Jan 08, 2019 08:05PM
By Rob Schroder
Rob Schroder, Mayor of Martinez
Now that we are starting a new year, most of us think back over the last year, take stock of our accomplishments and failures, and plan. 2018 was a great year for the City of Martinez, with many accomplishments and very few failures.
Due to the income generated by the ½-cent sales tax (known as Measure D) dedicated to roads and streets, we were able to award over $4 million of paving and repair projects throughout the entire city. Green and Brown Streets were completely dug out and repaved from Shell Avenue to Alhambra Avenue. In many neighborhoods, very bad portions of pavement were patched and then overlaid with a cap seal for one smooth road surface. Not all of the projects were able to be complete before the rains, but work will commence in the early spring. As revenue continues to flow into the Measure D road account, we will continue to identify paving projects and award contracts.
Again, thanks to Martinez voters, the ½ cent General Revenue Measure X was overwhelmingly passed, with over 70% of the voters saying yes to the measure. This measure will generate approximately $3.1 million dollars to ensure that city services such as police, homeless services, recreation programs, and maintenance of parks be kept at a high level of quality for our residents. Those funds will start being collected in April of 2019, with the first payment to the city from the state coming in around June 31, 2019.
After over a year of study, public hearings, and moratorium extensions, the Planning Commission is considering an adult use cannabis ordinance. Under consideration and debate are the questions of what type of cannabis operations would be allowed in our city. Such uses are retail operations, delivery, commercial indoor/outdoor cultivation, and manufacturing of products such as edibles. The public hearing process on this is just starting and will continue through at least the first quarter of this year.
Also in the first half of this new year, the city will start the process of planning the future of the Martinez Waterfront and Marina. This will be a public process and will involve asking the community what they would like to see at their waterfront as allowed under the Public Trust Doctrine and Senate Bill 1424, which granted certain lands at the waterfront to the city. That final use plan is due to the State Lands Commission before the end of 2019. From there we plan to attract private investment for the waterfront amenities, which will be outlined and approved in the master plan.
One of the most important duties of a member of the city council is the selection of a city manager to manage the day-to-day operations of the city. The city manager is hired and employed by the city council. All other city employees (except the city attorney) work for the city manager. Our current city manager, Brad Kilger, has decided to retire after a long and successful career at the end of January. In mid-July 2018, the city council started our search for a new city manager. Applications were accepted up until late November 2018, and the first interviews will be conducted later this month. The city is also soliciting public input in the process through an online survey that has been posted and can be accessed directly at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PFR2GCX