Mayor's Message Martinez
Oct 03, 2017 04:45PM ● Published by Rob Schroder
Hard Work Coming to FruitionBy Rob Schroder
In less than ten years, social media has changed the way we get information, express our personal views, and interact with our “friends.” It can be a valuable communiication tool for businesses, government, non-profit organizations, and elected officials. It can also be used to spread mis-information, hate, lies, and unwarranted attacks on anyone.
I have to admit I use social media every day. When I am traveling, I “check in” and usually post photos with my wife and friends. I also have a mayor page, where I inform folks about interesting events and new developments in Martinez.
There are wonderful things happening in Martinez, and I am very excited to finally see the hard work of many people finally coming to fruition. It pains me to see that there are those who will not accept the fact that this is the result of many individuals over many years, combined with some luck, a good economy, and tenacity. They want to complain and continue to be negative and stay in their comfortable pool of denial. Well, these people will not stop the positive change in Martinez. There are too many of us, of all ages and economic groups, who like what is evolving in Martnez.
I have been on the city council since 1996 and mayor since 2002. I have worked with numerous individuals on city staff, non-profit organizations, residents, business and property owners, and members of the city council. But I have to say that of all the years in serving my community, this current city council is the very best that I have ever worked with. We respect each other, we work together well, we disagree on issues from time to time, but we all are there for the right reasons. We care about Martinez and are working to make it better and better every day, and we are getting things done!
In all the years of writing this and other columns, I have never expressed my feelings about another city council member, but I am today. I want to say publicly that Noralea Gipner is a fantastic addition, and all of us are so fortunate to have her on the Martinez City Council. She has her heart in the right place and has been a major binding force for this city council. I also want to thank Mark Ross, Lara Delany, and Debbie McKillop for their hard work and dedication in moving Martinez forward. I enjoy working with each and every one of them.
One of the major challenges the city council will be tackling in the next few months is the Martinez Waterfront. The marina is a 60-year old facility that needs to be rebuilt or closed down. The city council will be facing some difficult decsions on its future. Do we rebuild it? How? Do we reduce the size and rebuild? Do we just keep the launch ramp? Do we let it go back to its natural state? For now, we need to dredge to keep it functional and then spend the next year planning the future of both the waterside and landside of the waterfront. Last month, the city council approved a dredging contract that will remove over 32,000 cubic yards of siltation from the marina.
We recently approved the construction and project management for the waterfront in the amount of $8.9 million. Construction started in late September and should be completed by June 1, 2018. City staff is currently working with the contractor to cost out the additional improvements required to host the Martinez Clippers professional baseball team in 2018.
And finally, the favorite issue of all, paving. Funds from the ½ cent sales tax from the successful passage of Measure D are starting to roll in. City staff will be identifying paving projects to be considered in residential neighborhoods, and we encourage residents to e-mail the city engineer or city council members on projects we should consider.