|City Manager's Weekly Report for the
Week Ending September 5th, 2008
September 6, 2008
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending September 5th, 2008.
1. Meeting Notes
The next regular City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 16th.
2. City Hall Holiday Schedule
The City offices will be closed on Tuesday, September 9th in observance of Admissions Day.
3. Community and Economic Development Presentations at State Conference
This past week, the City of Richmond’s Community & Economic Development Department (CED) was featured in two presentations concerning effective collaboration and program implementation at this year’s Meeting of the Minds Workforce Conference in Monterey. The annual conference was attended by over 350 workforce development professionals from throughout the state representing sectors from education, workforce preparation, labor, and business.
The first panel presentation highlighted CED’s model for effective collaboration, resource sharing, aligning service priorities, and program development. The panel speakers included Steve Duran (CED), Tim Jones (Richmond Housing Authority), Patrick Lynch (Housing & Community Development), and Sal Vaca (Employment & Training [E&T]).
The second panel presentation was on the Richmond BUILD (RB) Pre-apprenticeship Construction Skills & Solar Installation training program. The panel speakers included Fred Lucero (RB), Michele McGeoy and Angela Greene (Solar Richmond), and Sal Vaca (E & T). Both workshops were well attended and were rated as “outstanding” in the evaluations completed by the audience. The Richmond BUILD presentation had a standing room only audience for a video presentation and discussion of the training program, and apparently created quite a buzz among the conference attendees. Several attendees requested copies of the Richmond BUILD video to take back to their communities to share with others and to initiate discussions with potential partners and elected officials on replicating the very successful and effective job training model. Richmond BUILD continues to be widely recognized as a “best practice” for “green collar” job training.
4. Richmond Fire Department Receives Federal Grant
The City of Richmond Fire Department has been awarded $224,957 through the very competitive Assistance to Firefighters grant program from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The grant will enable the department to initiate a comprehensive health and wellness program for its department employees. The program has been designed to improve fitness, job performance, and morale while reducing risk of injury and personnel costs. Key community partners include Kaiser Permanente and the YMCA, which will provide services to the program.
5. Statewide Sales Tax Reporting Compliance and Outreach Program
The City of Richmond will be participating in the State Board of Equalization’s Statewide Compliance and Outreach Program (SCOP). SCOP focuses on identifying and registering business that are operating without the proper licenses.
The goal of SCOP is to ensure that all businesses are properly registered and reporting their taxes and fees. To achieve this goal, SCOP advises business owners about when they need a seller’s permit and how to report and remit their taxes due. SCOP will monitor the ongoing compliance of newly registered businesses, reduce the number of businesses operating without a valid seller’s permit and business license, and enhance the awareness of businesses on the consequences of tax evasion.
The SCOP teams will conduct door-to-door visits based on zip code. At each visit, SCOP specialists will:
· Identify themselves and show identification,
· Check for a business license and other required fee permits and licenses,
· Review license/permit to verify that it is updated with the correct information,
· Review if the business is reporting its sales and use taxes properly,
· Provide information and assistance to the business owner on sales and use tax reporting responsibilities, and
· Answer owner’s questions.
If the SCOP specialists find that a business is reporting its taxes incorrectly, they will advise the business to file amended returns, including filing a Claim for Refund if the business has overpaid taxes. In some instances, the businesses may be referred for an audit. The Business License division of the Finance Department will be working closely with the SCOP team; as the SCOP team completes each area, they will provide a report to the City which lists all unlicensed businesses.
6. City Again Receives Award for Outstanding Financial Reporting
Each year, the City prepares its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The purpose of the CAFR is to provide information on the City’s financial performance for the past fiscal year, and is presented in three sections:
· The Introductory Section contains information about the organizational structure of the City, and the profile of the City.
· The Financial Section is prepared in accordance with guidelines set forth by the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) and includes the Management’s Discussion and Analysis, Basic Financial Statements, Notes to the Financial Statements, and certain required supplementary information. Also included in this section is the Independent Auditor’s Report.
· The Statistical Section includes ten years of summary financial data, debt computations and a variety of demographic, economic and social information about the City.
For the second year in a row, the City has received the Award for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO) for the CAFR for the year ending June 30, 2007 (the most recent year). This award serves as recognition for the City’s success in preparing a high quality CAFR and can be viewed as a positive factor by credit rating agencies and by others interested in the professionalism of the City’s financial management function.
The CAFR for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007 can be found on the city’s website at http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/index.asp?NID=1000.
6. Residential Lateral Repair Program
As you may recall, the City of Richmond Engineering Department administers a program to provide financial assistance to property owners who undertake sewer lateral repairs. The purpose of the program is to encourage property owners to make such repairs, which has a beneficial impact on the City’s sewer system by reducing infiltration. In administering the program, however, Engineering Department staff has recently noticed some very high sewer lateral repair invoices being submitted to property owners. As a result, the Department will increase its public information on this issue to make sure that residents are getting a fair deal from contractors. Their intent is to advise property owners that:
1. The contractor should be licensed and bonded;
2. The average lateral repair costs between $3,500 to $6,000; including the installation of a 2-way clean out and a backflow prevention device;
3. It is advisable to get a minimum of three bids for the work.
On the whole, the program is successful in encouraging sewer lateral repairs, with the city nearly already reaching the fiscal year’s $100,000 limit for the grant program.
7. Web Site Fun Facts
Many community members prefer to use the Search Box to find information more expediently than by browsing the web site. Others may use it if they aren’t finding what they are looking for.
Here are the top 25 search terms for fiscal year 2007-08: This information assists the IT Department in ensuring that the desired information is easy to locate on the website.
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