RRSQ Association Board Meeting
Thursday, December 14, 2023
8:30 AM Courtyard Marriott Hotel Conference Room: 175 Railroad St. (In Person Meeting)
Attendees: Mike Montague, Paul Quattrocchi, Pauline Block, Noelle Hermann, Marianne Neufeld, Curt Nichols, Theresa Tommasi, Florine Ellingson, Dee Richardson, Rafael Rivero, Kris Wilson
PER ZOOM: Jim McCalligan, Dayna Irvine
Guests: Danielle Nelson, Ellen Bowen, Tom Buckley, Samantha Ramey, Lee Wright, Jill Moyer
1. CALL TO ORDER, INTRODUCTIONS, & APPROVAL OF AUGUST MEETING MINUTES – President, Mike Montague, called the meeting to order at 8:35 AM. Motion to approve November minutes was made by Marianne Neufeld and seconded by Florine Ellingson.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS – (limited to 2 minutes each)
Ellen Bowen of Saturday Afternoon Club updated the board as they continue to gather information, they will look for grant opportunities for the water tower and are keeping the vision of its restoration.
3. CONSENT ITEMS – None
4. PRESIDENT’S REPORT– Mike Montague
Mike attended the Catholic Charities Zoom meeting and reported neighborhood concerns regarding security issues. Mike will link Jennilynn Holmes with RRSQ’s security company. There’s an increase in people lingering under the 6th Street bridge along with more trash being left. Mike continues to work on the Prince Memorial Project and sees more of the community coming together to pull weeds and clean up trash along the greenway. Mike plans to meet with Josh Windmiller (Railroad Square Jazz Festival) to discuss possibilities to expand the jazz festival into the greenway, the Hyatt and one other location to help relieve some congestion on 4th street.
4.1 Year-end Report – Mike asked board members to think about projects they would be interested in working on for next year. Hardeep and Dayna are leaving the board, although Dayna promises to
continue to remain active. Mike acknowledged Dayna’s time and support of the Association. Mike introduced and welcomed new board members, Danielle Nelson (Simon Plaza) and Tom Buckley (Hotel La Rose).
The board formally adopted the 2024 Board of Directors.
4.2 January Board Planning Meeting – Kris announced that the January board meeting will serve as our annual planning meeting on January 18th from 11:00 AM – 1:30 PM and is looking into the conference room at City 205 with access to any AV needs. 2024 project goals will be reviewed, and the Board will focus on objectives and how to get involved to get things done. More information/discussion items will follow.
5. ED REPORT – Kris Wilson
5.1 Holiday Update – Kris presented a slide show to highlight all that’s been accomplished this year.
She encouraged everyone to check out the RRSQ website to view the holiday-themed home page. Mike
thanked Florine, Lee and all for the holiday decorations and Marianne for her work on the new planters. Fifteen
more planters will be added early next year.
5.2 Executive Director Position Job Search Update – Kris reported that 15 applications have been received. She and Marianne will be evaluating each applicant and identify the top 3 to be invited for one-on-one meetings with Kris followed by interviews with the Executive Committee for selection of a final candidate. The goal is to have a new ED identified to start the transition in training with Kris by early Spring. Kris is planning on May 1st as her last day.
6. FINANCIAL REPORT – Marianne Neufeld
Reviewed financials and reported $20,000 from the city for assessment fees. Sponsorships for the holiday carriage rides have been received. We are also hoping to receive the $2500 Community Benefit Grant to help cover costs for the carriage rides as we have in the past few years.
There were discussion/questions regarding assessment fee income reports and how we might work with the DAO and City planning dept. to obtain and share updates on parcel payments. Pauline added that as parcel ownerships or properties change it’s a difficult process to obtain current updates on individual properties.
A suggestion was made to apply for City grants to add artwork to the utility boxes to make them more attractive and hopefully make them less a target for graffiti. This will be added to the January list of projects. Paul reported that there is a contract with Bright View for the 3rd Street medians. Discussed trimming and cutting weeds back and fill-in empty tree wells. Mike reminded all that the 2024 budget had been approved at our December meeting.
7. PROJECT UPDATES
7.1 Tree Removal/Replacement – Mike/Jim
Mike did a second walk-around with the BriteView arborist to create a 4 stage “best plan” for the tree project to start in early Spring, with the $60,000 we now have budgeted. Trees will be removed on Wilson and Davis, 4th and 5th Streets. Bright View is cleaning twice a week which is resulting in a big improvement. Flo asked if tree wells in front of Chevy’s will be bigger, and Mike said that is yet to be decided. The sidewalk in front of the Omelette Express also needs addressing.
7.2 4th Street Lighting Project – Rafael/Curt
Curt said there are details that the city requires, and the structural engineer has been helpful in addressing. The older light poles pose a problem in determining their strength for light strings to be attached. We continue to work with City staff; Gabe Osborn and Rob Sprinkle who know the poles and our project. We continue to work through the challenges of this long-awaited project.
7.3 Business Development Initiative – Pauline
Discussed the Parks funding and with Depot Park being a priority, the city needs a good idea of what’s needed and to create a budget range for Depot Park. Pauline will discuss with Mike and Rafael before the end of January meeting with the city. Pauline reported that the city is exploring ideas to reimagine the underpass from 4th Street to the Mall & downtown making it more attractive since it’s the entrance to downtown. Pauline shared the Business Development Initiative’s draft marketing plan showcasing downtown in a new light for property owners, developers, etc. to use to promote investment in SR and attract business into the area. There is a $40,000 grant to work on this. See the website: www.santarosa-now.com .
8. OTHER DISCUSSION/UPDATES – Paul was able to capture a tagger on camera and notified police.
Noelle will check about graffiti removal on Wayfinding signs. It’s important to report incidents ASAP. Danielle Nelson, a new board member, has received great feedback about the holiday collaborative effort. Mike mentioned that the four districts are working together more, including South A Street. The St. Vincent De Paul property sales price has been reduced to $875,000 and is now listed with Keegan & Coppin. Rafael reported that Jill Scott is the new Acting Deputy Director, EDD and brings a lot of experience to the position.
9. ADJOURNMENT – Mike adjourned the meeting at 10:05 AM.
NEXT BOARD MEETING: 2024 Board Planning Meeting: 11:00 AM Thursday, January 18, 2024. Kris will confirm meeting location.