin Powers fame.
That would be so awesome. I'd really love a "Mini-Me". (Well, maybe not THAT mini, but certainly a few 'lbs smaller would be excellent). I'd never miss a meeting again. Very cool.
I like to try to show up at every Chamber event we plan, but sometimes it just doesn't work out that way. Like last Thursday night. There was a really great Chamber event planned at The Hotel Diamond and I knew it was going to be huge! Lots of folks there to celebrate being part of the Chamber of Commerce. And I was late...really late...like so late lots of folks had already left. Bummer.
It wasn't like I was just off screwing around somewhere. I was in an important meeting, with City Council folks, no less. We were there presenting our draft plans for proposal to run the Chico Visitor Center for another year. It's an interesting process.
Every organization, and even a few individuals, make a pitch for funding of specific projects aimed at boosting the economic health of the City. Ours is aimed at increasing Transient Occupancy Tax through tourism. We do that a couple of ways, including running the Visitor Center.
It's kind of interesting going through this process for the first time. I don't know that I've ever had to prove the value of my professional performance prior to delivering the promised result. It's sort of like an annual job interview, except it's for a job you've had for over 25 years, you have to do it publicly and anybody can weigh-in on your performance. Weird!
But I get it. The City is planning to again spend taxpayer money with the intent of improving our local economy and our quality of life. It's my tax money too, so I WANT them to be extra careful.
It can't be an easy job. There are very traditional activities that have always been funded on the public dime, and they are all very worthy. Unfortunately, nowadays the dime is only 9 cents. That means City staff and the Council need to find a way to cut back on the total cost of these activities, while trying to keep them all alive and well. No small job there. And no matter how you feel about the individuals making these decisions, you have to recognize that they are caring people, and this process can't be any easier for them than it is for those of us asking for funding.
All that aside, I have confidence in the process and in our ability to deliver the services the City wants and needs in a professional and cost-efficient manner. We're darned good at it, and our proposal this year includes cutting some non-essential activities, focusing on those that will make a real difference, and I project it will cost 4.5% less than last year. Not a huge drop, but it's heading in the right direction. I am very interested to see how this all turns out. And it will all be decided in just a few more weeks!
In the meantime, I need to get working on that "Mini-Me" thing, because it's shaping up to be a really busy Spring!