When Barry Tippin was named Redding’s city manager in June, he was asked to set his own goals and objectives. Tippin, in turn, assembled 15 community members for guidance. The eye-opening process “went fabulous,” he said, and on Tuesday he presented his to-do list for the City Council’s consideration.
After hearing Tippin’s plans in the areas of economic development, public safety, budgeting, improving communication and modernizing government, the satisfied council voted 4-0 (Councilwoman Francie Sullivan was absent) to accept them.
Redding business owner Matt Moseley, who served on the committee, said he was initially skeptical when the council drew from the city’s management pool to hire Tippin, who had served as Redding’s assistant city manager since 2008.
Now that the committee has hammered out measurable goals, however, Moseley said Tippin can be held accountable “and I think he will be successful.” April LaFrance, who also served on the committee, said she came away impressed with Tippin’s leadership abilities and “optimistic about our future.”
The other committee members included Joe Cerami, Jeremy Cunningham, Mike Dahl, Ryan Denham, Michael Duffy, Allie Figura, Lori Goyne, Rachel Hatch, Doug McConnell, Ed Rullman, John Schuller, Jessica Whitlow and Naomi Yamamoto.
In the area of budget and financial management, Tippin’s short-term objectives include developing cost-saving strategies for union negotiations, launch OpenGov, a cloud-based fiscal dashboard to improve public access to financial and budget data, and develop opportunities for more revenue, including marijuana fees and taxes.
Public safety objectives include hiring a police chief (Tippin said interviews are scheduled for Friday), aggressively seek funding from grants, donations and other sources, and increase collaborations with Neighborhood Watch programs, community groups and private security.
Objectives for improving communication and transparency include working with city employees to “create a unified, strategic and customer-focused culture in all City communications with the public.” Tippin also will use social media, newspapers, web sites and blogs to interact with the public and create a city “dashboard.”
With the goal of becoming “relevant and proactive to the opportunities and challenges of today’s residents and workforce” and creating a government of the 21st century, Tippin’s objectives include exploring alternatives to traditional meetings, with options including town halls, online forums and advisory polling. Tippin also will turn to the technology community for apps or programs “to allow citizens a greater voice in decision-making.”
And finally, in the area of economic development, Tippin has tasked himself with formalizing an aggressive marketing plan for the long-dormant Stillwater Business Park, reviewing “permitting/planning and fee-structure practices of like and competing cities with the goal of meeting or exceeding speed, efficiency, and service” and work creatively to enhance quality of life and “livability” to improve attraction of economic development and prospective employees.
In other action Tuesday, the council:
–Deputy City Manager Greg Clark updated the council on the recently completed Woodlands affordable housing project on Polk Street in the Parkview neighborhood. The 55-unit housing complex is a partnership between the city, Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), Northern Valley Catholic Social Services and Palm Communities.
“This is a great example of the county and city working together with help from private partners,” said Donnell Ewert, head of the HHSA. Ewert added that a case worker is on-site daily during business hours to provide services to tenants. Some 19 units in The Woodlands are reserved for tenants with severe mental health issues.
Clark said The Woodlands is already at full capacity and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held in October.
Vice Mayor Kristen Schreder said she heard from a new Woodlands tenant who had previously been living in a van. The tenant said she had gone “from hell to the Hilton.” The tenant, Kimberly Moore, addressed the council during the public comment period and tearfully thanked the board for its help in securing her a safe and comfortable home. “You guys are a lifeline,” she said.
–Heard a presentation from Whiskeytown National Recreation Area Park Superintendent Jim Milestone, who reviewed Whiskeytown’s busy summer season and invited residents to the annual Symphony on the Beach. The free event begins at 7 p.m. at Brandy Beach and features a performance by the Shasta Symphony Orchestra.
Milestone said the Redding Parks and Recreation Department partnered with the Redding Sail Club to teach sailing to more than 100 kids this summer. Ranger-guided kayak and paddleboard tours continue to be popular, he said.
Of note, Milestone said a National Park Service study indicates Whiskeytown generates $38 million a year for the Shasta County economy.