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  City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending May 21st, 2010
May 22, 2010

Mayor and Councilmembers:

This is the weekly report for the week ending May 21st, 2010.

  • Meeting Notes


The next City Council meeting will be on Tuesday, May 25th beginning with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM, followed by the regular meeting agenda (mostly presentations and study sessions) at 6:30 PM.

  • “One Block at a Time” Redeploys Tomorrow


The next “One Block at a Time” (OBAT) event will occur tomorrow (Saturday) May 22nd, rain or shine, from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PMAs you will recall, OBAT is a neighborhood focused code enforcement, neighborhood clean up, and infrastructure “refresh.”  The OBAT target area is once again in the Iron Triangle, focusing on portions of 5th, 6th and 7th Streets.  The staging area will be on Ripley Avenue between 6th Street and Mathews Court.

The OBAT planners are expecting a large turn out of volunteers and members of the community.

  • City of Richmond EOC Exercise


On Wednesday, May 19th, an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) exercise was conducted beginning at 7:30 AM (after the 12:30 AM conclusion of the City Council meeting on the previous evening!).  A hazardous materials release scenario was utilized in measuring our preparedness for such an incident.  First-in command and some second-in command EOC staff were notified through the Richmond Communication Center's “One Call Now” telephone notification system.  They were told to respond to the EOC in the basement of City Hall for an incident briefing.  This was one of three collaborative tabletop exercises being conducted simultaneously in the City of Richmond. The other locations were the State Department of Health and Kaiser Hospital.

Highlights from the exercise included meeting the following five objectives:

  • Successfully testing and implementing the “One Call Now” EOC telephone notification system;


    • The EOC was activated within 5 minutes of the call;
    • Five of the seven EOC Sections (Management, Finance/Administration, Logistics, Police Operations, Fire Operations, Public Works Operations and Planning/Intelligence) were activated within 23 minutes of the initial phone notification.


    • 54% of staff reported within the first hour, 81% within the first 90 minutes.
  • Successfully practicing problem solving in a group setting;


  • Achieving a better understanding of EOC roles and responsibilities while working within the Incident Command System (ICS) structure;
  • Successfully identifying available needed resources;


  • Gaining a greater awareness of the effort needed when responding to a hazardous material incident; and understanding the importance of activating the Community Warning System as soon as possible.

In the past nineteen years, the EOC has been activated forty-nine times, including drills and actual incidents.  This was our first exercise in the new EOC since coming back to the renovated Civic Center complex.

Thanks go out to Emergency Services Manager Kathy Gerk, and members of the exercise design team, Ofelia Alvarez, Jerry Anderson, Michael Banks, Chris Castanchoa, Courtney Creswell, Greg Hardesty, Sue Hartman, Carroll Holthaus, Everett Jenkins, Robyn Kain, Edric Kwan, Cecily McMahan, Ed Medina and Jeff Simas for making this drill a success. 

  • California Cities Gang Prevention Network Meeting


City of Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus and Neighborhood Safety Director DeVone Boggan joined mayors, police chiefs and other California city leaders in Sacramento for a meeting of the California Cities Gang Prevention Network.

The California Cities Gang Prevention Network seeks to reduce gang-related violence and victimization through cross-city peer learning, identifying and implementing best practices, and initiating state and federal policy changes to support local practice.  Participating network cities include Richmond, Fresno, Los Angeles, Oakland, Oxnard, Sacramento, Salinas, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San José, Santa Rosa and Stockton. 

Meeting participants learned how a balanced and collaborative approach utilizing prevention, intervention and enforcement can successfully reduce gang violence.  They also explored the role of state and federal governments in supporting municipalities’ gang reduction efforts, including ways to make funding streams more flexible for local gang prevention efforts.

US Attorney General Eric Holder also addressed the group on emerging federal policies and intergovernmental partnerships for reducing gang violence in cities.

The 13-city Network is sponsored by the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Institute for Youth, Education and Families and the National Council on Crime and Delinquency and is supported by grants from the California Wellness Foundation and the California Endowment, with earlier support from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, the East Bay Community Foundation and the Richmond Children’s Fund.  Kaiser Permanente provided additional support for this meeting.

  • Richmond Youth Media Productions Presents “Who I Am”


For the past 4 years, Richmond Youth Media Productions has been training young people in West Contra Costa County to create their own polished and compelling television programs addressing topics of interest to them and their community. Several members of the Richmond Police Department have worked closely with Program Director Paul Shain and others to get this off the ground and the results are very exciting.

Richmond Youth Media have announced the premier screening of the first of a series of ½ hour television programs made entirely by young people for young people in greater Richmond and beyond.  The series seeks to dispel the traditional negative views of Richmond youth by highlighting Richmond youth leaders across a wide community spectrum.

The season premier will be held at Richmond High School’s Little Theatre on Friday, June 4th from 10:15 AM to 10:45 AM.  A reception for participants, supporters and press will be held on the stage after the screening.

Richmond Youth Media Productions is generously supported by Chevron, the City of Richmond Community Fund, the Richmond Police Department, the West Contra County Unified School District, Richmond YouthWORKS, the Zellerbach Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation and others.

  • Office of Neighborhood Safety Activities


Lifeskills Graduation

On May 17th, the Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) in partnership with the IMPACT Program and Project Pride facilitated its first Life Skills Training graduation in the City of Richmond.  Fifteen program graduates, family and friends attended the ceremony held in North Richmond at the Project Pride community facility where the 20 weeks of life skill training were held.   ONS staff, IMPACT facilitators, Project Pride staff, IMPACT board member Lesa Macintosh, and City of Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin were in attendance.

Lifelines to Healing Initiative Conference

ONS participated in the Lifelines to Healing Initiative Conference held in Oakland where the focus was on the community impact of urban violence and the role of clergy and congregations to stem the tide of this violence. 

  • Via Verde Sinkhole Update


Significant activities this past week related to effectuating the repair of the sinkhole on Via Verde were as follows:

  • The expedited bid process for the temporary 2-lane access road across the cemetery property adjacent to El Portal was completed.  Bids for construction of the access road were received today and are currently being reviewed.


  • The City Attorney’s Office is still waiting for a response from the cemetery trust attorney for permission to use cemetery property.
  • West County Wastewater District is coordinating with PG&E for power service, to route the sewer line through Creekview Condominiums and San Pablo Creek.


  • Nichols staff has been in contact with various agencies, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, for permitting purposes.


  • California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) continues to gather information on the sinkhole and will make a determination if they will advise the Governor to proclaim an emergency. 
  • Trash Assessment Conducted for Compliance with New Municipal Regional Stormwater National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit


During the last two weeks in April, the City and the Watershed Project conducted trash assessments in four locations in Richmond for compliance with the Water Board’s newly issued NPDES Permit.  Community members, student groups and Baxter, Chevron, and JC Penny employees joined the clean-up efforts.  Led by Lynn Scarpa, Stormwater Program Manager, one hundred and twenty (120) volunteers removed and categorized over a thousand pounds of trash from: 1) Baxter Creek by San Pablo Avenue, 2) Shimada Beach, 3) Garrity Creek upstream of Garrity Lake, and 4) Wildcat Creek in the East Bay Regional Park off the parkway.

Polystyrene was the largest percentage of the trash removed, followed by plastic bags and other plastic pieces.  Baxter Creek and Shimada Beach are on the State’s impaired water body listing for trash.  Each site clean-up removed all visual pieces of trash as required by the new NDPES permit.  These trash tallies will be used for source identification, tracking trash load reductions and in preparing a long term trash load reduction plan to achieve a “no trash impairment goal” by 2022.

  • “Bringing Back the Natives” Tour


The “Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour” featured six Richmond gardens and two Richmond nurseries this year.  City staff, in a coordinated effort with the Watershed Project, provided answers to participant’s questions about gardening without pesticides.  The City of Richmond stormwater program supports the tour since these gardens are pesticide free.  Pesticides applied around homes and in residential gardens create the largest source of pesticides in our waterways.   Tour participants received a garden guide with information on gardening without pesticides.  The six gardens received 1,360 visits. Tour registrants included 283 Richmond residents.

  • Public Works Updates


  • Public Works crews will continue monitoring the Via Verdi sinkhole for proper traffic and pedestrian conditions, erosion control, weather conditions, etc., during the current sinkhole soils investigation and future repair construction design phases.
  • Work continues on the Main Library roof parapet to prevent water leaks. Works also continues on the Bay View library floor finishing. This work is expected to be completed by the first week in June.


  • The Streets Paving crew completed the paving of West Richmond Avenue from Park Plaza to Dornan Drive at the tunnel entrance and 6th Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and Ripley Avenue this week.  Note that the work on 6th Street is in coordination with the “One Block at a Time” program.
  • Next week, the Streets paving crew will be exclusively dedicated to repairing potholes throughout the city.


  • Community Meetings on FY 2010/11 Budget

This past week, the fifth of seven scheduled community budget presentations was conducted at the Nevin Community Center.  The two remaining meeting dates and locations are:

May 27th            7:15 p.m.        Annex Senior Center
                                                   5801 Huntington Ave.

May 27th            8:00 p.m.        Sojourner Truth Church
                                                   2621 Shane Dr.

  • Recreation Department Update


The following are highlights from the Recreation Department for the current week:

  • Camping:  The Recreation Department, Youth Activities section, will escort two youth to a Leadership Training Camp at the San Luis Reservoir on Saturday, May 22nd.  The camp is sponsored by the Outdoor Youth Connections/Pacific Leadership Institute and is free for Richmond youth.


  • Bike Trip:  On Wednesday, May 19th, the Recreation Department, Youth Activities section, took 10 students from Wilson Elementary School on a free bike ride to the North Richmond shoreline area where a representative from the East Bay Regional Park District engaged the youth in games and activities about the environment and the Watershed.
  • Drop-In Futsal:  There are currently 18 participants registered for the adult indoor soccer program on Wednesdays from 6:00 to 8:30 PM at the Richmond Recreation Complex.  Registration is $15 per month.


  • Sailing:  The Recreation Department will escort 15 students from the after-school program at Peres Elementary School on a sailing trip around the bay on Sunday, May 23rd.  The trip is conducted through the Treasure Island Sailing Center.
  • 28th Annual Senior Health Information Fair:  The Recreation Department senior program, in collaboration with the Commission on Aging, held its 28th Annual Senior Health and Information Fair on Tuesday, May 25th at the Richmond Auditorium.  Commission on Aging Commissioners, and Youth Works participants volunteered while 70 vendors serviced over 250 participants.  Numerous health screenings were offered in addition to information on community programs and services, and senior mediation and legal services.  A healthy box lunch was sold for $3 and entertainment included line dancers, dance troupes and a senior chorale group.  Free door prize tickets were given to everyone who attended, with prizes ranging from $25 gift cards to a 19” flat screen TV.


  • Adminstrative Chief Janet Schneider is Leaving the Richmond Staff

I’m sorry to report that Janet Schneider, one of the key staff members in the City Manager’s office, and in the City of Richmond organization, is taking an early retirement and will leave city employment this summer.

Janet has been in the City Manager’s office for 4½ years, and has made remarkable contributions in the area of sustainability programs, in managing critical interdepartmental projects, and in tackling some of the most difficult organizational challenges that I was able to hand off to her.  The quality of her work has been nothing short of exemplary, and her positive impact on the organization will be felt for years to come.   She will be missed.

  • Web Site Update


The ABAG Urban Design Award Video has been placed on the City’s website.  Hover over    Government -> Awards to access the video.


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!


You can sign up to receive the City Manager’s weekly report and other information from the City of Richmond by visiting:


Bill Lindsay
City Manager
City of Richmond
450 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, California 94804-1630
Phone:  510-620-6512
Fax:  510-620-6542
E-mail:  bill_lindsay@ci.richmond.ca.us