2015 State of the City Address


September 16, 2015




(Mayor Carol Garcia)

Good morning and welcome. 

I have the privilege of serving this city with a group of highly dedicated councilmembers.  I’d like to introduce Councilmember Bonnie Gore who is here with us.  Vice Mayor Susan Rohan and Councilmembers Pauline Roccucci and Tim Herman were not able to join us today.
And I'd like to ask former mayors and city council members who are here today to please stand. Thank you for the important legacy you have created in our city.

To my fellow elected officials who traveled here from throughout the Capital region, thank you for being here.  Only by working together can we realize our collective success. 

Welcome to our Roseville residents, and to our leaders from local government, business, education, non-profits, and our community.  

And thank you to my family, especially my husband, Orlando.

This beautiful location is one of our region’s key destinations. The Westfield Galleria at Roseville is an important gathering place.  Not only to shop and dine, but also to walk in the early morning, watch movies in the summer and ice skate in the winter. The Galleria is the second-largest tax revenue generator to our city’s general fund, following the Roseville AutoMall. Jeff’s announcements this morning show why it’s one of the top 10 shopping centers in all of California!   

I am here today to let you know that the state of the City of Roseville is strong. 
We are on solid financial footing and have an economy that’s enjoying a steady rebound. We have longtime businesses that have thrived here for decades, including Denio’s Roseville Farmers Market, Roseville Press Tribune, John Mourier Construction Homes, Bud’s Cleaners, and Gibson & Gibson. We appreciate their commitment to our community over the years.

We have a safe community, excellent schools, and neighborhoods that are active and connected.

Whether we live, work, or visit here, there’s a sense of ownership in Roseville. We own the problems, solutions, challenges and successes that make Roseville what it is. We are partners in Roseville’s progress.
 

Our business community is thriving. We’re happy to say that the City ended the year with a 15 percent increase in building permits…and a total of $67 million dollars of commercial investment in Roseville.

Looking ahead, we’re expecting another 50 percent increase this fiscal year.  That’s nearly $100 million dollars of commercial investment. 

Occupancy rates are increasing in office, industrial, and retail spaces, indicating the desirability of Roseville’s commercial sector.

That investment included
• a new regional office for the FBI,
• new Sutter medical office buildings,
• Life Time Athletic,
• Pearl Creek Apartments,
• Quest Technologies,
• Solar City,
• a new Bayside Church campus,
• and new restaurants. 

These businesses could have gone anywhere, but decided to locate in Roseville. 

We’re looking forward to more stores and restaurants opening.  On the horizon are Top Golf, iFly indoor skydiving, AH-veeya at Fiddyment Ranch apartments, Bridgeway Church, and Mercy Housing, with its 55 apartment homes and ground-floor retail space. 

A new multi-sport complex in West Roseville will soon break ground.  It’s a partnership between the City and Placer Valley Tourism and will pump tens of millions of dollars into our regional economy each year.

We’re excited about how we can leverage our collective strengths through the regional work of the Greater Sacramento Economic Development Council. We’re glad to have Shari Little from Greater Sac joining us today.

Roseville is a job center. 

While our resident population is 130,000, our daytime population is significantly higher because we draw workers and other visitors to Roseville for jobs, shopping and recreation. 

A big part of this has been the Advantage Roseville program. Three years ago, 21 Roseville companies joined with the City and the Roseville Community Development Corporation to boost our business sector through an initiative called Advantage Roseville. It’s been a success, and the Placer County Economic Development Board gave Advantage Roseville an award this year for its business attraction, retention and expansion services.

As our population has grown, the City of Roseville—working with the Chamber of Commerce—has remained consistently focused on jobs and economic development.

Our Roseville Chamber of Commerce is a strong partner in creating this progressive business climate.  This past year, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce awarded the Roseville Chamber a five-star accreditation. It’s a prestigious honor that puts our chamber among the top 1 percent nationwide.  

Our strong business climate is gaining national prominence. 

• Roseville is still one of the least expensive places to do business in California.

• We were just ranked in the top 12 percent of 400 cities nationwide as one of the best cities for women entrepreneurs to launch their business. In fact, 30 percent of our city's businesses are owned by women.

• Also last month, a site-selection firm named Roseville one of the best cities for back-office locations among the top 50 suburban markets in the US and Canada.

 

Our downtown Roseville is part of that appeal. New faces and places are continuing to draw more visitors downtown. 

Sierra College will be our downtown neighbor in a new building that begins construction this month across from the Civic Center.  We’re looking forward to having students downtown and welcoming them there into the evening hours.
The building will replace the old city hall annex and provide much-needed office space for our staff. 

Also underway for downtown are
• a new parking garage,
• three bridges over Dry Creek to connect Royer Park and Downtown, and
• a new Fire Station. 

I’m happy to say that with the opening of the traffic roundabout at Washington and Oak this year, we have seen a significant improvement in safety.  The intersection that once had the highest accident rate in the city has seen a 70 percent reduction in its accident rate.  It also was recognized as Project of the Year by the American Public Works Association.

We completed the roundabout a year after opening the Vernon Street Town Square, which was well-timed to handle the additional infusion of visitors downtown.  In its first 12 months, the town square hosted events ranging from concerts, yoga classes, and festivals that brought 100,000 people to downtown. 

Our downtown arts scene continues to gain traction with high-profile exhibits, classes, and concerts at the Blue Line Gallery.

On the same street you can catch stage productions of musicals and plays at the Roseville Theater Arts Academy and at the Roseville Tower Theater, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year. The City’s cultural arts strategic plan will guide us as we support a successful arts scene in Roseville.  

I often hear people say that they come to Roseville because it’s safe here.  Whether they shop here, use our libraries and parks, or decide to live here, they sense what our statistics show.

Last year, our rates for violent and property crime were at a 20-year low. This is another area where strong partnerships are making a difference.  The Police Department and our neighborhoods work together on community policing initiatives. This vigilance has been instrumental in preventing and solving crimes.

Our Fire Department responded to 13,000 calls for service last year. Those included medical emergencies, rescue situations, hazardous material spills, and fires. With such an active fire season, Roseville Fire has provided assistance at wildfires throughout the state.

 

Let’s talk about education in our community.  The link between the quality of our schools, from elementary through college, and the quality of our workforce is strong.  Businesses look for places where they know they can hire employees who have the skillsets needed to help them thrive.

Our opportunity for bringing higher education could not be brighter. Our vision for an “Innovation Corridor” along the future Placer Parkway will stretch from William Jessup University in the east, to Warwick University in the west. In the middle, we’ll have a new California State University campus co-located with Sierra College at Placer Ranch.    

Placer Ranch is a game changer  –with an estimated regional economic impact in the billions of dollars.  We appreciate our partnerships with the Placer County Board of Supervisors and their CEO, David BOSH. Jointly, we will make this vision a reality.

While our school districts are separate entities from the City, I think it’s important to share what’s happening there.  Our local high schools are producing the most educated, best prepared workforce in our history. 

The Roseville Joint Union High School District is producing more students who are taking Advanced Placement courses for college credit than anyone in the region.  Oakmont and Granite Bay are the two high schools that offer the International Baccalaureate Program, the most prestigious high school curriculum in the world.
 
On the K-8 level, Roseville has the city and county’s first stand-alone, middle school, International Baccalaureate program at Eich Middle School . 

Transitional kindergarten and full-day kindergarten are being expanded to give our children the best academic start possible.

The link between excellent education, healthy families, strong economies, and healthy communities cannot be overstated. 

 

Now we turn to the City as an organization. We’re in the midst of a change in leadership in our City.  Our City Manager Ray Kerridge will be retiring at the end of the year. 

I was on the City Council that hired Ray in 2010, and he has done exactly what we asked him to do.  He took the reins during a time of tremendous economic and structural change.  He has ensured the City is on solid financial ground and made us stronger. 
With his guidance,
 Vernon Street transformed,
 the town square and roundabout were built,
 utility infrastructure was upgraded,
 community policing became a top priority, and
 every department was re-organized for efficiency and effectiveness. 

He built a strong team with a focus on succession planning.  I’d like to thank Ray Kerridge, who is here with us today for five transformative and successful years of leading our city.

His succession planning was so effective in fact, that I’m happy to say that our Acting City Manager Rob Jensen has agreed to step into this role on a permanent basis on January 1 as our next City Manager.  Rob has worked for the City of Roseville for the past 25 years.  When he was Public Works Director, he played an integral role in the development of the majority of the city. Rob was recognized by American City and County Magazine as the Public Works Director of the Year in 2007 and was promoted by Ray Kerridge to assistant city manager in 2010. 

 I’d like to welcome Rob on stage to provide details about the City’s operational successes.

(City Manager Rob Jensen)

Thank you, Carol.  I am very grateful to you and the entire City Council for the opportunity to serve as your City Manager.  And I especially want to recognize Ray Kerridge, who provided abundant opportunities for professional growth.  I was able to accept this offer with my eyes wide open about the challenges and opportunities that come with being a city manager.

I love this city.  I raised my daughter here and spent my career here.  What I love most are the people. We have a tremendous team in Roseville. From our staff and volunteers who provide the services every day, to our council who sets the policy and goals for those services, to the community, who supports and partners with us.

Our City is in good shape.  The City operates with a half-billion dollar budget.  That includes not only our General Fund but also our utilities. 

Last year, Standard & Poor’s upgraded the city’s bond rating to AA+, an uncommonly strong rating for a California municipality our size.

Roseville maintains over 400 miles of roads, has 73 parks, 34 miles of bike trails and 4,500 acres of open space.  We have a
big vision for the city and we continue to plan for the future. 

We also continue to be a desirable location for both business and residential growth. Our Council recently approved the Campus Oaks Master Plan, which provides a significant reinvestment in the HP campus, along with providing new housing choices and employment centers.  Also on the development side, in addition to the Placer Ranch Specific Plan, is Amoruso Ranch, which will include 2100 new homes and additional job growth along the future Placer Parkway.

With all this development on the horizon, the question of water supply is front and center, especially during this historic four-year drought. The City has always planned conservatively to ensure that new growth brings additional water supplies, for itself and for the rest of the City.  This further bolsters our collective reliability in a responsible, sustainable, and economically beneficial manner.  New development plays an important role in our water strategy, by helping to fund infrastructure that allows us to obtain, share, and store water.

Our water strategy involves further diversification of our water supplies.  In addition to our “normal” water supply at Folsom Reservoir, we’re using recycled water to offset drinking water supplies. The more recycled water we can use for things like landscape irrigation and construction dust control, the more drinking water we save.

We also have access to vast groundwater reserves beneath the City in the event we need it.  Recently, the American Public Works Association gave us the Project of the Year award for our innovative Aquifer Storage and Recovery Program.  We now have six dual-purpose wells that can both extract and inject water underground when needed. 

In the future we are looking to partner with other agencies in Placer County to develop a second diversion on the American River near Auburn to further ensure our water reliability.

Our customers have done a great job this year achieving key conservation goals. Each of the three hottest months saw 40 percent reductions in water use, far surpassing the 28 percent target we were given by the state.  In April we won a statewide award from the California Municipal Utilities Association for our water-use efficiency program. 

Despite these achievements, there’s more work to be done.  We continue to work hard at the state and federal levels to advocate for smart, comprehensive policies and solutions to address our statewide water-supply issues. 

The good news is that the City of Roseville continues to be the only city in the country to earn the highest flood protection rating from FEMA. After more than $20 million in investments in the past 20 years, our residents now enjoy a 45 percent discount on flood insurance rates…along with the peace of mind that comes from enhanced flood protection.

Our Roseville Electric Utility continues to be a key factor in our economic development efforts.  Low rates and reliability are what draw businesses to Roseville.

So as you can see, our city operations are in good shape and I’m looking forward to working with the City Council to continue implementing their goals.

I’d like to turn it back over now to our mayor, Carol Garcia.

(Mayor Garcia)

All of this would not be possible without our great staff and volunteers.

This year, the City earned an unprecedented 96 percent satisfaction rating from our residents for city services.  Research firms rarely see satisfaction levels that high.

So I’d like to recognize our staff and volunteers for the work they do, and to share some unique stories from this past year:

Eighteen hundred kids and parents came to “Big Trucks Summer” to learn what our utility trucks do and meet our staff.  A crowd favorite was showing how a garbage truck chomped down on an old couch. 

Our new Mobile Library is visiting neighborhoods and community groups like Roseville Excel, reaching out to underprivileged children to teach them computer coding, life skills and teambuilding.

Our Police K9 Officer, Iggy, is always ready to solve crime. After a panicked call to 911, Iggy and his partner, Officer Matt Leathermann responded. Iggy found a burglar hiding in a resident’s back yard in 10 minutes flat.  A few days later, a grateful resident dropped off a thank you note and a big chew bone for him, at the police department.

Our popular weeklong Kids Fire Camp helped 36 kids learn about skills needed to be firefighters, from water safety and first aid, to rescue and firefighting.  30 off-duty firefighters volunteered their time to teach these real-world skills in a fun and friendly atmosphere.

Our city is giving teens valuable job experience, while benefiting from the great work they do.  We have more than 300 teens serving our community.  They are our employees, our volunteers, our interns, and our commissioners. 

Our library is once again breaking new ground.  It’s one of only five libraries in the State chosen to participate in Leamos: a year-long, online-based class for Spanish speakers who need to learn to read. 

It isn’t often a business honors a city employee for his service.   Golfland Sunsplash did just that with an embellishment on its newest water slide, Riptide. It’s a sculpture done in honor of the late John Clinton, former City Building Inspector and Plan Checker. Owner Fred Kenney wanted to pay tribute to John, since he did the majority of the inspection work for the Golfland Sunsplash complex. The sculpture is oriented on the slide so that John can look out on all the activities of the water park to ensure that it’s operating as he hoped and envisioned.

Our Maidu Indian Museum is the only native American museum in the state that is run by a city.  This year, the museum partnered with Heyday Books in Berkeley to publish a book called “She Sang Me A Good Luck Song,” which documents the perseverance and renewal of Native California’s living and vibrant cultures. A $10,000 dollar grant from our own Friends of the Roseville Library made this special project possible.  
 
Our Roseville Coalition of Neighborhood Associations builds community and holds events that make our neighborhoods strong.  RCONA marked two important milestones this year. They held their first all-day Neighborhood Conference, and activated their 20th neighborhood association—an all-time high.

Our volunteer Transit Ambassador Pat Russell did 20 hours of one-on-one training with a young woman who has high functioning autism.  Learning to use public transit was a prerequisite for a special vocational school she hoped to attend. This passenger is now headed off to school with a brighter future and independence.

There are so many more stories like these that happen every day in our City.  These occurrences go beyond budget numbers.  This is about people who can change a person’s day or their life. 

The City Council is grateful to have staff and volunteers who protect and promote the high quality of life we enjoy.

Thank you very much for coming today.