Message from the Mayor: Forging a stronger path forward

Updated July 21, 2020

from Roseville Mayor John B. Allard, II

For all the emergency and crisis scenarios the City plans and prepares for, a pandemic is likely the least predictable crisis we face as a community. How long it lasts and how deeply its effects will be felt remain to be seen. We look forward to the point where we move from an active mode to the recovery phase. As we recover, we’ll integrate what we’ve learned to forge a new, stronger and better path forward.

Meanwhile with the recent rise in infection rates in Placer County and throughout California, we continue to deal with unpredictability. This increase influences other metrics that cause us to exceed monitoring levels. Last week, indoor operations of businesses including hair salons and barbershops, indoor malls, and gyms and fitness centers were closed until further notice, along with places of worship.

As health concerns result in tighter restrictions, the fallout on our economy, education system, and community continue. 

Realizing our control lies in our response, the City of Roseville has been working extensively to create an environment that fosters as much success under these circumstances as possible. We opened up a supply chain to provide PPE to businesses and nonprofits in Roseville, including distributing tens of thousands of masks.

We’re expanding the ability of businesses to hold activities outdoors, including adjusting policies that allow for temporary street closures and outdoor operations where not previously allowed. And we provided $1.5 million in no-interest loans to Roseville small businesses at the start of April. It’s an indefinite situation, and being able to respond to the needs in our community is key.

Perspectives vary widely on what’s effective and what should be done. However, it’s important to note that compliance with state guidance is a condition of state funding and reimbursement to local governments, as well as a way to mitigate the spread that will allow more sectors of our economy to operate. We’ll continue to work with our community to ensure we operate as functionally and safely as we can in this difficult, disruptive, and challenging time.

A welcoming community

Social unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s death has compounded people’s anxiety and frustration. In Roseville, we’ve received a much higher level of interest in our police policies along with continued strong support and appreciation for the dedication of our staff at the Roseville Police Department.

The RPD worked intensely to ensure that people could demonstrate and safely exercise their constitutionally protected rights. I deeply appreciate our officers’ professionalism, which is even more visible during times like this.

Demonstrations were peaceful. Though emotions can run high, I want to commend our residents for the respectful behavior shown by nearly everyone expressing their voices.

As residents engaged in social media campaigns about police policies, the RPD communicated its policy alignment through direct responses, videos, and website articles. Last Wednesday, the City Council voted to add funding for body-worn cameras to the City’s federal and state legislative platform. Consistent policy and funding throughout our state and nation will ensure this important tool can be effective for transparency.

We also have an opportunity to identify things we need to do or change to make Roseville a community that feels inclusive to everyone. Our staff will be working with community partners to develop the framework to raise awareness, take stock, listen and learn from each other. The timing is important while people are focusing on this issue, recognizing that the challenges last beyond the headlines.

Fall Elections

Voting is one of the pivotal ways people can engage in their government. This fall brings several key differences from years past.

City councilmembers will be elected by district, instead of at large, for the first time. (Find your district here.) Roseville has five districts, three of which (1, 3, 5) are up for election this November. The other two (2, 4) are up for election in 2022. Interested candidates can find information here or contact the City Clerk’s office at 916-774-5200 for information and deadlines.

This year’s ballot will contain several amendments to the City’s charter, which is essentially our City’s constitution. A panel of residents formally reviews the charter every 10 years. The City Council appoints these volunteers to serve on the Charter Review Commission, which met over the span of a year to get public input and to examine and discuss various amendments.

I want to thank the nine residents who served on the commission and the members of the public who provided input. This fall, voters will decide on charter-related measures including spending authority, redistricting commission, selection of a mayor, water supply, and some “cleanup” language to bring the charter into compliance with existing laws and practices.

Information on the measures, including an impartial analysis, can be found here.

In closing

The feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and frustration in our community are widespread. Questions remain about schooling, job security, the economy, social interactions, and how long it will be before we can resume life’s activities in the absence of a pandemic.

It’s clear we’re facing more questions than answers for longer than we’d like. What we always have control over, though, are our actions and attitudes as individuals and how we treat each other as a community. It’s helpful to remind ourselves that displays of aggression and impatience are within our control. And that kindness to ourselves and compassion to each other are values that will see us through this.

I look forward to the time when we begin rebuilding what we’ve lost and taking the best of what we’ve learned to forge a thriving path forward.