City Manager Message
It is often said that a community will be defined either by a tragedy or by the way it responds to a tragedy. I am proud to say we will be defined by our response to the events of October 1st. The outpouring of support for the greater UCC community was felt within hours of the tragedy as businesses, organizations and individuals reached out to help in ways we could not have imagined. There is no way to individually thank all of those who have had a positive impact over these last few months, but rest assured we continue to be thankful for the help, and look forward to the continued support as we move our community through the healing process.
If this sounds personal, it is. I was born in Roseburg and have called it home for my entire life. I attended UCC after high school and have always been thankful that I could have that educational opportunity right here at home. UCC is part of the fabric of this community and has been for over fifty years. Everyone in the UCC family can be positively impacted by our support. Community wide efforts are being coordinated through a group that came together in the weeks following October 1st to make sure that a wide cross section of individuals and organizations could support everyone impacted. That group, the Community Healing and Recovery Team (CHART) will continue to identify needs in our community and assess how best we can meet those needs through government resources, philanthropy, service organizations and the faith based community. Thank you to those of you who have been personally involved in the ongoing efforts and to the entire community for your outpouring of love and support for those who need us most.
To transition into the regular part of this message seems a bit trivial, but here goes.
The City of Roseburg as an organization strives to provide a high level of internal and external customer service every day. While we may not be described as a business by many, it is clear our citizens, rate payers, and tax payers are customers. Quantifiable services like the water utility are pretty easy to measure. Quality of life services such as access to parks, trails, and recreational activities, public safety and transportation are much more difficult. To meet the needs of our customers, it is essential that we continually evaluate demand for City services and the cost of our service delivery models. Day to day operational services have been very consistent for the last few years, and with minor changes, will likely continue at or near current service levels in the near future.
Outside of day to day operations, Council has provided staff with guidance for enhancing operations and targeting resources toward achieving four goals that were adopted early in 2015 for the 2015-17 biennium. The goals adopted by Council are -
1. Identify and implement long term infrastructure funding mechanisms to ensure infrastructure system sustainability.
2. Implement the Urban Renewal financial and capital improvement plan; evaluate establishment of an additional urban renewal plan area.
3. Initiate community livability programs and beautification projects.
4. Define and establish business friendly/improved City image.
After adoption, Staff identified five to eight action items relating to the individual goals that will allow us to measure our progress and determine if we are meeting City Council’s goals. A number of the action items were completed during 2015 but the heavy lifting will continue in 2016.
Community livability, beautification and a business friendly/improved City image are inter-related goals that have led us to reach out more to individuals and businesses to gather information and input so that policy development takes local opinions into consideration. We work closely with our citizen committees and commissions to gather and share public opinion and synthesize the information we receive as they make recommendations to Council. During 2016 we will be enhancing our social media presence as well as better utilizing traditional media sources to keep the community informed as Council policy decisions are being formulated and adopted.
Infrastructure system sustainability and funding, Urban Renewal financing and capital improvement planning are essential to keeping our community healthy and sustainable. To that end, the City has utilized Urban Renewal funding (which can only be spent on facilities and infrastructure) as well as transportation and utility funding to reinvest in our community. In the last few years, about $10 million has been invested in water transmission mains to ensure the reliability of your water systems, transportation improvements throughout the City and downtown, and as part of the Highway 138 corridor project. With the help of the FAA, we have invested over $5 million in improvements to the Roseburg Regional Airport which is a key economic development asset for local and national businesses.
As we move forward, and further from the economic recession that seemed to linger in our area longer than many, we will continue to work with other local governments and businesses through the Partnership for Economic Development to attract and retain businesses and to create an environment where local businesses can thrive and expand. Quality of life for employers and employees is one of the most important attributes that we have to offer. It is essential that we continue to do our part to keep Roseburg a great place to live, work and play!