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Horst takes spotlight during State of the City

By: Lauren Gibbs, The Placer Herald
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New City Manager Rick Horst premiered many of his long- and short-term goals for Rocklin in the annual State of the City address.
After he took the stage at Blue Oaks Cinemas 16 Friday morning, Horst pulled out a sealed envelope, Oscar-style, and opened it.
“And the winner is … Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce,” he said jokingly.
Horst’s playfulness continued throughout his presentation as he addressed issues facing Rocklin including revitalizing downtown, using existing resources, creating a work, live, play setting in the city and working closely with business leaders.
Horst said the most valuable resource Rocklin has is the “we” factor.
“We can get excited,” Horst said. “And there’s nothing we can’t do.”
On the to-do list is to create EAT, an economic action team, create a team of people to take action on issues, encourage people to get involved and improve the business climate.
“While government has an important role to play, government is not the solution,” Horst said. “We, as governments, have to better understand how business works.”
The economic action team will contain six pillars, which would address issues including innovations and economic development, infrastructure and growth development and quality of life and education, Horst said.
Horst also proposed holding an economic summit of 100 hand-picked leaders in varying areas of the city – government, business and education.
Maximizing private sector participation, working with entrepreneurial leaders, branding the city and making people aware of Rocklin’s rich history are also on Horst’s agenda, he said.

What are Horst’s immediate plans as city manager?
Horst addressed eight immediate action items he hopes to address in Rocklin:
• Proposes to create an ordinance that encourages long-term development
• Get to know the community
• Promote locally owned, home businesses and partner with nonprofit organizations
• Invest in infrastructure
• Work with local agencies
• Protect and grow the city
• Pursue redevelopment of downtown
• Site-ready development
“None of this is going to happen overnight, but baby steps,” Horst said.
Horst said Sierra College and William Jessup University would also play into his role as city manager.
“Education is really the focal point of moving us forward,” he said.
Horst said he hopes to work together with the education community, possibly having interns work within the city and city employees interact with students in the classrooms.
“Education is one of the assets this community has that we need to emphasize to propel us forward,” he said.

What is the state of the Rocklin Area Chamber?
According to David Butler, the 2011 board chair for the Rocklin Area Chamber of Commerce, the state of the chamber is “awesome.”
“We’re in a great position to take our community truly from good to great,” he told the audience Friday morning.
Membership, programs and the Rocklin Chamber’s impact and influence are all growing, Butler said.
“I think that the growth of our chamber is a direct result of listening to its members,” he said.
Among members’ wish lists were networking events, more visibility and resources to succeed. Through late lunches, mixers, breakfasts and events, the Rocklin Chamber has created an environment to help businesses to be successful.
For more information on the Rocklin Chamber, go to www.rocklinchamber.com.