|City Manger's Weekly Report for the Week Ending February 26th, 2010
February 27, 2010
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending February 26th, 2010.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 2nd beginning with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM, and with regular agenda items commencing at 6:30 PM.
This past week, Finance staff met with representatives from MuniServices, the consulting firm that analyzes and forecasts the City’s sales tax trends. As expected, sales tax results for the third quarter of 2009 have continued their downward trend. The positive news is that the downward spiral, while still going down, seems to be leveling out, and the low point might have passed in the second quarter of 2009. For the State of California as a whole, the second quarter of 2009 (April 2009 through June 2009) saw the biggest drop in sales taxes since 1946. The 2009 third quarter (July 2009 through September 2009) sales tax numbers dropped 13% for the City, and 14.8% for the State, compared to the same period last year. Finance staff will continue to closely monitor the actual revenue submitted by the State Board of Equalization, the local trends developing in Richmond, and the projections provided by MuniServices. For FY2010-11, preliminary indications show a decline of about 5%, or $900,000, compared to revenue received in FY2009-10.
Click here for a letter from Upstream Point Molate, LLC, which is to satisfy their requirement under the Land Disposition Agreement to provide a semi-annual status report on their progress.
As you may recall, on November 21, 2006, the City Council voted to approve a Municipal Services Agreement (MSA) for the Scotts Valley Casino project that is proposed for development in unincorporated North Richmond. The MSA provides, among other things, that the City will receive, in exchange for the provision of specified City services: (1) a nonrecurring payment of $8,234,500, $7.1 million of which is earmarked for fire protection and the remainder of which is earmarked for police and public works, (2) an annual contribution of $6 million in years one and two, $8 million in years three and four, $9 million in years five and six, and $9 million adjusted annually by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in years seven to 20, and (3) an annual payment of $7,459,700, adjusted annually by the CPI, for the 20-year term of the MSA, intended to fund salaries for new police, fire, and public works personnel and equipment. The approval of the MSA was legally challenged, with the plaintiffs contending that the approval was unlawful because the City was required to conduct an environmental review under CEQA before entering into the agreement. In September of 2008, the superior court upheld the legal challenge, and the ruling was subsequently appealed. It should be noted that all legal challenges were defended by the Scotts Valley tribe, which also bore the cost of the appeal.
The City received notice yesterday that the appellate court ruled in its favor on the appeal in this legal matter. The court held that the MSA was not subject to CEQA, reversing the trial court's decision. Specifically, the court held that the casino was not a "project" for CEQA purposes, and that neither the City's expression of support for the casino nor the identification of physical improvements contemplated in the MSA were subject to CEQA review at this time.
The attorneys who handled this case for the tribe anticipate that opposing counsel will file a petition for review in the California Supreme Court.
City of Richmond employees celebrated “The History of Black Economic Empowerment” as part of the 10th Annual City of Richmond Employee Black History Celebration which was held today in the Auditorium. It was an outstanding event that included remarks by Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, Councilmember Nat Bates, the City Manager, Assistant City Attorney Everett Jenkins, entertainment by comedian Shea Suga, and Chicago Style Stepping by Finance Department employee Tammi Edwards and instructor Damone Hodges. Finance Director Jim Goins was the keynote speaker for the event, reflecting on his career and the influence that those like former Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson and former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley had on black economic empowerment and on his own empowerment. Thanks to the Black History Committee (employees Tammi Edwards, Theresa Austin, Sharon Scott, Crystal Clark, Charlotte Dennis, Stacie Plummer), and Leah Clark, Rod Williams, KCRT, the Recreation Department, and the Information Technology Department for their significant help with this successful event.
The Bayview branch library is closed indefinitely while under repair. To continue providing services, story time will be moved to Crescent Park Family Resource Center beginning Monday, March 8th. Sheila Dickinson, children’s librarian, will conduct the popular story times, which begin at 10:30 AM.
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!
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