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Mayor gives State of the City address

Remarks on city's successes, challenges in current economy
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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In her final public speech as mayor of Roseville, Gina Garbolino remarked on the successes and challenges faced by the city this past year, during her State of the City address Monday. She spoke to a crowd of about 60 people at Civic Center, which included newly elected city councilmembers Susan Rohan and Tim Herman. Garbolino began her speech by commenting on the last major event to occur during her tenure — the fire at Westfield Galleria in October, which shut down the entire mall for a week and caused at least $55 million in damages. She thanked the region for coming together following the fire, noting that 88 stores have reopened and more than 120 should be open by Black Friday, the big shopping day after Thanksgiving. The Roseville Police and Fire departments have faced some criticism regarding their response to the fire, after the city confirmed that sprinklers in the mall had been shut off and police prevented firefighters from entering the building to battle flames. Others have praised emergency responders for preventing any injuries or deaths. Garbolino said last year the city made significant budget cuts and organizational changes. “It was a period of great uncertainty for the city and many of our citizens,” she said. “It was a tough time.” She said city staff’s hard work and good foresight allowed Roseville to face budget “challenges,” not “disasters.” Roseville also dealt with the dismissal of its former city manager and the search for a new one, which ended with the hiring of Ray Kerridge in May. He started the position in June. During her speech, Garbolino commented on several accomplishments, including the completion of a major streetscape-improvement project along Riverside Avenue in downtown Roseville and the completion of the Sierra Vista Specific Plan, which will make room for 6,650 homes in a master-planned development on the city’s western edge. The mayor said the city began laying the groundwork for a food-to-waste energy program and she commended Roseville Electric for keeping energy rates among the lowest in California. In October, the city appointed members to a newly formed Development Advisory Committee and approved the creation of a community development corporation to pave the way for continued development and redevelopment projects. “To me, the most exciting idea I’ve heard in a long time is our creation of a nonprofit (community development corporation),” Garbolino said. She said this current era marks the second best in Roseville history, as she believes “the best is yet to come.” Councilwoman Carol Garcia praised Garbolino for her accomplishments as mayor. “I wish her well,” Garcia said Tuesday. “But I know she isn’t going away, because she is so involved and we still need her. I have a high level of respect for her and her wisdom, and have learned so much from her.” Mayor Pro Tempore Pauline Roccucci will succeed Garbolino as mayor in December. Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com.