This week I learned of two additional restaurants that closed in the city of La Mirada. It was with great frustration and disappointment that I engaged in discussions regarding these closures. Mainly because of the frustrations I have experienced in these last two years in trying to help businesses grow and thrive in La Mirada, while fighting a stubborn bureaucratic local government. It begins with leadership and La Mirada lacks that above all else. A disengaged, disinterested leadership that relies solely on the work of others cannot succeed. This is why I believe elected representatives should not be observant bystanders, but rather passionate participants willing to roll up their sleeves and get dirty.
La Mirada leadership tends to be the former and not the latter which is unfortunate because it is ultimately the residents and businesses who suffer. When the city fails to work with businesses to address their needs, those businesses either close completely or move to more green pastures. La Mirada has seen tremendous growth in warehousing and distribution operations in our city and while they provide jobs, they do not elevate the standard of living in our city or increase our revenue. Restaurants are the most desired growth component in our city. Residents have been asking for years that their city bring in new restaurants so we no longer have to drive to Fullerton, Brea, La Habra, or even farther to enjoy a nice meal.
In the four years I have been on city council I can attest to the fact that the city has not brought in one single restaurant to La Mirada. Everything that has opened in the last four years was brought in by private business with no help from the city. Yet, restaurants continue to close and things seem to remain the same. Even Mr. V’s has contemplated leaving the city because of how they have been treated. La Mirada is not a very attractive city for retail or food services despite having some of the best demographics possible on paper especially for our area. This needs to change and we must engage in creative partnership opportunities with private business to help our city grow so that instead of taking shopping centers to build more apartments, we bring in more business.