1. What is the purpose of Destination Angels Camp Development Corporation?
a. The primary purpose is the economic development of Angels Camp to preserve its long-term viability for future generations. The official purpose in our Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws is to ‘foster Angels Camp through economic development to create a vibrant business environment rich in appeal for Angels Camp residents, businesses and visitors, with an emphasis on strengthening the historic downtown as a critical element in the greater community fabric.’
2. What do you mean by ‘economic development’?
a. According to the League of California Cities’ Economic Development Handbook, 2nd edition, “Economic development is a concerted effort on the part of the responsible governing body in a city or county to influence the direction of private sector investment toward opportunities that can lead to sustained economic growth.” (pg 10)
b. “Economic development is not community development. Community development is a process for making a community a better place to live and work. Economic development is purely and simply the creation of wealth in which community benefits are created. There are only three approaches used to enhance local economic development. They are:
i. Business retention – enhancing existing businesses
ii. Business expansion – attracting new business
iii. Business start-ups – encouraging the growth of new businesses.”
c. “The income, profits and tax revenues you can secure for your community through a well thought out economic development strategy, and the cost effective initiatives to carry it out, are the only way to maintain a sustainable economic base.” (pg 4)
3. What are the primary objectives? What does DAC intend to do?
a. Destination Angels Camp has two Primary Objectives:
i. Economic development including business retention and recruitment activities and programs in Angels Camp, working in conjunction with community organizations and City officials responsible for economic development, and
ii. Destination development including the implementation of the recommendations of the Angels Camp Branding, Development & Marketing Action Plan (as approved by the Angels Camp City Council in November 2008) with the goal of developing Angels Camp into the mountain sports capital in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This could be considered ‘community development.’
4. Why does Angels Camp need an economic development program?
a. The United States is in the midst of a severe and prolonged economic recession. Calaveras County is one of the United States’ and California’s most depressed counties and unemployment is at or above 14%.
b. Businesses in Angels Camp have suffered considerably from the recession and the historic district retail has also been impacted by the loss of traffic due to the Highway 4 bypass which opened in July 2009.
c. The City’s tax revenues have declined during this period and there has been no initiative to restore or expand the tax base. Jobs added during this period, while helpful, have tended to be at the lower end of the wage scale.
d. There are few jobs for Bret Harte High School’s graduates to take upon graduation or to return to once they’ve completed college.
e. The City of Angels has not had an economic development program for at least 25 years, if ever. It has been reactive to opportunities as they happen to present themselves. It has never proactively sought out needed businesses – retail, commercial, service or light or heavy industry – that would fill in gaps in the local economy. Nor has it had a program to retain and assist local businesses.
f. In this economic environment with the City sustaining budget deficits for the past three years, the City does not have the budget to hire an economic development specialist and set up an office of economic development.
g. Today signs point to a revival in the economy, but it is not a strong upswing at this time.
h. Across the country, cities, regions and states are actively seeking new businesses and investors. The economic development arena is highly competitive. It is no longer smart or possible to simply sit by and hope that business investors or entrepreneurs turn up in your town. The jobs and businesses will go to those communities who have a proactive and smart economic development program.
5. Here’s another reason why Angels Camp needs a concerted economic development program:
a. In 2010, the City Council commissioned Buxton Company to conduct a retail development survey. The final Retail Development Strategy was accepted by the Council in December 2010.
b. Using a ‘drive time’ area of 18 minutes from Angels Camp, the study determined that in the 4th quarter of 2010 there were 9,882 households in that area, with a median annual income of $45,000 and 23,098 consumers.
c. The total ‘demand’ or ‘spend’ of those households was $385,000,000 over 12 months, but only $251,000,000 was spent within our drive-time area. The rest – the ‘leakage’ — was spent outside the area.
d. This leakage represents a known opportunity for our local businesses or new businesses of $133,500,000.
e. And these figures do not take into account money spent in the drive-time area by second home owners or tourists. So the opportunity is considerably larger.
f. DAC believes that if we can strengthen our existing businesses and attract new businesses that fill those gaps, Angels Camp and its surrounding area can retain much more of that lost $133,500,000.
6. Why is Destination Angels Camp being formed?
a. The Angels Camp Branding program which began in late 2008 has been the City’s only economic development program – one based on the city’s number one industry, tourism. The City has been able to secure numerous grants – up to $500,000 – using the Branding Plan as its economic development plan.
b. Imbedded in the Branding Plan is the fact that a destination cannot survive on one industry alone or on weekend visitor traffic alone. Angels Camp has to have diversified industry sectors in order to have a broader base of jobs and a broader base of workers who will sustain our businesses during the week and off-seasons.
c. The Brand Leadership Team approached City Council in early 2011 to seek their approval and a budget to broaden the Branding Plan into an economic development plan, not just a tourism development plan, and to move the BLT from a quasi-committee of the City with a nominal budget into a full non-profit corporation that would work with the City to effect an proactive broad-based economic development program that is also able to seek outside funding. The Council accepted this premise and awarded the BLT $7000 in its 2011-2012 budget to set up such a corporation.
7. Isn’t economic development the City’s job?
a. Economic development is a government’s job. It is a coordinated effort to build and support the economic base of the city and provide revenue to fund essential services as well as provide jobs for its residents. Governments handle economic development in a myriad of ways. One way, when the government does not have the wherewithal to handle the job itself, is to work within a Public Private Partnership. This is what Destination Angels Camp is proposing to do in conjunction with the City and other community organizations.
8. What is a Public Private Partnership?
a. A PPP is described as:
i. “Involvement of private enterprise (in the form of management expertise and/or monetary contributions) in the government projects aimed at public benefit” (BusinessDictionary.com)
ii. “A contractual agreement between a public agency (federal, state or local) and a private sector entity. Through this agreement, the skills and assets of each sector (public and private) are shared in delivering a service or facility for the use of the general public. In addition to the sharing of resources, each party shares in the risks and rewards potential in the delivery of the service and/or facility.” (National Council of Public Private Partnerships – ncppp.org)
b. Examples of successful local Public Private Partnerships are the City’s partnership with the Calaveras Visitors Bureau to promote tourism for Angels Camp and the City-owned Angels Camp Museum’s partnership with the Museum Foundation to raise funds and support the work of the Museum.
9. Are there other advantages for the City of working with and through Destination Angels Camp?
a. Yes. It will make raising public and private funds easier, and make available grant sources not currently available to the City because it has no economic development arm.
b. It saves the City from having to fund at this time the position of Economic Development Director, and the subsequent office and personnel costs. If the ED efforts are successful, the City can then decide to fund such a position full time.
c. DAC allows the City to harness the proven experience and commitment of the members of the Brand Leadership Team – ALL VOLUNTEERS who are business owners and executives who have worked since November 2008 to implement the recommendations of the Branding Plan. Its Bylaws allow DAC to have employees, thus taking that employment burden off the City.
d. DAC recognizes that the City must be fully involved in any efforts to retain or attract business to the City because the City alone has the authority to issue permits, set zoning, and assess infrastructure needs and other development issues.
10. What are the first tasks for the new Destination Angels Camp Development Corporation?
a. An economic development strategy.
b. The strategy document will be followed by two Action Plans for two key areas of the City – the northwest corner of 4 & 49 and the historic downtown business district. Again, these plans will seek the Council’s and community’s input.
c. A critical task for DAC will be seeking funding sources to help carry out these programs and to support the operations of DAC.
11. What is the legal structure of Destination Angels Camp Development Corporation?
a. Destination Angels Camp Development Corporation was incorporated in the State of California on October 27, 2011 as a non-profit public-benefit corporation, corporation # 3423756. As such it is a separate legal entity with all the rights and obligations of any registered non-profit, public-benefit corporation.
b. It has registered a Fictitious Business Name Statement with the County of Calaveras for ‘Destination Angels Camp’.
c. The Bylaws of the corporation govern how the corporation is organized and how it will operate. The Bylaws were reviewed by the Sonora law firm of Gianelli & Polley and by the City Attorney for the City of Angels.
d. It is set up to be a Public Private Partnership with the City of Angels.
e. It provides for a Board of Directors and an Executive Committee which would include a City Council member, the City Administrator and the City Planning Director. This arrangement would assure that the City’s interests and needs are being represented at all times.
f. The Bylaws have specific policies that forbid the Board from being involved in City elections and set out how the Board can take a public stand on an issue.
g. The Board has from five to 25 members including a City Council member, the City Administrator and the City Planning Director as well as the presidents of the Angels Camp Business Association and the Calaveras County Fair Board. The inaugural board began by carrying over the members of the Brand Leadership Team who had given diligently of their time, expertise and financial backing for the past three years and comprise representatives from a broad swath of the business community.
h. In addition, an Advisory Committee will be set up comprising members of the community who will be asked to assist and advise DAC and its activities.
i. With the passage of Resolution 12-05 on March 20, 2012, Destination Angels Camp received City Council’s approval for the three City representatives to be on the DACDC Board and Executive Committee.
12. Is DACDC tax exempt?
a. DAC is recognized by the IRS as a 501c3 tax exempt organization and to the California Franchise Tax Board under Section 23701d.
b. Again DAC received legal counsel advice on which IRS and FTB designations to apply for.
13. Anything else?
a. The primary reason for the Branding Plan and now for Destination Angels Camp is the economic development of Angels Camp, to preserve its long-term economic viability for future generations.