City Manager Montoya Speaks to Business Roundtable

City Manager Charles Montoya Discusses His Vision for the City at Business Roundtable
Posted on Jan 11, 2024

City Manager Charles Montoya Discusses
His Vision for the City at Business Roundtable

Charles Montoya,
San Bernardino’s new City Manager, met with local business owners at a business roundtable meeting to discuss his current to do list, upcoming initiatives, his management philosophy, and to answer questions. The event, held at Burger Point on January 4th, was attended by approximately 50 business leaders and residents.

“I’m here to take care of San Bernardino’s 225,000 residents,” said Montoya, now entering his third month as City Manager. “My job is to get things done.”

Among his first tasks has been to fill open leadership positions in the City. Montoya said that an announcement on a Public Works Director will be made soon, with Community Development and Economic Development Director positions to be filled shortly thereafter.

“The Community Development and Economic Development Director positions are very important. The time it takes for projects to move forward is too long. That is going to change,” added Montoya.

Montoya revealed that he is crafting a proposal to bring a bond issuance to the City Council to refurbish the vacant City Hall building and develop the recently demolished Carousel Mall property. The proposals will be part of a series of study sessions being planned in the coming months for the City Council, business community, and residents to examine in-depth how his initiatives could work in San Bernardino.

“What I have in mind has worked elsewhere. When we invest in our City, it sends a message to the development community that we mean business. People will quickly take notice and new development will follow,” said Montoya, who pointed at similar initiatives in Irvine and Riverside.

When speaking about Carousel Mall, Montoya said that some of its qualities should be a part of future development projects.

“The Carousel Mall was a destination,” said Montoya. “We need to remember that as we move forward. San Bernardino needs places that bring people to the city – restaurants, entertainment, and development that moves us forward. That brings visitors, new residents, and momentum to the City.”

During the question-and-answer segment, attendees asked about the City’s use of remaining American Rescue Plan funds, downtown parking, and expanding hours in the Building and Planning Departments.

“We are going to make changes across the board very quickly, not focus on specific areas.”

Other speakers at the meeting were City Council Member Juan Figueora, San Bernardino Airport Director Mike Burrows, and San Bernardino Police Sergeant Anna McKenna.