|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week
Ending August 29th, 2008
August 29, 2008
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending August 29th, 2008.
1. Meeting Notes
The next regular City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 2nd. The meeting will begin with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM, followed by the regular City Council agenda at 7:00 PM.
2. City Hall Holiday Schedule
The City offices will be closed on Monday, September 1st in observance of Labor Day, and again on Tuesday, September 9th in observance of Admissions Day.
3. State Budget News
As you may have heard by now, the Senate Democrats’ version of a compromise budget was voted on today on the Senate floor, and failed to pass the necessary two-thirds margin by a roll call vote of 24 ayes to 15 nos. All 15 Republicans cast a no vote, and 24 out of the 25 Democrats cast an aye vote. The lone Democrat who abstained from voting is Senator Lou Correa from Orange County, who made a promise not to vote for new taxes when he ran for Senate in Orange County. If Senator Correa maintains that pledge, it will take three Republican votes rather than two, to get to the 27 votes needed for the 2/3 threshold. This bill will likely be granted reconsideration to be taken up another time.
It should be noted that the proposed compromise budget that was voted down in the Senate included the 5% tax increment shift from redevelopment agencies ($225 million) to the State, as reported in last week’s report to you.
Senate President ProTem Don Perata was very strong in his comments criticizing the Republicans for not being responsible. He challenged them to come up with something of their own that "doesn't borrow," since Perata has been very forthright in saying he is opposed to borrowing from either the transportation fund or local government. In response, Republican Senator Sam Aanestad stood up on the floor and asked Perata, if the Republicans were to come up with such a budget, would they be allowed a fair hearing on the Senator Floor. Perata responded, "Yes." The questions are whether the Senate Republicans will burn the midnight oil and possibly reproduce a budget proposal of their own, and, if so, whether they can close a $17 billion budget deficit without new revenue and without borrowing. Some say it is not possible.
We will continue to keep you informed.
4. California Transportation Commission (CTC) Approves $5 Million Grant to City of Richmond for Marina Bay Parkway Grade Separation Project (Whaddaya Know? Good News from Sacramento!)
Last June, Redevelopment Agency staff submitted an application to the California Transportation Commission (CTC) for funding assistance in support of a grade separation on the Marina Bay Parkway. Due to the impacts of long trains, the lack of access to the south Richmond area when trains are present, and the need for direct access in support of the proposed ferry service as well as emergency services, the CTC approved $5 million in funding at their meeting this past Wednesday, August 27th. This funding is contingent on the development of a full funding plan for this approximately $38 million project being in place within 90-days. Agency staff will be meeting with the staffs and Boards of WETA, WCCTAC, CCTA, MTC, and CTC over the next several months to put together a funding plan that will support a construction start date of roughly December 2010.
Mayor McLaughlin and Redevelopment Manager Alan Wolken attended the CTC meeting to provide information regarding the importance and technical aspects of the project.
5. State Legislature Passes AB 844 to Help Address Wire and Metal Theft (Whaddaya Know? More Good News from Sacramento!)
As you may know, the City has been trying to address increased incidents of wire and metal theft for some time, and City staff had prepared an ordinance to this end. The City’s efforts towards strengthening its enforcement options relating to wire theft have been hampered, however, by the Fifth District Court of Appeal’s decision in Tosi v. County of Fresno, which held that state junk dealer legislation preempted local regulation of scrap recyclers.
Presumably in response to this decision, on August 28, the Legislature passed Assembly Bill 844. AB 844 amends California’s junk dealer and scrap recycler law, Business & Professions Code sections 21600 et seq. The bill requires dealers in junk and scrap metal to provide a monthly report to the Chief of Police identifying the place and date of each sale or purchase, a description of the item, and the personal and vehicle information of the person selling, purchasing, or transporting the material. The Chief of Police may request weekly reports if he or she suspects criminal activity. AB 844 also precludes payment for specified metals in cash or by check unless the buyer obtains the seller’s photograph or a video of the seller, and the seller’s thumbprint.
AB 844 also increases the fines and prison terms for violation of the law, and makes those found guilty of theft responsible for repaying the victim both the cost of the stolen property and the reasonable cost of “collateral damage” caused by the commission of the theft. Significantly, AB 844 permits a City Council to regulate junk dealers and scrap recyclers “if the ordinance is passed by a two-thirds vote and it can be demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that the ordinance is both necessary and addresses a unique problem within and specific to the jurisdiction of the ordinance that cannot effectively be addressed” by existing state law.
AB844 will become effective on December 1. The text of AB844 is available at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/07-08/bill/asm/ab_0801-0850/ab_844_bill_20080819_amended_sen_v88.html.
6. Capacity-Building for Local Non-Profits
On August 19th the City of Richmond hosted its second capacity-building event for non-profits serving the Richmond community. The first one held May 27, 2008 was a breakfast attended by 22 participants from 20 organizations. That meeting’s purpose was to gather input from the local nonprofit community on how the City of Richmond, as a local government agency, could help nonprofit organizations grow and achieve sustainability. At the breakfast, the Latina Center and Social Progress, Inc. each won a registration to the Compass Point Non-Profit Conference held in June in San Francisco.
From the feedback received at that May 27th meeting, the City developed and distributed a Request for Proposal (RFP) to address the organizational development priorities of Richmond non-profit organizations. Responses to that RFP are due on September 25th. The RFP is available on the City’s website www.ci.richmond.ca.us in the bids section.
The August 19th forum was attended by 47 representatives from 40 organizations. In the first session, the participants heard a presentation by Tarnell Abbott, of the Richmond City Library, regarding the resources available at the library for non-profits and the partnership between the library and the Foundation Center. In the second session, the East Bay Community Foundation presented its 2008-09 grant guidelines that include investing in Richmond and focusing on supporting children, birth to third grade, and enhancing economic development opportunities.
The third event in this effort to build capacity in the local non-profit sector is planned for the fall.
7. San Pablo Dam Seismic Upgrade
As you may know, the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) completed a study of the seismic safety of San Pablo Dam in 2004, which concluded that some of the soils and foundation that make up the dam are susceptible to liquefaction. In particular, the study indicated that a 7.5 magnitude earthquake on the Hayward fault could cause the dam to slump and decrease in height, allowing water to flow over the top, causing flooding downstream. Based on the study’s recommendation, EBMUD lowered the water level behind the dam to protect downstream communities, and is undertaking a seismic retrofit, including an expansion of the downstream buttress for the dam.
Construction on the seismic upgrade started this past month, and is expected to take approximately two years. One of the major activities associated with the construction is “cement deep soil mixing” which is a process in which cement is injected and mixed with the existing soil to buttress the embankment. EBMUD warns that there will be some noise, visual, and access impacts at Kennedy Grove during the construction period, but that they will mitigate these temporary impacts to the greatest degree possible.
8. Use of Baykeeper Settlement Funds by The Rose Foundation
Under the terms of the Baykeeper settlement, the City is obligated to make an annual $25,000 payment to The Rose Foundation through calendar year 2010. The Rose Foundation is to use these payments for the sole purpose of environmentally beneficial activities that will “enhance water quality in the San Francisco Bay Area, with first consideration to be given to projects that benefit the watershed or communities within the jurisdictional boundaries of Richmond.” This week we received a letter from The Rose Foundation advising us that our payment had gone toward funding two grants: one to the Earth Team Eco Stewards Program which supports environmental stewardship activities with 260 students at eight West Contra Costa County and Oakland schools; and, one to the Ma’at Youth Academy to help support a seven-week environmental course taught to 300 at-risk Richmond high school students.
9. Richmond Ferry Update
Over the past month PBS&J, environmental consultants for the Richmond Ferry EIS/EIR, have been working with Richmond Redevelopment Agency staff gathering information on shoreline projects either approved or under review as a first step in preparing the Richmond Ferry EIS/EIR. This effort will continue for several more weeks and will establish the baseline for the environmental document. Agency staff is also working with WETA staff regarding the hiring of a terminal designer as the terminal concepts need to be incorporated into the final project EIS/EIR.
10. Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) – Weekly Highlights
The Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) will participate in outreach activities at the Not Today “Celebration of Family” event at Nicholl Park and the Flames of Fire Ministries “Back to School” Block Party at Greater Bethel Baptist Church in Parchester Village over the coming weekend. At both events, ONS Outreach staff will reach out to the City’s most disconnected youth, young adults (those most vulnerable to gun violence) and their families in our ongoing efforts to reduce the potential retaliatory impact of the most recent gun related homicides, provide street level coaching/mentoring and direct identified individuals to more positive opportunities. ONS will provide 100 backpacks to school age children and youth.
Over the summer months, ONS staff escorted and referred more than 30 vulnerable youth and young adults to more than 10 county and/or community based service providers. These providers include GRIP, Neighborhood House of North Richmond, United Heritage Industries, North Richmond Youth Build, Rubicon, Richmond Works, Contra Costa College, North Richmond Young Adult Empowerment Center, and Hollman Detox Center. ONS continues to provide follow-up support to each individual referred.
ONS staff and its Neighborhood Change Agents continue to work with identified Neighborhood Councils to provide support and receive feedback about how ONS can best support and partner with the efforts of each of the council’s work. ONS is currently engaging the Belding Woods, Parchester Village, Coronado, Santa Fe, Historic Iron Triangle, Park Plaza, Cortez-Stege, Pullman, and Shields-Reid Neighborhood Councils.
11. Public Works Reports
This past week, the Streets Division grinded and paved Yuba from Solano to McBryde. Next week, crews are scheduled to resurface 20th and 21st Streets from Barrett Avenue to Macdonald Avenue. Crack sealing work is continuing in areas throughout the City.
12. Recreation Highlights
The Recreation Department reports the following significant recent activities:
o The Recreation Department conducted a pilot sports only Summer Camp which concluded August 15, 2008. The camp was divided into bi-weekly sessions consisting of sports such as futsal, soccer, softball, basketball and volleyball. The camps successfully broadened the children’s experience in a variety of sports.
o The Recreation Department registered the Youth Flag Football League with the NFL. Official recognition allows the teams to receive licensed NFL equipment and provides eligibility to participate in NFL Regional Tournaments. The season will commence in September.
o The Recreation Department has established a fall Youth Futsal League due to the great success of the spring Youth Futsal League. Under 8 and Under 10 leagues will be offered on Sunday afternoons, while the Under 13 league will be held on Monday evenings.
o The Recreation Department, in collaboration with RPAL, is cosponsoring the Junior Giants and Saint Mary’s Hospital in the organization of the Richmond Health Fair to be held on Friday, September 12th from 12 noon to 3:00 pm at the Richmond Recreation Complex. As part of the participation of the Recreation Department, Saint Mary’s Hospital is providing a $500 stipend to be used for recreation programs.
o Recreation Department staff member Allen Moore will receive the Junior Giants Willie Mac Award on Saturday, September 6, 2008 along with 8 of the league players during the Home Plate Ceremony at the San Francisco Giants game. The Recreation Department collaborates with Richmond PAL to provide support to the Junior Giants organization.
13. Web Site Fun Facts
In City of Richmond’s top 20 web pages visited, aside from pages like Jobs, Library and Police, it is interesting to note that community members seem to be finding the information that they are looking for by using our various modules.
Here are the rankings for fiscal year 2008 of the modules visited as the first page visited, with the community member then leaving the site without visiting any other pages.
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