Weekly Report for Week Ending September 15, 2006
September 17, 2006
This is the weekly report for the week ending September 15th, 2006.
1. Meeting Notes
The City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 19th will convene at 8:30 AM for the morning Closed Session, and at 6:00 PM for a study session concerning the proposed financing plan for the Civic Center project.
2. League of California Cities Conference
The weekly report was on hiatus last week (I hope that it was sorely missed) as I was in attendance at the League of California Cities Conference in San Diego. Among the highlights was the installation of West County’s own Maria Allegria as President of the League. There were also some interesting Conference educational sessions, presenting ideas with which I am hoping to follow up here in Richmond, including the topics of:
· Municipal wireless networks;
· Effective administrative code enforcement procedures; and
· Proposition 49 funding for after school program partnerships.
3. Nystrom United Revitalization Effort (NURVE)
Representatives from the West Contra Costa County Unified School District, Contra Costa County, the Richmond Children’s Foundation, the East Bay Community Foundation, LISC, and the City met this past week to receive an update from project designers on the Nystrom United Revitalization Effort (NURVE). As you may recall, this effort involves, among other things, improvements to the Nystrom School campus, improvements to the Martin Luther King Park and Community Center, a potential charter school, improvements to the Maritime Child Care Center, and a “new” Nystrom Village. You may also recall that the challenge is to leverage the School District’s renovation of Nystrom School and the City’s renovation of MLK Park and Community Center into a “neighborhood village.” The project designers have developed a conceptual plan that effectively accomplishes this goal with what, from a program perspective, creates a seamless, and hopefully synergistic, overlap of School and City facilities. More work is left to be done, including getting community, School Board, and City Council input, but, in my view, the project is proceeding very well.
4. Gang Violence Network
The National League of Cities (NLC) has approached the City of Richmond to participate in a network of major California cities to help them combat gang violence and victimization. The network is the first of its kind in the nation, and will focus on identifying successful gang prevention policies and practices that interweave prevention, intervention, enforcement, and a community’s “moral voice” as an alternative to prison-only solutions.
NLC is partnering with the Oakland-based National Council on Crime and Delinquency (NCCD) to launch the three-year project with support from the California Wellness Foundation. Participating cities will include Fresno, Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley), Oakland, Richmond, Sacramento, Salinas, San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, Santa Rosa, and Stockton.
The concept is for each city to assemble a five-member team that includes key stakeholders such as probation and public health offices, schools, community-based organizations, and the faith community. The teams will work together to develop or refine comprehensive, locally appropriate action plans to address gang violence. The first meeting of the California City Gang Prevention Network will take place in January 2007 in the San Francisco Bay area.
We would like to involve our Office of Violence Prevention consultant significantly in this project.
5. Update on Bay Trail Construction Associated with Seacliff Estates
This past week, representatives from TRAC, the Brickyard Landing Homeowners’ Association (HOA), Toll Brothers, and City representatives met to discuss construction of the Bay Trail related to the Seacliff Estates conditions of approval. It was collectively determined that construction of the trail can proceed when:
(1) the City accepts the Seacliff Drive improvements that will trigger conveyance of certain property to the City (this needs to be done by the City Council on October 3rd);
(2) the City and the Brickyard Landing HOA agree on language relating to a permanent easement to be granted to the City for the trail;
(3) the Brickyard Landing HOA provides Toll Brothers with a temporary construction easement to facilitate the construction; and
(4) the City and Toll Brothers agree on a scope of work for the trail that incorporates the HOA’s conditions for the easement, and agree on a cost sharing formula for any project enhancements reasonably outside the scope of work for trail construction.
We hope to complete these various tasks before the end of October to allow this project to proceed expeditiously from here on out.
6. Graffiti Along I-580
During the summer, the Richmond Public Works Department made substantial, and very noticeable, progress on eradicating most of the graffiti along Interstate 580. As you may have noticed, the graffiti has returned. Public Works Director Willie Haywood reports that their efforts to stay on top of this have been thwarted by Union Pacific’s vacillation on supplying a flagman for City work crews to enter their properties. Moreover, this “responsible corporate citizen,” Union Pacific, invoiced the City $2,600.00 for supplying flagmen to assist the City in its past efforts. Mr. Haywood is enlisting the City Attorney’s office for assistance with this issue, and other issues of blight associated with railroad and utility property located in the City. We will keep you informed.
7. Update of Richmond Municipal Code
The City Clerk reports that the Richmond Municipal Code has now been completely updated including the most recent supplements that were completed and delivered in mid-August. This past week, 30 copies of the newly updated Code were delivered to the Clerk’s office for distribution to the City Council and to the various City departments. The updated Code is also available online. The next supplement will be shipped and delivered sometime between the last week in November and the first two weeks in December.
8. City Files at the Civic Center
Beginning next week, staff will begin removing files from the basement of the old City Hall. The first step will be to remove files from the “cages” in the basement and transport them to the Richmond Auditorium. Staff will then review the documents, destroy what is no longer needed and store and inventory documents that must be retained. After the inventory of the documents in the basement is completed, staff will remove documents from the offices on the second and third floors of City Hall and categorize them in similar fashion.
9. Walk-Through of Southside Park
This past week, I went on a walk-through of the Southside Park, along with the park designer, contractor, Public Works staff, and several members of the community, where this construction project is beginning to wrap up. At this point, most of what remains are simply punch-list items. The park looks very good, and, through our maintenance work, we hope to keep it that way. There are also, apparently, some City or Redevelopment Agency owned properties adjacent to the park that we should look to improve in the near future.
10. Refinancing of Richmond Housing Authority/Westridge Apartment Subordinate Bonds
The Finance Department continues to look for ways to improve the City’s financial position. This past week, Finance Department staff met with representatives from M.L. Stern, underwriters, regarding a proposed refunding of the Housing Authority’s Westridge Apartment Subordinate Bonds. The proposed refunding reflects net present value savings of 13.5%, or $1.6 million, and lowers the monthly interest payments from $903,603 to $619, 549 for the first three years. The Finance Department and the Housing Authority will work together to prepare an agenda item on this proposed refinancing for the October 3rd City Council meeting.
11. Shoreline Tour
Congratulations to the Port of Richmond staff, working together with the Council of Industries, for organizing another successful Richmond shoreline tour this past Thursday.
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.
City of Richmond
1401 Marina Way South
Richmond, CA 94804