Dear Santa Rosa Community:
After one full year of service, I want to thank you for the opportunity to serve as your City Manager. You have made me feel incredibly welcome, and I am grateful to call Santa Rosa home.
I am pleased to report that 2022 was the year our city forged ahead. We made significant progress in maintaining a stable government and increased transparency across all departments, and we accomplished this by getting back to basics and reinvigorating our core services.
But there still is more work to do! In 2023, my top priorities will be to address blight by enhancing public spaces and programs, combat homelessness through the lens of our new strategic plan, fast-track innovative infrastructure projects fueled by community input, and continue to prioritize public safety, violence prevention, and proactive enforcement.
Santa Rosa is a city we should all be proud to call home. I encourage you to get involved - attend a public meeting, join a board or commission, participate in a community event, and volunteer or lend a helping hand to those in need. Also, please reach out to City staff to report problems in our community. If there is something in the city limits that needs attention, it is our priority to know about it and address it.
I am proud of what the city accomplished in 2022, and I will continue to press the team to strive for excellence in the year ahead. Together we will continue to move Santa Rosa forward.
While it's impossible to list all our accomplishments, here’s a few 2022 highlights:
- Introduced a new Sideshow Ordinance to arrest or cite sideshow participants, vehicle passengers, spectators, and organizers.
- Launched the inRESPONSE Mental Health Support Team, successfully diverting 1,762 law enforcement calls and 677 EMS/Fire calls in its first year.
- Voters approved a reauthorization of the City's Public Safety Special Tax to ensure vital funding for Police, Fire, and Violence Prevention programs for another 20 years.
- Prioritized the safety of the public as police responded to more than 100,00 calls for service and the fire department responded to nearly 30,000 calls for service.
- Completed the Homelessness Solutions Strategic Plan, opened the Safe Parking Pilot Program, and launched the Pathway to Income Equity pilot, a guaranteed basic income program.
- Helped increase developer and commercial interest in Santa Rosa which gave rise to 4,131 active housing units (in building plan review, issued or under construction) and 471 completed housing units.
- 461 housing units completed/”finaled” in 2022; of which 83 units are affordable
- 1,419 housing units issued building permits in 2022; of which 377 units are affordable
- approx. 1800 units currently under construction
- approx. 2300 units currently in plan review or pending permit issuance
- Adopted update to ordanance capping fees to encourage high density, high-rise housing in the Downtown core
- Welcomed over a half-million recreation program participants to our community centers, parks, pools, and sports fields.
- Purchased six acres of land on Hearn Avenue for the Hearn Community Hub to relocate Fire Station 8, and build a new Roseland library, community/cultural center, and aquatic center.
- Transitioned the operation and maintenance of Bennett Valley Golf Course and restaurant and event center into a single operator management enterprise.
- Completed acquisition on the 2.11-acre Keysight property as the City’s permanent location for the Fire Station 5 Resiliency and Recovery project, construction is anticipated to begin this summer.
- Installed new playground areas in Colgan Creek Park, Fir Ridge Park and Rincon Ridge Park, and a new picnic area at DeTurk Round Barn.
- Cleared 4,187 cubic yards of debris from the public right-of-way, removed 9,376 graffiti tags, filled 4,826 potholes, applied 257 pavement markings, and installed 1,735 street signs.
- Supported Live at Julliard Park including 6 free concerts in 2022, 500 attendees each week
- Passed a balanced General Fund budget while introducing a pension stabilization fund to help mitigate rising pension costs.
- Secured more than $53 million in federal and state funds for a multitude of projects and programs across the city.
- Introduced four of the City's new 100% locally generated, renewable clean EverGreen energy powered electric buses in alignment with the City's sustainability goals.
- Launched the City’s first e-scooter share pilot program to provide sustainable first and last mile transportation transitions.
- Engaged with the community on best zero waste practices including prohibiting single use disposables and diverting organic waste away from our landfill.
- Adopted a Gas Station Ban Ordinance in 2022, making Santa Rosa the largest City in the United States to do so.
- Completed a community wide Greenhouse Gases Inventory that identifies emissions resulting from residents, employees within Santa Rosa.
- Engaged the community to achieve our water-savings goal and charted plans to help ensure the longevity of our City's water supply.
- Completed Phase II of the Lower Colgan Creek restoration project, a large-scale stream restoration and flood resiliency project with numerous large woody debris habitat structure, constructed riffles, enlarged floodplains, a paved multi-use pathway, and extensive native riparian plantings.
- Installed six Remote Automatic Weather Stations (RAWS) in strategic positions around the city to monitor local weather conditions.