January Martinez Mayor's Message
Dec 28, 2016 06:54PM
● By Rob Schroder
Rob Schroder, Mayor of Martinez
MARTINEZ MAYOR’S MESSAGE
As 2016 came to a close, I looked back over the accomplishments of the last year, and I look forward to 2017.
After several years of interim city managers, we have had the good fortune of attracting Brad Kilger, one of the best and most seasoned city managers I have ever worked with. Brad came to Martinez from Benicia and has been at different levels of municipal management for over 40 years. He has brought his broad knowledge, experience, and likable personality to city hall. Over the last several months, he has brought stability and greater efficiency.
The newest member of the Martinez City Council, Noralea Gipner, and long-time council member Mark Ross took the oath of office on December 7. Debbie McKillop will be serving for the first time as vice mayor. I am excited about the new council and what I believe is our ability to work together and accomplish much over these next two years.
The holiday season was a busy place in downtown Martinez with the lighting of the Spirit Tree, the Holiday Light Parade, Santa visiting with children and families in his house on Main Street Plaza, and the DC Solar Holiday Ice Rink. There is still time to enjoy the ice rink through January 8.
When the ice rink is removed, the newly reconstructed parking lot #4 (Ferry and Escobar Streets) will be open for use by the public. The parking lot has brand new pavement, curbs, lighting, and landscaping. The parking meters have been removed and replaced by a centralized pay station. Prior to reconstruction, the lot was in very poor shape and a safety hazard.
Another major project that was recently completed is the new Berrellesa Street Bridge that spans Alhambra Creek from Berrellesa Street to the Amtrak overflow parking lot. This new bridge provides a vital second access to the Martinez Waterfront and Marina. Some have called the structure “a bridge to nowhere,” but I consider it a bridge to the future of the Martinez Waterfront. This $3 million bridge is key to the future development of the waterfront, and the planning process will begin in early 2017.
After promising the reconstruction of Morello Avenue and Center Avenue at Highway 4 for many years, Caltrans has finally approved the commencement of work. The approval was laborious and expensive to obtain, with several conditions placed upon the project. One such condition was to replace all of the non-compliant curb ramps, which has already been completed. To alleviate traffic congestion and detours, the paving work will be done at night and will start in a few months, when night-time temperatures are at tolerable levels.
Finally, I would like to wish everyone a safe, healthy, and prosperous new year. I know that 2017 will be a great year for Martinez and Contra Costa County.