Mayor’s full State of the City presentation now posted

Dana Point hopes to orchestrate an era of arts and culture that would draw greater tourist dollars to fill city coffers and build up business.

At the State of the City this afternoon, Mayor Scott Schoeffel seemed to strike the right note with the nearly 250 people packed into the ballroom of the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort and Spa with his address themed “Building our Economic Future in Perfect Harmony.”

The lunchtime event was sponsored by the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce and emceed by Russell Kerr, the chamber’s chairman of the board.

Overall, Schoeffel painted a picture of fiscal stability in Dana Point despite the flagging economy.

“I am pleased to say our revenue decline of the previous two years appear to have bottomed out,” said the mayor during his address and slide presentation. “We are showing some signs of improvement.”

He stressed that the city had no unfunded pension liability. And bucking a statewide trend among other communities, the city bears no outstanding debt, he said.

“We do not borrow money in the City of Dana Point to pay our bills,” Schoeffel added.

He singled out three areas of the city in need of economic growth and development in the next two decades, namely the town center, Dana Point Harbor and Doheny Village.

The mayor also focused on building up the city’s tourism business by 10 percent.

“Tourism is clearly Dana Point’s economic engine,” he said.

Schoeffel spoke about how Dana Point has joined successfully with the city’s four major resort hotels under a tourism business improvement district (TBID), a private-public partnership to collect assessments to be to improve tourism by marketing the city as a tourist destination. He also called upon civic organizations, city agencies and the business community to share resources to foster greater tourism efforts.

On a lighter note, he said he’d given up on attracting an NFL team to Dana Point to go after more revenue, dismissed the idea of a theme park and fleetingly entertained the idea of bringing the Dodgers south.

“I’m thinking we should play to our strength,” he said. “I’m thinking art is looking pretty doggone good as a driver of economic business in this town.”

Schoeffel took quotes from business and civic leaders to underscore his idea of arts.

“Tourism is our cornerstone in Dana Point,” he said. “Let’s work on the cornerstone.”

At the end of the event, Schoeffel picked up his electric violin, and with his band, serenaded the crowd with a newly written piece entitled “Dana’s Point.”

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