Invest Wisdom & Sweat Equity in Your Community in 2015

After Don Maruska founded three Silicon Valley companies, including the one that became E*Trade, he founded a new career based on the tenets of his first book, How Great Decisions Get Made. His biggest challenge yet might be his current assignment in Morro Bay, his own backyard. He’s been hired to help community stakeholders “develop potential initiatives” to enhance Morro Bay’s economy. A LEAP (Local Economy Action Plan) workshop is scheduled Wed. Jan. 21 from 6-8:30 p.m. inviting “merchants, businesses, tourism and community members” to participate.

A previous meeting suggested several creative ideas from a diverse group. Initiatives developed are posted at More action items are solicited. However, not all representative stakeholders showed up and some showed up merely to observe. Maybe the stakeholders were busy, unaware, or need a personal invitation, but as Maruska encouraged from the get-go, “Offer your comments and share how you’d like to help.”

Maruka’s task is to guide. Without a broad representation of stakeholders committing to create and adopt initiatives they will become passionate about, the initiatives will fade. And a city council and staff cannot be held wholly responsible for creating a robust economy without community members willing to support initiatives developed by broad-based community stakeholders.

As John F. Kennedy reminded us, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” By the Bay invited ideas for today’s column accompanied by a resolve to support in 2015. There was an exceptional response and more resolutions are welcome. As space allows in my Monday column next week, I’ll add in more great ideas and post them here as well.

Note to Snowbirds who live here part time or regular…and even irregular visitors…you too know what you think would make Morro Bay a better experience to live in or visit, so your ideas are just as valuable. Add them to the comments. I will get them to Mr. Maruska.

See some of the commitments below:

Mayor Jamie Irons: I will continue to lead the community in open and respectful dialogue to update the General Plan and Local Coastal Plan, the blueprints for how our community grows into the future.

Ann Reisner, Morro Bay Beautiful: I would like to see a new, younger group of citizens/volunteers come forward to work and problem solve our issues. (Older citizens) would assist or recommend and new faces will begin leading/doing.

Jack Smith, Morro Bay Skateboard Museum: Bring the 2015 World Slalom Skateboarding Championships back to Morro Bay.

Andrea Lueker, Morro Bay Community Quota Fund: Make progress on shore side services and infrastructure to support the commercial fishing fleet, a MOST important community economic engine.

Dana McClish, Morro Bay Harbor Advisory and Youth Sailing Foundation: Develop a boat haul-out and storage facility and county-wide high school sailing team.

Bonnie Jones, Estero Bay Alliance for Care: Get safe parking and/or housing for those living in cars.

Wayne Benham, 97.3 The Rock: My hope is that the individual and the community both thrive in harmony.

To be continued next Monday….