Good Afternoon! I’m Jim Gray, mayor of the City of Roseville, and I want to thank each and every one of you for being here today!
I’d like to start by introducing the members of the Roseville City Council.
- Mayor Pro Tem Gina Garbolino
- Councilmember Richard Roccucci
- Councilmember John Allard and
- Councilmember Carol Garcia
Thank you for your dedication and your commitment to our community. Combined, these council members have 99 years of service to the City of Roseville. That, coincidentally, is the number of years we have been an incorporated city!
And, we have some distinguished guests here from Pasadena, California for the day.
- Mr. Corky Conzonire, 2009 President of the Tournament of Roses and
- His lovely wife Marilyn.
- Also with us is the 2009 Rose Parade Float Entries Chairman and Pasadena City College Associate Dean for Academic Support, Mr. Bob Miller
- And, the President of Phoenix Decorating Company, our float builder, Mr. Chris Lofthouse
We are thrilled and honored that you are here in person to help us celebrate our invitation to participate in the 2009 Rose Parade.
I cannot think of a better way to begin our Centennial year than to showcase OUR city as part of YOUR celebration in Pasadena. Thank you for the opportunity and for being here in person!
Also with us are City Manager Craig Robinson, City Attorney Brita Bayless, our Police Chief Mike Blair and Fire Chief Ken Wagner. Many thanks to you and to all of our department heads and city staff who are here today.
Thank you to Magic Circle Theater owners Bob and RoseMarie Gerould for hosting us in your beautiful theater! It is one of Downtown Roseville’s treasures, and we are proud of all you do in our community.
And, let me also thank my wife Judi. I am grateful for your support of my participation in all things Roseville and for standing by me all this time!
Today, I can proudly stand before you and say that the State of our City is strong and getting stronger!
In fact, the 2008 State of the City is truly a time for celebration! A celebration of service, past and present, and a look forward to a bright future of making a difference.
There is no greater contributing factor to our strength as a city, a community, and as a regional leader than the service by our citizens past and present.
Roseville is a full-service City thanks to the decisions made during the past 99 years by the Council with the support from the Roseville Chamber of Commerce and our community.
Our budget is larger than most cities our size because we own the electric, water, recycled water, wastewater, and solid waste utilities. City operations also include outstanding Police and Fire Departments. Our award-winning parks department is second to none in the state and our public library now has three beautiful facilities. Add to that a transit service, golf operations, and the administrative offices and we have a true full-service city.
My fellow Councilmembers and I approved a balanced budget presented by the City Manager and his staff in June of this year. The $501 million budget aligns expenditures with declining revenues thanks to a series of strategic cuts.
Rising energy costs, the sub-prime housing crisis and the credit crunch have affected consumer spending and property values. All local governments including Roseville have been affected.
The General Fund operating expenses have been reduced 2.4 percent to $129 million in fiscal year 2009. If economic conditions do not improve, the Council and staff will be required to reduce expenditures even further.
The budget includes spending on significant capital projects that have been in the works for several years. In other words, at the same time the economy slows, our capital “savings accounts” allow us to move forward with several key projects to serve our community.
Investment in our Future
One of the projects is the largest single capital improvement in our history, the Roseville Energy Park. It became fully operational this past January.
Also in January, we celebrated the opening of the new Martha Riley Community Library. Library attendance by is up nearly 20 percent compared to last year.
We also opened the adjoining Utility Exploration Center for kids to learn how to conserve, reuse and recycle. More than 23,000 visitors have come through the door during the first six months of operation—a remarkable response to the opening of this facility.
The City and Redevelopment Agency reaffirmed our commitment to Downtown Roseville with a $13 million upgrade to Historic Old Town.
The efforts continue with a new Specific Plan and new destinations such as the Blue Line Gallery, completed in partnership with Roseville Arts.
And, I am proud to announce the dedication of our 58th park this Saturday. Paul J. Lunardi Park will honor our former Mayor, Assemblyman and State Senator. Paul’s service to our community 50 years ago and today is unparalleled. Thank you, Paul, for your service to the City of Roseville!
A new power plant, library, Utility Exploration Center, bike trails, roadways and neighborhood parks. Not bad for our 99th year as a City!
Programs and Services
While our investment in public works projects continues, we are constantly serving our community with innovative programs.
First and foremost for the City Council is the promotion of a safe and healthy community. Public safety personnel continue to maintain our patrols, find new ways to fight crime, invest in youth and incorporate safety into community design.
Police data shows that
- Robberies and motor vehicle theft both declined by over 25 percent last year.
- Total collisions are declining,
- And most importantly, our violent crime is declining over time even as our population grows.
Fire employees continue to provide excellent medical, fire prevention and fire suppression services. Their 101 years of service include mutual aid to neighboring communities during the recent wildfires.
I want to personally thank our fire personnel here today for their great work in protecting life and property in our city limits and throughout California. Your service is outstanding, and we are all very proud of you!
When Roseville was first established, families moved here because the jobs were here.
With a mobile, educated society, today our citizens have more choices about where they live and work. In fact, we’re finding out that in many cases, people will choose a place to live first and then find work.
That’s to our advantage! In the August issue of Money Magazine, Roseville was named one of the 100 best places to live in the entire United States. Our community rose to the top based on a number of factors! What this means to us is that we will continue to attract talented and creative workers who are choosing to live and find work here.
Not only are we in the Top 100 Best Places to Live, but we’re ranked in the Top 20 for job growth. We have the best possible combination – a great community to live in and a growing economy.
Roseville’s economy is strong with over 83,000 jobs. We’ve seen some downsizing in the construction and mortgage industries, but we’ve maintained overall positive job growth and the future is bright.
Our two largest health care providers are expanding. Kaiser Permanente will open a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital in February 2009, making them the largest employer in Roseville and all of Placer County.
Sutter Roseville Medical Center will also continue its expansion with a new Neonatal Intensive Care Center opening in September of this year.
The boom in retail continues with the investment in the Galleria at Roseville. An additional 480,000 square feet will beckon shoppers this holiday season.
And the spectacular new Fountains project opened in June with more stores coming online throughout 2008.
With 800,000 square feet of space opening or under construction this year, the new retail outlets will be unique to the region and secure Roseville’s future as a Northern California retail destination.
The City’s focus on sustainability is actually a longstanding commitment to stewardship of resources. As I noted in the State of the City last year, it’s our responsibility to not only provide great service, but to be thoughtful in preserving the environment for future generations.
Our citywide Green Team is continuing work on our emissions inventory and the next step, a Climate Action Plan, to show how we can both save money and comply with state climate change legislation.
Our BEST Homes program strives to have 10 to 20 percent of all new homes built as solar homes with high energy efficiency.
Our Environmental Utilities Department helped Roseville’s residents and businesses recycle 66 percent of its solid waste, exceeding the State requirements by 16 percent.
We were the first in the state to declare a Stage 1 Water Conservation alert. Fully one month before the Governor’s Office did so, we asked our residents to voluntarily conserve 10 percent of their water use.
This next year, we’ll expand our green theme with two projects involving the youth of our community.
In October, we will host the first-ever Green Youth Summit with students from every high school in Placer County along with the area’s private high schools that have Placer County students.
We’ve invited some exciting keynote speakers and the kids will have an opportunity to share what they are doing on their campuses to promote a better future.
I see this as a semi-annual event hosted at our Utility Exploration Center where friendships will be formed and creativity inspired.
Another green event is scheduled for early fall. In partnership with TechEd, the Tommy Apostolos Fund, SkyQ, Surewest, and the Roseville City School District, we are inviting 25 7th and 8th graders to have lunch with the Council and our sponsors.
These students, who don’t currently have a home computer, each will leave the luncheon with a computer and printer for homework. We intend to do this event every time we have 25 more computers available.
These are just two examples of how we are integrating sustainability into our culture and including our young people in this effort!
As I look ahead to our centennial year and all we have to celebrate, I invite you to pause and remember three humble and dedicated servants who passed away this year.
First, let me say it was an honor to have known and worked with Mr. Ed Friedman. Ed was a CPA who moved to Roseville 30 years ago and built a successful business here. He was the President of the Roseville Chamber at the time of his death and a long-time colleague of mine through Roseville Rotary.
Ed was honored by the Chamber in January with a fitting tribute. Beginning with this year’s installation dinner, a deserving member of the South Placer Community will be given the Edward M. Friedman Community Service award. I thank Ed’s wife Sally and daughter Kaitlin for sharing Ed with us for so many years.
We also lost a faithful public servant and elected official - former Roseville mayor, county supervisor, and my friend and neighbor, Bill Santucci.
His decades of service to our community were honored with the dedication of Bill Santucci Park in 2005 and most recently with the opening by Placer County of the Bill Santucci Justice Center. We were blessed with Bill’s presence and sense of duty to his community.
Most recently, our No. 1 community volunteer, Sylvia Besana, lost her brief battle with cancer. She was born and raised in Roseville, and worked her entire career improving the lives of students at her alma mater Roseville High School and at Placer High. Her retirement years were anything but, with literally thousands of hours devoted to the hospital auxiliary, the annual holiday parades, and so many activities they are too numerous to list.
I agree with her cousin Elaine Willoughby, who said that “Sylvia always asked what she could do and never asked for anything in return.”
In honor of Sylvia’s service, I will seek approval from the Council for an award to be given each April at our annual volunteer luncheon. The luncheon honors city volunteers who donate their time and talent to the community. Last year alone, our 1,355 volunteers citywide donated 61,000 hours worth over $1.1 million to our City.
Ed Friedman, Bill Santucci, and Sylvia Besana.
Three special people who will truly be missed.
The Agenda for 2008-09
The Council’s agenda for the upcoming year shows no signs of slowing.
This will be a historic year for many reasons, not the least of which has to do with the fact that it’s an election year.
I urge all of you to make sure to vote this November. From our local and regional contests to the national election, every vote counts!
As for what’s ahead this year, there are several key projects I would like to highlight:
There are roadway projects under construction throughout Roseville. Our Council priority of moving you around Roseville safely and quickly is in plain view.
- Cirby-Riverside widening,
- The Pleasant Grove interchange project
- Phase 2 of the Interstate 80 widening and
- Street overlay projects on key roadways are making traffic circulation more efficient and safe.
We will add two miles of new off-road bike trails bringing our total to 27 miles.
In 2009, we will open three new parks and make significant progress to build the Central Park Aquatics Center, with its two indoor pools. The Center will add to an aquatics program that was awarded the National Excellence in Aquatics Award for communities our size.
We will plant more than a thousand new oak trees adding to the 6,250 planted in just the past two years.
We will continue with our $65 million, multi-year renovation efforts to Downtown Roseville.
We will continue to offer our utilities at the lowest rates in the region and add to our renewable energy portfolio through our Green Roseville program.
The Planning Department will continue work with the landowners of our proposed specific plan areas to explore future annexations. We know the State will continue to grow, and our City will be ready to welcome new residents through well-managed growth.
The Roseville City Council has an obligation to our existing residents to provide a sustainable community with an outstanding quality of life. We will do this through award-winning and innovative programs and projects.
Most importantly, we will continue to serve our community with our very talented staff and participation from all those who contribute their time as volunteers.
Planning for our Centennial
As I noted earlier, this is the 99th year since the first Board of Trustees was sworn in to represent the citizens of the newly incorporated City of Roseville.
The Board of Trustees, now known as the Roseville City Council, had big plans for our little city back then when the Chamber of Commerce demanded better services and the opportunity for business to flourish!
We are a community of dreaming big, and we intend to celebrate the service of all those who came before us on one of the grandest stages in the entire world – the Rose Parade.
The Executive Committee of the Tournament of Roses officially notified the City in April that we will be one of the 2009 float entries.
The Centennial and Rose Parade Committees have been hard at work brainstorming ideas and trying to relay to our very patient float builder, Chris Lofthouse of the Phoenix Decorating Company, what Roseville is all about.
We explained that we are a hardworking community, founded through sweat equity on the railroad and at the Pacific Fruit Express.
Thousands of years before the European settlers came west and the railroad lines crossed in Roseville, however, we were home to the Nisenan Indians.
Now they really knew how to pick the best real estate in Northern California! We can see this by the magnificent grinding rocks, petroglyphs, and arrowheads found in the most beautiful places in Roseville!
Our Native Americans recognized the natural beauty of the creeks and the importance of the wildlife that lived in Northern California. It’s tradition for many of our families even today to watch the salmon swim up Miner’s Ravine or feed the ducks at Royer Park.
We also told Chris Lofthouse the stories about how Roseville was named, including the generally acceptable tale that “Roseville” comes from the wild roses that grew along the creeks 100 years ago when Sacramentans used to ride the train to our town to picnic for the day.
Chris listened and his artist sketched and painted. I think you’ll like what you’ll see on paper. And I hope you’ll travel to Pasadena to smell the roses in person on New Year’s Day 2009!
We have so much planned for our Centennial that I need you to check our website or visit with one of the Centennial Committee members to ask for more information. Thanks to the Committee members for your service now and throughout the coming year.
The state of our city is strong – and getting stronger every day! That’s because we have a vision of what we can be together, and we take steps every day as a community to make it happen.
I can honestly say that being the Mayor of Roseville is the best job that any Roseville resident can have!
When Rocky Rockholm was elected to the Placer County Board of Supervisors, my fellow Councilmembers appointed me Mayor for the remainder of Rocky’s term. I will be forever grateful to the citizens of Roseville for electing me to the City Council. And, I will be forever in your debt, Gina, Rich, John, and Carol, for giving me the opportunity to serve as the mayor of the City of Roseville.
I look forward to continuing my service on the Council for another two years and for all that the future holds for our great city!
Before we see the float design, I’d like to pay tribute to the corporate sponsors to date who have contributed to our Centennial and Rose Parade efforts!
First, Union Pacific Railroad.
Representing Roseville’s past, present, and future, Union Pacific Railroad has committed to a $50,000 pledge to make this dream a reality. I would like to welcome Union Pacific Railroad Vice President for Public Affairs Scott Moore and our Union Pacific team to the stage.
This group made the appeal directly to UP’s corporate headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska and will be our premier sponsor for the upcoming festivities.
I’d like to invite Jessica Tavares, chief executive officer of the United Auburn Indian Community, to the stage. She has taken the tribe from humble beginnings to a position now where it’s one of the largest philanthropic organizations in this region. So many community-based organizations in this region benefit from the generosity of the United Auburn Indian Community, and we are very appreciative of their gift of $25,000 toward the City of Roseville’s centennial celebration.
Thank you, Jessica!
Kaiser Permanente has pledged $15,000 to the Rose Parade Float effort.
I’d like to welcome Deb Aspling and Chris Palkowski to the stage to acknowledge them for Kaiser’s support.
Sutter Roseville Medical Center has also pledged $15,000. Will Pat Brady, CEO of Sutter Roseville please join me on the stage?
We are also joined by numerous other businesses who have committed to making Roseville’s centennial celebration a success. If you could all please stand and be acknowledged.