I recently spent a couple of hours talking with former Sacramento City Manager Ray Kerridge, and, let me tell you, he is a happy man. He went from serving the bickering Sacramento City Council to partnering with the much more supportive Roseville City Council. Kerridge jumped out of the frying pan and into a bed of roses.
According to Kerridge, Roseville has big plans. This is a town of 120,000 residents that’s headed toward becoming a city of 200,000. If you include people who come to Roseville to work, the municipality will need to create an infrastructure for 300,000 people.
This means Roseville will have to make the transition from being a city to becoming a metropolitan area—a change that comes with both benefits and challenges. To accomplish this goal, Kerridge wants to recruit staffers who understand the needs of a larger city. He is thrilled that former Sacramento City Police Capt. Daniel Hahn has become Roseville’s new police chief. He’s also pleased that the city council, staff and the community are all pulling in one direction, moving forward.
Kerridge has a vision for Roseville. He envisions it as a place where businesses can prosper and grow, where residents can enjoy a great place to work, live and play. Roseville is “open for business,” in his words.
To help accomplish these goals, the city put together the Roseville Community Development Corporation that operates a private-public partnership to enable development and revitalization throughout the city. With broad access to both public and private funds as well as the ability to pool money from multiple banks, the RCDC is in a position to speed up development, helping the city build an infrastructure to support 300,000 people.
In these difficult economic times, Roseville has several things going for it. Its residents have a higher income than others in the region. And because of its strong retail base, with such businesses as the Galleria at Roseville and the Roseville Automall, Roseville receives a disproportionate amount of our region’s sales-tax revenue. Therefore, Roseville is ending this year with a profit, rather than facing the severe cutbacks of other cities.
Roseville competes for business with cities such as Sacramento, which are in a weaker financial position and have a divided city council. Also, Sacramento has to spend a larger proportion of resources on services for its low-income population.
In our conversation, Kerridge mentioned that every metropolitan city had a vibe. I asked him to describe Roseville’s vibe. He hesitated, then said, “Entrepreneurship.”
Time will tell if Roseville’s journey to become an entrepreneurial metropolis will be a smooth one. But regardless, Kerridge is a happy guy.