E-Communicator Article

The Chairman's Corner

Patrick Longo

July 2016

Well, the busy summer season is certainly upon us. A common theme this year is the lack of available employees. It doesn’t matter what business or industry you’re in; this seems to be a challenge for everyone. It’s not too early to really start thinking about the impacts that many of the issues and prospective politicians in this years upcoming election will have on our industry for years to come.

Whatever your party preference or where your sensibilities may lie, I really believe that this is by far the most important election cycle that we have ever seen in our lifetimes. It’s hard to argue that this year’s primaries have been nothing short of head-scratching entertainment. It appears that we might be down to two candidates. I’m sure that they will provide much fodder for water cooler conversations and debates in the coming months. Again, regardless of your party preference, it’s very important to listen, absorb and retain as much information as possible so that you can make an educated decision and feel confident in your vote. Even if it’s a tough personal decision as to which candidate is most deserving, your vote needs to be placed. I have listened to friends and/or family members over the years complaining about the state of affairs, whether they are tied to individuals or issues, only to learn later that some of those complainers didn’t, or have never, voted. If you don’t vote, how can your criticisms bear any credible weight?

It would appear that there will be at least 10 statewide measures on this year’s California ballot, including such hot-button issues as marijuana legalization, the justice system, education and gun control. It’s reasonable to assume that the legalization of marijuana will have a profound effect on the labor pool and the hiring processes. We also need to think about how the other issues will impact employment.

In each of our municipalities, there will be measures on issues that will also impact our businesses. In 1985, there was a growth management ordinance (GMO) passed by the local voters here in Healdsburg that limited the amount of building permits issued in any given year. The thought was that the community would inhibit excessive growth and rampant development. In the meantime, Healdsburg has become a worldwide tourist hotspot and destination. The unintended consequence of the GMO, as written, is that rent is extremely high, housing prices in Healdsburg are the highest in Sonoma County and there is a severe lack of affordable housing. There will be a measure on our local ballot to amend the GMO to allow for intelligent and economical development. The outcome will have an obvious impact on how Redwood Moving & Storage adapts to any changes. The biggest challenge in my mind will be our workforce – where do we find them and how do we keep them?

So … it’s undeniable that regardless of where you live or where you do business, there will be plenty of changes coming. I like to look at change with my glass half full. As David Bowie wrote in 1971 on his classic song ”Changes”“Ch-ch-ch-changes, turn and face the strange.” I can’t help but ponder how relevant those lyrics are today. Time may change us, but we can’t trace time. What we can do is make sure that we each have an educated voice and a vote in allowing the freedoms that we all share. We also need to make sure that we are all prepared to adapt for success.




July 2016 - CMSA Communicator

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