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City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending April 18th, 2008

Mayor and Councilmembers:


This is the weekly report for the week ending April 18th, 2008.


1.         Meeting Notes


The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 22nd, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:30 PM, followed by a Redevelopment Agency meeting, and then the City Council meeting at 7:00 PM.


2.         Wastewater Bonds Receive Credit Rating Upgrade


As you may recall, City staff has been pursuing credit rating upgrades, as part of bond restructurings that are a strategic response to the credit crisis in the municipal market.  We are happy to report that Standard & Poor’s has upgraded the rating on the 2006 Wastewater Bonds, from “BBB” to “A+”; a four-notch upgrade.  S&P cited the substantially improved financial performance of the wastewater system as a key credit factor.  This rating upgrade should result in immediate savings through reduced interest costs on the 2006B bonds, as well as substantially lower financing costs for the restructuring and future bond issues.  The Standard & Poor’s credit report is available on the City’s website. 


3.         RichmondBuild Continues to Receive National Recognition


The RichmondBuild Program offered by the City’s Employment and Training Department continues to receive national recognition.  As recent examples:


·         A national publication, “Green-Collar Jobs in America’s Cities” released by Apollo Alliance & Green For All recognized RichmondBUILD’s solar installation training program as a “Best Practice”.  The publication cited the strong partnership with Solar Richmond and the West Contra Costa Adult Education as a benefit to Richmond residents.


·         RichmondBUILD was featured in two presentations to a national audience at the Green for All conference in Memphis, Tennessee.  In addition, a picture of the RichmondBUILD class was included on the back section of the conference’s program.


·         Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection requested permission to use a picture of the RichmondBUILD program in a newspaper advertisement that was published in the Memphis newspaper.


·         RichmondBUILD will be featured in a documentary being developed by SLI on how Green Collar jobs can provide a pathway to prosperity.


·         RichmondBUILD will be the backdrop for two upcoming documentaries.  First, the Film Posse, LLC is doing a piece for the World Health Organization on the Roots of Health with an emphasis on Green Collar training programs.  Second, NOVA, an affiliate with A & E, will be filming at the RichmondBUILD site for a feature on Green Collar Jobs.


4.         City Attorney Louise Renne Receives Crystal Eagle Award


City Attorney Louise Renne was awarded the Crystal Eagle Award at the CORO Center for Civic Leadership luncheon on April 18, 2008.  Louise’s long commitment to public service includes serving as the California Deputy Attorney General, a staff attorney in the General Counsel’s office at the Federal Communications Commission, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and City Attorney of the City and County of San Francisco.  Louise is known for attracting top talent nationwide and redefining the role of the municipal attorney from reactive to a proactive service orientation, as well as her strong mediation and litigation skills.  The Richmond City staff offers our heartfelt congratulations to Louise!


5.         Volunteer Luncheon


Over 140 City residents attended the volunteer appreciation luncheon on Thursday, April 17 at the Hilltop Courtyard Marriott hosted by the City Council.  Volunteers that serve on City of Richmond Boards, Commissions and presidents of Neighborhood Councils were thanked by the Mayor, Vice Mayor Marquez and Council Member Sandhu.  Jane Del Simone, the guest speaker, reiterated the importance and value of volunteering including noting some of her own experiences.  Those persons in attendance commented to me that they really enjoyed the opportunity to spend a relaxed lunch with their fellow Board and Commission members and to network with members of other Boards and Commissions.


My thanks to Trina Jackson of the City Manager’s office, and to other City staff members, for their efforts in hosting this event.


6.         Shimada Visitors


As you know, four Council Members from Shimada, Japan and one Council Member from a neighboring province visited the City of Richmond from April 10th to April 17th to meet with Richmond officials and gather information that would be helpful with their municipalities.  Their particular interest was in learning how to promote public involvement in their decision-making process.  During their stay, they met with the Mayor, City Manager, Finance Director, and the City Clerk.  They also attended “Meet the Mayor,” a Redevelopment Agency meeting and a City Council meeting.  The Shimada guests also went to the Grand National Rodeo on Friday, a San Francisco Giants game on Monday, and Yosemite over the weekend.  They were guests at two luncheons, one hosted by Council Member Bates, and one by the City Manager.  I personally very much enjoyed my conversations with the group, which was very engaged in learning about municipal operations in Richmond


7.         Recent Highlights from the Recreation Department


The following are noteworthy items from the City of Richmond’s Recreation Department:


·         The Richmond Swim Center has a new pool sweeper which has been in operation on a continuous basis beginning April 11th, and which will help keep the water clean and sanitized.  New carpet mats are now installed in the men’s and women’s locker rooms to provide a clean and safe passage through these areas, and a large time clock has been installed in the main pool for program participants.


·         The after school program has now expanded to three WCCUSD sites, at Martin Luther King, Peres and Stege Elementary schools. Daily activities include art, crafts, low organized games and soccer.


·         The Youth Activities division is collaborating with the management at Hilltop Mall to bring recreation program services to the Mall for elementary age school children.


·         The Recreation department will be conducting Recreation Information Day on May 17, 2008 at Nichol Park from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.  The information day will include sample activities, program registration, sports activities, information concerning how to recycle products, distribution of a recreation department map that includes the location of all facilities, prizes, refreshments, and other fun activities.


8.         The City “Goes Live” with CRW’s TrakIT system


The City of Richmond went “live” with its CRW TrakIT permitting, code enforcement and business license system this week.  Implementation of this system was a key recommendation of the operational audit completed for the Planning and Building Services Department.  City departments that will be using TRAKiT include Building Regulations, Planning, Code Enforcement, Engineering, Business License, Police, and Fire.  TRAKiT will primarily assist City staff with managing building permitting processes, inspection scheduling, fees assessment, plan review routing, business license renewals, project tracking, parcel activity management, interdepartmental communications, report generation, etc.  Finance Department staff member James Richman was the Project Manager for the City, with key City staff assistance from Jan Dugger, Roi Evron, Hector Rojas, Kevin Moses and Antonio Banuelos.


9.         Richmond Public Library Celebrates Reopening of Its Two Branches


This past week, the Richmond Public Library celebrated the reopening of the its two branches, the Bayview Library, 5100 Hartnett Avenue, near Carlson & Bayview, and the West Side Library, 135 Washington Avenue, in Point Richmond.  Events included the following:


·         On Monday, award-winning magician Alex Ramon (Magic by Alex!) performed two shows, one each at the two reopened branches.


·         On Tuesday, the Bayview Library hosted a story reading by the Reading Wizard, with cake and punch served to attendees.


·         On Wednesday, author Priscilla Royal spoke about her series of medieval mysteries, with an informal reception and book signing at the West Side Library.


·         Also on Wednesday, the Bayview Library showed a classic anime film about a mysterious forest spirit who befriends two young girls.


·         On Thursday, the Bayview Library hosted an evening of challenging board games and activities.


·         Also on Thursday, the Main Branch (325 Civic Center Plaza) hosted author Angelica Carpenter, who gave a presentation on becoming a writer, and shared slides and research from her biography of Oz books’ author L. Frank Baum.


10.       General Plan Advisory Committee


The General Plan Advisory Committee met on Thursday, April 17 to select preferred activity levels (Options 1-3) for numerous ‘change areas’ identified in the General Plan update. The results of this effort will be presented to the Planning Commission in May and to the City Council in June or July.


11.       Hilltop Drive Paving Completed


On Friday, the Public Works Department, working in partnership with contractors, completed a one-week project to resurface Hilltop Mall Road.  Final striping will be completed early next week.


12.       Anti-Graffiti Project to be Launched During the Week of May 5th


As you recall, the City Council recently approved a contract for technical assistance in implementing an anti-graffiti program, modeled after the very successful program in San Jose, which depends very heavily on the use of community volunteers.  This program will be launched during the week of May 5th, with a significant volunteer event to be organized for Saturday morning, May 10th.  More details on this program will be forthcoming.



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!


Bill Lindsay

City Manager

City of Richmond

1401 Marina Way South

Richmond, CA 94804


Phone:  510-620-6512

Fax:      510-620-6542

e-mail:   bill_lindsay@ci.richmond.ca.us