Weekly Report for
the Week Ending August 25th, 2006
August 27, 2006
This is the weekly report for the week ending August 25th, 2006.
1. Meeting Notes
There are no City Council meetings scheduled until Tuesday, September 12, 2006. Councilmembers will be required to submit essays on “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” in advance of this meeting.
2. New City Website
The new and improved City of Richmond website is now “live” at www.ci.richmond.ca.us. I would encourage you to browse it and provide any feedback that you might have on its format or content.
3. Nicholl Park Tour
Immediately following the dedication of the Junior Giants Field at Nicholl Park (which was a very successful event), Monique LeConge, Leslie Knight, Richard Mitchell, Willie Haywood, Tony Norris (the new Parks and Landscape Superintendent who will begin work in September) and I, together with Marcia Vallier, of Vallier Design, took a walking tour of the park with an eye towards “quick fixes” that can allow the park to more effectively serve as the downtown community park. We all agreed that all great cities have great downtown parks, and that there are many ways in which to rejuvenate Nicholl Park to this end without necessarily spending a great deal of money. We collected a number of ideas, and agreed to meet again to review and prioritize how these ideas might be implemented. Some of the identified projects might simply take the form as enhanced maintenance activities, and some might find their way on to the proposed Capital Improvement Program for Council consideration. In either case, we will keep you informed as we move forward.
4. Update on Implementation of the Rental Inspection Program
The start date for the rental inspection program was June 21, 2006. The program began with an initial introduction letter mailed to 1,100 landlords representing 50% of the units subject to inspections based on the City’s database. On August 11, 2006, a second letter and a detailed form were mailed to the landlords by the Sterling Company, Inc., which has been contracted by the City to put this inspection program into place. The second letter included instructions on how to complete the forms, applications, and a breakdown of the fee schedule. City staff will be scheduling and sending out appropriate inspection notices as completed applications and fees (if applicable) are received from landlords. Five inspections have been scheduled so far for next week.
5. Hall of Justice Update
As you may recall, City staff engaged the firm SGH to conduct a peer review of the water intrusion analysis that was completed for the Hall of Justice by Amherst, Inc. In their report, Amherst concluded that the Police Department should be relocated out of the Hall of Justice so that remediation of the facility could take place. SGH’s report agrees with Amherst’s recommendation, also concluding that “building occupants (should) be relocated before winter 2006.” We will keep you informed regarding our continuing plans moving forward, and expect to have this topic on your September 12th meeting agenda for discussion and policy direction.
6. Finance Department Work on the City’s Purchasing System
The Finance Department is continuing their progress in improving the City’s basic business processes. This past week, the Purchasing and Accounts Payable Divisions of the Finance Department presented City Department Managers with an overview of the purchasing and accounts payable process, including recommendations for improving and streamlining the system. Their recommendations included ways in which to develop master contracts for cheaper and simplified purchasing for such goods as gasoline, copiers, uniforms,
office supplies, and auto parts; increasing Cal-Card spending limits from $1,000 to $3,000; shortening the contract execution phase by electronically transmitting the contract documents to vendors, and by eliminating the requirement that contracts be notarized; creating contract templates for access on the City’s intranet; and, simplifying basic purchasing forms. The presentation, as well as ideas for improved procedures, was well-received by Department Managers.
7. Attendance at Police Executive Research Forum Meeting
At the suggestion of Chief Magnus, I will be accompanying the Chief to a meeting of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) next week in Washington, which concerns approaches and strategies for reducing violent crime. Chief Magnus has been involved with PERF previously, and indicates that it is an excellent organization that tends to be on the “cutting edge” of law enforcement strategies. PERF specifically suggested that Chiefs attending this meeting bring their chief administrative officers to participate as well. As a result of my attendance at this meeting, I will be out of the office on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week (8/29 and 8/30), during which time Leslie Knight will be the Acting City Manager.
8. Department Head Strategic Planning Meeting
On Thursday, August 31st, the Department Managers will be off-site at our annual all day strategic planning meeting.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about these or any other items of interest to you.
Have a great week.