RRSQ Association Board Meeting                                                                                    

Thursday, August 17, 2023    

8:30 AM Courtyard Marriott Hotel Conference Room: 175 Railroad St. (In Person Meeting) 

Attendees: Mike Montague, Paul Quattrocchi, Pauline Block, Noelle Hermann, Jim McCalligan,  Marianne Neufeld, Curt Nichols, Theresa Tommasi, Florine Ellingson, Dee Richardson, Dayna Irvine (by telephone), Kris Wilson

Absent:, Rafael Rivera, Hardeep Gil 

Guests: Hugh Futrell, A.J. Trombetta, Ellen Bowen (Saturday Afternoon Club), Aaron Worl and Jim Moore (Downtown Enforcement Team), Jill Moyer, Martin Hamilton


1. CALL TO ORDER, INTRODUCTIONS AND APPROVAL OF JUNE MINUTES President, Mike Montague, called the meeting to order at 8:40 AM. Motion to approve June’s minutes was made by Marianne Neufeld and seconded by Pauline Block.  

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS – (limited to 2 minutes each) Ellen Bowen said her club’s (Saturday Afternoon Club) main focus is on the restoration & preservation of the water tower. She plans to attend as many board meetings as she can.


4. PRESIDENT’S REPORT– Mike Montague

4.1 Board Succession Planning Discussion – Hugh Futrell. Discussed the idea of a model combining the Railroad Square District with the Downtown District in to one board with representation from both districts. The DAO has not taken any position and further exploration of the concept is needed. Curt asked Mike to put this on the agenda for the next meeting to be discussed more. Continue to work for board succession planning and replacement of ED.

Dee reported on Nominating Committee’s intentions to start earlier this year. At the Retreat all Board members present agreed to continue serving their terms. Hardeep has resigned from the Board and Pauline will be incoming Chair of the DAO so she will finish out this year.  That will leave 2 Board positions to fill, confirm officer positions and exploration of possibly adding 2 new members to the Board. By-laws will be reviewed and updated as needed.

4.2 District Updates/Security – Mike Montague reported complaints of loitering and trash at the Inferno Night Club which has impacted guest experience at the AC Hotel. A meeting is pending with AC Hotel, and Santa Rosa Police Dept. 

There has been an uptick in graffiti in the district. 

We continue to look to identifying a buyer for the 610 Wilson Street property. 

A committee focusing on the Prince Greenway meets every week to help rejuvenate and clean up the area and positive changes are being seen in this “jewel” that ties RRSQ to Downtown.

4.3 Website SEO Update – Kris Wilson reported that the RRSQ website enhancement is very successful with a significant increase in traffic. TIV is very fair with pricing. We are planning an outreach campaign targeting the Bay area and Sacramento. It will be four to six months before we really see results. Mike mentioned a landing page to Prince Greenway which will happen next month.

5. ED REPORT – Kris Wilson

5.1 Marketing Update: A Meeting is pending with the SR Plaza and Downtown to discuss collaborative marketing campaign for the Holidays. Danielle Nelson, GM of the Plaza will be joining us at the September Board meeting. Kris is looking into other marketing options to bring to the marketing committee, including possibly replacing radio ads.

5.2 Shakespeare Event in Depot Park: The Jacobethan Theater Workshop is presenting Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in September at the Arlene Francis Center’s parking lot in September and will be performing “teasers’ in Depot Park on September 3rd.  The Association will be making a donation to the workshop in support of this free community event and Theater representatives will be visiting RRSQ businesses to bring flyers and provide information.

5.3 Summer “Music in the Air” will continue our live music through September. Dayna has booked musicians for the Thursday noontime and Friday & Saturday evenings.

6. FINANCIAL REPORT MarianneNeufeld. The Montague Endowment was added to the budget. Other budgeted items yet to be used are $50,000 for lights and $30,000 for tree projects.


7.1 Planter Box Project – Marianne Neufeld presented options for new planter containers: fiberglass in multiple colors or Corten steel ones. Jim McCalligan suggested matte “Black Magic” with a special coating that would enable easy graffiti removal. The board agreed to go with the black square planters, and Marianne will price them along with planting and watering and report back at the next meeting. Merchants need to be notified not to replace the wine barrels at their own expense since these new ones will be installed.

7.2 4th Street Lighting Project – Curt Nichols reported that Rafael Rivero received a second quote which was significantly higher than the previous one. The City Public Works is concerned about the weight of the light strings. Curt will reach out to Structural Engineer, Kevin Zucco for input. There may be additional costs to hire a structural engineer, but it was agreed this is necessary to move forward with the project. 

7.3 Updated RRSQ Brochure – Dee Richardson reported that the brochure/rack card is in process and now looking for RRSQ photos to use. The new rack card will have one-fold with a QR code directing visitors to the RRSQ website. 

7.4 2nd Phase Wayfinding Pedestrian Signage – Noelle Hermann thanked Mike Montague and Kris Wilson for being instrumental in making the signage happen. Downtown, Smart, The Visitors Center and the So.Co.Museum will be offered complimentary signage. The poles are now full or almost full. The fee for district merchants is $100 and $250 for merchants outside of the district. The cost to replace an existing sign is $250. Noelle to set meeting with Mike and Kris to discuss removing this project from being a pilot with the City.

7.5 Other Discussion/Updates – Paul Quattrocchi said that the city brought him cleaner and towels to remove graffiti and filth from the trash cans. We’ll be working with The Gospel Mission to do the cleaning. 

Kris said that the newspaper and real estate containers in front of Dare Devils and Queens need to be removed. Paul to follow up on next steps to have them removed.

There was a discussion about the trees in front of Chevy’s being removed and what to replace them with. Mike proposed and moved, that since we have a fund for trees, the Association will take care of removal and planting of new trees, and property owners will be responsible for stump grinding, sidewalk, and curb repairs on their property. Curt seconded the motion. Motion passed. The tree committee will come up with tree ideas and present their findings  and a policy item at the next meeting.

8. ADJOURNMENT – Mike adjourned the meeting at 10:25 AM.