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City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending July 11th, 2008
Mayor and Councilmembers:

This is the weekly report for the week ending July 11th, 2008.

1.      Meeting Notes

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 15th, beginning with a Consent Calendar and Closed Session at 5:00 PM, followed by the City Council meeting at 7:00 PM.  As you will recall, the only item on the regular City Council agenda is the hearing on the appeals on the Chevron Hydrogen Renewal Project.  The meeting will take place at Kennedy High School in order to accommodate the expected number of people in attendance.

The remainder of the meeting schedule for July is as follows:

July 16th -     (Wednesday) Continued hearing on the appeals on the Chevron Hydrogen Renewal Project (if necessary).

July 22nd -     Regular City Council meeting.  Normally, the fourth Tuesday is used for Study Sessions; however, because of the limited agenda on July 15th, we will plan to have a regular business agenda.

July 29th -     Regular City Council meeting.

2.      Point Richmond/Point Molate Bay Trail Gap Closure

The Point Molate Bay Trail Committee, which is made up of staff from ABAG, Chevron, and the City of Richmond, met this week with Caltrans Regional Director Bijan Sartipi and his engineering staff at Caltrans’ headquarters in Oakland.  Also in attendance was Paul Thayer of the State Lands Commission, representing the Lieutenant Governor.  As you may recall, the Trail Committee previously identified a proposed trail alignment located within the Caltrans right-of-way on the south side of I-580.  The plan calls for the trail to be cantilevered off of the existing bridge structure between the large retaining walls at Office Hill and the Toll Plaza.  This purpose of the meeting with Caltrans was to discuss with them the feasibility of this trail alignment. 

Caltrans stated that they had no problem with the trail being built within their right-of-way, but their engineers informed the Committee that the existing bridge, which is 45 years old, could not support any type of cantilever.  The trail would have to be built on a separate, stand alone structure throughout this section, substantially increasing the cost of the project.  The Committee feels that the gap formed between this stand alone trail structure and the existing bridge would create an access problem if an emergency situation occurred on the trail.  There would be only one way on and one way off of the trail if there are no access points provided to the freeway.  Caltrans would not commit as to how close the stand alone structure could be built next to the bridge structure. They said that this concern would have to be brought up and discussed in a project study report.

The City will take the lead in preparing the RFP to select a structural/civil/ geotechnical consultant to prepare a project study report and then design the trail at the preferred location.  The next Committee meeting is scheduled for mid-August to go over the draft RFP.

3.      LEAP News

·       LEAP and the Lao Family Institute are planning to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding for services that will serve the growing Laotian student population in the evening English as a Second Language (ESL) program.  Hopefully, LEAP will be getting some volunteer placements from the Institute to help with this program.

·       With some fantastic outreach conducted by Virgil Weekes, LEAP initiated a new computer class for Seniors at the Booker T. Anderson Community Center.  With two classes, filled to capacity, LEAP will be offering an additional two classes at BTA.  Marc Smith provides the instruction on basic introduction to computers, creating Word documents, and eventually, emailing and communicating via the Internet.

·       Finally, two LEAP students, one a GED graduate, and one student close to completion at LEAP, were recently hired by the City of Richmond.  One of these students is working with youth at the Booker T. Anderson Community Center, and another is a Page at the Library.

4.      Chevron UUT Maximum Payment

Chevron Products Company notified the City prior to June 30, 2008, that it is electing to pay the Utility User Tax Maximum Tax Payable for fiscal year July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009, under Section 13.52.100 Maximum Tax Payable, of the Richmond Municipal Code ("RMC").  Under this section of the RMC, a utility user has the option to pay a “flat” amount, which is based on taxes imposed, or a rate based on utility usage.  Chevron’s election to pay under this calculation lessens the possibility that the City would have to adjust its forecasts for this revenue source later in the fiscal year.  Chevron’s maximum Utility User Tax liability is approximately $18 million for this fiscal year.

5.      Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) – Weekly Highlights

·       The Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) is exploring an opportunity to benefit from the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention (CPVP) and its CeaseFire Initiative.  The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is partnering with CPCV and has provided the organization funding to provide free training and technical assistance to identified “cities of opportunity and promise”.  Cities are identified for consideration based on high rates of gun related violence and homicide and where street outreach is an adopted strategy to help reduce this type of violence.  The City of Richmond has been identified and ONS is considering how to best capitalize on this opportunity.

CeaseFire is the first initiative of the Chicago Project for Violence Prevention formed in 1995.  Much like the City of Richmond Street Outreach Strategy (ONS NCA’s and Peace Keepers), the program works with community-based organizations to develop and implement strategies to reduce and prevent violence, particularly shootings and killings.

The CeaseFire strategy relies on outreach workers, violence interrupters, faith leaders, and other community leaders to intervene in conflicts, or potential conflicts, and promote alternatives to violence.  Additionally, it involves cooperation with police and it depends heavily on a strong public education campaign to instill in people the message that shootings and violence are not acceptable — and not approved of, even by peers.  Finally, it calls for the strengthening of communities so they have the capacity to exercise informal social control and to mobilize forces, from businesses to clergy, residents and others, all working in concert to reverse the epidemic of violence.

Because the Office of Neighborhood Safety activities are organized into components that address both the community and those individuals who are most at risk of involvement in a shooting or killing: community mobilization, outreach, faith leader involvement, public education and police participation, the Richmond ONS program aligns well with the work of the CPVP and the selection criteria attached to this opportunity.

·       The Office of Neighborhood Safety worked with the Richmond Parole Office and the Friends Outside organization to identify a new Parole and Community Team (PACT) Community Resources Coordinator.  Friends Outside was recently awarded the new contract from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to coordinate services on behalf of those returning from confinement to the City of Richmond.  Friends Outside is a community based organization working in Contra Costa County to improve the quality of life of families and children impacted by incarceration, and assist with successful community reentry and family reunification for those transitioning from confinement to freedom.

The Community Resources Coordinator is assigned to a District Parole Office, and acts as the coordinator of local resources for parolees to assist them with re-entry into the community.  The Community Resources Coordinator also acts as liaison between the parolee and the available resources, and facilitates access.  The Community Resources Coordinator reports directly to the Parole District PACT Coordinator, who is physically present in the district parole office.

6.      Neighborhood Change Agent (NCA) Report (Street Outreach)

The ONS Neighborhood Change Agents work with individuals as clients, and leverage their knowledge of the City to diffuse tensions to, hopefully, maintain peace by meeting with gang leaders, negotiating truces, and discouraging retaliation when conflicts erupt.  They also speak with young people and urge them to seek nonviolent ways of achieving status with their peers and in their communities.  NCA’s are constantly keeping in touch with the community and seeking to intervene in conflicts before they escalate to violence and are also working to prevent retaliation.  ONS is working to steer individuals away from violence to more positive endeavors, such as education and employment opportunities.

This week, the activities of the outreach team included:


·       Maintained a presence at the Nevin and Shields-Reid Community Centers and the surrounding neighborhoods;

·       Completed case conferencing and service referral on behalf of identified clients;

·       Coordinated with public system partners to develop new service and positive activity alternatives for high-risk youth populations.

7.      Public Works Department Receives New Street Sweeper and Launches a New Paving Season

The Public Works Department has received the first of four new sweepers, which is being made ready for daily operation.  Additionally, Public Works received about 25 new trucks to replace rental vehicles and “retiring” City trucks.  The Department also launched its new paving program season for FY 2008-09 this past week.

8.      Recreation Department Highlights

The following are current and future activities of the Richmond Recreation Department:

·       The Recreation Department hosted the annual July 3rd Red, White & Boom celebration at Marina Bay.  Approximately 12,000 to 15,000 friends and families enjoyed the food, games and, of course, the spectacular fireworks display.

·       The Recreation Department is preparing for the upcoming 2008 US Youth Games.  The sponsored youth will be competing on a national level in the Olympic style event in the areas of Chess, Flag Football, Soccer, Track, Boy’s and Girl’s Basketball, and Swimming.  The Opening Ceremony, where the team will march wearing “Team Richmond” uniforms, will be held at Laney College in Oakland on July 16th at 6:30 pm. 

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