2023 State of the City Speech

with Mayor Bruce Houdesheldt
August 25, 2023, Westfield Galleria at Roseville


Prepared text of the State of the City speech:

It’s an honor to stand before you today to provide the annual update on the State of our City.

Many of the accomplishments that contribute to the much-sought-after quality of life we enjoy in Roseville are rooted in actions of the past.

Travel back with me to 1985, the first time I visited Roseville.

In 1985, movie star Molly Ringwald, who was born and raised in Roseville, was starring in her second film, “The Breakfast Club.” And the movie, “Back to the Future” was No. 1 at the box office There is no truth to the rumor that I was the understudy for the role of Doc Brown.  

The landscape of retail is everchanging. Sears is gone, but JC Penney, which is prominently featured in the background as Marty McFly revs up the DeLorean to test time travel, is still here. And the shoe store Impossible Kicks might just have the Nike Bruin shoes that Michael J. Fox rocked in “Back to the Future Part 2.”

The point is “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Though our city was incorporated more than 110 years ago, my focus will be on the past 40 years of Roseville’s history:

  • A history filled with innovation, resilience, and achievement, much like the Galleria’s story.
  • A time full of visionary planning and first-ever achievements.
  • A past that has led us here – to the future – in a city known for its exceptionally high quality of life and one of the most sought-after places to live.
  • A story of how Roseville became an extraordinary example of The Modern American City.

But before we go further, I would ask you to stand for the posting of the colors by the Roseville Police and Fire Honor Guard, and to remain standing for the Pledge of Allegiance, which will be led by the person who was Roseville’s mayor in 1985, Judge Alan Pineschi.

Let me begin by recognizing some individuals and organizations who not only make these annual updates possible, but who also contribute greatly to Roseville’s ongoing success.

  • The Roseville City Council, and I’d ask each of you to stand. Lifelong Roseville residents Vice Mayor Krista Bernasconi and Councilmember Pauline Roccucci; and Councilmembers Scott Alvord and Tracy Mendonsa. You each bring a unique perspective, vision, and understanding of what public service really is, like those who served on the City Council before us. Together with our City staff, we are building on the vision established long ago “to preserve Roseville’s high quality of life for future generations.”
  • Our City of Roseville staff, led by our incomparable City Manager Dominick Casey – for your endless civic engagement and dedication to providing our residents and businesses with innumerable, unmatched resources. Because of you, Roseville is consistently ranked among the top 10 happiest cities, best places to retire, best places to live in the U.S. and for the second year in a row, is a finalist for the prestigious National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.
  • This past year each and every one of you have performed heroically, whether it was weathering—and I do mean weathering—the 15 scorching days of last September and the never-ending rain storms of January 2023, or responding to the public safety needs in our community as well as rendering mutual aid to other communities, including currently in the town of Lahaina where our Fire Chief Rick Bartee has been deployed by FEMA to assist with recovery efforts. Everyday you embody the City’s Mission Statement: To provide exceptional services in a fiscally responsible manner that enhance the quality of life today and into the future.
  • The Roseville Area Chamber of Commerce team, led by their dynamic CEO Rana Ghadban, for your tireless devotion to ensuring that our businesses are well connected to our community. We appreciate your dedication and innovation in helping make Roseville the best city in California to live, work and do business in. There are several Chamber past presidents with us today including Galleria General Manager Jeff Richardson
  • Jeff, you, and your team here at The Westfield Galleria Roseville have been an invaluable partner committed to our city’s goals and a leader of retail growth in our region as your presentation outlined. You are, in fact, the “mayor” of retail. The sales tax revenue generated from the Galleria helps fund key services in our community, from public safety to public works to parks and libraries. Thank you for sharing this beautiful venue, and most importantly – happy 23rd year anniversary!
  • Serving on the City Council requires commitment and sacrifice.I want to recognize the councilmembers’ families who sacrifice their time with us and I want to personally thank my wife, Shelley.Public service is my choice, but without her wisdom and understanding it would not be possible.
  • I also couldn’t serve without the support of my employer, the Northern California Water Association, where I work with some of the most influential and dedicated water professionals in the state.

Finally, thanks to all of you – many of you volunteer your time on a city board or commission, or serve or support a non-profit, like the Roseville Police Activities League, Friends of the Roseville Public Libraries, Roseville Employee Annual Charitable Hearts or REACH, Roseville City School District Foundation, Tommy Apostolos Fund, or Taylor House. I hope everyone had a chance to visit with these nonprofits here this morning.

Our non-profits are the soul of Roseville.

And how about a big round of applause for the Chilton Middle School orchestra, under the direction of Stephanie Sugano, who also leads the Roseville Community Band. We appreciate your participation here this morning!

Since 1991 when I permanently settled in South Placer County, I’ve been immersed and engaged in Roseville’s history-making growth. I’ve witnessed Roseville’s leadership in the areas of water, transportation, infrastructure and economic development, including the launch of the Roseville Venture Lab business accelerator, the 51-acre, 10-field Roseville Soccer Complex that broke ground this summer. and of course, the carefully planned growth in West Roseville, meeting the demand for housing and retail in one of the fastest growing areas in Placer County.

The foundation of the success we enjoy today dates further back than the 1980s.

Let’s answer the question: “How did we get here?”

Our origin story began in 1864 – when the crew building the western half of the transcontinental railroad crossed the California Central Railroad that linked Folsom and Lincoln at a place known at the time as “Junction.”  

Today, the area’s rail history comes full circle with the expansion of the Capitol Corridor Commuter Rail Service and its “Third Track” project. This project will eventually provide 10 round trips between Roseville and Sacramento, and beyond. The Capitol Corridor saw some of its highest ridership days recently for Taylor Swift’s performances at Levi Stadium.

In the early 1900s, Roseville’s pioneering families became the community leaders who had the initiative and foresight to plan the community’s future by securing its own water, power, and telecommunications.

In 1911 Roseville Electric was established as the city's electric utility provider and is still a City-owned utility, providing the highest reliability and lowest rates in the region.

In 1914, Roseville Telephone Company was established with 160 subscribers, and still serves the region as Consolidated Communications.

Some of the descendants of the Fiddyment, Cirby, Kaseberg, Buljan, Astill, Doyle and Mahany families are still active today.

These civic leaders and generations that followed instilled the culture and sense of community that created and maintained a long-term vision to move Roseville from a small community to a thriving hub of connected neighborhoods, with plentiful jobs, retail facilities and recreational opportunities. 

Now let’s fast forward to the 1980s  

  • when Roseville adopted its first Specific Plan for the Johnson Ranch area,
  • when the first regional park, Maidu Regional Park, was dedicated in 1987,
  • when Hewlett-Packard opened its campus on Foothills Boulevard.
  • It was joined a few years later by Japan-based NEC Electronics manufacturing facility. NEC became TSI Semiconductors in 2010, and earlier this year, Germany-based global semiconductor manufacturer BOSCH announced its intent to acquire the chip-making facility and invest $1.5 billion dollars locally.

This period in our history led to Roseville ranking today as:  

  • 21st among the top 100 best cities to live in the U.S.
  • 18th among the top 100 economic growth cities in the U.S.
  • 7th among cities in the U.S. with the happiest residents.
  • 2nd in the nation in 2022 for one-way U-Haul rentals. . . the only California City to make the list . . .and these are not outbound trips.


These accolades are impressive, and they really lend credibility to what we all experience in our daily lives – we live in one of the best cities in the country.

While our former leaders may not have fully fathomed then what Roseville would become, they were already laying the groundwork for a Modern American City. A community with a strong identity and sense of place.

The first master plan for new development in Roseville began with the Southeast Roseville Specific Plan, setting the tone for comprehensive planning and inclusive future development that city leaders and residents envisioned for their community.

Over a century after the first hospital was built in 1890, the City sold the Roseville Community Hospital to Sutter Health in 1993. It was the start of the growing health care hub Roseville is today.

The City Council had the foresight to use the interest on the proceeds from the sale of the Community Hospital to establish the Citizens Benefit Trust, which provides grant funding to local non-profits. The city has awarded millions in the past three decades to local nonprofits.

Just last year alone, the City Council awarded a total of $629,681 in community grants through our Grants Advisory Commission to 34 projects and programs that serve our area seniors, those experiencing food insecurity, family resource centers, veterans’ services, wellness centers, the arts and ongoing education.


The Sutter Roseville Medical Center we know today opened its doors in 1997, and Kaiser Permanente served its first patient in Roseville in 1998. Today, both are currently undergoing significant expansion. 

  • Kaiser Roseville’s campus broke ground a few months ago on a $300 million dollar new six-story patient tower, which is anticipated to open in 2027, making Kaiser Roseville the largest hospital in Placer County.
  • Sutter Health recently completed expansion of its emergency department, making it the largest one in the Sutter network. Sutter also launched residency and fellowship programs to help California's physician shortage by retaining qualified professionals locally. A new four-story office building will house the program.

In addition to the opening of the Galleria at Roseville in 2000, city leaders began in earnest creating the Downtown Specific Plan, which included the revitalization efforts that have positioned Downtown Roseville as the city’s civic core.

  • Monk’s Cellar, one of the businesses in our Downtown, recently won Brewery of the Year at the California State Fair.It is owned by third-generation Roseville residents Andy Klein and Paul Gould.
  • All up and down Vernon Street, mixed use and affordable housing projects are revitalizing the core of our City.

Just around the corner from here, America’s newest craze – Pickleball – is expanding its footprint with 12 new pickleball courts under construction at Gibson Park.  Further up Conference Center Drive near Villa Sports, a private entertainment venue called Electric Pickle and Fieldworks Brewing Company will be part of the Roseville Junction project—an indoor-outdoor bar and restaurant, a lawn for live music and outdoor gatherings and several hotels.

This City Council, like others before us, value and are building on the vision and contributions of those who proceeded us to ensure Roseville continues to be known for a high quality of life.

Our Strategic Plan Goals and Annual Budget are the fundamental underpinnings ensuring quality of life for future generations. Those goals are to:

  • Maintain a safe and healthy community.
  • Remain fiscally responsible in a changing world,
  • Enhance economic vitality,
  • Invest in well-planned infrastructure and growth,
  • Support community engagement and advocacy, and
  • Deliver exception City services.


Our Fiscal Year 2023-24 Budget implements our Strategic Plan Goals:

  • With the planned opening of new Fire Station 8,
  • By bolstering our Police Social Services Unit,
  • Strengthening the system capacity and reliability of Roseville Electric Utility services,
  • With the design of several new neighborhood parks,
  • By funding capital improvement projects, from the Roseville Soccer Complex to a new electric substation and a new stormwater detention basin,
  • Through reinvesting in our core neighborhoods by making improvements to 85-year-old Weber Park and century-old Johnson Pool, and
  • By supporting business growth, attracting private investments, and delivering housing options.


We are advancing our Goal to maintain a safe and healthy community by

  • Hiring 10 new police officers and implementing the first real-time crime center.
  • Continuing to determine how to best address the challenges of homelessness in partnership with local nonprofits. Roseville’s multi-department Homelessness task force works to determine needs of the homeless and connect them with appropriate resources for emergency shelter, seniors, veterans, mental health and substance disorders, suicide prevention and a variety of government resources.
  • Through special housing vouchers and housing assistance programs we have been successful in ensuring that 10 percent of new development includes affordable housing opportunities so people who work in all sectors of our community have an opportunity to live here as well.
  • Facilitating commercial reinvestment and redevelopment, housing, and streetscape beautification along the Douglas-Harding, Douglas-Sunrise, and Atlantic Street Commercial Corridors, and
  • Giving Roseville voters the option in November 2022 to increase the hotel tax 3% to bring the city on par with most cities in California. This was the first increase since 1975 in Roseville, when we only had three hotels. Now as we approach 20 hotels, it is important to continue to invest in services such as public safety, streets, parks, and recreation that our visitors use as well.


Our commitment to advancing our quality of life is evident in the area school systems and community health and wellbeing:

  • Our award-winning schools attract families to Roseville.
  • Sierra College and William Jessup University continue to experience increases in enrollment.
  • Work has begun on the satellite campus for Sacramento State and Sierra College within the Placer One development on the northern border of Roseville in the Sunset area.
  • Contributions from residents of Asian, Latino, Italian, Greek and eastern European descent, along with the earliest contributions from the Nisenan band of Maidu Native Americans are evident throughout our history. From early stewardship of the land and creeks to agriculture, railroads, grocery stores and restaurants.
  • Our current InvestHealth partnership with the Health Education Council addresses ways to reduce health disparities among residents throughout Roseville.
  • In an effort to help both new and longtime residents gain more insight on Roseville’s approach to planning, services, amenities, and our collaboration with the community, we will be developing a section of our City website to highlight these standout features of our community.

Our commitment is evident in the business expansions: 
  • Medical device company, Penumbra, recently expanded to 850 Roseville employees. They are part of the region’s thriving life sciences sector.
  • Quick Quack Car Wash expanded its headquarters by locating its manufacturing operations in Roseville, bringing more software and hardware engineering roles to the city, with more jobs planned as the business continues to expand.


Our commitment is evident in our development successes:

  • Costco has submitted entitlement applications for a new warehouse with a fuel station and car wash located at the northwest corner of Baseline and Fiddyment Road. This new Costco is also expected to bring more than 600 jobs.

    Costco is part of the retail expansion on the City’s westside, where Grocery Outlet, a new Safeway, Raley’s O-N-E, Nugget, Dutch Bros and 24hour Fitness are part of the evolving landscape.

  • Neighborhoods in Sierra Vista, Fiddyment Ranch, Amoruso and Creekview, like those of the Specific Plans before them, continue to generate high demand for single-family homes because of their visionary planning, including parks and trails.
  • Last Sunday I rode my bike from my house near TopGolf to Winding Creek and BACK on Roseville’s extensive trail system. Boy am I looking forward to the new East Roseville Parkway connection between Foothills and Washington to shorten the 15-mile roundtrip.
  • Construction is well underway on Junction Crossing, an 80-unit affordable apartment building in Historic Old Town on Pacific Street.
  • The Local Housing Trust Fund is providing $7.5 million dollars in support of three additional affordable housing developments in the city: Prospera at Fiddyment Ranch, Bridge Housing's Royer Apartments and Mercy Housing Services.
  • Affordable, or workforce, housing projects in Roseville will be easier for private developers to fund and build in the future with the City of Roseville’s Prohousing designation from the California Department of Housing and Community Development. The designation makes private affordable housing projects planned in Roseville much more competitive for limited state and federal funding and could accelerate the timeline for future projects.
  • Investments in Downtown Roseville continue with the reuse of the former Consolidated Communications offices at 200 Vernon St., as it will undergo redevelopment into office and retail/restaurant spaces, as well as residential units.
  • And earlier this month the City Council approved the Erickson Senior Living’s 1400-unit project on the City’s western edge. This 2.1 million square-foot continuing care retirement community will be an all-electric community that will expand residential options for our older residents.

It is evident in our ongoing commitment to a high quality of life with our top-notch utilities and exemplary environment stewardship:
  • I think we can all agree that Roseville Electric is the envy of the region. In fact, during the late-fall/winter extremely severe storm and cold weather season, the team responded to nearly 550 outages – and none of those customers experienced extended outages like so many other homes in the Capital Region did. In fact, Roseville Electric sent its own field crews to help SMUD restore power to 400,000 non-Roseville residents while still providing service to its own customers.
  • In the water conservation project right here at the Roseville Galleria, they are removing 150,000 square feet of grass (that’s 3 football fields), saving our community 8 million gallons of water each year!
  • Roseville has also begun generating revenue for the General Fund from two digital billboards, one on southbound Highway 65 and another on westbound Interstate 80.
Results from our National Community Survey show that we are on a solid track of success in achieving these goals. The survey was conducted initially in February 2021 with another round kicking off this fall. Residents gave Roseville the highest marks among 500 cities nationwide in several key areas including as a place to live, utility infrastructure, city services and economic health.

As we wrap up our journey today, I hope I have left you and the Roseville community with the understanding that we might be growing but we are not changing.

That “We Got This!” through supply chain issues, economic headwinds, and challenges that emerge without warning.

Roseville has faced it before and emerged with sound financial, logistical and operational planning that helps us to remain Fiscally Responsible in Changing Times.

The state of Roseville - the state of OUR CITY - is one that for generations, like today, has attracted international and national interest to bring the first-in-California projects to Roseville, because of our commitment to be the leading example of a Modern American city.

A city built on rails, trails, and a commitment to renewal...where our rich history - combined with our leadership and the support of our partners - serves as the foundation for a quality of life that is hard to find anywhere else.

So let me close by envisioning the future, a generation from now, when the Mayor delivers the State of the City and reflects on our words today “We got this!” and says, “They sure did.”