Ripon is now part of the San Joaquin Partnership.
The City Council unanimously agreed on Tuesday to join the Partnership to help market Ripon and the rest of San Joaquin County to attract businesses.
“I believe people create their own success,” said Councilman Jake Parks, who is all about economic development.
He noted that Ripon belonged to the Partnership years ago but dropped out because of the tough economy.
“Ripon must market itself,” said Mike Ammann, who is the president and CEO of the San Joaquin Partnership, which consists of a board made up of representatives of the public and private sector.
While he indicated that he sees this community as a “Mayberry” – this was in reference to the Andy Griffith’s classic TV show of a small town – Ammann hopes to see staff participate in events that make sense to Ripon.
“The Partnership needs guidance of where Ripon wants to go,” he said.
Based in Stockton, the Partnership, which is connected to the state level via the Go-Biz website, represents all seven communities in the county. Ripon and Escalon were the only cities not part of the group prior to the meeting.
“Our mission is to attract investment and jobs, and our philosophy is to be inclusive rather than exclusive,” Ammann said.
Team California was also created from the Partnership. This is a marketing group that does trade shows to solicit investment and jobs, according to Ammann.
He addressed the commuters’ situation.
“There are 22,000 people who drive that pass Ripon every day to go to work,” Ammann said. “We need to convince Silicon Valley firms to move to the valley.”
“I appreciate the Partnership’s flexibility,” Parks said. “But we need to put ourselves out there.”
Added Mayor Chuck Winn: “We are not like Stockton or the other larger cities. But we do benefit when the county does well – companies will give tours of Ripon for homes for their executives.”
Ripon agreed to the $5,000 to join the Partnership. “I see this as money well spent,” Winn said.