Regional Measure 3
One of the most frustrating things about living in Sonoma County is the challenge of getting to and from the rest of the Bay Area via Highway 101. While traffic was once an issue only at rush hour, we now find ourselves stuck on much of Highway 101 from Petaluma to Novato at many other times as well.
Through Measure M, Sonoma County voters have been paying additional sales taxes to widen Highway 101 and make other improvements. This has been a success as the widening has occurred from Petaluma to Windsor. However, complete success requires widening through the “Novato Narrows” in Marin County to expand Highway 101 to three lanes from Novato through Petaluma.
Voters will soon have the opportunity to support the needed funding. In particular, Regional Measure 3 will be on the June 5 ballot. It will allow increases to bridge tolls on all Bay Area bridges by up to $3, except the Golden Gate Bridge. In addition to funding the widening of Highway 101, it will also fund improvements on Highway 37, the extension of SMART to Windsor and potentially Healdsburg and improvements on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge. This is the first time a regional transportation measure funds projects that so directly benefit Rohnert Park residents.
Additionally, Proposition 69 will be on the June ballot. It ensures that the 12 cent increase in gas taxes approved by the state last year will be spent only on transportation, including roads and transit. This will prevent the state legislature in Sacramento from re-directing these dedicated funds to other uses.
Twin Creeks Opening
The city’s newest park is now open! Twin Creeks park is a five-acre park in the new K Section (also known as the University District). We are excited to offer this excellent park that includes play structures, two soccer fields and a baseball field. The park also includes a covered picnic area available for rent through the Community Services Department.
Golis Park Playgrounds
For months, residents of G-Section have watched the installation of two new play structures at Golis Park. One is designed for 2 to 5-year-olds and the other for 5 to 12-year-olds. They are now open. We will be coordinating a ribbon cutting ceremony in mid-May. Details will be available on the city’s website and through Facebook and Nextdoor.
LED Street Lights
The city has partnered with PG&E to replace over 1,600 high-pressure sodium street lights with LED lights throughout the city. Work will begin in May and will be completed by the end of June. The LED lights are more energy efficient than the high-pressure sodium lights and we expect to save $65,000 a year in energy costs. In addition, the high-pressure sodium bulbs typically need to be replaced every two years while LED lights are replaced every six to eight years.
Awards and Recognition
For the first time ever, our Public Safety Department selected one of the city’s dispatchers, Trish Raia, as Officer of the Year. Trish was recognized for her outstanding handling of a challenging call in which a resident was home while a burglary occurred. This award also recognizes the stellar performance of all of our dispatchers, who were particularly challenged by 10 times the normal call volume during the October fires. They each demonstrated the utmost in professionalism while under pressure.
Additionally, our Deputy City Clerk Caitlin Saldanha was recognized as Clerk of the Year by the City Clerks Association of California for her outstanding public communications during the fires. Caitlin worked in our Emergency Operations Center to keep the public informed and reassured of Rohnert Park’s safety via our website and social media outlets. I’m proud to work alongside Trisha, Caitlin and over 200 other people serving our community each day.