|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending July 16th, 2010
July 17, 2010
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending July 16th, 2010.
The next meeting of the City Council will be a special study session on Tuesday, July 20th at 1:00 PM to initiate discussions regarding long term financial planning. The City Council will convene later that day for its regular meeting, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM, followed by the regular agenda at 6:30 PM.
I have the unhappy task of reporting to you that a valuable member of the management team is leaving the City of Richmond. Monique le Conge, the outstanding Director of Library and Cultural Services, will be resigning effective at the end of this summer.
Monique has done an excellent job in her six years with the City. Among her accomplishments have been reopening two remodeled branch libraries, refacing the bookmobile, expanding hours, providing outreach to many community facilities and juvenile hall, planning for the remodeling at the Main Library (to begin late summer/fall 2010), and laying the planning groundwork for a Main Library replacement. The City’s programs for children, teens, and adults are robust, LEAP is generating more and more success with GED graduates (see item 7 of this report), and Arts & Culture has several exciting projects in the works for this fall and spring 2011. She has contributed along with her staff to relevant, responsive, and innovative programs and collaborations, such as the community garden, film discussion series at the branches, and the Seed-Lending Library, which this week won an East Bay Express “Best of the East Bay 2010” for - Best Seed-Lending Library (see item 3 of this report).
This list of accomplishments just grazes the surface in describing her positive impact on the community and on the organization. Monique brings a wonderfully broad perspective regarding City service as a member of the management team, and her insights will be greatly missed. She leaves a great legacy that we can hope to continue to build upon.
The Richmond Public Library has been notified that it has been selected as an East Bay Express “Best of the East Bay 2010” for Best Seed-Lending Library this week! A project of the Richmond Rivets, the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library (http://www.richmondgrows.org/index.html) is now a fiscally sponsored project of Urban Tilth and can accept tax-deductible donations. Richmond Grows will be giving private orientations to all Urban Tilth staff and apprentices next week, and has the first Spanish-language orientation coming up on July 27th. The project will be featured in an upcoming article in the San Francisco Chronicle. Additionally, the Richmond Grows web site has an online orientation and videos to help other libraries throughout the country set up their own seed-lending libraries.
You can view the digital version of the Best of the East Bay issue here: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/general/flash/07-14-2010/ (see page 63).
The City of Richmond needs the help of every resident to help improve the appearance and safety of the City. There is a proven relationship between the physical environment (graffiti, illegal dumping, etc.) and crime. The sooner we clean up these problems, the more effectively we send the message “We are watching--AND we DO CARE!”
The Police Department’s Code Enforcement Unit is encouraging community members to make a special effort to note graffiti, dumping, streetlights out, etc., and has now made it very easy to report these issues. An easy way to do this is to place this NEW hotline number for reporting graffiti and dumping in your cell phone:
Callers also have the option of receiving the outgoing message in Spanish. Messages can be left 24/7 and will be checked daily. Callers need not leave their name; all that is needed is a description of the problem and the location.
The California Preservation Foundation has advised the City that the Richmond Memorial Civic Center Rehabilitation Project has been selected for a 2010 Preservation Design Award in the Large Rehabilitation category. This is a very prestigious award, which will be formally presented in October. In 2009, the Ford Assembly Building was a winner in the Sustainability category. The Richmond Plunge will be nominated next year.
The Literacy for Every Adult Project (L.E.A.P.) looked at end-of-the-fiscal year statistics and their completion rates for students taking their GED. In the last 3 years, their GED pass rate is a remarkable 90%.
On July 15th, the City sold $10.85 million of its 2010-11 Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRAN), at cost of .60 basis points (bps). In November 2009, the City sold $17.8 million of its 2009-2010 TRAN to a private investor, Western Asset Management Company (WAMCO). Because the City paid all of its set-asides on time for the $17.8 million TRAN, and has very strong coverage of liquidity sources totaling $23.5 million, WAMCO decided they would take the entire issue of the City’s $10.85 million TRAN at .25 bps lower than our previous issue. Other cities, such the city of Los Angeles issued a TRAN in June 2010 at a cost of .70 bps. Other investors like Schwab, Union Banc, Wells Fargo and Federated looked at the City’s TRAN issue but did not offer a rate better than .60 bps.
As previously reported, the note will carry the highest credit rating from Standard & Poor’s of “SP-1+”. The proceeds of the note will be used to finance the City’s operating cash needs for fiscal year 2010-11.
The Northern California Solar Energy Association (NorCal Solar), a non-profit solar education organization, released data this last week showing that the San Francisco Bay area leads California in new solar installations. Significantly, among large cities (cities greater than 100,000 in population), the City of Richmond had the highest number of installed watts per capita for 2009. Leaders in the large city category for solar installations in 2009 included:
San Francisco – 1st place for total number of new systems
Data from NorCal Solar highlight the significant growth of solar energy installations for 122 cities in 10 Bay Area Counties for 2009. These data also reflect the increase in solar installations in the Bay Area since the California Solar Initiative (CSI) launched in 2007. The CSI is a10 year incentive program with a goal of installing 1,940 megawatts of solar power on the equivalent of one million rooftops. The data reveal that, since the implementation of the California Solar Initiative, the Bay Area has accounted for 46% of the State’s new installed systems and 40% of added total megawatts.
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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