SALISBURY, MD – Today incumbent Salisbury mayor Jim Ireton is to unveil a new approach to business at the Salisbury Chamber of Commerce. According to the Daily Times, “Let’s Do Business Salisbury”appears geared almost exclusively towards developers, not just those seeking to open a business in Salisbury.
For those members of the business community looking for a a “one-stop shop” for permitting, registration, and other bureaucratic entanglements, Ireton’s presentation will be viewed either with disappointment or as a baby step in the right direction. Newly elected councilman Jake Day and unsuccessful mayoral candidate Joe Albero both focused heavily on the need to court new business and on the need to streamline things like the permitting process, often viewed as an impediment to doing business in Salisbury.
Ireton’s plan involves setting up a kiosk on the first floor of the Salisbury / Wicomico Government Office Building (GOB) with form packets useful to developers. Ireton also hopes to install a similar kiosk at the Chamber’s office on East Main Street.
According to the Daily Times’ Jeremy Cox:
…Those changes will be accompanied by a new, business-friendly atmosphere in the city’s staff offices, Ireton said. Those adopting the customer-service approach are the Mayor’s Office; Public Works; Building, Permits and Inspections; and Planning and Zoning.
… (Asst. City Administrator Lore) Chambers, though, said city administrators have worked on the plan for more than a year. Ireton said he was loath to announce the effort during the election season out of concern it would be criticized as a self-serving campaign ploy.
It should be noted that Ireton’s plan for downtown redevelopment was released two years ago. Some members of the business community are skeptical that this “customer-service” approach has been in the works for over a year. One local business owner, who asked that his name be withheld, stated, “I can’t believe that the mayor expects us to believe that it took a year to put some forms together. No one, certainly not the mayor, talked about treating businesses as customers until Joe Albero decided to run against him.”
Ireton will present his plan in the lobby of the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce at 1:30 PM today.