The 2016 State of the City Address was given at Roseville Toyota in the Roseville Automall, September 21, 2016
Mayor Garcia: Good morning and welcome.
It is very symbolic to hold the State of the City address this morning at the Roseville Automall. As the City’s largest sales-tax revenue generator, followed by the Galleria, the Roseville Automall is an important economic engine that contributes significantly to the quality of life our community enjoys. The tax revenues generated here help fund police, fire, parks and libraries, among many other city services.
It took vision from our city leaders that led to the Automall opening its doors in 1989 and the Galleria opening its doors in 2000. Part of the intent was to draw shoppers from outside our city boundaries whose purchases would contribute to the services and amenities Roseville offers.
Today, about 30 percent of our sales tax revenues come from purchases made by visitors to our community. So I want to start by thanking our businesses, residents, and visitors for the purchases you make. Roseville has been able to become the city it is, in no small part, through your contributions.
And what kind of city is Roseville? We value flexibility, adaptiveness, and resiliency. This has positioned us strongly among the data crunchers and list makers who have weighed in on that this past year…
At a time when public safety has dominated headlines across the country, Roseville was recently named the 21st safest city in the nation. We’ve experienced a 9 percent population increase since 2010 and still manage to maintain one of the lowest per capita crime rates compared to other cities. I thank our police department along with our community for your vigilance and partnership to maintain high levels of safety in our community.
We were also named the 11th healthiest city in the country this summer. Factors included fitness facilities, doctors, and mental health practitioners, along with rates of smoking and obesity. Roseville launched the Capital Region’s Get Fit, Get Healthy challenge last year, where elected officials from across the region came together in Roseville to begin a yearlong effort in partnership with Good Day Sacramento to highlight healthy activities in cities throughout the region.
Roseville was named the 8th best city in California for Young Families, factoring in our public schools, affordability and household income. Families with students in our public schools appreciate what our districts offer, including both a middle school and a high school that provide the prestigious International Baccalaureate curriculum. Our students are prepared to work in a global economy and culture.
We’re the 6th best digital city in the country among cities our size. It makes sense that both Consolidated Communications and AT&T are launching 1 gigabyte Internet service in our area, the fastest speed available in the country.
Our housing market is among the top 50 healthiest in the country, and we’re on track to approve 1,000 permits for new homes this next year, and…
Roseville is in the top 50 most playful cities, looking at recreation, activities, health, happiness, and weather.
The common theme to this kind of recognition is that a healthy economy is the foundation for our community to thrive. And again the data shows this is the case for Roseville.
With our qualified workforce and strong business sector, Roseville’s 3.8 percent unemployment rate is the 20th lowest unemployment rate among 480 California cities.
Driving the employment rate is a 19 percent increase in job growth in Roseville over the past five years, to 77,000 jobs. We have more jobs than we have residents in the 18-65 working age group, making Roseville a job center that provides employment for the region.
Our workforce is ready for employment, with an impressive 39 percent of our residents who are age 25 and older having attained a bachelor’s degree.
Our business climate is noted for being among the most affordable cities to do business in the state with a supportive climate for entrepreneurs. In fact, last month, we celebrated the grand opening on Vernon Street of the Glue Factory, a business incubator for entrepreneurs that has already attracted grants and investor funding.
For the past two years, we held workshops in conjunction with the Chamber to help local businesses understand the process for bidding on work with the City.
Businesses that come here find a qualified workforce, low operating costs, excellent schools, a range of housing options, and a stable political climate that gives them confidence their investment will be sound.
That’s why we have our fair share of growth and why our Roseville Area Chamber of Commerce does so many ribbon cuttings. Commercial investment and residential growth go hand in hand.
This fiscal year, residential permits for single-family homes in Roseville increased 34 percent. We’re anticipating a 17 percent increase next year.
On the non-residential side, we closed out this fiscal year with a total of $60 million dollars in commercial investment. We expect this year to be even better with a total investment of nearly $100 million dollars.
Occupancy rates are also increasing across all business sectors in Roseville. The office sector is at 86 percent. Industrial space, which is at a premium in the City, is at 92 percent. And retail space, our strongest commercial sector, is at 96 percent.
We have more investment on the horizon, with
A new healthcare campus for Kaiser Permanente on Riverside Avenue,
A new headquarters campus for Adventist Health,
New Sutter medical office buildings,
A new animal-care facility made possible through a partnership between the City of Roseville and the Placer SPCA, and
Mercy Housing downtown, with its 55 apartment homes and ground-floor retail space.
This past year saw the opening of iFly indoor skydiving, and this month Top Golf opened its facility.
And we are continuing to explore the possibility of a hotel-conference center.
The Roseville Community Development Corporation acts as a catalyst for downtown growth. In addition to the Glue Factory, the RCDC was instrumental in the opening of both Ninja Sushi and Randy Peters Catering on Vernon Street this past year. They join Monk’s Cellar, another RCDC success story…along with restaurants, theaters, and shops that draw people downtown.
In Downtown Roseville, the city continues to transform. We’ll open a new building at 316 Vernon Street that will provide a downtown presence for Sierra College, house city offices, and provide ground-floor retail space facing the Vernon Street Town Square. With Sierra College as our neighbor, we’re looking forward to having students downtown and welcoming them there into the evening hours.
A second parking garage recently broke ground. On the horizon are new bridges over Dry Creek and a new, relocated fire station. This is all part of a downtown renaissance envisioned more than a decade ago by a dedicated group of community members working with city staff.
We look forward to having a presence from Warwick University in Roseville as well, as it anticipates offering two graduate programs in 2018. Longer term, it plans to open a co-campus west of Roseville that will expand its presence beyond the United Kingdom.
City Manager Rob Jensen:
It’s my pleasure to serve this city where I’ve spent my career and raised my family.
Our City is in good shape. We’re the only full-service city in the Capital region, meaning we provide the full range of municipal services, including electricity, water, parks, libraries, public works, police, and fire. We have a General Fund budget of $140 million dollars and a citywide budget of nearly a half-billion dollars.
I’m very happy to report that the City maintains a bond rating of AA+ from Standard & Poor’s which is an uncommonly strong rating for a California municipality our size. Our City Council has adopted a variety of policies that will allow us to maintain this market confidence.
We have an award-winning finance department and a chief financial officer, Jay Panzica, who was named CFO of the Year for large public agencies this year by the Sacramento Business Journal. Congratulations, Jay!
This past year, our General Fund revenues increased 1.7 percent while our expenditures grew by 2 percent. Even with that, we were able to balance our budget without dipping into reserve funds for the second consecutive year. It’s a balance that we’re keeping a close eye on.
Public safety remains a top priority of the Council. This is reflected in this year’s budget, which allocated 69 percent of our sales and property tax revenue directly to police and fire services.
This past year, our Fire Department was reaccredited by the Center for Public Safety Excellence, and our police department is completing a staffing analysis that will help us determine resources we need to maintain the safety levels our community values.
We’ve been working hard to ensure we remain fiscally sound. But challenges still remain, and we have some catching up to do. In order to close our budget gap during the recession, we underfunded several operational areas, including facility maintenance, and those areas now need attention. In addition, we continue to face unfunded state mandates along with continued declines in gas-tax revenues.
Toward this end, our staff has done a phenomenal job cutting costs and controlling spending. The City Council has focused on adopting policies to fund our reserves, slow the increase of labor costs, and maximize our returns on investments.
With these efforts underway, we are committed to doing all we can to remain on steady financial footing because of the vision we share for the city as we continue to plan for the future.
Our Council recently approved the Campus Oaks Master Plan, which provides a reinvestment in an existing employment center and new housing choices for our residents. Also approved this past year is the Amoruso Ranch Specific Plan, which will include 2,100 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 years of 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 diversification of our water supplies. In addition to our “normal” water supply at Folsom Reservoir, we use recycled water where we can to offset drinking water supplies. The more recycled water we can use for parks and landscape irrigation, the more drinking water we save.
Our wastewater utility was just selected by a group including the National Association of Clean Water Agencies and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as one of the top 61 wastewater utilities in the U.S., Canada, and Denmark. Sound practices and effective management models were key criteria. We’re very proud of this recognition.
I’d like to turn it back over now to Mayor Garcia—who also serves as chair of the Northern California Power Agency—to talk about the City’s Roseville Electric Utility.
Mayor Carol Garcia:
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. The utility’s innovative programs and outstanding customer service position the city well and help it meet customers’ expectations.
In fact, the Solar Electric Power Association has commended our efforts and we rank 6th nationally for having the highest per capita number of solar homes.
In 2015, we ranked third in California for solar installations, behind the powerhouses of SMUD and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Roseville Electric Utility recently launched its Trusted Solar Advisor program, offering customers an online tool to help them make the solar choice that’s right for them.
In addition to putting rooftop solar on city facilities, we created the award-winning BEST Homes program, which provided rebates to builders who integrated rooftop solar into new home construction. Because of this program, nearly 5 percent of our customers have rooftop solar.
It’s not only homes, but businesses, too, that are going solar. In fact, Roseville Toyota and John L. Sullivan Chevrolet are installing $6 million dollars’ worth of solar and energy-efficiency upgrades. They were financed through Placer County’s mPower program, which adds payment for these upgrades to the property tax bill. Upgrades include LED lighting, cool roof, H-VAC, and solar, and make this installation one of the largest in the state using this type of financing.
And finally, Roseville Electric Utility has embarked on building a community solar project, which will further expand our customers’ opportunity to participate in solar, particularly for those in apartments or with rooftops that have an obstructed orientation to the sun.
We approach industry changes with innovation and our community’s best interests at heart.
It’s the same approach we take when we’re faced with challenges. One of the biggest challenges facing our region is traffic. It’s something our council members and staff hear about regularly and something we’ve seen become an increasing issue on our highways and roadways.
Growth is one way that improvements are funded, but it takes time. State and federal funding and gas taxes that used to play a bigger role, have either disappeared or diminished, leaving us in the position of either waiting for something to happen or making it happen ourselves. It’s a pivotal decision that Placer County voters are being asked to make this fall as the question of raising the sales tax a half cent will be decided. The answer will determine how long we sit in traffic.
We’ve overcome challenges before and we will do so again. Roseville is the kind of city and community that assumes a leadership role in addressing important issues, and we have a track record of success to stand on.
I’ve had the privilege to serve on this City Council for the past 10 years. It’s likely been one of the most transformative periods in our society, judging by some interesting facts and statistics:
Consider that 10 years ago, Facebook had 12 million users, the majority of us here today hadn’t heard of it, and today it has 1.7 billion users.
Ten years ago, Amazon had not yet launched the Kindle, and today you can download books electronically from our libraries.
Ten years ago, iPhones had not yet been introduced. We were using blackberries and flip phones, and just starting to text. Today, we send text alerts to citizens, develop mobile versions of our websites, and are on version 7 of the iPhone.
In the same period, our city has experienced remarkable changes and new beginnings of our own. We’ve witnessed the vision of city councils—both past and present—become reality.
We opened the Roseville Energy Park, to strengthen reliability for our Roseville Electric customers.
We opened two new fire stations,
the Martha Riley Library,
our Utility Exploration Center,
the Mike Shellito Indoor Pool,
a new facility for the Maidu Museum and Historic Site,
our first downtown parking garage,
the Vernon Street Town Square,
a new downtown roundabout, and
a dozen new parks.
We extended our city boundaries,
approved new specific plans,
extended and connected bike trails,
started offering recycled water to residents and businesses,
expanded transit service,
connected our traffic signals fiber optically,
and opened a flyover and tunnel to improve traffic flow at the Douglas/Sunrise intersection.
We launched the Roseville Community Development Corporation,
initiated a new City Council Law and Regulation committee,
started an open data portal,
began producing electronic newsletters,
and established a strong social media presence that informs and engages with our community.
Many of you may remember our city’s centennial celebration in 2009. With support from Union Pacific, we entered a float in the 2009 Rose Parade to kick off our 100th anniversary year, and we ended up winning the Governor’s Trophy!
All of this was accomplished with the backdrop of the Great Recession and significant changes in technology, legislation, and regulation that profoundly affect the way we serve our community.
Amidst the changes, deep roots in our community help us remain connected. The Roseville Coalition of Neighborhood Associations is one of our community building blocks, and it will be celebrating its 20th anniversary next year. RCONA recently achieved an all-time high of 20 active neighborhood associations, and provides an important way to connect neighbors with each other and to interact with the city, county, and school districts on a variety of topics. Congratulations on nearly two decades of making a difference in our community.
Also making a difference and celebrating its 20th anniversary is a local non-profit on a mission of inclusiveness. A Touch of Understanding has a profound impact in our region, providing disability awareness programs designed to educate a new generation to understand the challenges associated with disabilities and to accept and respect all individuals. They support the kind of inclusive community that we strive to be. Our City is partnering with A Touch of Understanding this fall to provide several workshops for city staff to help them become even more attuned the diverse range of needs and abilities among the people we serve.
Helping us understand where we came from as a city is the Roseville Historical Society, which is celebrating a grand re-opening of the Carnegie Museum next month. The Carnegie, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is the home of Roseville's first permanent library, constructed in 1912. With a mission to preserve and promote the history of Roseville, it helps us appreciate the legacy we’ve inherited from those who came before us.
In close, I’m grateful for this opportunity to let you know that our community is healthy, and our economy is vibrant. Our city is strong.