Prince Gateway Park & Greenway is a Community Treasure
Recently, this treasured park and greenway has been the site of extensive graffiti and vandalism. This has been met with shock, dismay, and anger by the community. The extent of the damage is taking some time and expense to clean up and repair, but it is underway. ArtStart students have stepped up to begin repairs of tile work on the salmon statue and are working on plans to replace the dragon mural in a more durable form and also refurbish benches; City crews and a contractor are working to clean the area of debris and blast graffiti markings from the stone and cement work; police and fire are stepping up patrols and interventions to seek places for transient campers to find better shelter than the public park and nab the vandals. Unfortunately, due to the extent of the damage the city does not have sufficient funds to completely restore all of the fixtures right away and may need to re-think the design to select items that are more tamper-proof. Lighting fixtures have been torn apart and stripped of metal materials. This gateway park and trail serves as a welcoming place for neighbors and visitors alike and we want to make sure it is a safe and beautiful place to enjoy. We do need help from the community to be our “eyes, ears, and, on occasion, elbow-grease” to keep it clean, green, and safe. We continue to seek volunteer groups to adopt segments of our public trails to do just that. Interested? To sign up, contact the City at
Graffiti Abatement Gets Help
Graffiti is blight on our neighborhoods and is most effectively controlled if removed immediately. If it appears on your property, clean it up now. If it appears in public areas, contact the City to find ways to remove it. While City park crews have just one employee working everyday to remove graffiti from public parks and trails throughout the community, the police department works on graffiti abatement as a property crime and seeks partnerships with neighborhoods to rid the community of such unsightly and harmful vandalism. The abatement program will be staffed temporarily with a Field and Evidence Technician who started work this week to maintain the good work and continuity of the program. Volunteers are engaging in graffiti abatement and the program is up and running as it has for several years. The department will be hiring full time staff for the graffiti abatement program once some internal reorganization of jobs is completed and that hire should be made by early summer. If you discover graffiti problems in your neighborhood or wish to get involved with this community partnership please contact the Graffiti Hotline at 543-3499 or http://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/departments/police/aboutus/special_services/Pages/graffiti_abatement.aspx
New Community Engagement Program Begins
The Community Engagement Program launched from the City Manager’s Office in October, 2011. What is community engagement, you might ask? Good question. Sit back and enjoy the sweet ride of engagement that is about to unfold. Staff is proud to present two new programs intended to increase communication with residents and foster neighborhood relationships.
· The first program is entitled “Coffee with a Department Head” and will feature one department head at a local coffee shop/bakery every month that will be available to residents to describe department functions, explain budget decisions, describe job duties, and answer questions from the public. Locations will move each month to increase access to members of different neighborhoods. The first meeting is Friday, March 30th at 9:00 am with Police Chief Tom Schwedhelm at the Starbuck’s Coffee shop located inside Target at 1980 Santa Rosa Avenue. Residents can finally ask Tom burning questions such as: “How can you be a good police chief AND be a Raider’s fan?” Please come out to join us and show your support! Feel free to pass this information on to residents and friends. Flyers are available. Next up will be Economic Development & Housing Director Dave Gouin on April 27th at Johnny’s Java at 3080 Marlow Road.
· The second program is DINE (Discussions Involving Neighborhood Engagement) which aims to provide a warm and inviting space for residents to share insights and desires around community building. Volunteer hosts will open up their homes, churches, and businesses to people who sign up to join them for dinner. A facilitator will be matched with each site and a list of questions provided. On April 13 at 6:00 pm, dinners will be shared all over the city in different locations attended by people who may not otherwise have ever met one another. They will all be having the same discussion about community and what it means to them. Participants will have the opportunity to network and meet new neighbors over the comfort of dinner. Feedback, trends, and responses from all of the different sites will be combined into a report summarizing the experience. Sound awkward? Well it won’t be if fun people like you are there! Please contact Community Engagement Coordinator Georgia Pedgrift (543-3023) if you are interested in participating.
Check out our new webpage at srcity.org/communityengagement. Also, join us on Facebook at facebook.com/CommunityEngagementSR to find out what is going on in our community!