Sunday, May 31, 2009

Downtown Pomona Owner's Association: Good for the City?

Pomona, the Roman goddess
Originally uploaded by ai pohaku
Short answer? Yes.

First step go here, there are some great points made to the benefit of keeping the DPOA and the city's involvement(and here). For example, certain funds for the land owned by the city in Downtown by Pomona cannot be relined for general funds, so it would not save on cost.

The Downtown Pomona Owner's Association (DPOA). Essentially is exactly what it says it is. But what they do is provide funding for extra patrolling by police, keeping the streets clean and coordinating events. It essentially unifies the folks in downtown and helps to organize efforts and really push the downtown into becoming a haven in Pomona.

With a population of around 149,000 (about a third are under 18) and the number of jobs in Pomona being only about 58,000. Pomona probably cannot sustain itself without money coming in from outside. What that means is that we here in Pomona need to bring people into Pomona to spend money. But before we ask other people to spend time and money in Pomona we have to be able to do it ourselves. That means shopping and buying locally within city limits. And hopefully from locally owned businesses, instead of large chains with headquarters outside of Pomona (at the very least not outside southern california).

That also means that the city needs to invest and spend money locally with some of the goal to draw business in from outside. To bring people that aren't from Pomona to experience what's best about Pomona and essentially spend some money here.

The biggest draw to Pomona is without a doubt Downtown Pomona. With neighboring Claremont quickly expanding their downtown, and even drawing Pomona residents out that way, Pomona has a lot of catching up to do. Fortunately, we have the Fox Theater, The Glass House, a Great Arts Colony, DBA 256 etc... and we also fortunately have the DPOA so that the owners in Downtown can make decisions as a unit and draw people into Pomona to help support our economy. If Pomona had a face it'd be the Downtown.

With the exception of Flame Broiler, Starbucks, Chase, and UPS, the businesses in the downtown are not large chains. Each of the business owners has a connection to Pomona. This is also what makes the DPOA successful and it is also something that slows gentrification. (by having local business owners being the primary makeup of the downtown, small timers have a better chance of making it)

People that I know that have lived in Pomona for over 20 years, have all said things like "Pomona takes one step forward and then two steps back" or "Pomona is always on the edge of cleaning itself up and becoming a great city, but over and over some bad decisions are made."

I just hope Pomona doesn't take two steps back when voting on Monday. They took a step forward by their efforts in recent years and they should be commended for it. But withdrawing participation, will indeed be a big mistake for the future of the city.

Someday if I ever own a business in Downtown, I'd like to be part of the DPOA, and I'd be able to voice my opinion on improving economics and the environment with the association. Sounds like a pretty sweet association to me.

So if you happen to live in Pomona, and you have an opinion one way or another, write your council person BY TOMORROW and better yet, try to go to the council meeting tomorrow. I probably won't be there but I'm going to write to my council person.


Anonymous said...

Great blog. I agree and support the downtown and the property owner's association whole heartedly. Good luck tonight!

Skrip said...

Yeah, I was one of those 'Pomonans' who flocked to Claremont's downtown for the last few years until I discovered the awesome gem of the Pomona Art Walk and businesses there this year. I am there just about every weekend, bringing in new people from all over Southern California, with the feedback being PHENOMENAL! Go DPOA!

Anduhrew said...

Thanks Anon.!

Skrip, funny thing is, last night I was actually at the Press in Claremont, because I have some friends that live out there, and we were celebrating our awards and scholarships. But! what i did was I convinced them to come out to Pomona the next time we go out. We'll be making a trip out to DBA 256 and probably Acerogami with some grub from Joey's BBQ and have their marshmallow and sweet potato. I'm always tring to keep things local, I'm very happy that you are too. I love this town.

Anonymous said...

Andrew just reread your article. Hope you are still coming downtown and have noticed that it keeps getting better. We are working hard for people like you who want to celebrate their community.

Anonymous said...

We need a movie theater here! I always go to Claremont for that vey reason alone...and then i end up eating dinner there and the I drive back home to Pomona.