|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending July 23rd, 2010
July 24, 2010
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending July 23rd, 2010.
The final City Council meeting prior to the August hiatus will be on Tuesday, July 27th beginning with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM, the Employee and Manager of the Year presentations at 6:00 PM, and the regular City Council agenda at 6:30 PM. While the fourth Tuesday meeting of each month is generally reserved for study sessions, this meeting contains regular business items as well because of the August break. Following the meeting on July 27th, the next regular City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 7th.
Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, Vice-Mayor Jeff Ritterman, Councilmember Maria Viramontes, City Attorney Randy Riddle, and the City Manager attended a mediation session regarding the Chevron hydrogen renewal project this past Thursday in Sacramento. Assemblyman Mike Feuer presided over the mediation, which also included representatives from Chevron and from Communities for a Better Environment and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. Other than the fact that this meeting took place, there is nothing to report at this time and we will keep you informed.
The construction of the emergency temporary two-lane bypass road around the Via Verdi sinkhole began on Monday, July 19th. The bypass road will include: 1) two lanes for traffic, 2) a three-way stop sign on El Portal Drive, 3) temporary street lights, and 4) a four foot wide pedestrian path separated from the vehicular lanes by bollards. The path will include accessible curb ramps on El Portal Drive and on Via Verdi. The bypass road will be routed through the neighboring cemetery property and is expected to open to traffic in one month.
Via Verdi access to the impacted Sobrante Glen neighborhood will remain uninterruptedduring construction. When the bypass road is completed, traffic will be shifted from Via Verdi to the bypass road. Then the sinkhole area and adjacent portions of Via Verdi will be excavated to initiate the investigation phase, to determine the cause of the sinkhole.
A local neighborhood clean-up will be held this weekend at John F. Kennedy High School, which is open only to those neighborhoods in that particular location. In conjunction with the event, the Engineering Services Department’s Source Control Program will host a “No Drugs Down the Drain” at which residents may bring their medications in for proper disposal.
As you may recall from back in January and April, the City, in conjunction with the YMCA of the East Bay, the Richmond Community Foundation, and Supervisor John Gioia’s office, helped convene meetings of representatives of various community collaborative efforts. At the two past meetings, spokespersons for these efforts had the opportunity to present their projects and share their experiences, key learning outcomes, and best practices. One specific outcome of these meetings was a grant application from a broad cross section of non-profit agencies in Richmond for the federal Promise Neighborhoods program. This means that only one consolidated Promise Neighborhoods grant application came out of Richmond, which, we believe, causes it to be more desirable for this highly competitive program.
The third “One Richmond” collaborative meeting took place today (Friday), at which there was an interest in continuing this effort, adding perhaps some additional structure around data sharing, building a service directory, and building technical capacity. We will continue to keep you informed as these efforts continue.
This past week, the Finance Department processed a payment of $1.5 million to the West Contra Costa Unified School District. This payment represents the City’s efforts to prevent the closure of schools in Richmond for the 2010-2011 academic year.
Whether community members are just looking for something good to read, or trying to complete the Adult Summer Reading Program Bingo card to win prizes, the Richmond Public Library has added some hand-selected book lists to its website (www.richmondlibrary.org) to help locate the perfect book. Interested community members simply need to scroll over Book Lists on the library’s home page, scroll over Adult Summer Reading Book Lists, and then click on the list that they want. Each list includes links to the library catalog and a printer-friendly version of the list. Library staff has also added Book Lists for children, to help them find books similar to some of the more popular children’s series, such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Harry Potter.
The Richmond Main Street “Music on the Main” concert series continues at the FoodsCo Shopping Center at Macdonald Avenue and Marina Way on Wednesday, July 28th with Andre Thierry. The Richmond Police Athletic League (RPAL) Empowering Youth Through Music’s Youth Ensemble will also be featured. The program, which will run from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM, includes gospel, R&B, soul and youth jams. The event offers great music, games, food and fun for free.
Talented musicians from the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts provided the community with a free noon time concert in the Civic Center Plaza today (Friday), reminding all of those listening of what remarkable potential there is in this transformed Civic Center area. Hopefully, more such outdoor concerts are on the way.
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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