Minutes from April 2, 2013-Open meeting PR for Bankrupt Stockton

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

  Open Board of Directors Meeting
 San Bernardino Community College District
114 S. Del Rosa Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408


Present:  Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick Tom Brickley, Erin Brinker, Ann Bryan, Ken Coate, Bill Easley, Ron Freemont, Dick Hart, Scott Hofferber, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Temetry Lindsey, Sue McKee, John Mirau, Lou Monville, Charlie Ng, Steve PonTell, Bev Powell, John Prentice, Susan Rice, Kristine Scott, Larry Sharp, Shelli Stockton, Phil Waller and Ray Wolfe.

Guests: Mayor Pete Aguilar, Fred Shorett, Kevin Webb and Greg Young

Announcements: 1) The Inland Action trip to Sacramento is planned for Tuesday, May 21, 2013 with the option of arriving on Monday, May 20th for some possible afternoon meetings and a group dinner.  A reservation form for the trip will be e-mailed shortly. 2) Committee chairs and co-chairs should plan to review state issues and active bills in preparation for the trip. 3) Members who would like to be reimbursed for their airfare to Washington, D.C. are requested to submit their receipt no later than April 12, 2013. 4) The County of San Bernardino will hold their State of the County-2013 Vision in Action on Wednesday, April 10, 2013 at 4:30p.m. at the Citizens Business Bank Arena. Please Rsvp to http://www.sbcountyadvantage.com/ 5) The investiture of Dr. Tomas Morales will take place at 900a.m. on Friday, June 14, 2013 at California State University San Bernardino, Coussoulis Arena.  6) City National Bank has been proposed as a member.  Steve Kenagy, Vice President/Sr. Relationship Mgr. from the Ontario branch will serve as representative.  The membership will be asked to vote on this proposed member next week Tuesday, April 9, 2013. 7) The Inland Empire Economic Partnership will present the Inland Empire Quality of Life Summit from 8:00a.m. – 2:00p.m. on Wednesday, May 22, 2013 at UC Riverside.  The featured speaker is Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.  Tickets and further information can be found at http://www.ieep.com/2013-inland-empire-quality-of-life-summit/ 

M/S/P: Minutes from March 26, 2013

Lou Monville introduced Roger Salazar, Managing Partner, Mercury Public Relations.

Mercury Public Relations has been hired by the business community in the City of Stockton, California, to assist them in improving the city’s image since filing for bankruptcy.

The City of Stockton is the fourth largest city in the state’s Central Valley region and the county seat of San Joaquin County, California. Stockton filed for bankruptcy protection in June of 2012 and on Monday, April 1, 2013, a judge authorized the city’s bankruptcy filing, making it the largest city in U.S. history to go bankrupt.

The national press framed the city in a negative light due to the bankruptcy filing and Stockton’s unfortunate high crime rate.

Since the city’s filing and much bad press, the business community joined forces and hired Mercury Public Relations to help raise confidence and re-establish positive public opinion about Stockton.  The business group expressed many economic concerns that included the impact on real estate, attracting new business, encouraging business expansion, maintaining their customer base and recruitment of qualified workforce. 

Mercury Public Relations created Stockton Forward, in essence a clearing house for good news.  Stockton Forward is a group consisting of business members and education and community groups.  The group worked to publicly highlight many ongoing positive projects in the community in order to convey that Stockton is a proud city with spirited and strong, committed business core.  Press releases and open letters in the newspaper were helpful to communicate the good news that was still happening in Stockton.  Public communication and education about what would and wouldn’t be affected by the bankruptcy was very important.  For example, parents were reassured and relieved that their schools and busses were not affected.  The group strongly supports the city council and has established cohesiveness between the public and private sectors.

The message they have sent is that Stockton acknowledges prior poor decisions but has learned from them and is working to resolve the problems.  The work continues in an effort to restore a positive community and public perspective. 

A Q & A period followed.
Meeting adjourned at 8:33 a.m.