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Kerridge wants to preserve Roseville's small-town feel, increase big-city amenities

Incoming city manager addresses audience at State of the City Thursday
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Current Roseville City Manager Mike Shellito seems fond of metaphors. During the State of the City Thursday, Shellito compared Roseville’s current budget crisis — and the cuts it will necessitate — to pruning a rose bush to keep the rest of the plant healthy and vibrant. “I can tell you, we’ve been pruning,” Shellito said. “But we’ll be stronger for that … Look at what we’re keeping, not what we’re cutting.” At Roseville Chamber of Commerce’s 25th annual business event, held in an empty facility at Hewlett-Packard, Shellito discussed the city’s general fund, which has experienced major revenue loss over the last three years. The city is attempting to reduce departmental expenses by $14.7 million to reach a projected $103 million in expenditures for the 2011 fiscal year. Twenty percent of Roseville’s city workforce has been cut since 2007, from 819 to 651. “The goal was to redesign a smaller, leaner, sustainable organization,” Shellito said. The outgoing city manager — who will turn over the job to Sacramento’s former City Manager Ray Kerridge in June — said Roseville continues to lead the region in home building, although new commercial construction permits remain soft. With the Sierra Vista Specific Plan approved by the city council earlier this month, Roseville will continue to grow. The build out, expected to take up to 30 years, will increase population by roughly 17,000 people. Shellito warned that life in city government will feel like a roller coaster for the next several years, but emphasized that the city will focus on protecting what matters most to residents. Kerridge echoed this sentiment during his State of the City address. The City Council selected Kerridge as top administrator on May 6. Department heads, including Shellito, were given a chance to interview the top four candidates prior to Kerridge’s selection. “The truth is I went into that meeting not wanting to like (Kerridge),” Shellito said. “But as I listened to him and got to know him, I will tell you, I’ve been impressed. He thought differently than all the other candidates. He has vision.” Kerridge said he will bring his commitment to good customer service to Roseville so that residents’ concerns are addressed in a timely and efficient matter. He hopes to make Roseville a regional leader in urban planning and design, and job creation and retention. He wants downtown to become more of a destination for tourists and residents. “We need to make sure we keep this small-town feel, but at the same time provide citizens with big-city amenities,” Kerridge said. He said his first priority will be to maintain and enhance what already exists in Roseville, which includes improving aging commercial centers. “New development is good,” Kerridge said. “But we need to make sure we focus on what is here.” Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com. ---------- Roseville’s vitals: Population: 115,781 Residences: 47,816 Businesses: 7,018 Jobs: 77,000 Estimated population with future build out: 152,000 Source: Mike Shellito, City of Roseville