San Ramon State of the City Address provides insight

San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson speaks to attendees at the annual State of the City Luncheon on February 9 at the an Ramon Mariott
San Ramon Mayor Bill Clarkson speaks to attendees at the annual State of the City Luncheon on February 9 at the San Ramon Marriott

Luncheon provided information on infrastructure, new City Center and more

By Denise Rousset                                                                       

The San Ramon Chamber of Commerce held its State of the City luncheon at the San Ramon Marriott on Thursday, February 9. Terry Koehne, opened with a tribute to San Ramon 150, San Ramon Sesquicentennial’s 150 years from 1867-2017 that will be celebrated throughout 2017.

Mayor Bill Clarkson greeted attendees and thanked Stewart Bambino and Kathy Fanning of the San Ramon Chamber for all of their work in making the luncheon possible.

Mayor Clarkson lauded San Ramon Police Department and the City’s efforts to hasten emergency response time with the 2016 initiative to merge the County’s 911 calls into San Ramon’s dispatch thereby cutting emergency response time for life-saving help to arrive in San Ramon.

A new City Manager was hired after the election and it was unanimously decided by the city Council after they met to discuss the position that San Ramon’s interim City Manager and former Police Chief Joe Gorton, was a perfect fit for the position.

Acknowledging that traffic will be an issue as San Ramon’s new City Center is developed, Clarkson said that $12.5 million will be devoted to widening and fixing Bollinger Canyon Rd. to improve traffic in advance.

San Ramon’s Transportation Dept. is also applying for a grant for an overpass on the Iron Horse trail over Bollinger Canyon Rd. to alleviate traffic stops for pedestrian crossings on that road. “There should be a response to the request”, Clarkson said, “by summer”.

"Bishop Ranch”, said Clarkson, “ is becoming more than a business park, and may include housing, retail, and entertainment. “ Old AT&T”, he said, “has become BR 2600, housing a series of restaurants with views on the lake which is open to the public”. Driverless busses may become a common sight in that part of the city, as vehicles with an 8-12 person capacity could circulate around Bishop Ranch.

Also mentioned was Phase II of Rancho San Ramon Park, and the possibility of adding a zip line. “Bocce courts and basketball would be done by 2018”, he said.

East Bay Regional Parks’ Beverly Lane has been a partner regarding the Iron Horse Trail, Clarkson said. EBRP has allowed the building of a series of parks along the IHT with monies in a partnership with EBRP and Contra Costa County. EBRP is also buying land on the west side of San Ramon for use as Open Space. “There is an emphasis on maintaining open spaces both east and west of San Ramon”, Clarkson said, “that should ‘bookend’ the city to preserve the beauty of the valley”.

Regarding improvements to infrastructure, a trade or “land swap” was done with Sunset for the new city building which was entirely built— turn key by Bishop Ranch. The San Ramon Library at Market Place which is 28 years old, has been completely renovated and will celebrate its Grand Opening on the anniversary of its original 1989 opening, this April 15. “That library had been the busiest library in the entire county”, said Clarkson, “and will quickly become so again with this beautiful renovation.” “We hope everyone can come.”

Schools in Dougherty Valley are impacted, said Mayor Clarkson. Working with County Supervisor Candace Anderson, and a new voter-approved bond, BellaVista Elementary, a state-of-the-art school was completed in 2016.

Regarding Dougherty Valley, it’s also notable that now, a share of the tax from Contra Costa County from homes built in Dougherty Valley is now available to the City of San Ramon.

Improvements will be made to medians in Dougherty Valley where trees that were inappropriate for their locations along the road are pushing up pavement, damaging sewer systems, etc. Meetings for input from residents are open to the public regarding this issue. Mayor Clarkson pointed out how important it is for the City to listen to residents and they always welcome input.

For more information please on what’s going on in San Ramon, or for ways to become involved visit www. SanRamon.ca.gov., or feel free to email Mayor Clarkson with your questions or input. He can be reached at bill@billclarkson.com

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