As 2018 comes to a close, now is a good time for reflecting on this year’s accomplishments. We’ve been busy and I’m proud to share some of our city’s highlights.
Twenty years from now, what will look like the most important accomplishment in 2018 was the city’s approval of the Laulima project on the former State Farm site. Rohnert Park is heading toward a new downtown that promises to provide the kind of shopping, restaurants and plaza that residents have wanted.
We also broke ground on one of the county’s largest-ever affordable housing complexes. This project is financed and constructed by the affordable housing developer. We continued to address Sonoma County’s housing challenges with the University District (now our K-Section), Willow Glen (W-Section), and on the west side of the city.
Traffic is something we’ve heard a lot about and have worked to address. We are improving the coordination of traffic lights at our freeways and using technology to synchronize lights on our busiest streets. Early next year we will reconfigure Golf Course Dr. at Redwood Dr. to add a second right turn lane.
The Department of Public Safety Department has seen many changes in 2018. We completed an outside review of our operations and have started implementing numerous changes such as a K-9 unit and more staffing. We also obtained a new ladder truck to better respond to fires and launched the “Ready and Resilient” program to help residents prepare for earthquakes or other calamities. And we hired a terrific new Director of Public Safety, Tim Mattos, who is committed to working with the community to keep Rohnert Park safe.
We can’t forget the day to day success of our officers. While final statistics are not yet in, we continue to enjoy a low crime rate and quick response times when residents call for medical or other emergencies.
Our business-friendly attitude paid off with the opening of new businesses. The locally owned Old Caz Brewery opened in the fall and named their third beer “RPX.” We also added another source of caffeine with a new Starbucks at Golf Course and Redwood and sweets nearby with Krispy Kreme. Coffee, beer and donuts; I can’t wait to see what’s to come in 2019.
To improve safety on our roads and reduce the use and cost of electricity, we completed the LED lighting retrofit of our streetlights. The LED lights helps increase efficiency and enhance visibility. We’ve also paved Circle Dr., Cornell, Martin and Keiser Ave., Casa Way, Snyder Lane and the Golis Park parking lot.
In our parks, we added new play equipment at Golis, Dorotea and Rainbow Parks and completed renovations to all park restrooms. We also opened our newest park, Twin Creeks Park, in our new K-Section.
We expanded our recreation programs in new and exciting ways. This included the launch of the Halloween Carnival, Dog Dayz and various aquatic programs.
We continue to be good stewards of your tax dollars. We balanced the city’s budget for the fifth consecutive year and continued to expand the city’s financial reserves. By refinancing debt to lower interest rates we saved hundreds of thousands of dollars.
I’m proud to call Rohnert Park home. We have a community of dedicated residents that will help Rohnert Park thrive in the years ahead. Although we’ve seen many changes in the past few years, the heart of Rohnert Park hasn’t changed at all. The pleasant smiles I’m greeted with at public events remind me just how lucky we are. Thank you for continuing to make Rohnert Park “The Friendly City.”
Be a blood hero
Join the Rohnert Park Public Safety Department Sat., Jan. 5th at the Northern Station (5200 Country Club Dr.) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. by participating in this year’s annual Bucket Brigade Blood Drive. You can schedule an appointment by visiting www.bloodheroes.com and click “donate blood” – enter sponsor code RPDPS to include your blood donation in our blood drive.
‘Tis the season for rec classes
Check out one (or many) of our recreation classes for all ages or fulfill that New Year’s resolution by signing up for a membership at our Sports and Fitness Center or by registering for one of our great fitness classes. Visit www.rpcity.org/rec to view the electronic version of our rec guide and sign up today!