The City of Monterey has launched its “Roadmap to Commercial Cannabis” project with its community to establish a process for permitting and regulating commercial cannabis, with the stated goal to “do it right the first time!” Join Monterey staff Hans Uslar, City Manager, Nat Rojanasathira, Assistant City Manager, and Kim Cole, Director of Community Development, in a discussion with Caity Belta, Engagement Manager at Bang the Table, to see how their 6-step process is actively utilizing community engagement best practices in order to reach community consensus around this hot topic.
- How the City’s culture of community involvement led to the design of their strategic approach and transparent process.
- How the public engagement process is being leveraged by City staff at key project milestones to make community-informed decisions that drive the process and outcomes.
- Strategies and tools to involve and include all members of the community in the commercial cannabis decision-making process.
Learn from our Panelists:
Hans Uslar, City Manager, City of Monterey
Mr. Uslar began his career with the City of Monterey in 1997 as a Management Analyst and was promoted through the Plans and Public Works Department. He became Assistant Director of Plans and Public Works in 2008, and Deputy City Manager/Plans and Public Works in 2012.
He was named Assistant City Manager in 2014 and was appointed City Manager in 2018.
Mr. Uslar played a key role in the Presidio of Monterey base operations contract, known as the Monterey Model, a benchmark for public-public partnerships since its start in 1998. In the past two years, Mr. Uslar has concentrated on restoring Monterey’s fiscal health, matching service levels and expectations with fiscal realities, providing staff focus on affordable housing solutions as well as striking a balance between residents and visitors.
As City Manager, Mr. Uslar has been also responsible for the City’s multi-leveled responses to the devastating impacts of COVID-19.
Mr. Uslar’s previous experience includes serving as Project Manager at the Institute for Strategies and Studies in Waldbroel, Germany; Assistant Chief of Branch, Naval Policies and Strategies, Department of Defense, in Bonn, Germany; and Commanding Officer of the German Navy’s ship “Hermelin”, Kiel, Germany.
Mr. Uslar is a member of the International City/County Management Association, the Association of Defense Communities, and a founding member of the California Defense Communities Alliance.
He lives in Monterey with his wife and he has a college-age son who just started attending the Monterey College of Law.
Nat Rojanasathira, Assistant City Manager, City of Monterey
In the local government sector since 2003, Nat Rojanasathira has guided a variety of services, including human resources, finance, information technology, community engagement, parks and recreation, libraries, economic development, city clerk, legislative advocacy, and community events.
Mr. Rojanasathira began his career in the City of Pacific Grove and worked for the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau. He spent over 12 years with the Town of Danville, California, most recently as Administrative Services Director. In June 2019, he was appointed Assistant City Manager for the City of Monterey.
Nat is a graduate of Cal State University, Monterey Bay, with a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of San Francisco. He is an alumnus of the Local Governance Summer Institute at Stanford University and earned a Certificate of Human Resources Management from San Francisco State University. He is a member of the International City/County Management Association, is past president of the Municipal Management Association of Northern California (MMANC), and serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Local Government (ILG).
Kim Cole, AICP, Community Development Director, City of Monterey
Kim Cole is currently the Community Development Director for the City of Monterey. Ms. Cole leads the Housing, Permit, and Inspection, Planning, Property Management, and Sustainability Offices. The Department’s mission is to provide the highest level of services and leadership in urban and strategic planning, historical and architectural preservation, sustainability practices, zoning, design, development, and capital budgeting.
Ms. Cole has twenty-five + years of experience in planning. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She is also recognized as a certified planner by the American Institute of Certified Planners.
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