Your August City Connections is here! Read a message from your new police chief, take the Community Wildfire Protection Plan survey, catch a movie in the park, register for upcoming WaterSmart landscape workshops & more.

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August 2019

City News


Welcome Police Chief Rainer Navarro!

Chief Ranier Navarro

There’s a new Chief in town! And with 27 years of service dedicated to the Santa Rosa Police Department, he’s no stranger to the City or to the community, but official today – Chief Rainer "Ray" Navarro is taking over the helm of our public safety team and he wanted to send a quick message to all of you as he embarks on his new leadership journey. READ MESSAGE FROM THE CHIEF

Apply Now for SRPD's Community Police Experience

Want to learn more about the operations of your Santa Rosa Police Department? Apply today for the Community Police Experience (CPE) – a free, 6-week, hands-on experience for adults that live or work in Santa Rosa. The next CPE will begin on September 11, meeting on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. through October 16. There will be two Saturday classes at the fire tower September 21st and October 5th from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Space is limited, apply now. LEARN MORE 

Take Our Survey for the Community Wildfire Protection Plan

Wildland Urban Interface area

The City needs your involvement to develop a Community Wildfire Protection Plan that addresses Santa Rosa’s unique characteristics and what is important to you. Please take the time to complete the following survey to provide your input and perspective on how our community can become more resilient to wildfire. TAKE SURVEY 

Call for Artists: Residents Reflect on October 2017 Wildfires

Sample artwork by artist Mario Uribe

The City's Public Art Program is seeking Sonoma County artists to exhibit a work of art in response to the October 2017 Northern California Wildfires. The exhibit will take place at the Person Senior Wing, in the Finley Recreation Complex from September 3 to October 11, 2019. Registration is FREE and open to Sonoma County residents of all ages and experience levels. Deadline to register is August 15, 2019. LEARN MORE

Wildfire Recovery Update 

Artists Present Design for Coffey Neighborhood Park Public Art Project

Coffey Park Public Art Project neighborhood meeting

As the selected artists for the project, Wowhaus (Scott Constable & Ene Osteraas-Constable) have undertaken research and discussion with stakeholders and thoughtfully engaged with the Coffey Park neighborhood to develop a concept proposal for the neighborhood park public art project. Wowhaus presented a design concept for the artwork at a meeting with Coffey Park neighbors on July 13, 2019. The Coffey Park community is being invited to respond to a final survey to provide input on specific design components, siting of the artwork and overall satisfaction with the design. Once the design is finalized, it will be brought to the City of Santa Rosa Art in Public Places Committee for final approval. It is anticipated that the artwork will be installed in Summer 2020. READ MORE 

Pedestrian Bridge at Francis Nielson Park to Re-open

Ped Bridge

Great news! The pedestrian bridge at Francis Nielson Ranch Park, which was badly damaged in the fires is scheduled to re-open for public use on August 1. LEARN MORE

Hazardous Street Tree Removal

The initial phase of fire-damaged, hazardous street tree removal has been completed in Coffey Park and is now proceeding into Fountaingrove and Hidden Valley. Street trees identified for removal have been indicated with a red marking and the contractor began work at the western base of Fountaingrove Parkway and will continue through Fountaingrove and into Hidden Valley. While the contractors’ objective is to complete tree removal methodically through these areas, at times, the work will happen out of sequence in order to reduce traffic impacts. Additional fire-damaged trees and shrubs in the public right-of-way will be removed from fire-impacted neighborhoods in the next phase. LEARN MORE

Fulton Rd Construction Underway, Expect Delays & Detours

Fulton Rd Construction

Phase 1 of reconstruction of Fulton Road between Occidental Road and West 3rd Street is in full swing. Traffic controls will close one lane of travel during the work, so plan commute times accordingly. Construction activity during Phase 1 includes critical underground improvements, such as replacing deteriorated sanitary sewer pipe, adding new storm drain and sanitary sewer manholes, pedestrian ramp improvements and installing new fiber optic lines to improve traffic signal functionality. Phase 2 construction is scheduled to begin the first week of September with installation of roller compacted concrete (RCC) pavement. Once pavement work begins, expect detours routing vehicles around the construction area. LEARN MORE

Cooper Drive Slope Stabilization

Cooper Drive

Construction activity to stabilize the slope and improve drainage on Cooper Drive is primarily occurring along the easement behind properties located on the east side of Cooper Drive. A temporary access road has been established to accommodate the large equipment needed for the installation of 120 linear feet of concrete grade beam retaining wall and for making necessary slope repairs. Concrete pours for the retaining wall are anticipated to start the first week in August. Drainage improvements involve removing the existing deteriorated concrete lined v-ditch from residents' backyards and installing a new 900 linear foot concrete lined storm drain v-ditch in the easement located behind residents' properties. Fencing replacement, for residents' properties where the v-ditch was removed, should start in late August and require three weeks to install. This project is anticipated to be completed by the first week of October 2019. LEARN MORE

Howarth Park Caretaker's Cabin Removed from City's Current Demolition Project

Howarth PArk Caretaker house

Following feedback from a number of community members, City Council decided not to include the Howarth Park caretaker's cabin in the upcoming plans for demolition of several City-owned buildings during a Council meeting last month. Council made this decision to allow City staff time to research potential processes and procedures that may allow for the City to sell the cabin, not the land, to a potential interested party for relocation as an alternative to demolition. Staff findings will be presented to Council for consideration and further direction at a future Council meeting. Demolition of the other city-owned buildings previously identified for removal will proceed later this month as planned. LEARN MORE

The Fall/Winter Activity Guide is Here

Activity Guide

The new Activity Guide is available, and registration is underway for fall and winter recreation classes, programs and events for tots to seniors. Take an exercise class, join a sport, learn a new skill, enjoy a hobby or just relax at our community centers, pools, parks (72 of them!) and special destinations. These programs are affordable, fun and serve to create a healthy Santa Rosa! LEARN MORE 

Apply for CHOICE Grant, Help Children Excel


The City’s Violence Prevention Partnership is now accepting proposals for the CHOICE Cycle X Grant Program. The program seeks to provide funding to public and non-profit agencies to implement programs that strengthen youth and families, build safe communities, and reduce youth and gang violence. Programs should include efforts to develop resilience in youth, focusing on the individual, family and community. LEARN MORE 

Summer Spotlight -- Boating & Boarding on Lake Ralphine!

Summer spotlight

The kids may be heading back to school, but there are still plenty of warm days and summer fun ahead in Santa Rosa! Lake Ralphine at Howarth Park offers boat and paddleboard rentals so you can get out onto the water and explore. The Boathouse is open Monday to Thursday through August 8th and weekends through September. Here’s a look at the fun to be had!  WATCH VIDEO

Programs for At-Risk Neighborhoods Featured in New Block Blast

Block Blast

Sports, recreation, and after school programs for children in high-risk neighborhoods are featured in the latest issue of the Neighborhood Services’ Block Blast newsletter, which comes out three times a year. These programs are for qualifying families in areas of Santa Rosa that are at risk of poverty, gangs, violence, and crime. Please share the Block Blast with those who may benefit from these programs, so that we can continue to build a stronger, healthier Santa Rosa. LEARN MORE 

Streets to Creeks Campaign Aims to Stop Pollution in the Russian River Watershed

Streets to Creeks

The campaign focuses on raising regional awareness about impacts to our watershed and water quality by educating residents about one essential fact  only rain should ever go down the storm drain. Neighborhood storm drains are an extension of local creeks and streams; any water, debris, or pollutants that make their way into a storm drain flow untreated to local creeks and eventually into the Russian River. To protect our region’s waterways, it is important that everyone knows what they can do to help limit pollution and be part of the solution. LEARN MORE

Renewal Enterprise District Appoints Inaugural Executive Director

The Renewal Enterprise District (RED), a recently-formed, housing-focused Joint Powers Agreement between the County of Sonoma and the City of Santa Rosa, has selected Michelle Whitman as its first Executive Director. The RED is tasked with developing affordable, climate-resilient infill housing in Sonoma County – a topic Whitman knows well given her background as a District Director for Sonoma County’s Third Supervisorial District. LEARN MORE  

City Considers Law to Prevent Housing Discrimination

An ordinance making it illegal to discriminate against renters based on their source of income will be considered by the City Council on August 13th. The new law aims to assist renters on the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, Rapid Rehousing, and similar benefits to obtain affordable housing. A total of 16 California jurisdictions have similar laws, but Santa Rosa will be the first Sonoma County city to take this proactive step to require that qualified tenants are treated equally. LEARN MORE

Updates to Design Standards for Multifamily Housing

Multifamily housing development construction

A new state law (SB 35) went into effect in January 2018 that is aimed at addressing California's housing shortage and high costs. California cities subject to the new law are required to offer a streamlined approval process for eligible housing development projects meaning the project must be streamlined and not subject to discretionary review (i.e. Conditional Use Permit and/or Design Review). The City is working towards preparing and adopting new multifamily residential design standards in response to this law. The City's proposed Multifamily Residential Design Standards aim to incorporate existing Santa Rosa Design Guidelines, and other best design practices, while complying with the intent of SB 35 to facilitate and expedite the construction of housing in Santa Rosa. LEARN MORE 

Agreement Reached with Homeless Advocates on Preliminary Injunction

Working together to expedite and attempt to resolve a pending federal lawsuit, the County of Sonoma, the Sonoma County Community Development Commission, and the City of Santa Rosa have reached an agreement with Homeless Action! and three individuals experiencing homelessness for a preliminary and temporary injunction. The injunction defines under what circumstances Santa Rosa police and Sonoma County park rangers may cite or arrest individuals experiencing homelessness for violation of camping ordinances on public property within the City of Santa Rosa and establishes the protocols to be followed in connection with such enforcement efforts. The injunction is similar to settlement agreements and injunctions reached in cities throughout California, Oregon, and Washington. LEARN MORE 

Update on Homeless Encampment Assistance Program

The City’s Homeless Encampment Assistance Pilot (HEAP) Program recently began efforts to address encampments along Prince Memorial Greenway and Olive Park and will be continuing in the area of Morgan Street and the Highway 101 underpasses in coming weeks. The HEAP Program employs a multi-disciplinary team focused on a compassionate approach to address the health, safety, and shelter needs of people living in encampments and to ease impacts to surrounding communities. LEARN MORE

Start the New School Year with CityBus!

Group of students smiling

Summer is almost over and students will be back to school. CityBus is here to help make your morning school commute less hectic— just sit back, relax, read, listen to music, catch up with friends, and leave the driving to us. CityBus is affordable, clean, safe, AND it’s a climate-friendly way to get around town because buses produce less air pollution and help reduce the numbers of cars on the road. Parents can save time and avoid traffic at school drop-off zones when students ride CityBus to school. Plus, SRJC Students Ride Free on any bus line, any time on Santa Rosa CityBus, Petaluma Transit, and Sonoma County Transit. Travel routes, maps, bus pickup timetables and more resources to help you plan your school commute are all available online or give CityBus a call at (707) 543-3333, for route planning assistance from our staff.  LEARN MORE

Events and Community Meetings

Live at Juilliard Music Concerts

Live at Juilliard

Sundays from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at Juilliard Park, 227 Santa Rosa Avenue

August 4 featuring Michael Capella Band
August 11 featuring Free Peoples
There’s no better way to spend your summer Sunday evenings than enjoying music, food and fun, with some of the Bay Area’s finest bands, at Juilliard Park in Downtown Santa Rosa. LEARN MORE

Tapestry of Cultures Tour at the Rural Cemetery

Tapestry of Cultures Tours

Saturday, August 10, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (tours depart every 20 minutes), Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery, 1600 Franklin Ave
Learn about the diverse cultures of the people who rest in Santa Rosa’s pioneer cemetery during a 90-minute docent-led walk. Admission is free, donations appreciated. LEARN MORE  

Community Wildfire Protection Plan Workshop #3

Wednesday, August 14, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Rincon Valley Library, 6959 Montecito Blvd
Residents are invited to join the City of Santa Rosa Fire Department to help provide input on development of a Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP). The Plan will focus on identifying and addressing the local threat of wildfire and resident and stakeholder input is critical to the plan’s success. LEARN MORE

Movies in the Park

Movies in Howarth Park

Fridays at dusk (7:45-8:00 p.m.), Howarth Memorial Park, 535 Summerfield Rd

August 16 featuring Wonder Park
August 23 featuring Captain Marvel
August 30 featuring The Lego Movie 2
Bring the family, a picnic and a blanket for a lovely evening of film-enjoyment under the stars in Howarth Park! LEARN MORE

Street Smarts Back-to-School Bike Blast!

Street smarts

Saturday, August 17, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Hendley Street 
Strap on your helmet, hop on your bike and ride with your family to this fun, family bike skills and education event!  Enjoy free activities designed to improve biking skills such as a bike skill/safety obstacle course led by educators from the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, traffic safety tips, pre-ride bike check-ups and a bike helmet giveaway to the first 60 kids! LEARN MORE

FREE WaterSmart Lawn Transformation Workshops

WaterSmart Transformation

Option One: Tuesday, September 10, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and Tuesday, September 17, 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. 
Option Two: Tuesday, September 10, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. and Tuesday, September 17, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. 
In this two-part series, learn simple and effective ways to transform your lawn into a beautiful low water-use landscape and how to install an efficient irrigation system. By attending the workshops, you can qualify to receive up to $250 through the City's Cash for Grass Rebate program. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited. REGISTER 

FREE WaterSmart Plant Selection Workshop

WaterSmart Workshop

Tuesday, September 24, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Utilities Field Operations Building, 35 Stony Point Rd 
Learn from a Master Gardener how to select drought tolerant and native plants to enhance your landscape project. This workshop is a great option for anyone interested in low water-use plants and will include general design concepts and appropriate plant options. Pre-registration is required, and space is limited. REGISTER

Volunteer Opportunities


First Saturday Clean-up on the Greenway  

1st sat on greenway aug

Saturday, August 3, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Olive Park near 1698 Hazel Street  
On the first Saturday of every month, help care for Santa Rosa Creek. Volunteers help pick up trash and perform plant care. Tools and refreshments provided. LEARN MORE

Park-A-Month: Brush Creek Park

PArk a Month

Saturday, August 10, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Brush Creek Park, 1180 Brush Creek Road
Bring your friends and work together or come and meet new people! These family-friendly workdays are a fun and productive way to help beautify a local park and a great way for students to earn community service hours. LEARN MORE

Workday at the Rural Cemetery

Work day at Rural Cemetery

Saturday, August 17, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery, 1600 Franklin Avenue 
Join the Rural Cemetery every third Saturday of the month for a volunteer work party. Projects include cemetery beautification efforts such as mowing grass and landscaping projects, painting, repairing borders, restoring plots, and various maintenance work. LEARN MORE


Join Our Team


Current Job Openings 

The City of Santa Rosa offers great career opportunities with excellent salary, a generous benefits package, including retirement through CalPERS, a competitive leave package, a choice of three health plans, flexible spending program, and top of the line, employer paid vision and dental coverage. 

Laguna Treatment Plant

Assistant City Attorney | Full-Time | $139,167.00 to $173,816.00 Annually | City Attorney's Office
Assistant City Attorneys work under the general direction of the City Attorney and are responsible for assisting in administering all phases of the City's legal work, with a particular focus on public works, municipal finance and special projects. Closes August 12, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.

Senior Wastewater Operator | Full-Time | $84,616.00 to $102,110.00 Annually | Water
Senior Wastewater Operators assist in the supervision of the operation and maintenance of the City's wastewater treatment plant on an assigned shift and perform a variety of skilled and semi-skilled tasks in the operation of the plant. Opening Soon.

Associate Real Property Agent | Full-Time | $78,221.00 to $94,989.00 Annually | Transportation & Public Works
Associate Real Property Agents are responsible for performing technical work in real estate and right-of-way, including researching property records and title reports, preparing documents related to property transactions, and negotiating to remove liens, judgments and other encumbrances. Closes August 9, 2019 at 11:59 p.m.