Thursday, January 25, 2007

Sacramento City Manager

A real good profile of the guy we are looking to for the needed shift in downtown planning.

Cover Story
A man and his city
City Manager Ray Kerridge sees Sacramento’s skyline as a canvas on which to splash interesting new architectural forms in creating its own distinct topography
By Chrisanne Beckner

Sacramento’s affable new city manager, Ray Kerridge, was “having a pint” at the Fox & Goose Pub one Friday when a city contractor walked in with his girlfriend.

Kerridge never had met the woman before, so he started chatting her up. He didn’t realize at the time that he was looking the city’s future in the eye.

“She was about 25, 26--you know, tattoos,” Kerridge told SN&R with a slight English accent. She was an independent Web-page designer who worked out of her home office and made her own hours.

“OK,” he said, curious. “So, what’s your day like?”

“Well, I get up about 11 a.m., you know, and I start work about noon. And then I’ll carry on ’til maybe 10 at night, maybe even later. Then I’ll go out. And then I get back in about three or four in the morning,” she told him.

“Wow,” said Kerridge. “Are there many like you?”

The woman must have looked at him oddly. “We all do it,” she said.

Sacramento's new frontier

Sure, the future has tattoos--everybody knows that. But the encounter helped Kerridge illustrate another point: The future was going to keep Sacramento awake 24 hours a day.

“There’s a generation out there that I realize I know absolutely nothing about,” Kerridge told SN&R. “A lifestyle I know nothing about. ... My idea of a city, you know, that’s not really important. ... What’s the vision of these young people? And how do we get them involved in this whole planning process?”

This is classic Kerridge. Only an optimist would want to infuse the traditionally dry city-planning process with a bunch of 25-year-old designers. Last spring, the city even invited college and high-school students to contribute their ideas to the ongoing General Plan update. After all, the future of Sacramento belongs to them.