Good afternoon. I am writing to convey gratitude to you, as well as to convey some information.
First, thank you. Thank you for the service you provide every day to the Riverside community and to your colleagues across the City organization. Thank you, too, for your patience and support of your City management team as we have endeavored this past month to transition, adjust and get settled while striving to problem solve, add value, and serve. The City Manager’s Office is close to having its “sea legs” and will hit our stride together with you by August. I am grateful to you for who you are and what you do each day.
Second, I want to share an update on the reorganization of the City Manager’s Office, make you aware of opportunities that are becoming available within our organization, remind you of the 5-by-5 dimensions of my role as your City Manager, and to remind you of the Acting City Manager schedule for July.
As you know, the City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday, June 19th, to reinstate the classification and salary range for the position of Deputy City Manager. As I previously reported to you, I have asked Carlie Myers and Moises Lopez to fill these two posts. (Please congratulate both of them when you see them.) They report directly to Assistant City Managers Lea Deesing and Rafael Guzman, respectively, to ensure we provide a high level of customer service to the Mayor and City Council, the public and one another. Further, Valerie Castro, Sarah Varela, Kristina Clabaugh, and Donna Finch are incredibly talented and gifted colleagues who provide the City Management Team with the wherewithal to perform at our very best. They are passionate about public service, consummate professionals, and wonderful people. I am very proud of this whole team and know they are dedicated to working with you to do the most public good.
On a practical level, with this new organization of the City Manager’s Office, the following changes to department leadership and agenda report review are now effective.
Legistar Agenda Report Reviewer
Community & Economic Development
Innovation & Technology
Parks, Recreation & Community Services
CMO – Office of Homeless Solutions
CMO – Office of Organizational Performance & Auditing
CMO – Office of Communications
Also, with the elevation of Lea Deesing to the role of Assistant City Manager, Chris Tilden is filling the role of Interim Chief Innovation Officer, and George Khalil is the Interim Deputy CIO. David Welch is our Interim Director of Community & Economic Development, filling the shoes vacated by Rafael Guzman when he became Assistant City Manager. Chris Christopoulos is Interim Deputy Director of Community & Economic Development. Please congratulate Chris, George, David and Chris when you see them. Many thanks to everyone for stepping in and showing leadership in their respective roles.
Books By Al Zelinka
Because of these changes, and because of movement that already has occurred in various jobs, we have opened, or soon will open candidate searches for the following positions: Chief Innovation Officer, Community & Economic Development Director, Library Director, Public Utilities General Manager and Principal Management Analyst. Please encourage those you know – both within and outside of City Hall – to apply.
5 by 5
I have been sharing publicly 5 attributes of Riverside that I appreciate most and that provide me with the confidence needed to serve alongside you on this journey to accomplish important things for the benefit of the public:
· Leadership: Our elected leaders care about this community and strive to represent the diverse viewpoints of Riverside in their decision-making and interaction with each of us. Likewise, City departments care about this community and deliver services, solve problems and open doors to Riverside’s promise every day.
· Community: Riverside as a diverse community is complete with hard working residents who are largely proud of living here and who want to do better for themselves and their families. It is a place with innumerable points of pride in the built and natural environments. It is also a place with heritage that people cherish and question, and build upon for the future.
· Partnership: Riverside is a community with unlimited potential and networks of social strength that can accomplish anything – think about the Cheech and CARB. While people in Riverside may not always agree, they – by and large – stay at the table with one another with an eye to realizing the good for Riverside.
· Mindset. It is inspiring to be part of a City where so many residents and businesses do things together and for one another. This community admits mistakes, learns from them, and becomes better as a result; likewise, this community celebrates is successes and its assets. The Riverside community, while not perfect, has a collective mindset that is largely outward facing and wanting to do good.
· Elevating the Conversation. The questions of “what can be?” and “what if?” are at the root of Riverside. Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote that includes “Great minds talk about ideas….” well represents what is most natural to this community. While there will always be aspects of criticism and negativity, Riverside is entrepreneurial and can-do by nature.
In addition to the 5 attributes of Riverside, I have also been sharing publicly 5 areas of focus our whole City Team and the community need to advance to ensure a promising future for Riverside – these areas are not “wants”, they are “needs” and we need to draw from the above attributes to advance them together:
· Riverside and the Region. We need to: 1) Advocate for the Inland Empire’s Equitable Share of Scarce Public Resources and Do Our Part to Uplift the Capacity of the Region’s Non-Profit Ecosystem to Secure Its Share of Philanthropic Resources; and, 2) Do Our Part to Grow Riverside’s Local Economy and Work in Partnership to Facilitate Opportunities for Improved Quality of Life for All.
· The Riverside Brand. We need to: 1) Tell the Riverside Story Better than Ever to Heighten Riverside’s Brand throughout the World; and, 2) Communicate and Engage More Effectively than Ever with Riverside Residents and Businesses.
· Resilient Riverside. We need to: 1) Elevate the Entire Community’s Preparedness for Natural and Human Caused Conditions and Events; and, 2) Ensure the Financial Health of the City and Stretch Measure Z Dollars for Maximum Public Benefit Locally.
· Self-Reliant Riverside. We need to: 1) Align and Leverage the City’s Utilities to Maximize Local Resource Recovery and Renewable Energy Production; and, 2) Realize a Second Connection to the Electrical Grid and Prepare for Our Electric-Based, Information-Driven Future.
· Riverside Serves. We need to: 1) Demonstrate Continual Improvement to the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Providing Public Services; and, 2) Improve the Volunteerism Infrastructure in Riverside to Benefit All of Riverside.
Building upon the above 5 attributes and 5 areas of focus, I am confident our City Team will continue to excel in providing a responsive, engaged and innovative local government to the residents and business community of Riverside.
In closing, I am looking forward to our journey together and what our team will do to advance public good in the years ahead. I am proud of the services you and our 2,500 colleagues deliver every day – you make a difference. And, I am here for you – if you have an idea, a question, a suggestion or a comment, please let me know – we are each other’s greatest resources.
Having a parking program acknowledges that cars have a major impact on city life. We design streets to handle various flows of traffic at optimal speeds.
Too bad we never seem to be able to get enough traffic lanes to keep things moving smoothly. When all those cars get home, they park somewhere. Sometimes that’s a problem.
Knowing how to solve that problem on your street is contained in Riverside’s New Parking Program Details. See links below.
Transportation is a part of our daily lives. It’s important that it works well for everyone. For those who remember the series of conversations with UCR and the City about how catering to cars, particularly at student rental units, caused the first neighborhood wide restricted parking opt-in zone to be created.
This basically leaves it to the neighbors to discuss and agree on what if any parking restrictions they might want to have posted on their streets. That included days, times, etc.
Our Neighborhood Specific Plan addressed these concerns as documented in the Circulation Element. It’s worth a review.
Watkins Drive neighbors immediately banned day time parking. The City posted signs and the problem was solved. That’s how it was crafted to work. It was resident friendly and FREE,
After all, we the residents are the impacted parties. Charging residents for permits is pennywise and pound foolish. Neighbors coming together to solve their problem shouldn’t be penalized for doing so.
It’s as if no one saw a campus growing to 23,000 wouldn’t have an impact. Cars in traffic, cars parked on our streets and in our driveways.
UCR has been working to reduce on campus parking by banning freshman from parking on campus unless necessary for work or care giving duties.
They are also building a Mobility Hub on camps to integrate multi modes of transportation which will help reduce car trips considerably. Bus runs every 15 minutes, some with express stops will keep ridership numbers rising.
We face new challenges and changing circumstances. Being part of the solution is critical if we’re to say we’re creating the neighborhoods and city of our dreams. Check out what we’ve come up with below. We’ve been advocating for city staff to adopt these engagement frames.
Maybe if we had these in place we wouldn’t be getting warehouses 50 feet from our back yards or toxic superfund sites like the Ag Park.