State of the City Speech – Mayor Pauline Roccucci, Oct. 5, 2011
Good evening distinguished guests, my fellow Councilmembers, ladies and gentlemen.
I’d like to begin by talking about being healthy. As many of you know, I’ve been a registered nurse for over 40 years. Helping people stay healthy or regain their health has been my life’s calling. I love it.
My other job as your Mayor is all about keeping Roseville healthy.
Financially healthy……. with a balanced budget, smart choices and business friendly environment.
Physically healthy….. making sure the city’s backbone of infrastructure is strong and ready to handle the future.
and just as important…..
Community healthy…….giving our citizens every opportunity to be of healthy mind and body by providing a safe and strong community;…. enviable parks and bikeway systems; …longer hours at our libraries;…. flexible, alternative types of higher education and help for those in need.
The financial and physical keeps us looking good, keeps the machinery running. But I believe it is our strong sense of community,…community health…. that really makes Roseville,…. Roseville.
Serving the community is why we are up here. For me, you could call it my life’s second calling. I take great pride in keeping up with the pulse of the community. Whether it’s through your phone calls and questions; listening to your comments at public meetings such as this one tonight, seeing you at one of our city and neighborhood events, or meeting you for coffee to discuss our community. It’s also personal for me. Most of my family lives here. I want to make sure their children and grandchildren will also feel that Roseville is the best place to call home.
Financial health means we need to continue to promote and live by the strictest standards of fiscally sound oversight and public accountability. During these uncertain economic times, it’s more important than ever to assure that every dollar is spent for the public good. The public requires us to lead by example and how we spend your money is important. We need to act responsibly even when we are not being closely watched by the public. That is a definition of good ethics and integrity.
Transparency is the hallmark of good government. Our decisions aren’t going to please everyone all the time. But it is up to us to make those decisions in ways that gives you confidence that we are listening and we are acting on your behalf and in your best interest. And then we need to communicate those decisions to you in a manner that is easy to understand.
The City is always looking for more and better ways to engage everyone. After all, it is your city. As the City Council, we represent you. But it is through listening to you that we take our cues.
Many of you are involved; serving on a city commission; being a part of your neighborhood associations; volunteering to help our non-profit organizations; or just making your voice heard. That is what makes our community strong.
We as Councilmembers don’t have all the answers. Our city government is run with a dedicated staff, many of them experts in very complicated fields. But they aren’t the only ones with good ideas. Roseville needs you to be involved;…. to bring forth your good ideas; to work with us and collaborate with us….. in helping tackling our problems. We continue to look for ways for improvement.
Public safety is the top priority for the city in the area of physical health. Public safety has always been and will remain mine. Our police department has a renewed focus on community-oriented policing, working with residents and businesses to solve problems. We are tasking our police officers to look for innovative ways to reduce crime, get to know citizens, and we’ve put more officers in your neighborhoods to work with you to understand the issues you face. And it’s working…. Crime is down this year across the board.
The Fire Department is integrating deeper into neighborhoods as well as also looking at ways to prepare for the future. We are now looking for the right person to lead the department on a permanent basis and plan to have that person in place by the end of the year.
Police and Fire are forming stronger partnerships to serve the neighborhoods they’re located in, visiting monthly neighborhood board meetings, and having the fire stations serve as a satellite office where police and fire personnel who serve that area can discuss neighborhood issues and officers can write reports from their shifts. Working together, they provide a safe community where police, fire, and emergency health services are readily available to all residents, businesses and visitors..
One of Roseville’s strength’s has been our well run, efficient, and low cost municipal utilities. Businesses repeatedly cite this as a reason for moving to Roseville. For residents, we don’t have to think about whether the power will be on or the water will be clean. It is imperative for our economic well being to maintain the high quality service and low rates. We need to continue to establish fiscal responsibility so that our services will be available to all in the community, both residential and businesses.
But running our own utilities comes with some very big challenges in the future. Unfunded mandates from federal and state regulators will put tremendous budget pressure on the city. These pressures are not going away, but instead will increase over time and affect every one of us. We all need to stay informed and engaged on these issues. …. There are no simple solutions.
Traffic relief is probably the single topic I hear about most from you. It’s my goal to improve and expand our transportation and roadway systems by providing more opportunities for alternative transportation options like public transit, bicycling and walking.
In the meantime, we have a transportation staff constantly monitoring traffic flow throughout the city and adjusting signal timings as necessary. Signal timing is a continuous balancing act between the hundreds of thousands of vehicles on our roadway network during any given hour and their desire to all go someplace different.
As our city grows, this will continue to be a challenge. Our staff strives to get everyone to their destinations as safely and quickly as we can every day.
Community health and identity is an important part of who we are. We have worked hard to keep our sense of community. We’ve already had some success doing this. The plans for downtown came from numerous public meetings and input. Your good ideas will help make the downtown a vibrant, exciting place to be; where the past and present come together with art being enjoyed.
If all goes well, next year at this time we will be talking about our new Town Square right outside of these doors; our beautiful fountain will remain. It promises to be a place for all of us to come together as a community for entertainment and celebrations. It will be the heart of the city’s meeting place.
But it’s hardly the only work that’ll be going on down here. Over the next 36 months, you’re going to see the downtown we’ve envisioned for quite some time. Our Royer Park bridge will be replaced and the Ice House Bridge will rotated a bit. The numerous infrastructure upgrades along Oak, Vernon and Atlantic Streets are truly making Downtown ready for the new businesses, restaurants and people we see coming here.
The Roseville Community Development Corporation is a key piece of the public – private partnerships that will make our downtown flourish. Only a year old, it is already making its presence felt in the business community. We continue to move forward.
We anticipate the revitalization projects will provide 400 jobs to our city. And then countless others as new businesses and restaurants move in.
Adding other high quality jobs, in education, health care, technology, and manufacturing; and focusing on business retention efforts as we’ve done with Telefunken, when companies change hands and product lines, is one of my highest priorities. Good, high paying jobs will keep our community strong.
After many years of negotiations, we finally have a tax sharing agreement with Placer County before us tonight for consideration. The agreement will cover land to the west and north of our current boundaries. It is truly a fair agreement for Roseville and Placer County. It will allow the long planned growth to move forward in a well planned, comprehensive manner and puts both of us in a strong financial position for our future infrastructure needs. It is an example of what the region can achieve by working together.
The fact that builders and developers are still interested in coming to Roseville, even in these difficult times, says a great deal about our community. We are a community where people want to live, visit, and work, and where companies want to do business. We thank the public and businesses for their support and understanding during these hard economic times.
Less than a year ago, an arsonist started a fire at the Westfield Galleria causing tremendous damage to the building. It was a blow to all of us and is something none of us will forget. Not only does the Galleria provide jobs to our residents and revenue for the city, it is a community meeting place.
Through the incredibly hard work and team effort of Westfield and Roseville city staff, the Galleria was able to clean up and remarkably reopen part of the mall in less than a week. But a completely destroyed wing still remained.
Tomorrow morning, I will have the distinct privilege of participating in the ribbon-cutting as Westfield reopens the most heavily damaged area of the Galleria….less than a year after the arson. Not only is it back, but it is better than ever as Westfield used this opportunity to create a different look and feel to this wing, making it breathtaking. I hope you get a chance to check it out for yourself this month.
This is a fantastic boost to the city and community, financially and emotionally. Congratulations to the Galleria on a fantastic job. And thank you to our city staff top to bottom, for finding innovative ways to work with the Galleria to get this done.
Just in time for the Christmas shopping season!
Many of you are aware that the City is working hard with the PG&E Company to identify and replace defective gas lines in our community. We are all thankful that the recent incident at one of busiest intersections at Cirby and Riverside Avenues was handled and secured in a safe manner where no one was injured. The 400 feet of gas line will be replaced in the next 3-4 weeks. We will continue to work with any agency or company to make Roseville a safe place to live and work.
I’ve had the distinct privilege of serving the citizens of Roseville as we work through economic challenges, plan for expansion, reinvest in our infrastructure, and develop new ways to build our community and serve our citizens. While it’s easy to expand services when economic times are good, it’s quite an achievement to maintain those levels of service when times are tough. That’s why I’m particularly proud of our employees and their dedication to serving our community.
This is an incredibly dynamic period in our city’s history as we embark on our second century. While times change, we have the confidence of knowing that our vision for this community remains timeless. Working together, we will weather the hard times, celebrate the good times, and keep our core services…police, fire, library, parks, water, electric, refuse, waste water and transportation systems for you….so you and you’re family can thrive and excel in Roseville.