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  City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending January 29th, 2010
January 30, 2010

Mayor and Councilmembers:

This is the weekly report for the week ending January 29th, 2010.

  • Meeting Notes

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 2nd, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM and followed by the regular agenda at 6:30 PM.

  • Bookmobile Librarian Drives “Bookapalooza” Grant

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), administers a grant program titled “Bookapalooza.”  Under the program, 10,000 items published in 2009 are divided for distribution to grant recipients.  These items include books, audio CDs, and DVDs, with the recipient library paying only for shipping (estimated cost range is $300 to $400).

Following the July 2009 American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Chicago, bookmobile librarian Odette Batis applied for the “Bookapalooza” grant.  Only members of the ALSC and the ALA are eligible to apply, and Ms. Batis used her personnel development money to join this organization.  Ms. Batis was notified this week that she had received the grant for the Richmond Public Library.

Because of Ms. Batis’ efforts, the Richmond library will receive about 1,000 items at the end of February.  With an average price of $15 an item ($15,000), this is a tremendous addition to our materials budget.  Way to go Ms. Batis!

  • Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) Bay Area Economic Outlook Conference

On Tuesday, January 26th, several Finance Department staff members attended ABAG’s annual Bay Area Economic Outlook Conference.  The presenters at the conference shared data from different economic indicators and trends that are used to demonstrate the current state of the economy as well as financial forecasting.

The consensus of the ABAG and State economists is that, while the recession is technically over, the pain is not.  While many indicators seem to be leveling off, the loss over the past two years is so severe, that recovery will be slow, with no growth expected during 2010, and very limited growth in 2011.  California’s job growth from late 2007 to the third quarter of 2009 was -6.4%, and its personal income growth for the same period was -2.1%.  California’s unemployment rate for December 2009 was 12.4%, and is expected to remain high through 2010.

  • Lillie Mae Jones Plaza Moves One Step Closer to Construction

The Redevelopment Agency has closed the initial portion of its permanent loan for the Lillie Mae Jones Plaza, a new construction project located in the Iron Triangle at Macdonald Avenue and Second Street, consisting of 26 supportive rental units.  All of these units are reserved for families, including those who once were homeless, at or below 60% area median income.  The $2,491,000 loan consists of federal Home Investment Partnership (HOME) funds and local redevelopment housing bond funds.  The Agency will close the remainder of its funding commitment, which will include Federal Section 108 loan guarantee funds, in March.  The Community Housing Development Corporation of North Richmond and the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation are the development partners.  They expect to start site work in February, and commence construction in March 2010.  Project completion is scheduled for May 2011.

  • Grand Opening of The Arbors Set for February 4th at 4:00 p.m.

The Mayor and City Councilmembers are invited to attend the February 4th celebration of the completion of The Arbors “green rehabilitation” project and new community room.  The Arbors is a 36 unit affordable housing project located at 5257 Creely Avenue.  Resources for this community development project is the developer and the partners include Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC); the California Department of Housing & Community Development; the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD); Federal Home Loan Bank; Union Bank; California Bank & Trust, and the Richmond Community Redevelopment Agency’s Housing & Community Development Division.  Please advise development project manager Charice Duckworth in Redevelopment at (510) 412-2052 if you plan to attend.

  • Update on Public Works Projects


  • The construction of the Hilltop Richmond Police Department substation is at 99% completion.  A ribbon cutting ceremony will be scheduled by the Police Department.
  • After the last couple of weeks of stormy weather, the reroofing of the Richmond Fire Department’s Station number 64 has re-started.  The project now stands at 25% completion.


  • A proposed new Civic Center Marquee incorporating an electronic message board was approved this week by the Design Review Board.
  • The City’s tree crew responded to 25 large and/or hazardous tree conditions caused by recent heavy rain storms.  Numerous other storm responses have also been made in conjunction with other City crews.  Tree related damages have been light overall compared to storms of previous years, in part due to a proactive effort to target potentially hazardous trees prior to the rainy season.


  • Auto Warehousing is Hiring for Their Port of Richmond Operation

Auto Warehousing Company (AWC) has been in business since 1962 and is now the largest full auto servicing and processing company in the nation. It has operations at various locations in throughout U.S., Canada, and Mexico.  They are currently seeking to fill up to 30 positions for their Port of Richmond operation.

The successful candidates must be able to pass a safe driving and rail safety quiz with 80% or better (training provided); be able to lift up to 50 pounds overhead and push/pull/carry up to 85 pounds; climb a ladder and work at heights 15 ft above the ground; work in confined space with ceilings heights as low as 60"; be able to drive both automatic and manual automobiles; follow instructions and safety standards; and ability to read/write/comprehend basic English.

Applicants must also have a valid drivers’ license and a good driving record, and must be able to pass a physical, drug screen, and background check.  Applicants must apply in person at: Auto Warehousing Company;
1311 Canal Boulevard, Richmond; Monday – Friday 8:00 AM - 3:30 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