|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week
Ending April 3rd, 2009
April 3, 2009
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending April 3rd, 2009.
1. Meeting Notes
The next regular City Council meeting is Tuesday, April 7th, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM. It will be followed by a scheduled short Redevelopment meeting in advance of the regular City Council agenda at 7:00 PM.
2. Web Page Established to Monitor Fiscal Stimulus Money
A new page on the City’s web site has been established for those who would like to monitor City of Richmond activity pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) (the “fiscal stimulus”). The page provides a description of the program, how much money the City has received to date under the program ($6,877,486), and what funding applications have been submitted and are pending. We will continue to keep this information up to date, and will add new information concerning how these dollars are being spent locally. The link to this web page is provided below:
3. Successful Prosecution of Illegal Dumper (Part 2)
Last week, I reported about the successful prosecution of an illegal dumper in the City of Richmond. Trish Aljoe, the City’s attorney in the Code Enforcement division of the Police Department, has reported that she obtained another conviction today for violation of the Richmond ordinance banning illegal dumping (another rental U-Haul truck caper).
The convicted dumper is Danny Mitchell, who received a $250 fine (no restitution was made to the City because the Richmond police officers cleverly made Mitchell and his co-defendant put all the garbage and junk back into the U-Haul, and then they impounded it); 40 hours community service to be done in Richmond by picking up trash and garbage in the streets, empty lots, parks, etc., which must be completed within 90 days; and 3 years court probation.
His co-defendant, Hozie Evans, is still missing, with a $10,000 no bail warrant out for him (for failing to appear).
Little by little we want to succeed in cleaning up the City using free labor by the very miscreants who treat Richmond as if it is the local dump.
4. Update on California Endowment “Building Healthy Cities” Project
As you will recall, the City learned this past December that it is one of 14 places selected for The California Endowment’s (TCE’s) strategic initiative of “Building Healthy Communities – places where children and youth are healthy, safe and ready to learn.” The City joins Central/West Fresno, South Sacramento, Del Norte, City Heights (San Diego), South Figueroa Corridor/Vermont-Manchester (Los Angeles), Boyle Heights, Long Beach, Santa Ana, Coachella, East Salinas, South Merced, East Oakland, and Arvin/Lamont (Kern County) as partners in TCE’s effort.
TCE outlines four specific long-range health outcomes for their investment:
· Reverse the youth obesity epidemic;
· Ensure all children have access to comprehensive and coordinated health services;
· Improve school attendance;
· Reduce youth violence.
This is an extremely important program in which the Richmond community has been selected for participation, and builds very effectively on the Community Health and Wellness Element of the City’s current General Plan effort.
As the first step in this “Building Healthy Communities” project, TCE has issued a request for each of these communities to submit a single grant proposal for a planning process toward achievement of the outcomes of the program. The proposal is to describe how the planning process will engage residents, leaders of community-based organizations, public agencies, and other stakeholders in development of a plan toward achievement of these outcomes. Note that the proposal for this planning process will not determine which organizations or activities ultimately participate or receive funding under the TCE program.
City staff members are participating in this facilitated proposal-making effort, and we will keep you informed as this project moves forward.
5. Measure T Implementation Update
The Business License division of the Finance Department has mailed out all renewal notices for businesses located in Richmond that had an expiration date through March. The remainder of the renewal notices will be mailed next week. The notices include the changes mandated by Measure T, including new expiration dates, credits based on the amount paid last year and the new rates. All payments relating to Measure T are due by April 15th.
6. Final Payment for Assessment District No. 852 (Cutting/Canal)
Improvement District No. 852 (the “Cutting-Canal Boulevard District”) is an assessment district organized by the City Council under the Improvement Bond Act for the purpose of financing the acquisition and construction of certain public improvements to serve property within the district. There are 65 total parcels within this district, which broadly lies around the intersection of Cutting and Canal Boulevards and near the interchanges with the Knox Freeway in the southwestern part of the City. A majority of the property in the district is zoned commercial/industrial. In 1991, the District issued $7,040,000 in bonds to fund street widening, median strips, undergrounding of utilities and other related improvements. As a result of surplus revenue accumulations, the bonds will be paid off a full year before their October 2010 maturity date; a savings of about $670,000 to the property owners. As well, the special tax levy associated with this bond issue will “sunset” at the end of the current fiscal year.
7. Library Hosts “Meet the Grantmakers” Event
On March 25th, the Richmond Public Library presented “Meet the Grantmakers: Focus on West Contra Costa County” to a group of 156 participants. The program was presented with The Foundation Center to allow a close-up look at grant funding in the region. Panelists described their organizations' funding programs and guidelines as well as provided “insider tips” for making a compelling case for funding requests. 97% of the respondents to the post-program evaluations felt that “they learned something from this class that will help me with my work.” A similar percentage “would recommend this program to others.”
8. Employee Meetings in Preparation for Civic Center Move
Over the past two weeks, there were two employee meetings (employees were to attend one of the two) in the refurbished auditorium regarding the move to the renovated City Hall. The meetings covered a number of topics, including a general layout of the civic center, LEED building maintenance and operation, amenities within the facility, and ways to keep the building looking professional as a focal point for the community. I also took the opportunity to provide employees with a general update on the state of the City. The meetings were well-attended, and I believe that everyone is looking forward to heading back to the civic center during the coming months, with the first group of employees occupying the building on April 20th.
9. Internal Budget Review
Management staff in all departments have completed their first round of meetings with the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, and Finance Director concerning the FY 2009-10 operating and capital improvement budgets. We are still on schedule to deliver to the City Council the proposed FY 2009-10 operating budget at the first City Council meeting in May, consistent with the ordinance adopted in 2007.
10. Richmond Library Selected to Participate in State-Sponsored Program on Volunteer Engagement
The Richmond Public Library has been selected to participate in an institute sponsored by the California State Library. Get Involved: Powered by Your Library is a statewide initiative of the California State Library to raise awareness among public libraries about how volunteer engagement can benefit both the library and the community; and to build the capacity of California’s public libraries to engage and support volunteers more effectively. The Institute will provide practical tools and knowledge to help libraries expand their engagement of high-skilled volunteers including baby boomers and the generations that follow. Richmond will send a group of participants, including library staff, LEAP staff, City of Richmond staff, and a community volunteer.
11. Recreation Highlights
The following are highlights from the Recreation Department for the current week:
§ CPRS District 3 Awards: The Recreation Department was presented with an Agency Showcase Award for the 56th Annual Snow Ball during the California Parks and Recreation Society (CPRS) District 3 Awards and Installation Celebration Dinner at the Shannon Community Center in Dublin on Thursday, April 2nd. In addition, recently retired staff member, Bill Kauppinen, received a Professional Service and Achievement Award for his dedication to Richmond.
§ MLK Community Center: The Recreation Department MLK Community Center held its 8th annual March Madness Competition on Friday, March 27th, from 3:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Twelve participants competed in a 3 point shoot-out and 9 teams played in a 2-on-2 tournament.
§ Treasure Hunt: The Recreation Department hosted a City Wide “Treasure Hunt” on Saturday, March 28th, 2009 from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the Memorial Auditorium Civic Center parking lot. Community members reserved 43 spaces for selling items and over 400 participants enjoyed the shopping and fellowship.
§ Recreation & Parks Commission: Recreation Department Director Keith Jabari, along with Recreation management staff, made a presentation to the Recreation & Parks Commission during the April 1st monthly meeting held at the Richmond Recreation Complex, at which they highlighted various programs and accomplishments by the Recreation Department during 2008 and 2009. In addition, highlights of the U.S. Youth Games were shown on DVD.
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