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Economic development task force takes on Turlock
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A group of 25 professionals are gearing up to take on the future of Turlock’s economic growth, many with an open mind and genuine readiness to see the city’s prosperity continue.

In their inaugural meeting on Tuesday, members of the Mayor’s Economic Development Task Force expressed their desire to see Turlock grow economically by becoming an attraction for new businesses.

“I want to help bring businesses to Turlock that offer a decent living wage,” said Jim Reap, a local family doctor. “That way when my own kids get older and graduate from college, they won’t want to or feel like they have to move away from Turlock.”

Chaired by Turlock Chamber of Commerce CEO Sharon Silva, the Mayor’s Economic Development Taskforce is comprised of local business owners, marketing advisors, educators, realtors and other members of the Turlock community.

“Turlock has been slowly evolving and recovering,” said Mayor John Lazar to the taskforce members. “With the new business park, and some of the cultural aspects of our community, we’re bound to see more growth in our city.”

With a focus on job retention and expansion, the committee will work together over the course of one year to create an economic action plan proposal to submit to the Turlock City Council.

“This is an exciting process,” said Maryn Pitt, assistant to the City Manager for housing and economic development. “This is an opportunity to really think outside of the box.”

Although the entire group is scheduled to meet once per month, members will meet in their own ad-hoc subcommittees of about 5-7 people prior to each month’s meeting to share ideas for stimulating economic growth in Turlock.

“Economic growth is essential to the well-being of Turlock,” said City Manager Roy Wasden. “In the long term, it is essential for a balanced budget and for the City to be able to do things we want to do for our community.”

Wasden also noted that the committee must work hard to find opportunities to draw in new businesses to Turlock, as other cities within the region are highly competitive for big businesses.

“There’s tough competition out there for businesses,” said Wasden. “This is critical work, not a ‘fluff, feel-good committee’… We’re here to get things done.”

The Mayor’s Economic Development Taskforce will meet at 4 p.m. every first Tuesday of the month at City Hall, located at 156 S. Broadway.