Jackie Biskupski wants to make Salt Lake City a more friendly place to do business. The mayoral candidate unveiled her economic development plan on Tuesday.
Biskupski says Salt Lake City has low unemployment and an economy that is rebounding but businesses are dealing with too many fees and red tape.
“We are not staying competitive in the county or even outside the county,” Biskupski says. “So it is very difficult for us to recruit businesses here and keep them here.”
Biskupski wants to streamline the city’s planning and zoning departments, simplify the business license process and potentially reduce impact fees developers have to pay the city to begin a new project.
She adds the current administration has focused too much on downtown and Sugar House neighborhoods, ignoring the west side. She plans to create additional Redevelopment Agency Project Areas west of the freeway.
Mayor Ralph Becker said in a statement, Biskupski is once again criticizing him while failing to acknowledge the tremendous prosperity the city has seen during his administration. Matt Lyon is the mayor’s campaign manager. He says the city under Mayor Becker has weathered the recession and come out on top.
“We’re number one in job creation,” Lyon says. “We’re one of the best downtowns. We’re ranked number 6 in the most livable cities. Google Fiber has come here. Goldman Sachs. EA games. There’s a lot of really great progress happening in Salt Lake, and I don’t think there is substance behind what she’s saying.”
Becker recently asked the city council to consider a freeze on impact fees. The council plans to discuss the issue in the coming weeks.