In her State of the City address Monday, Roseville Mayor Gina Garbolino acknowledged the punch the Galleria arson dealt the city last month.
“Certainly, the fire is a blow to the Galleria and city, but hardly a knockout punch. Roseville is tougher than that,” she said.
Roseville’s innovative city programs and services as well as its careful resource planning assure the city’s continued role as a regional leader, she said.
Garbolino said she oversaw the “second-best era” for Roseville. “I absolutely believe the very best is still to come.” Garbolino became mayor in 2008. She also previously served as mayor from 2004 to 2006.
With Macy’s and Nordstrom now open and JC Penney scheduled to open by Black Friday, Garbolino called on shoppers to patronize the Galleria.
Public Affairs and Communications Director Megan MacPherson said in an interview, “We’re looking at less than half a million (dollars) in terms of the sales tax revenue hit to the city’s general fund.”
She said it is not yet clear whether the city will need to make budget cuts or will decide not to move forward on new projects.
Roseville is a mixture of old and new. The shopping powerhouse of the Galleria contrasts with the quaint, 100-year-old city center.
Garbolino described prospects for continued revitalization of downtown Roseville through a nonprofit development corporation, a public and private partnership that would be able to compete for federal and state funds not currently available to the city.
“We’ve never been this close to remaking our downtown,” Garbolino said. “Before long, we will all see that vibrant downtown we’ve talked about for years.”
In March, the Roseville Redevelopment Department completed a $13 million streetscape upgrade project on Riverside Avenue, an exit off I-80 that leads to downtown Roseville. Improvements include streetlights, benches, new parking configurations, new curbs and sidewalks, improved pedestrian crossings, infrastructure and landscaping.
In addition, bright graphics depicting scenes from old Roseville adorn fourteen new signs, comprising a “History Mile.”
New housing projects under way at the city’s west end will make their imprint on the city’s next era.
The city has adopted two plans to add 2,700 acres and 9,000 new housing units to west Roseville, north of Baseline Road and west of Fiddyment Road. These communities will include the parks, shopping and open space that Garbolino said are hallmarks of Roseville.
Sixty percent of the city’s new housing exceeds the state’s standard for energy efficiency, she said.
The city’s green utility programs also include a “food waste to energy” program that will divert 3,600 tons of food waste annually from the landfill and convert it to “clean energy,” Garbolino said.
Additionally, the city will be able to fully utilize its Aquifer Storage and Recovery Program in 2011. Aquifer Storage Recovery is a system by which water is injected into ground wells for use at a later time.
Roseville this year once again has the only Class I flood protection rating from FEMA. According to the city’s website, less than seven percent of property within Roseville is affected by flooding, and most of that is open space.
Roseville’s fire department also received an “international accreditation,” rare among fire departments in California, Garbolino said.
She thanked city employees for their efforts at city improvement.
“There’s no magic involved,” she said. “Just hard work day in and day out.”
City manager Ray Kerridge was hired in June and has no shortage of work in front of him. With 1,100 full-time employees, 115,000 residents and a $447 million budget, the scope of Roseville’s government – including police, fire, parks, water, wastewater, garbage and electricity – is massive. No other city in the region runs an electric utility.
Kerridge previously was city manager for the city of Sacramento and worked for the city of Portland for more than 25 years prior to that.
Looking forward to the projects on Kerridge’s plate, Garbolino highlighted the city’s role as a regional leader.
“It’s vitally important that we continue to be good neighbors to our friends in South Placer, she said. “Roseville is not an island.”
Garbolino said Roseville needs to coordinate with its neighbors in land development, improving road systems, and water management.
She called bringing a four-year university to the area “a major component of our future.” She said, “The city is committed to working with any and every partner to make this happen.”
Garbolino closed what she said was her last speech in elected office with moist eyes, thankful for her career in public service and making her home in Roseville.
“Others will see Roseville as the jewel of Northern California. We will be the ones lucky enough to call it home,” she said.
Current and newly elected City Council members were in attendance at the State of the City address.
Susan Rohan and Tim Herman will be sworn in as City Council members on Dec. 2. Rohan will become vice mayor because she received the most votes for City Council in the recent election.
As current vice mayor and the highest vote getter in 2008, Pauline Roccucci will be sworn in as the next mayor, also on Dec. 2.
Roccucci now is serving a third City Council term after one term of reprieve per city code. Measure H to cap City Council terms at three in a lifetime failed on this year’s ballot. Roccucci is the only person now serving three City Council terms. She previously served as mayor from 1989-1991. Her husband, Richard Roccucci, served as mayor from 1982-1984.
Rohan will become mayor after the election for City Council in 2012.
Photos by Laura O'Brien