Marysville rebound plan draws support
Marysville City Manager Walter Munchheimer's proposed "bounce back" plan for the city has met a few worried inquiries about Caltrans construction and the still-vacant city-owned B Street property.
But most business owners, community leaders and other residents who attended his City Council workshop presentation on Thursday appeared to be encouraged by the plan's objectivity and scope.
Munchheimer said Marysville needs to better understand itself from the perspective of potential developers and investors before it can make meaningful progress.
He recommended the first step be to study the city's assets and liabilities, andto make an inventory of property owners. "Are they active developers or are they satisfied with just collecting rent? If they are developers, why aren't they developing in Marysville? What's keeping them from it?" Munchheimer said. "Is it state highway traffic congestion or is it too little traffic? ... Are there difficulties securing local financing?"
Russ Clark, owner of several commercial properties in Marysville, including a Carl's Jr. franchise, said he was in favor of the new city manager's approach.
"He's trying to get a rational idea of what can be done. You've got to study what you have, otherwise you're shooting from the hip," he said. "He's the first one in a long time to lay out information about the city, and a plan."
Among the visual aides Munchheimer used was a regional map marked with population and commercial centers, including Sacramento, Roseville, Chico, the Lake Tahoe area and Marysville.
Clark said he agrees that it's wise to have an objective, clinical view of how Marysville fits into a bigger picture, and to spend the money necessary to take inventory.
"It's a very small town surrounded by levees. It can't grow," Clark said. "Whether they can solve the financial problems here, I don't know. But it might be more costly to do nothing (than to pay for a study)."
Tom King, owner of T.J. Norths gun and supply shop downtown, said Munchheimer's initial assessments of Marysville and his presentation were "very powerful."
"For the first time, it feels like things are wide open," he said of the city manager's long view. "It's the end of the good-old-boys era, which is what's been holding us back."
King said he believes old ways of looking at Marysville's problems have been keeping the city stagnant.
"Now, we're headed to a clear spot in the road that we can navigate to, and have a real input process for each step," he said. "We can now become a part of the solution."
CONTACT Nancy Pasternack at email@example.com or 749-4781. Find her on Facebook at /ADnpasternack or on Twitter at @ADnpasternack.