Members of three volunteer committees got a behind-the-scenes look at some of the new business, industry and homes coming to Perris in the next year or two and said they are excited to provide their input in helping the City move forward.
The strategic planning session/leadership academy brought together members of the Beautification, Community Development and Economic Development committees who are working with City staff on several fronts to get the word out that Perris is a great place to live, work, have fun or relocate a business.
The branding campaign includes hosting a series of events like a small-business summit, reaching out to 100 sit-down restaurants and lobbying them to locate in Perris, encouraging local artists to perform in Perris and opening a visitors center for tourist interested in visiting the City’s recreational, cultural and historic venues.
The Feb. 4 meeting laid out a vision for the civic-minded citizens while providing concrete goals and objectives and specific dates to reach those milestones.
Tisa Rodriguez, spokesperson for the Community Development Community, said she is “super-excited” to spread the virtues of living in Perris.
“We are the hidden gem,” Rodriguez said. “We are going to showcase our gem, build up our infrastructure to show the world what we have here and what we come home to every night. Perris is so special, it must be shared.”
Dave Stuart, spokesman for the Beautification Committee, said many Perris residents are committed to a better community and are willing to roll up their shirt sleeves to make that happen.
“An essential part of civic pride is to have an attractive City,” Stuart said. “It is great that the City is allowing this level of citizen involvement in an area that a lot of people are passionately interested in.”
City Manager Richard Belmudez led a contingent of top Perris administrators who briefed the citizen volunteers about the present and future goings-on. He praised the 23 residents of the community development, beautification and economic development committees.
“You have all done a great job so far,” he said. “It has been a pleasure working with all three committees and to see what they have developed.”
Assistant City Manager Ron Carr and City Engineer Habib Motlagh outlined some of the recent, ongoing and future major capital-improvement projects aimed at reducing congestion, improving the City’s roads condition, improving flood control and upgrading mass transit.
- The widening of I-215 through the City.
- The million Perris Valley Line to bring Metrolink train service to Perris.
- The ongoing repaving program to upgrade various streets in the City.
- Drainage channels in Monument Ranch community in South Perris to alleviate water ponding which spawned mosquito concerns.
- The widening of Harley Knox Boulevard in North Perris
Future projects call for a new freeway interchange at Nuevo Road, widening of Nuevo, Ethanac Road and Perris Boulevard, rehabbing Fourth Street, upgrading Goetz Road and further upgrades to the I-215/Harley Knox interchange. The City has completed $10 million in infrastructure projects in the last two years and plans to spend $35 million in the next five.
Carr said that for every dollar of construction in Perris, the City reaps $2 of economic activity. For every $1 million invested, the City creates more than 10 jobs. And those jobs pay well—averaging about $47,000 a year, which help propel residents into the country’s middle class.
Clara Miramontes, director of Development Services and Michael McDermott, Chief Operation Officer of the Perris Economic Development Corp., outlined new businesses and housing developments which are completed, under construction or in the planning phase.
Those include developments by KB Homes, Richmond American Homes and Pulte Homes totaling more than 600 residences.
Logistics centers completed or in development include those operated by General Mills, Fallas Stores, Wayfair.com., and a second Home Depot fulfillment center, all in the City’s north end.
Other businesses in the pipeline include Firehouse Subs, Panda Express, Chipotle, Waba Grill, Fitness 19, Les Schwab Tire Store, Fast5Xpress car wash and Perris Hills Pharmacy. In all 87 businesses started up last year in the City.
McDermott said the City expects the logistics centers alone to create 1,150 to 1,550 new jobs, which would reduce the Perris unemployment to about 5 percent.
Members of the citizens committees will continue refining and putting into action the goals and objectives each has defined. Economic Development Committee member Eric Godoy said he’s grateful and excited that the City is putting to use its greatest resource—its people—to improve its looks, economy and community.
“It’s great the Perris is tapping into the potential of its people,” Godoy said. “You get to contribute ideas and get to use what’s in your brain to create solutions.”
Below are thumbnail sketches of the goals and objectives of the three citizen committees.
Community Development Committee
- Enhance services for senior citizens and veterans
- Establish, promote and enhance art
- Establish and enhance the branding of the City of Perris
- Coordinate efforts with Chamber of Commerce to enhance and promote veterans outreach programs
- Develop historical timeline and work with property owners to place panels from timeline on private property
- Develop a list of artists interested in producing public-artworks
- Research funding possibilities to pay for public-art projects
- Establish a citizen-committee to develop an identification and brand for the City of Perris
- Create a steering committee to promote a positive public outreach campaign
Dawn K. Bacha
Spokesperson: Tisa Rodriguez
- The Beautification Committee will assist the City in developing and pursuing initiatives that promote beautification and the overall appearance of the City.
- Enhance the overall appearance of the City.
- Promote neighborhood/civic pride and public outreach.
- Establish a program for volunteers to help with illegal street signs within the City.
- Formulate a City-wide volunteer clean-up program.
- Explore feasibility of variety of mural programs for local street artists.
Flora Eileen Cohen-Sarno
Buell A. Talley
Spokesman: Dave Stuart
Economic Development Committee
- Increase and promote tourism
- Enhance business attraction
- Promote workforce development through business opportunities that stimulate higher-education skills
- Continue to promote the City through the Perris Community Economic Development Corp.
- Sponsor a job-development and career job fair
- Explore developing partnerships that educate and train the workforce
- Explore possibility of sponsoring a small-business seminar and workshop
- Create a map that includes City of Perris attractions and events
- Select a site of a visitor information center and develop logistics for the operation of the visitor center
Sabrina Antoinette Freeman
Virniecia Green Jordan
Spokesperson: Cindy Espinoza
Special Advisors to the Economic Development Committee: