Santa Rosa City Council members have publicly had nothing but praise for City Manager Kathy Millison since she announced her retirement earlier this year. But on Tuesday night, as they described the qualities they would like to see in a new city manager, several council members made it clear they are hoping the next top executive will bring a new type of leadership to the city.
Santa Rosa officials have agreed to consider expanding the Roseland annexation area but not enough to include the neighborhood where 13-year-old Andy Lopez was killed by a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy.
The six-month investigation into whether Santa Rosa City Councilman Gary Wysocky created a hostile work environment at City Hall is over, but details of the probe remain secret because neither city officials nor Wysocky would release its findings.
Santa Rosa took a major step toward the annexation of Roseland on Tuesday when the City Council agreed to spend nearly $1.2 million to officially make the southwest neighborhood part of the city.
The Santa Rosa City Council unanimously and enthusiastically approved a plan to transform a vacant hospital in Bennett Valley into housing for at-risk young adults despite neighbors’ threats to sue to force additional environmental studies.
Officials overseeing the Rincon Valley Fire Protection District voted Tuesday to ask Santa Rosa to consider taking over Rincon Valley’s firefighting services. The unanimous vote to support the proposal by Rincon Valley firefighters stalls a rival proposal by board members to consolidate the Rincon Valley and Windsor fire districts.
Construction is to begin soon on the long-delayed Museum on the Square project, which even in its scaled-back form is expected to stimulate revitalization of downtown Santa Rosa.
City building officials issued a permit last week for the project, which promises to transform the vacant former AT&T building into a glass-clad office building and wine museum.
Developer Hugh Futrell signed closing documents on his $11 million construction loan Friday afternoon and expects work on the interior of the building to begin this month, he said.
The committee exploring how Santa Rosa can annex the 600-acre Roseland neighborhood in the southwest part of the city is hoping to sidestep the pitfalls that doomed a similar effort six years ago.
Santa Rosa voters will decide this fall whether to tax their cellphones, but they won’t get to consider changes to a controversial tax measure that funds public safety services in the city.
A slowly improving economy has helped brighten Santa Rosa’s budget picture, but the ballooning cost of public pensions, the annexation of Roseland and covering Bennett Valley Golf Course’s debt all threaten the city’s financial recovery.