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In tough economic times, city manager touts Roseville’s future vision

Chamber’s Roseville 2008 highlights job growth
By: Susan Belknap Press-Tribune Editor
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Even though the outside temperature soared and the winds howled at last week’s Chamber of Commerce Roseville 2008 annual economic summit, the message from Roseville city officials was cool and calming. City Manager Craig Robinson told summit attendees, who filled the giant tent atop the newly-constructed parking structure outside JC Penney at the Galleria, the city of Roseville is continuing its mission to “create and maintain a vibrant community environment and enhance the quality of life for residents, businesses, customers and partners.” “We are focusing on our vision and execution of that vision,” Robinson said. “That’s what makes Roseville unique is our ability to plan for the future.” While admitting the city has experienced a revenue loss, just as other cities across the country, Robinson said city officials are closely “monitoring” the situation. He said the city has cut expenses in anticipation of a prolonged period of uncertain revenues. In addition, there will be a reduction in expenditures for materials, supplies, travel and operating capital. In a written message Robinson said the city’s general fund operating expenses will drop from $132.2 million in fiscal year 2008 to $129 million for 2009. Robinson told Roseville 2008 attendees the city has maintained positive job growth. He said sectors such as solar energy, heath care and retail have helped to offset job losses. The Kaiser Permanente medical campus alone anticipates adding more than 1,300 jobs in 2009. As for retail, Robinson said more than 800,000 square feet of space is currently under construction throughout the city. Retail sales growth in 2007 is estimated at $3.6 billion, which Robinson said places Roseville 11th in the state. Robinson said the way to stay competitive and face uncertain times is to maintain a long-term perspective and to remain focused on the city’s mission. “We need to uphold our high standards and lead with vision,” he said. “By our continual planning, we will be stable and ready to lead.” Robinson said he is proud of the level of service the city has been providing to its residents since it incorporated in 1909. “During the Jan. 4 storm we experienced this year, we kept the lights on,” Robinson said. Some plans for the future include improvements currently underway on Cirby Way, Riverside Avenue and Pleasant Grove Boulevard. Plans for a new indoor aquatic center will allow city programs to be provided to residents on a year-round basis. Revitalization of Downtown and Old Town Roseville remain priorities with the city Redevelopment Agency’s completion of a $13 million Historic Old Town renovation project. “We won’t forget about our past,” he said. Maintaining relationships with local and regional partners in economic development also remains a priority with the city, according to Robinson. As a result, an alliance formed between the city, Sierra College and local solar companies to secure a $500,000 grant to help train solar installers and building inspectors in photovoltaic technology is underway. Robinson concluded his speech to summit guests with a reminder about the celebration of the city’s centennial year with a call to volunteers to work on the community-funded float that will be entered in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade held in Pasadena Jan. 1.