Blog Archives

The Cost of Doing Business

Pick up any newspaper or turn on any talk radio station and you will hear unending complaints, mostly by Republicans, about the high cost of doing business in the great state of California. So, imagine my surprise when I clicked on OC Register reporter Jan Norman’s article that painted a brighter picture for Our Town Tustin.

Norman reported on a “Cost of Doing Business” survey by the Rose Institute , a student think tank and research center located at McKenna College in Claremont which produced the survey in conjunction with the Kosmont Companies in Los Angeles. The 2011 report surveyed 421 cities across the U.S. If you can believe it, Akron, Ohio came in as the most expensive city to do business in. And, while Beverly Hills came in second, Orange County fared pretty well.

In fact, there were only a handful of California cities on the “20 most expensive” list, with Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and San Francisco all hitting the top. On the other end, no cities in California made the least expensive list. The most expensive cities in Orange County to do business were Seal Beach, Santa Ana, Garden Grove, Placentia, Cypress. Conversely, Tustin, along with Fountain Valley, Lake Forest, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel and Costa Mesa were among the cheapest cities to do business (so, tell me again why they want to outsource?).

The cost of business licenses and property taxes are cited as the culprits for attaining “most expensive” status. The summary of the report also lambasted California’s (semi) demise of redevelopment agencies as another issue. Tustin is fortunate as the City Council, earlier this year, decided to waive business license and many fees relating to developing property in the Community Development Department for most types of businesses and construction. I doubt if this action was taken before the survey was completed so the City Council’s actions are just icing on the business cake.

The Rose Report has a variety of political information, reports and surveys you may be interested in. The blog can be found here.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The first signs of fall are upon us here in our sleepy little hamlet. Not satisfied with the changing color of our trees, we take it a step further. The signs are there. Yes, the first sign that tells of things to come is the big orange public works sign located on Eastbound Irvine Boulevard announcing detours and traffic delays along the main streets of Tustin. Next come the obligatory, if temporary, signs along my street marking it as a “No Parking” zone for the entire following Saturday. If the wind is right, you may even get a whiff of something fried in the air.

Of course, I am talking about the 54th Annual Tustin Tiller Days, held each year about this time. This is the epitome of country fairs, complete with a parade down Main Street, community booths, food and great carnival rides. My family and I have gone each year since moving here. It is the highlight of the year and by far the best event anywhere in Orange County.

Although Tiller Days officially begins on Friday night, everyone on Main Street knows the fair is not really in session until the parade starts Saturday morning.  And that is where my family has the edge. Not only does the parade go right by our house but, bright and early Saturday morning, we will hear the horn toots, drum beats and sounds of bands getting ready for their moment in the spotlight as buses full of musicians park in front of our house, spilling out fife and drummer. The excitement builds and we will have already been up for awhile, as we get ready to enjoy a great morning eating breakfast and enjoying the passing parade. And, we are famous. One year, the Girl Scouts marched up the street, stopped in front of our house and yelled “Hi, Porch People!” Could this be the origins of the flash mob cult?

No matter what you plan to do this weekend, make it a point to join the expected crowd of 70,000 fellow fair goers at Columbus Tustin Park. Better yet, get a good seat along Main Street at 10 am on Saturday and enjoy the parade with us. Elysse James from the Orange County Register has all the particulars in a great article that can be found here.