Mayor William R. “Rusty” Bailey III of Riverside addressed future plans for the city and acknowledged California Baptist University during the 38th annual State of the City address Jan. 22 at the Riverside Convention Center.
In his speech, Bailey focused on the future of the city of Riverside, as well as the past accomplishments with the overall theme of “Exceeding Expectations Since 1883.”
Mike Bishop, senior director of the Career Center at CBU, was in attendance and said the State of the City address was an opportunity for many groups in the city to hear the mayor talk about where the city has been and where it is going.
“The mayor painted a great picture of Riverside and how each of us can contribute to what Riverside is doing,” Bishop said. “It was a very inclusive message, which I really appreciated.” Beautification awards were presented to buildings and facilities in Riverside. CBU won the first place award for best exterior reconstruction with landscaping for Lancer Plaza. “Everything we do at Cal Baptist is first class, so not only do we have wonderful students, but we have wonderful facilities, so it’s a great match,” Bishop said.
Bailey began his speech by saying it does not get much better than being the mayor.
Bailey said the Riverside Auto Center and Galleria at Tyler Mall generate approximately 50 percent of the sales tax that makes its way to the city’s general fund for essential municipal services.
“If you ever had a doubt about whether shopping in Riverside makes a difference, visit your local library, senior center or park,” Bailey said. “You will see those sales tax dollars at work in the city’s facilities all across our neighborhoods.” Rachel Hom, junior psychology major and FOCUS intern, attended the address with fellow FOCUS interns.
“(I went) to see what the mayor has to say to the people of Riverside and represent CBU among the other professionals,” Hom said.
Bailey acknowledged the high enrollment rate at CBU, University of California at Riverside and Riverside Community College.
“We are very fortunate to have these institutions of higher learning in our city because education is the best way to prepare for the job market that increasingly demands technical and technologically savvy workers,” he said.
He also shared his hope that Riverside will become a city that is more reliant on using a gigabyte fiber network within the next five years.
“We must also continue to invest in (information technology) infrastructure,” Bailey said. “SmartRiverside has bridged the digital divide for more than 7,000 low-income families in this city. We must make the same type of commitment to the business community with fiber optic cable.
“A gigabyte fiber network will provide the speed and accessibility required by healthcare companies, data centers and various other high-tech businesses.”
From the city budget to the City Manager’s employment agreement, documents that track how city government operates can be found on a new website. Engageriverside.com allows the website users to view open records.
“The city is committed to providing the public with as much information as possible to promote accountability and trust,” Bailey said. “I am proud to be a part of a city that is committed to inclusivity, ethics and transparency.”