The safety of our citizens is our prime concern. Our City was the first in the county to initiate its Emergency Operations Center (EDC). The county and other cities used many of our procedures and protocols. Other key city personnel and I provided media updates and videos designed to keep our residents informed and provide advice for their safety. The city council supported this aggressive response, and it showed as the number of infected stayed at a very low level until restrictions in the county were lifted and infections increased. The City was quick to respond, making the hard choice to reinstitute restrictive protocols and keep citizens safe. I am proud of our response and consider my part in this one of the most significant achievements.
- Rio Vista City financial audits are current, and for the last few years, have been timely and with a “clean” opinion, after years of neglect.
- Budget accountability was nonexistent at the beginning of my Council term. I worked with city staff to establish a detailed, balanced budget program that has consistently improved over the years.
- Our current budget is now a useful financial planning tool, helps the council in making policy decisions, and recently won the Operating Budget Excellence Award for 2019-2020.
- Early in my Council term, agenda items contained sketchy and often inaccurate financial information. I worked with the city manager and finance staff to establish guidelines as to the presentation of financial information in staff reports. Financial information in staff reports is now detailed and precise, enabling council members to evaluate alternatives better and make informed decisions.
- View the final Fiscal Year 2020 – 2021 Rio Vista Budget
- I led the effort to promote the adoption of a cannabis-friendly city ordinance and development of the 42-acre Business Park, primarily for cannabis, but open to other business interests.
- Together with the City Manager, we worked with opposition groups to develop an ordinance that was acceptable to all concerned and unanimously approved by the City Council.
- The Planning Commission and City Council approved zoning changes that limited cannabis development to the Business Park.
- The council approved various infrastructure projects to prepare the raw land for development. The cost of the improvements is approximately $6.5 million, and the completed land sales of 19 acres will cover the costs.
- With infrastructure cost covered, the council agreed to halt further cannabis expansion leaving about 15 acres of shovel ready land for various other business opportunities. Proceeds from these land sales can be used for improvements in other parts of the City.
- The Council and Planning Commission approved development agreements that provide an annuity stream from all cannabis sales. The new revenue stream will critical to the future growth and financial stability of our City. Additionally, cannabis businesses have created 150+ jobs with more to come online next year and after that.
Under my term as Mayor and with the support of city council and city staff, several key projects were completed for the betterment of our residents.
- Installation of RFID water meters throughout the City, which enabled timely billing, online payment, and operational savings.
- Approved energy-efficient projects, including solar array for the wastewater treatment plant and several city-owned facilities. Included in this list of projects is the installation of a new lighting system for our ball field.
- Upgrades in our city parks including a new skateboard park, dog park, upgraded playground equipment, basketball court, and modern restroom facilities.
- Using SB1 funds, upgraded Main Street sidewalks, Front Street roadway, and Highway 12 entrance ramp.
- After much delay due to various governmental agency compliance issues, we were able to construct our city dock facility at the foot of Main Street, which has proved to be a popular attraction to local fishers and visiting boaters.
- The City was able to secure a $1.2 million grant to redo its boat launch. This project is now underway and will be completed late this year or early next year.
- We are working with PG&E on two important initiatives. The first is increasing power flow to the Business Park area. Not only will this help satisfy the growing power requirements for our new businesses, but it should help stabilize our power grid, hopefully resulting in fewer power outages.
- The second PG&E project concerns putting power lines and related utility lines underground. We have petitioned PG&E for advances in annual improvement allowances to enable bury lines along Main Street and a few smaller sections of the City.
- We continue to make progress on blighted properties. Many property improvements have been completed, but two big ones remain. Although the development is painfully slow, there is progress. The Ram Hotel is no longer a plywood eyesore and soon will be a valuable addition to our cityscape and economy. The Royal Motel is progressing after the City forced the developer to make needed repairs. Staff is currently reviewing the progress of this project to determine if further action is necessary.
Under my time as Mayor and Councilman, I voted to make significant improvements in the water and sewer infrastructure in the core areas of Rio Vista. During the current fiscal year, I voted to improve the water and sewer lines on Edgewater Drive. I further supported the long term Capital Improvement Plan which continues to upgrade the aging infrastructure in the core area of our City. Exhibits A and B show the location of these capital improvements and planned improvements.