A story about the Danville State of the Town address. the first name of Danville Mayor Robert storer was given incorrectly. The name of Hap Magee Ranch Park was incorrectly spelled, and the amount of small business grants was incorrect. the total is $400,000.
DANVILLE -- Danville's business community gathered March 27 to celebrate a productive year and honor some of the town's most civic-minded members at this year's State of the Town Address and Community Awards Luncheon.
In his state of the town address, Mayor Robert Storer said 2013 showed an increase in sales tax revenue, $400,000 in small-business grants to the downtown and a rise in property tax valuation. Property crime and traffic collisions are down, several planned projects are completed or under way and spending continues to be carefully monitored, he said.
"Why is it that in Danville we are so successful?" Storer asked the crowd. "We have a very original way of doing business. We actually take money in and put it in a savings account for a rainy day. We run the town like our household, and we don't spend money we don't have. I'm proud to say that the town council and staff are careful stewards of the public's money."
Storer shared details of town projects either in the works or recently completed, including a residential development of 20 homes on a 109-acre site at the end of Midland Way, leaving about 99 acres as permanent open space; solar arrays on the Veterans Memorial Building and other town locations are anticipated to save approximately $200,000 a year; the "Canine Corral" dog park at Hap Magee Ranch Park; bocce ball courts at Sycamore Valley Park; new signage in the downtown, the North Hartz Beautification Project and the Railroad Avenue Improvement Project.
The town also is improving its connection with residents online, with web pages like www.danville.ca.gov; www.danvilletodayonline.com and http://www.danville.ca.gov/About-Danville/Online-Service-Requests. The latter, Danville Connect, lets residents connect with city staff through the Internet or a mobile app to request information or report concerns.
The event also honored the following individuals and businesses with awards from the town and the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce:
Mary Tuttle, Citizen of the Year: "Mary has been involved in the whole (Interstate) 680 corridor since the late '80s," said Shelby McNamara, president of the Danville Area Chamber of Commerce. "She's been involved in every aspect of the chamber and always shows up."
An elementary schoolteacher for 25 years in five states, Tuttle still tutors first- and second-graders. Now 85, she continues to be active with the chamber, the Danville/Sycamore Valley Rotary, a local girls' home and a rehabilitation center.
"I call on shut-ins, take Easter baskets around and food baskets that the church puts together," she added. "I really enjoy all that ... I love doing things. I have to be involved; a little here and a little there."
Danville Town Manager Joe Calabrigo, Employee of the year: "It's because of Joe that the town is in such good financial shape," McNamara said. "Council members come and go, and he is the glue that stays here. ... He has a wonderful staff, and he tells them so every day."
Calabrigo joined the town's staff in 1985 as chief of planning and has been town manager since 1993.
"This is a community where we are so fortunate to have so many different segments of the community who work together in a collaborative way to make things happen," he said. "We don't achieve anything in this community on the basis of a single individual; it's the whole community working together to make things happen. If I've contributed to that, I'm very appreciative of the opportunity."
Bridges Restaurant, Business of the Year: Bridges' owner Randy Negi is well-known for his constant contributions to the community, McNamara said.
"They've given to every organization in Danville and probably in Contra Costa County," she said. "(The chamber) constantly approaches restaurants and asks for gift certificates, and Bridges always works with local nonprofits. It's just nonstop."
"I'm very fortunate to work for a gentleman who believes in taking care of the community and giving back," said Bridges General Manager Lisa Waldman. "This is just a great community."
Kiwanis Club of San Ramon Valley, Charitable Organization of the Year: "Their claim to fame ... is the Fourth of July Parade in Danville," McNamara said. "They take all the funds they raise and distribute it back to local organizations to provide services to local youth and the elderly. It's all volunteer. They put together this huge event and give every penny back."
The 59-year-old chapter has about 40 members, all of whom believe in supporting local charitable groups, said spokesman John Lineweaver. Last year the group donated about $40,000 to a variety of local assistance organizations.
"We're just a good old service club -- we're in it to give back," he said. "We enjoy what we do and getting more members. We share the wealth and share the work."
Scott Bigelow, Chairman's Award: Bigelow, a founding wine ambassador with Boisset Wine Living at Home, a direct-to-consumer division of Boisset Family Estates, was honored by past chamber Chairman Tom Hart for exceptional service to the outgoing chairman. He's held many posts with the chamber and is now on the board of directors and chairman of the Aloha Golf Tournament Committee.
"I'm pretty involved with the chamber ... but I'm still kind of surprised," he said of the award. "I was thinking of three or four other people I thought should get it. I had no idea it was me."