Salinas Valley Chamber Business Journal July

Page 1


Chamber Trip to Thailand


Resolving Homeless Camping


INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Avoiding Blight P.3 | Local Economic Summit P.9 | Labor Market Solid P.11

Chamber Honors Local Leaders The Salinas Valley Chamber will celebrate our Legacy of Leadership gala event on Saturday evening, October 26. At this special event, we will bestow the Chamber’s “Legacy of Leadership Award” on a select few who have made tremendous impacts to our area. Read on for details about this illustrious group. Tickets are $125 and are available at You may also contact us at (831) 751-7725 or by email at In addition, various levels of sponsorships of the event, advertising in the event program and donations to the silent auction and raffle are also available. Here are more details on this year’s class of honorees. The Chamber thanks and congratulates them all. Brian Holaday and Ollie Lowe Brian Holaday is a third generation Monterey County business owner. His grandfather, Bob Leighton, started one of the first seed distributors in the Salinas Valley, Leighton Seed Company. Brian and his father followed similar career paths, with Brian starting Holaday Seed Company in 2005 after graduating from San Diego State University. Ollie V. Lowe, Jr., is the chief executive officer of Lowe Packaging Group, an agricultural packaging supplier serving the Salinas Valley, California’s Central Coast and Arizona. Brian Holaday and Ollie Lowe Ollie enjoys teaching his daughter Praisia to stay involved with youth in the community. Inspired by his mother Sharon’s philosophy of giving back, Ollie and Praisia hosted the first annual Operation Give Back in their garage in 2013 by requesting bins from the Salvation Army and inviting friends and family to donate toys. By means of social media, word of mouth and recognition through the Rodeo and other civic organizations, the drive has grown each year. Operation Give Back not only donates during the Holiday season but also hosts a back-to-school drive for school supplies, shoes, and jackets. HONORS - Continued on page 6

JULY 2019

SoCal Cities Resist Push for More Housing by Liam Dillon, LA Times As the state continues to face an affordable housing crisis, Gov. Gavin Newsom and local governments in Southern California are heading toward a clash over just how much the region will grow in the next decade. Although Newsom has called for a building boom to alleviate a shortage of available homes he believes is at the root of the state’s problems, city and county leaders in Southern California are working to rein in potential development. In June, a public agency representing 19 million residents in Los Angeles County and five neighboring counties voted to sharply restrict the amount of residential building in the region. The Southern California Assn. of Governments, which encompasses half of the state’s population, has agreed to zone for the development of 430,000 new homes through 2029, a number that in effect would make Newsom’s campaign pledge of building of 3.5 million new homes across California impossible to accomplish. Though the Newsom administration ultimately has the power to determine how many new homes local governments in Southern California must plan for, advocates worry that the region’s resistance is a signal that the home building called for by the state will never happen. “We’re not working to meet the broader state objectives of creating more housing,” said Cesar Covarrubias, executive director of the nonprofit Kennedy Commission, which promotes low-income housing in Orange County. “It’s probably the wrong message to send the state that Southern California is not doing its part to address the housing crisis.” City and county leaders in Southern California have responded forcefully to state efforts to take away some of their control over development. Before the association’s vote, local officials on the board blasted state lawmakers who they contended had “bombarded” cities and counties with “mindboggling” proposals to diminish their power. In particular, they objected to Senate Bill 50, now-tabled legislation that would have required cities and counties to allow mid-rise apartments near mass transit and fourplexes in neighborhoods reserved only for singlefamily homes. HOUSING - Continued on page 6




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JULY 2019

Eminent Domain and Avoiding Blight


by John Bailey, Chamber Board Chair Ever since Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005), was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States, there has been considerable attention paid to the potential use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another private owner to further economic development. However, in the Kelo case, the City of New London did not claim the property in question was blighted, making it harder to prove that the condemnation would genuinely benefit the public. Instead, the City of New London was focused on potential economic development. Though this case is still good law, it also serves as a cautionary tale for local governments nationwide. Ironically, though the City won the right to take the land by eminent domain, the condemned land in the Kelo case now lies empty, as the promised public benefit of economic development never materialized. As our local Monterey County governments grapple with blighted portions of our communities they have been (thankfully) slow to consider the use of eminent domain, as is now permissible per Kelo. Instead, local governments have been primarily focused on promotion of public health and safety through code enforcement. Given the lessons of the 2016 Oakland California tragedy, where a fire broke out in a former warehouse and 36 people died as a result of the allegedly illegal conversion of the warehouse into an artist collective known as Ghost Ship, it makes perfect sense that health and safety, rather than economic development, should be of paramount importance for local code enforcement. However, economic development is and should be a consideration for any local government prioritizing limited resources for code enforcement.

JULY 2019

Limited funding for code enforcement staff is best spent addressing properties that are clearly blighted, as the term is defined by that local government. Any property which is blighted property could be determined to be a public nuisance. The Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce works with our members to encourage use of public resources to promote public benefit. Buildings which are in use, and which house ongoing licensed businesses, should be provided with incentives to apply for development permits, and should have those permits processed without delay. If a property is not in a dilapidated, unsafe and unsightly condition and abandoned for a period of time, it likely does not meet any local definition of

Chair - John Bailey Alternative Dispute Resolution ■ Chair-elect - Andrea Bailey Chevron ■ Past Chair - Jim Bogart Grower-Shipper Association ■ Vice Chair, GRC - Kevin Dayton Salinas City Center Improvement Assn. ■ Vice Chair, Finance - Bill Hastie Hastie Financial Group ■ Vice Chair, Events - Julie Ann Lozano MBS Business Systems ■ Vice Chair, Membership - Kristy Santiago KION TV ■

“blighted”, and therefore should be less of a priority for code enforcement by local governments. Any commercial Tenant seeking tenant improvements for a building which has been continuously in use for licensed business should not have a permit held up except for a true imminent public health and safety risk. And most typically, the public health and safety risks come from properties that are unquestionably blighted. Reading the agendas of local Monterey County government it seems that our local leaders are clearly getting this message, and the Salinas Valley Chamber supports them in their efforts. ■

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How to Complain About a Blighted Property

Cal/OSHA Weighs More Air Quality Regulations

by Kevin Dayton, on behalf of the Salinas City Center Improvement Association

by CalChamber

Guidelines on Submitting a Complaint to the City of Salinas Under Its Vacancy Accountability Ordinance (an “Ordinance Prohibiting Blighted, Nuisance Properties”) Address a letter to: Christopher A. Callihan, Esq./ City Attorney / City of Salinas / c/o Patricia M. Barajas, City Clerk / 200 Lincoln Ave. / Salinas, CA 93901-2639 After the signature at the end of your letter, add the following: cc: Ms. Megan Hunter, Director of Community Development Email the letter to and/or mail a paper copy to the address listed above. Answer these questions to the best of your knowledge: • What is the address or location of this property? • Is there a posting on the property with the name, address, and twenty-four (24) hour contact phone number of the property owner or local property manager? • Have you tried to communicate with the property owner or property manager about the condition of the property? When and how? What was the response of the property owner or property manager? • Has there been trespassing, loitering, gathering, or camping in the building? • Has there been evidence of fires (deliberate or accidental) in the building? • Are there any other dangers to the health or safety of neighbors or the public because of the condition of the building? List the conditions below that describe the property: • Peeling paint. • Broken windows and doors.


• Graffiti. • Holes or broken parts in the roof or walls. • Deteriorated balconies, gutters, shutters, and fences. • Overgrown, dead, and./or disorderly weeds and vegetation. • Dead or decayed trees and shrubs. • Crumbling sidewalks, driveways, exterior stairs, walkways, and parking areas. • Windblown garbage and litter, dumped rubbish and junk, phone books, flyers and circulars, and other unsolicited literature left at the property. • Abandoned vehicles, campers, machinery, and equipment. • Holes in the ground (such as a trench or abandoned well). • Needles and other drug paraphernalia. • Human feces or urine. • Used prophylactics. • Chemicals in open or closed containers. • Pools of standing water (such as at the bottom of empty swimming pools). • Insect swarms (bees, hornets, mosquitos). • Mold, dust, or other particulate matter that becomes airborne when the wind blows. • Wild or stray animals, including bats and rats. • Carcasses of dead animals. ■

Regulations May Require Employers to Monitor Air Quality/ Provide Respirators New regulations for safety in the workplace are in motion as Cal/ OSHA looks to protect employees from detrimental effects of working near or around California wildfires. In this episode of The Workplace, CalChamber Executive Vice President and General Counsel Erika Frank and CalChamber Policy Advocate Robert Moutrie discuss proposed regulations that will require employers to provide respirators to employees in certain circumstances. Regulations Based on the AQI For many California employers, Cal/OSHA handles most regulations in workplace safety. Last year, a petition was filed by worker groups in California to protect people working outside from unsafe air quality caused by wildfires. As a result of the petition, Cal/OSHA began work on new regulations that will be triggered when the Air Quality Index, known as the AQI, reaches unhealthy levels. Because of the recent fires in California, Moutrie explains, employers want to make sure their employees working outdoors are protected from effects of smoke. “The background issue that existed in the prior wildfires was that as the air quality worsened, the employers were in a difficult situation because you want to provide basic protections: respirators that will do filtration of the smoke hazards.” “The problem is, I can’t just hand out respirators because I need these testings, but clearly something was needed because smoke was out there,” says Moutrie. “These regulations were initially brought up to fix that. The concept is that these [regulations] allow workplaces to continue operating while providing some protection to workers without going through the fit testing and other regulations that are hard to

do in an emergency situation.” The new regulations by Cal/OSHA are pending with the Cal/OSHA Standards Board expected to vote on them in July. According to Moutrie, the regulations are expected to be approved. Though the CalChamber has some ongoing concerns with the regulations’ present form, Moutrie expressed that employers believe the regulations are a step in the right direction. When the Regulations Are Triggered “When the AQI hits a certain point, the new regulations will go into effect,” explains Moutrie in the podcast. “As proposed now, that level will be when an AQI of 150 for PM 2.5 is reached. Employers will then have to provide a handout to employees, provide some discussion, keep them apprised of what the air quality is and give them an option of using a respirator.” If the impending regulations pass in July as expected, employers should prepare their businesses and employees with safety protections by August. There are many inexpensive ways for employers to track and monitor the AQI. They can receive daily emails about the AQI forecast, check levels online or purchase an AQI detector. Additionally, Moutrie recommends, employers should consider preparing ahead of time for unsafe air quality levels by stockpiling N95 masks for all of their workers for a two-week period. All California employers with “a worker who is outdoors for more than an hour cumulative over the course of their shift” must comply with these regulations. ■

JULY 2019

CHAMBER TRIP - Thailand by (and with) Chamber CEO Paul Farmer

Life is to be lived.

Consider joining us for this phenomenal trip! The international trips coordinated by the Chamber have become so popular that now we’re offering two trips per year. (Note: you don’t have to be a member of the Chamber to join in on the fun). Our first trip this year was to Argentina/Brazil and it sold out. Our second trip is to Thailand and with the unbelievable value you’ll get, we’re expecting another sell-out. Why is Thailand such a Traveler Hot-spot? Thailand is a beautiful country… from the verdant mountains where you’ll see elephants in their natural habitat, to the stunning island beaches - Thailand has something to please most everyone. And the cost of traveling to Thailand is far less than it is to many other parts of the world. Because of this, Bangkok has been the most-visited city in the world for the last three years in a row. About this Trip First, we will be traveling on Singapore Airlines, one of the toprated airlines in the world. Second, we will be staying in 4-star hotels. Third, the sights…they’re astonishing. Our base trip brings you to worldfamous Bangkok and then goes up into the mountains of Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, where you will visit magnificent ancient Buddhist temples and enjoy a fascinating boat ride along the river. In Chiang Rai, we will visit the Karen Hilltribe Elephant camp. Our “Best of Thailand” tour is offered at the fantastically low rate of $2199. That’s an 8-day trip. If you’ve got the time and a few extra bucks, you can add another seven days to visit the Islands of Thailand for another $799. Normally, we only get

JULY 2019

2019 Chamber Trip


an extra two days for that amount. On this tour, you get a whole extra week. That means you can see it all (or most of it), in a 15-day journey for less than $3,000. Wow. No wonder everyone wants to go to Thailand! Why Travel with the Chamber Traveling with the Chamber is a fantastic way to travel internationally with someone you trust and our group travel rates will save you plenty of dough and headache. The Chamber and our travel partner agency handle all the details so all you have to do is enjoy yourself. If you’re a single traveler who would like a roommate, we’re very good at helping pair you up with a new friend. Speaking of new friends, you’re guaranteed to make plenty of them on our trip! There are so many cool things to share, you’re going to have to learn more about it. Please join us for the no-pressure Travelers Information session on July 11 (details in the ad beside this article). Or shoot me a note: Our traveler satisfaction is very high because the tours are top-notch, the pricing is very competitive (thank you, group discounts) and…let it never be said that I don’t know how to show people a good time! ■

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➟ HONORS – Continued from page 1

Candi DePauw Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Candi DePauw has been in the Ag industry for many years. Having called Monterey County home since 1978, she started her own successful landscape contracting company in 1986. Candi has served on the Hartnell College Board of Trustees since 2010, representing District 7 (which is predominately South County). In 1991, DePauw started “Farm Day” with one third-grade class, helping kids learn first-hand where their food comes from, how it’s grown and how it gets to their table. The program has Candi DePauw grown exponentially in Salinas, on the Monterey Peninsula and in South County. Nowadays, more than 250 classes experience the program each year. For the last 10 years, Candi has been the sole employee for Monterey County Ag Education where she serves as the Farm Day Coordinator. She uses her many talents and contacts to keep the program thriving for thousands of local schoolchildren. Vern Horton Vern Horton was born and raised Salinas, where he graduated from Salinas High School and Hartnell College. He later went to San Jose State and the Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers University before starting his career in banking in 1964. Vern was one of the original officers of Valley National Bank, and later became the CEO before it was purchased by Household International. He helped form First National Bank in 1984 and again, took the role of CEO. Currently, Vern is the Director of Community Relations for 1st Capital Bank. He remains active in the local community and has served in different capacities for organizations including the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce, California Rodeo Salinas, Vern Horton Hartnell College Foundation, Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation, Community Foundation, and Cherry’s Jubilee. In his free time, Vern likes to golf and repair his classic cars.

Barbara Balentine Barbara was born in Gilroy and raised on a dairy farm, which instilled her with a hard work ethic from an early age. She graduated from Gilroy High School in 1958, got married, and moved to Salinas. She and husband Larry shared 58 wonderful and exciting years. Barbara worked at the California Rodeo Salinas for more than 36 years. She attempted to retire from the Rodeo in 1999 but soon decided she couldn’t get enough; she returned to the Rodeo in 2000 and has been there ever since. She has helped build it into the largest rodeo in California. Barbara Balentine Barbara served as the President of the Salinas Jaycettes, the Peter Rabbit Chapter of Children’s Home Society, and the Junior League of Monterey County. She has also served on the boards of directors for Hospice, Camp Fire Girls, the Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation, and the WCalifornia International Airshow. She stays active in her church, in the community, and with her 10 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. Sherrie Isaac Sherrie was a native of Salinas who was born in 1952. She attended Santa Rita Grammar School, North Salinas High School, and Hartnell College. From early on, Sherrie was active in the community dedicating so much of her life to volunteering for many different boards and charitable organizations including Salinas California International Airshow, Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital Foundation, California Rodeo Salinas, Palma High School, El Sistema USA/YOSAL, the Salinas Rotary Club, and the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce. Sherrie’s career began as an apprentice with Kasavan and Sherrie Isaac Pope while she worked to obtain her CPA credential and in 1984 she began working at Hayashi and Wayland, where later she became a partner. She loved to travel the word and enjoyed being the life of any party she attended. We honor Sherrie’s memory as unfortunately she passed away in 2018, after a brief illness.

The Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce is an association of over 700 businesses and organizations, representing thousands of local employees and stakeholders. The Chamber is dedicated to Creating a Strong Local Economy, Promoting the Community, Providing Networking Opportunities, Representing the Interests of Business with Government, and Taking Political Action. To learn more, visit or call (831) 751-7725.

➟ HOUSING – Continued from page 1 “To come into a community, into residential neighborhoods, to want to put up eight-story apartment buildings with no parking and no yards, all that is doing is creating chaos,” Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean said. “It’s not helping anyone.” State law requires cities and counties to plan and zone every eight years for enough new homes to accommodate projected population growth for people of all income levels. The process begins with 19 regional agencies submitting proposals outlining an amount of home building they believe will meet that requirement. The Southern California Assn. of Governments is at that point for the eight-year period that begins in 2021. In the five decades the state housing supply law outlining the process has been in effect, city and county officials have objected to what they view as an incursion into their zoning authority. Some local governments have tried to find ways around the law: asking, for instance, to count prison beds and student dormitories as low-income housing, zoning for apartments and later failing to approve them, and otherwise flouting the law’s intent to spur more home building. Meanwhile, the state has provided few financial incentives to encourage more housing development, particularly for low-income families, and there is little penalty for those who skirt the law. Two years ago, state lawmakers began advancing bills aimed at putting teeth into


the housing supply law. Cities face tighter rules on properties they can zone for new housing, an effort to prevent local governments from planning for growth in areas without water and sewer access, where building would never occur. Local governments behind on their housing goals were also required to relax their requirements for developers to build some projects, such as limiting the number of mandatory public meetings before their approval. And, given California’s slow population increases, the state must now also take into account home overcrowding and the number of residents who are burdened by high housing costs when determining how much new building is needed. Newsom has signaled that he wants to change the balance between local and state officials in making decisions about housing. In his first weeks in office, he proposed withholding state transportation dollars from cities that didn’t approve enough growth — an idea that hasn’t gotten traction in the Legislature — and pumping up home building goals for local governments. He also authorized a lawsuit against the city of Huntington Beach over alleged violations of the housing supply law. “The governor believes local governments must accurately assess housing need in their region and work toward meeting that need, as is required by California housing law,” Newsom spokesman Nathan Click said in a statement. of providing housing. ■

JULY 2019

Resolving Homeless Camping in our Communities by Norm Groot, Monterey County Farm Bureau

We all see them … the tents, leanto’s and make-shift shelters of homeless encampments along our streets and highways in Monterey County, and elsewhere in our region. As serious as the situation has become locally, there has been little movement to ensure that these individuals have a safe and clean place to set up their domiciles. Many of our local farms and food processing facilities have had to endure the trash that accumulates as a result of these illegal encampments. Threats to organic production field certifications are serious to the farmer who may spend many years recovering from a contamination event. Illegal dumping on farm fields causes losses of harvestable product. Food safety around our food processing plants is becoming more critical for those operations after recent food-borne illnesses and pathogen transfers. This is a serious threat to our region, for if we cannot ensure a safe food supply chain we will impact our local economy and the jobs that depend on those farms and processing facilities. Yet, the homeless encampment situation only appears to be getting worse. We can all look to the Santa Cruz “Ross Park” situation as how intense this problem can become, not only for the local businesses but also for the municipalities and their staff that must deal with this. Here in Salinas we see more encampments along the railroad rightof-way that runs through the middle of the city. Many of these encampments are against the fences of food processing facilities, posing threats of contamination from trash and pathogen incursions, as well as theft and vandalism of private property and equipment. Property owners report frequent fence damage and destruction; signs indicating “No Trespassing” have done little to nothing to stop trespass and property damage. The railroad that operates and controls this right-of-way has been non-responsive in managing their property, allowing these encampments to proliferate. It’s as if they won’t pay attention until the train hits something, or worse, someone. Again, we all want to provide these homeless individuals with dignity

JULY 2019

Update on Uber/Lyft Drivers Classification by Jennifer Barrera, CalChamber For Uber and Lyft Drivers, Reclassification Means Less Flexibility

and responsible solutions. Allowing encampments on private property with the associated threat of food safety violations pushes the liability off on food processors rather than with those responsible for making the situation possible. We all need to work together to find solutions for the homeless. So far that hasn’t really happened in Monterey County as the problem continues to expand. Private property owners need to manage their properties to prevent harm to contiguous parcels; this includes the railroad right-ofway. Some private business, farms and food processing facilities have paid for cleanup of these encampments on their own, including the dangerous and hazardous trash left behind. These same businesses have indicated their willingness to work with the City of Salinas on a cost-share program to clean up the right-of-way. So far not much has come from the City in way of opportunities for solutions; access to the right-of-way is an on-going problem but there must be a way that the railroad can be made aware of their responsibility (and liability) by allowing private sector access for clean-up efforts, with the City’s cooperation. How far does this problem need to expand until we have a significant liability issue due to contamination of a food processing facility? Let’s stop the finger pointing; we should all be working to find humane solutions for the homeless that do not force them to establish encampments in areas where the hazards are too great for private enterprise to continue operating. Property owners are willing to step up and help find a solution, including costsharing on clean-up and maintenance. Access is needed to maintain the right-ofway; the City can help with securing this, provide maintenance crews or contract the work out, and the railroad should be pleased that their neighbors are helping to keep the right-of-way clean and free from liability. ■

Recently, an op-ed appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle discussing the fact that executives from Uber and Lyft have come together to address the ongoing issue of worker classification for rideshare drivers. This issue of reclassifying workers who drive for rideshare companies is at the forefront of the current debate over worker flexibility at the State Capitol. Importantly, as the discussion continues, the primary focus should be on the quality of work for drivers and preserving the flexibility that attracted so many of them to drive for rideshare companies in the first place. As such, it is time for California lawmakers to end the notion of attempting to make these drivers “employees” because doing so would require major changes on the drivers’ part. As the op-ed authored by Lyft and Uber states, “reclassification [of drivers] misses two important points: First, most drivers prefer freedom and flexibility to the forced schedules and rigid hourly shifts of traditional employment; and second, many drivers are supplementing income from other work.” Indeed, the hallmark of driving for a rideshare company like Uber or Lyft is the independent nature of the job. Drivers have the unique flexibility of being their own boss and can make their own choices about if, when and where to work. This independence would simply cease to exist if drivers were reclassified as employees. In addition, as independent workers, rideshare drivers can supplement their income by driving with Uber or Lyft to earn extra money alongside their day job whenever they want. If the Legislature were to consider rideshare drivers as employees under California law, many of the individuals who currently drive for these companies would not be able to continue working even as part-time employees, leaving an immense gap in the transportation millions of California consumers rely on every day. With millions of dollars on the line, it is crucial for lawmakers to consider what rideshare and delivery drivers want. According to May 2017 data released in 2018 by the Bureau of Labor

Statistics Economic News Release, 79 percent of independent contractors prefer their work arrangement over traditional employment. To reclassify drivers as employees would not only be against the wishes of the majority; it also would force companies like Uber and Lyft to impose more control over employees to stay in compliance with California labor laws. This would undercut the innovation of a business model that has powered economic growth for the state. Uber and Lyft’s fight to protect their drivers’ status as independent contractors is about maintaining a model that works for both the drivers and consumers. Rideshare companies would be very different services with employee drivers. Wait times would certainly be longer and service would likely be limited. The op-ed discusses multiple solutions that would go a long way toward providing drivers with additional protections without having to reclassify them as employees. Uber and Lyft executives argued for a new legal framework that would maintain flexibility while offering new benefits. In addition, Postmates executives have also expressed alignment with this historic proposal for delivery-based app workers. “The status quo can and should be improved,” the executives said in the op-ed. “Current employment laws, however, do not allow companies like ours to offer certain benefits without blurring the boundaries of employment and triggering a wave of litigation in which nobody wins.” Change is certainly needed to protect new types of employment in California. Employment laws should not limit how people make a living; instead, the laws should reflect the types of jobs that are fueling California’s booming economy while providing appropriate protections against fraud and abuse. ■


Marketing 101

tips & advice on digital marketing by Phil Fisk, President Coastline Marketing Group

The Life Expectancy of Your Website Your website is one of the most important marketing tools that you can have. However, there’s a life expectancy involved. If it’s been years since you’ve updated your website, it may as well not be there at all. Understanding how often you should update your website (and why) can have a considerable impact on your traffic, leads, and conversion.

Content Updates

No one wants to go to a website that is still advertising Black Friday specials in March. Old content is going to harm your website in several different ways. First, it shows site visitors that your website is stagnant. Second, it harms your search engine optimization because the search engine spiders want to see regularly updated content. The best thing to do is set up a content schedule so that you’re changing up your main content regularly and adding new content (like a blog) weekly.

Design Updates

It’s important to stay on top of the latest trends. Much of this comes from how people are searching for information. With more people using cell phones and tablets, responsive designs are incredibly important. Further, people are using voice to conduct searches, so your website needs to have minimalistic designs that make it easier to search. The best way to figure out if your design is outdated is by looking at your bounce rate. Your bounce rate goes up as more people hit your website and, then, immediately hit the back button to leave.

Photo & Video Updates

Gone are the days where people are using stock photos on every page of their website. While they can be used periodically, consumers can usually spot them from a mile away. Instead, they want to see photos and videos of real products and real employees. Photo galleries are a great way to showcase more of what you do. As you offer new items, be sure that you’re going over to your website and making some updates. Consider adding videos, too. Explainer videos are gaining in popularity because they’re more enticing to watch than to read through blocks of text. There’s no right answer as to the life expectancy of your website. If it’s no longer doing the job, you might need to make some serious updates. Don’t be afraid to change the theme and layout around so that you can stay consistent with your competition. When in doubt, hire a professional or sit down with a marketing consultant to find out how to add some ‘oomph’ to your site. ■


Phone 831-759-8760 540 Work St., Suite E • Salinas, CA 93901

JULY 2019

Highlights of Local Economic Summit by Kevin Dayton, Chamber Board On May 2, 2019, the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) held its 5th Annual Regional Economic Summit at the Monterey Conference Center. I attended the event as the official representative of the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Numerous business, government, and community leaders of the Monterey Bay area were in attendance to hear guest speakers and get an update on the latest initiatives and accomplishments of MBEP. The summit also provided several opportunities for meaningful networking. The keynote speaker at the summit was Bruce Katz, an “urbanist” affiliated with the Brookings Institute think tank in Washington, DC. He talked about his book The New Localism: How Cities Thrive in the Age of Populism. Mr. Katz emphasized that leadership in responsible urban economic development and job creation needs to come from the local level of government, not from the federal government in Washington, DC or the state government in Sacramento. He warned about government regulations that stifle

JULY 2019

economic growth and job creation. He also spoke favorably about the potential of new federal “Opportunity Zones” to rejuvenate neighborhoods through investment opportunities. The City of Salinas is already implementing plans to promote the Opportunity Zones established in Downtown and other parts of the city. Mr. Katz recommended that local political opponents get together over a beer to build relationships and find common ground. Following Mr. Katz’s speech, MBEP founder Lenny Mendonca - Governor Gavin Newsom’s Chief Economic and Business Advisor and Director of the Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) moderated a panel of Monterey Bay CEOs about the regional economic outlook. Panelists were Carrie Birkhofer, President and CEO of Bay Federal Credit Union, Joe Burton, President and CEO of Poly (formerly Plantronics), and Bruce Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Taylor Farms. Bay Federal Credit Union is a member of the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce (its Salinas branch on Main Street is called Coast-Tel Federal Credit Union). Taylor Farms is also a member of the Chamber. During the panel discussion, Mr. Taylor remarked on his efforts to build the Taylor Farms headquarters in Downtown Salinas and the regulatory and administrative challenges he faced in trying to improve his community with this project. Bring Back the 1990s, Please The tone of the summit was perhaps reminiscent of political thinking that dominated public

policy summits when Bill Clinton was President and Republicans controlled Congress. Local control was praised. There was a predominant idea that people of different viewpoints can work together to make America a better place and its people more prosperous. Economic development and commerce - with some appropriate restraint and assistance from the government - were portrayed as positive forces for society. Despite changing times on the national and state level, the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce continues to seek common ground on local and regional public policies. We believe this kind of cooperation can achieve common positive goals for regional businesses and our community. The Chamber prefers

to meet over a beer to try to work out differences in opinions, as recommended by Bruce Katz. Are you interested in meeting with Chamber leaders for coffee or a beer to discuss making Salinas a better place to live and work? If so, contact Paul Farmer, CEO & Chief Member Advocate of the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce, at or at (831) 751-7725. ■


Tips on Presenting to Agencies and Boards by Nick Smith, Attorney, Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss Recently, I wrote an article called, “Three Tips on Presenting to Governmental Agencies and Boards,” which stressed brevity, precision in arguments, and appropriate decorum when appearing before an agency or board. Here are three additional tips to assist in effectively presenting to governmental agencies and boards. It never hurts to know a little something about the people that make up the board you are addressing. Go to the board’s website and read about the individuals who sit on the board. The more you know about the background of individual board members, the better you will understand how they might make decisions and how to craft arguments that will persuade them.

Tip 2: Be Prepared There is nothing more important when presenting to a board than being well prepared. Do your homework and know the issues before you appear. Before the meeting, the board will have received briefing from its staff and will know the issues for discussion. If you miss the mark on the issues, you will have totally lost the board. Understanding that time is the board’s most important commodity, focus your arguments on the most important issues and do not try to uncover every

Tip 3: Be Professional There is nothing worse you can do for your position than to go before a board and be fumbling over papers or try to read verbatim from a lengthy script. You only have a few minutes so you should rehearse your presentation preferably with another person prior to the board meeting. This will allow you to appear composed and persuasive in advancing your position. Remember to speak clearly, slowly, and loud enough so people will hear and understand you. While this seems basic, I see people regularly violate these principles. Further, you should have a very good idea of what you want to say well before the appearance. If you bring notes, bring a small “crib sheet” with succinct phrases and not a large document or script. This helps you in two ways: (1) you won’t be overly dependent on your notes; and (2) you will be far more relaxed and confident in front of the board. Avoid throat-clearing phrases such as asking if you have three minutes to speak or any other preliminary commentary. State your name, deliver your points, and move on. This will leave the impression that your position is worthy of serious consideration by the board. ■ This article is intended to address topics of general interest and should not be construed as legal advice. © 2019 Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss Nick Smith is an attorney with Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss in Salinas and Monterey. His practice is focused on litigation and business matters, and he serves on the Pacific Grove City Council.


Photo by Batista Moon Studios

Tip 1: Know Your Audience

stone. The board will appreciate your level of preparation and focus.

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JULY 2019

U.S. Labor Market Solid by Lucia Mutikani, Reuters

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits fell more than expected in June, pointing to underlying labor market strength despite a sharp slowdown in job growth in May. But the outlook for the economy continues to darken. Other data showed factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region stalled in June, likely reflecting a recent escalation in trade tensions between the United States and China. The trade war has increased uncertainty over the U.S. economic outlook, prompting the Federal Reserve on Wednesday to signal it could cut interest rates by as much as half a percentage point over the rest of this year. The U.S. central bank has kept rates unchanged so far. “Solid labor market conditions supporting a strong consumer sector provides a solid base underneath the economy,” said Jim Baird, chief investment officer at Plante Moran Financial Advisors in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 216,000 for the week ended June 15, the Labor Department said. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims would decrease to 220,000 in the latest week. The Labor Department said no states were estimated. The drop in claims followed three straight weekly increases. Claims are being closely watched for signs of a rise in layoffs stemming from the trade dispute. The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, rose 1,000 to 218,750 recently. The claims data covered the survey period for the nonfarm payrolls component of June’s employment report. The four-week average of claims was little changed between the May and June survey periods. Still, economists expect payrolls to pick up in June after increasing by 75,000 jobs in May. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged the meager job gains

JULY 2019

in May and said “in light of recent developments this bears watching,” but also noted that “many labor market indicators remain strong.” Slowing Economy Claims have been roughly flat this year, indicating some easing in labor market conditions. Job growth has cooled from the brisk pace in 2018 in line with the economy, which is slowing as the stimulus from last year’s massive tax cuts and increased government spending fades. “The recent flattening out in the data could be viewed as a negative change in momentum,” said Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan in New York. “But at least the recent trade developments haven’t led to a noticeable increase in filings for unemployment insurance.” The Atlanta Fed is forecasting gross domestic product will rise at a 2.0% annualized rate in the second quarter. The economy grew at a 3.1% pace in the January-March quarter, boosted by a temporary burst in exports and an accumulation of inventories. The surge in exports, together with a decline in imports, helped to shrink the current account deficit in the first quarter to $130.4 billion from $143.9 billion in the fourth quarter, the Commerce Department said in a separate report on Thursday. Exports, however, tumbled in April in response to softening global demand. Weak exports and an inventory overhang, especially in the automotive sector, are hobbling manufacturing. Bottlenecks in the supply chain resulting from the U.S.-China trade war are also squeezing manufacturing, which accounts for about 12% of the economy. A third report from the Philadelphia Fed showed its business conditions index dropped to a reading of 0.3 in June from 16.6 in May. There were decreases in measures of new orders, employment and shipments. A gauge of prices received by manufacturers in the region tumbled to near a three-year low. A measure of prices paid by factories was also the lowest in nearly three years. These

findings support expectations that inflation will remain muted this year. The sharp braking in manufacturing in the region that covers eastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware was the latest indication that national factory activity continues to slow. A recent report from the New York Fed showed a record plunge in its Empire State manufacturing index to more than a 2-1/2-year low in June. But there are some rays of hope for manufacturing. The Philadelphia Fed

survey’s six-month business conditions index rose to a reading of 21.4 this month from 19.7 in May. Its six-month capital expenditures index increased to 28.0 from a reading of 23.3 in the prior month. “We continue to expect manufacturing reacceleration,” said Samuel Coffin, an economist at UBS in Stamford, Connecticut. “Confidence has declined, but we saw signs of an upturn in the last industrial production report.” ■


Calling All Alumni to Celebrate Hartnell’s Centennial! We are gathering alumni stories for our upcoming Centennial Celebration.

Share Your Story

Tell us what Hartnell has meant to you.

Join Our Alumni “Who’s Who”

Share where you work, what you do and when you graduated.

See Familiar Faces

Go to and select Hartnell College to get started! Or share your story directly through our website:


JULY 2019

Hartnell Invites Alumni for Centennial

Hartnell College is reaching out to generations of alumni to help celebrate its Centennial in 2020. Their memories, photos and souvenirs from across the decades will tell the story of Hartnell’s journey from its humble founding in 1920 as Salinas Junior College to the engine of opportunity it quickly became – and continues to be. The college was the 13th Hartnell Students from the 1970s junior college established in California, with Fresno City attended the college in its early decades College being the first to open in 1910. – are very welcome, Cruz said. Against the backdrop of American and Plans for the celebration are still taking world history, Hartnell has reflected shape, but Hartnell anticipates having Salinas’s demographic changes and social both a Centennial gathering for alumni forces such as the farmworker rights and a community celebration next March, movement of the 1960s and ‘70s. as well as connecting the observance to First located within Salinas High major college events throughout the year. School, the college opened on its current Banners proclaiming Hartnell’s 100th site at Alisal Street and Homestead year will be placed in Oldtown Salinas Avenue in 1937. In 1948, its name and along Alisal Street beginning early became Hartnell in 1948 in honor of next year. local educational pioneer William Hartnell The Hartnell Foundation plans to and his wife, Maria Teresa de la Guerra. develop extensive Centennial content on It has continually evolved to meet the its alumni website and share students’ educational needs of the Salinas Valley. recollections and memorabilia through One campus touchstone that bridges social media, documentary videos and the Salinas Junior College and Hartnell publication of a keepsake book now College eras is a black granite sculpture planned for summer 2020. of a panther, the Hartnell mascot “This will be both fun and known as “Oscar,” which was funded tremendously rewarding,” Cruz said. “I through Works Progress Administration also believe gaining a deeper appreciation and presented as a gift from the of the past will inspire us to make sure Class of 1940. Hartnell keeps on empowering students “More than bricks and mortar, we are through outstanding education.” celebrating our transformational impact The theme for the celebration is on tens of thousands of Salinas Valley “A century of service, transformation students and families,” said Jackie Cruz, and excellence.” Hartnell’s vice president for advancement Alumni and their descendants are and development. invited to share their memories and the The college hopes to hear from college’s impact on their lives through individuals who want to share their the Hartnell Foundation website, at experiences at Hartnell and how it has to their personal and career college-is-turning-100-years-old/. They success, Cruz said. “We also want to also can identify themselves via LinkedIn connect with people whose parents and by going to and grandparents came here and found their selecting “Hartnell College.” direction in life, including often meeting To learn more about the Centennial, their future husband or wife,” she said. please email communications@hartnell. Snapshots, mementos and recollections edu or call 831-755-6810. ■ – including from deceased relatives who

JULY 2019

New Member Profiles American Lock and Key Look no further than American Lock and Key Services for all your home, business and auto lock and key needs. For over 40 years, American Lock and Key has been a local business that has been serving Monterey County. We are centrally located and have the knowledge, skills and equipment to provide top quality service at a reasonable price. We are reliable, trustworthy, licensed, bonded and insured with multiple vehicles to come to your residence or business. Plus, we have a local convenient store location to service all your lock and key needs. A1573 Del Monte Blvd, Seaside • (831) 899-3443

Balance Physical Therapy Balance Physical Therapy® and Human Performance Center is dedicated to being the most patient-focused, result-oriented rehabilitation facility in Monterey County. Through the application of highly skilled manual therapy, prescribed therapeutic exercise, and patient education, we form a team with our patients and are committed to returning them to an active lifestyle. We are proud to offer state-ofthe-art machinery such as the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill™. We have convenient locations in Monterey and Salinas. • (831) 422-4782

Oldtown Fish & Chips Oldtown Fish & Chips has a new location in downtown Salinas. Try fresh made-to-order battered Alaskan Cod, shrimp, and other varieties of seafood. The restaurant also serves Mexican food, and they highlight their menudo that is served daily with thick handmade corn tortillas on the side. Try out their delicious food for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Search for the Californian article online to read the restaurant’s latest review. 18 E Gabilan St, Salinas • (831) 422-3011

Salinas Self Storage At Salinas Self Storage, we are committed to providing you with the best self-storage experience. We are conveniently located just off the Sala Road exit off of Highway 101. Come in soon to see our newly expanded facility and to meet our friendly, professional staff. We'll meet all your storage needs-personal, business, RV and more. You'll see why at Salinas Self Storage we say, "Our service makes a difference!" Serving the Salinas area including Prunedale, Castroville, Gonzales, Royal Oaks, Marina, and Monterey. 201 Harrison Rd., Salinas • (831) 444-8080

Santa Cruz County Bank Santa Cruz County Bank offers high-touch, high-tech banking and lending expertise for individuals and business owners. As a preferred SBA lender, the Bank provides loans throughout California and is recognized as one of the Top 10 SBA lenders in the Silicon Valley and as a top USDA lender in the State of California. Member FDIC. Top 100 Best Performing Community Bank in the U.S. 5-Star Superior Rated. (831) 457-5000 •


The Anatomy Of A Retirement Plan Advisor

Chamber Events

by Bill Hastie, MBA In the financial services industry, advisors come with a wide range of expertise, typically based on education and experience. Stock brokers, insurance agents and financial planners each have a particular skillset specific to their area of the industry. The same applies to those financial advisors who specialize in serving corporate retirement plans and their participants. What makes the retirement plan advisor so vital to many people is what’s at stake – retirement plan savings can account for the majority of many people’s entire retirement income plan, and proper guidance here can make all the difference in the world. While educational backgrounds may vary from retirement plan advisor to advisor, there are primarily three characteristics most top advisors will have.

They serve as a fiduciary

Serving as a fiduciary means always putting the client’s best interest first above any other consideration. It’s an easy process – do whatever is best for the client in everything the advisor does, provides full disclosure of all relevant information and charge reasonable fees. ERISA, the tax act that governs most retirement plans, has two particular sections that clearly define a fiduciary’s role by making them subject to the Exclusive Benefit Rule. Advisors serving their clients under sections 3(21) or 3(38) of ERISA are subject to this Rule, and are bound to put first the interests of the plan, its participants and their beneficiaries.

Have money management experience

The retirement plan advisor is often called on to meet with plan participants and review the investment options they have selected and make recommendations. The advisor who also maintains an investment management practice, who is in the (investment) trenches day in and day


Bill Hastie out can truly provide meaningful guidance to a plan participant. This process often begins with a questionnaire to help the advisor better understand how the participant feels about accepting investment risk, their past experience with investing and their time horizon to retirement and beyond. With this information, the advisor can review the investment options available in the plan and help the participant construct a meaningful portfolio focused on their goals. This may be as simple as using a target date fund, managed for a particular retirement age/date.

Obtain advisory training

Beyond core financial training such as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or an MBA, many programs are available to sharpen the skills of the retirement plan advisor in a variety of specific areas. The Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF) and the Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst (AIFA) designations focus primarily on the fiduciary issues involved with the proper handling of retirement plan assets. The Retirement Advisor University, in conjunction with the Anderson School at UCLA, provides the Certified 401k Professional (C(k)P) designation, and the National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) provides the Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA) designation. Technical competence is a must for a retirement plan advisor. Other areas of expertise includes plan design and a clear understanding of how different plans can be used with various types of business entities, number and makeup of plan participants and the ultimate goals of the company owners.

Bill Hastie, MBA is the Founder of locally-owned Hastie Financial Group. If you would like to discuss your personal or company’s investment needs, please contact Bill at ■

A beautiful summer day greeted Connect at Lunch attendees at Scales restaurant on the Monterey Wharf.

Store Manager Lebrina Garcia cut the ribbon at the newly-refurbished American Cancer Society Discovery Shop near Safeway.

Balance Physical Therapy welcomed some cute kids to hold the plaques while John Farahmand cut the ribbon.

We need a l-o-o-o-n-g ribbon for that many kids at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Monterey County.

Madonna Gardens celebrates their Memory Care unit.

York School cuts the ribbon for the Gawain Family Theater.

JULY 2019

Education, Government and Law The Leadership Monterey County class has kept very busy with recent outings focused on Education, Government and Law. On Education Day, we started with a discussion at California State University, Monterey Bay with Provost Dr. Bonnie Irwin about higher education and the Bright Futures initiative, which is focused on fostering progress in education outcomes for local students, from cradle to career, and improving the pipeline of quality talent within Monterey County. We then visited with President Dr. Will Lewallen at Hartnell College and discovered many of the amazing opportunities that this community college has to offer. Our next stop at the Monterey County Office of Education was very informative. We met with Superintendent Dr. Deneen Gus about the role of MCOE and Dr. Gus’s vision for the future of education in our county. Lastly, we travelled to Monterey Supervisor Alejo discusses local issues with the class Peninsula College, where Dean Knolle informed us about MPC’s curriculum and their partnerships with local high schools. Dean van Joolen also led an informative talk about the future of robotics.

On Government and Law day, the class was excited about the opportunity to meet with County Supervisors John Phillips and Luis Alejo. We discussed important issues happening in each of their districts. We then took a tour of the Salinas Police department, where the Chief of Police Adele Fresé educated us about the efforts of her team, especially the Violence Suppression Unit which is focused on reducing gang-related crime. District Attorney Jeannine Pacioni discussed the role of her department, and the methods her team uses to prosecute cases in our county. We ended the day with Standing before the Salinas Police Department's an informative MRAP vehicle discussion with Seaside City Mayor Ian Oglesby and King City Mayor Mike Lebarre about issues that impact their cities, such as the need for low income housing, homelessness and the creation of additional local jobs. The cohort is looking forward to our next class which will focus on Healthcare in Monterey County. Thank you to our sponsors: Hartnell College, Central Coast College and Fenton & Keller law firm. ■

Chamber Ambassador

Erik Homan

25 years ago and moved to Hollister in 1995.

Erik has worked in the service industry for over 30 years. He has worked in Hospitality, Human Capital Management and now Security Services. Erik has always been driven to provide exemplary service to every client and business partner that he works with. Since 2000, Erik has serviced clients here in the Central Coast. He currently works for Allied Universal Security Services as a Business Development Manager and provides service, systems and solutions to serve, secure and care for the people and businesses in our communities. Erik Homan was born and raised in San Jose and graduated from San Jose State University. He married the woman of his dreams, Carolyn

JULY 2019

The Salinas Chamber has been a wonderful opportunity to network and meet new people in the community. He recently became an Ambassador in

January to be more involved in the community and be an additional advocate to help the Chamber grow. In addition to working for Allied Universal, Erik and his wife also own Live To Cycle Fitness in Hollister. They both work as Personal Trainers and Spinning Instructors and are passionate in helping people live a fit and healthier lifestyle. When Erik isn’t working or training clients, he enjoys traveling with his wife, racing in triathlons and playing golf. If you or someone you know have security needs, please contact Erik at or 831-682-3335. ■


Focus on Non-Profits United Way Monterey County At United Way, we focus on expanding opportunities for financial stability for working families in Monterey County through access to affordable quality childcare and housing. We also offer financial support services to help people manage their money. But we don’t do this alone, we collaborate with local partners including: businesses, public officials, community leaders, and residents. Our early care and education activities support the needs of families with young children, focusing on increasing the availability of affordable childcare that have licensed care providers, upgrading early learning centers, and preparing kids for kindergarten. Our asset building programs focus on helping residents gain financial stability through free tax preparation services, financial literacy workshops, and community service. Our housing efforts address the shortage of affordable housing throughout Monterey County and provide needed

support for working families living in homeless or near homeless conditions. We are advocating for affordable housing through state and local policies and education. We LIVE UNITED by bringing our community together around these issues and creating networks of support through services such as 2-1-1, connecting residents with local resources such as food and housing, legal services, employment, education, tax assistance and more. We are excited about the future as we strengthen our community partnerships and develop innovative programs that provide an opportunity where everyone has an opportunity to succeed. Call us at (831) 372-8026 or visit today to learn more about volunteering, events, and donating. ■

Non-Profit Calendar July 10:

Info Session 5:30-6:30pm Hudson Martin 490 Calle Principal, Monterey Non-Profit: CASA of Monterey County 831-455-6800 •

July 12:

Big Week Kick Off Concert: Tim McGraw 5pm 1034 N. Main Street Non-Profit: California Rodeo 831-775-3100 •

July 12-21:

July 13:

Colmo del Rodeo Parade 7:30pm Old Town Salinas Non-Profit: California Rodeo 831-775-3100

July 17:

Professional Bull Riding Gates 5pm, show 7pm 1034 N. Main Street Non-Profit: California Rodeo 831-775-3100

July 18,


July 13:

July 20,



California Rodeo Salinas Big Week Carnival 3pm - 11pm daily 395 Sun Way, Salinas, CA Non-Profit: California Rodeo 831-775-3100 • Kiddie Kapers Parade 7pm Old Town Salinas Non-Profit: California Rodeo 831-775-3100 •

California Rodeo Salinas Gates 4pm, show 6pm 1034 N. Main Street Non-Profit: California Rodeo 831-775-3100 • California Rodeo Salinas Gates 10am, show 1:15pm 1034 N. Main Street California Rodeo 831-775-3100 •

July 22:

Info Session 6-7pm VTC/Martinez Hall, 220 11th Street, Marina Non-Profit: CASA of Monterey County 831-455-6800 •

Aug 9:

Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival Kick-Off Party 5-8pm 1 Main St., Salinas Non-Profit: Oldtown Salinas Foundation 831-758-0725

Aug 10:

Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival 11:30am-4pm Main Street in Salinas Non-Profit: Oldtown Salinas Foundation 831-758-0725 •

Aug 22:

2019 Bill Barker Memorial Golf Tournament 11am Bayonet & Black Horse Courses, Seaside Non-Profit: Monterey County Farm Bureau 831-751-3100 •

JULY 2019

New State-run IRA Opens

CA Gas Tax Increases

by Ed Mendel, Capitol Weekly

by Andrew Sheeler, Sacramento Bee

A new state workplace retirement savings program, CalSavers, will open to an estimated 250,00 to 300,000 employers on July 1 — offering an automatic IRA payroll deduction for the 7.5 million California workers with no retirement plan on the job. The massive program, expected to handle billions in savings, is voluntary for employees. If they don’t opt out in 30 days, they are automatically enrolled. Once in the plan, they can opt out at any time, and then opt back in if they choose. For businesses with five or more employees, the program is mandatory. They must offer employees CalSavers, or a qualified retirement plan chosen by the employer, to avoid a penalty for repeated non-compliance of $750 per employee. CalSavers opens July 1 to all eligible

employers and to the self-employed on Sept 1. Compliance deadlines begin for businesses with over 100 employees June 30, 2020; over 50 employees June 30, 2021, and five or more employees June 30, 2022. The CalSavers goal is to help the nearly half of all California workers, with little beyond Social Security, who are projected to retire into hardship. Their average annual income is $35,000. Two-thirds work for businesses with less than 100 employees. “Workers with a payroll deduction savings option are 15 times more likely to be on a path to retirement security, and 20 times more likely when it’s automatic enrollment,” says CalSavers, citing AARP. ■

California’s latest gas tax increase is about to kick in. Here’s what you can expect. Traveling by car this summer? Better budget more for gas. Beginning July 1, California’s gas tax increases from 41.7 cents to 47.3 cents per gallon, a 5.6 cent increase in the price of fuel. The tax increase is an annual adjustment to the tax the state applies to a gallon of gas. In 2016, Californians paid about 28 cents in state taxes for a gallon of gas. The rate climbed by 12 cents per gallon in 2017 after the Legislature passed a 10-year tax and fee increase that aims to raise about $52 billion for transportation projects. Last year, former Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration wanted to raise the rate by another 4 cents per gallon. The Board of Equalization, which had

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JULY 2019

authority over fuel taxes, rejected the request. The denial saved drivers a little money but created a $617 million hole in Brown’s state budget. The Board of Equalization no longer has influence over motor vehicle gas taxes. The California Department of Tax and Fee Administration gained that authority and set the rate that is scheduled to take effect. ■

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Disclosure Obligations in Real Estate Sales by Patrick Casey Anyone that sells real property in California has an obligation to disclose any material condition related to the property that could affect the value or desirability of the property. This is true regardless of whether it is a residential property, commercial property, vacant land or a condominium. This disclosure obligation applies regardless of whether it is an “as is” sale or if the material condition is not specifically identified or referenced in the preprinted transfer disclosure statement or seller property questionnaire. It is inclement upon a seller to disclose any material condition that they know about the property. The disclosure obligation also applies to any material condition about which the seller should have known. Even if the seller does not have actual knowledge of a significant problem, the seller may be imputed to have knowledge if it should have been obvious that there was a problem. For example, a seller may not know that there are structural issues with a property that causes the floor to sag. But if the seller notices the floor sagging in several areas, then the seller should have known that there was some type of structural problem and they would have to disclose this fact to the buyer. The 2017 California case of RSB Vineyards, LLC v. Orsi (15 Cal. App.5th 1089) analyzes the disclosure obligation for any material conditions that a seller should have known

about. The defendant Orsi purchased a vineyard property in 2009 that contained a single-family home. They applied for, and received, permits to convert the single family home into a tasting room. They hired licensed contractors to do the work, had the county inspect the work and sign off on the building permit and the county issued a certificate of occupancy for the tasting room. In 2011, they sold the property to the plaintiff RSB. Several months after closing, RSB hired a structural engineer to inspect the tasting room and noted multiple problems including the deck was not properly built, the floor had insufficient structural support and various other issues. RSB sued Orsi for breach of contract and breach of warranty for failing to disclose these problems. Both the trial court and the appellate court found that Orsi had met its disclosure obligations to RSB. At no time did Orsi know about any of the design or construction problems with the tasting room. No one ever informed Orsi about them and they were not readily apparent. In addition, whether or not Orsi’s contractors knew about these problems, Orsi was not imputed to know what its contractors knew because the contractors were not acting as Orsi’s agents in the sale to RSB. Orsi’s contractors were hired to convert the residence to a tasting room and nothing else, and they never informed Orsi about any such problems. Thus, the contractor’s knowledge (if they had knowledge of any such problems) was not imputed to Orsi, and therefore Orsi had no disclosure obligation to RSB. ■ This article is written by Patrick Casey, who is a business attorney with the JRG Attorneys At Law firm in Monterey. You may reach the author at (831) 269-7114 or at


Member News Boosman Joins Beacon House Beacon House recently welcomed Kristi Boosman as their new Business Development Director. Kristi comes with 25 years of experience in communications and marketing, including creating public education and marketing campaigns focused on creating measurable change. She began her career at PBS Station, where she had the privilege of working on the Bill Moyers documentary, “Moyers on Addiction: Close to Home,” which gave her a first look at the science, treatment, prevention and politics of addiction in America. Kristi Boosman More recently, Kristi has worked for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, Stanford University, and the Alzheimer’s Association. She has a Master’s in Public Communications and comes with strong business development skills.

CASA Welcomes Little Noland Hamerly attorney Danny Little has joined the Board of Directors of CASA of Monterey County, a vital resource for local foster youth. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASAs) are volunteers from the community who advocate for abused or neglected children placed in foster care, standing by their side as stable adults they can count on as they go through the foster care system. Mr. Little was drawn to CASA’s Board by a family connection – his mother serves as a CASA in Danny’s Danny Little home state of Texas. The Noland Hamerly firm has a long-held commitment to community service, and most of its 14 attorneys serve one or more non-profit and civic organizations.

New Hires at Alvarez Technology Alvarez Technology Group has hired Joseph Petix as Account Executive and Ramon Moreno as Security Technician. As Account Executive, Joseph will partner with small to midsize companies and organizations. He will be helping them improve their operations through a more effective use of technology. Joseph Petix As Security Technician, Ramon Moreno will be responsible for daily Managed Service Provider (MSP) support, provide network security tasks/assessments, configure and deploy video cameras/ network recorders and assist clients in troubleshooting technical issues. Ramon was born in Watsonville and currently resides in Castroville.

JULY 2019

Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival

July & August 2019 July





Salinas Valley Food & Wine Festival Annual Chamber Mixer

TUESDAY, JULY 9TH 5:30-7PM ..............................

Ribbon Cutting- Salinas Self Storage


5:30 PM - 7:00 PM 210 Main St., Salinas

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM 201 Harrison Rd., Salinas



Government Relations Committee (GRC) Meeting


Member Orientation



11:30 AM-1:00 PM • Chamber Office

Ambassador Committee Meeting


Young Professionals Group Committee Meeting


Connect at Lunch- Baja's Bar and Grill

26 7


12:00 PM - 1:00 PM • Chamber Office




Connect at Lunch

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM • Chamber Office 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM • Chamber Office 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM 435 Pajaro St., Salinas

Mexican and Japanese Fusion Cuisine 435 Pajaro St., Salinas Aug. 7th from 12-1pm

JULY 2019


It means Ready to Help


JULY 2019