|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending january 28th, 2011
January 28, 2011
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending January 28th, 2011.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 1st, beginning with a closed session at 6:00 PM, followed by the regular agenda at 6:30 PM.
Subaru of America has chosen the Port of Richmond and Auto Warehousing Company (AWC) for the distribution of their Northern California and Southwest Region vehicles. Subaru currently operates at the Port of Vancouver, Washington. Subaru is interested in entering into a five-year contract with AWC for their vehicle distribution, with volumes in the range of 30,000 to 35,000 units annually. They will be able to use the recently developed infrastructure for the Honda Port of Entry project such as the rail facilities and upgraded wharf facilities.
City staff is currently conducting a thorough study of the environmental documentation required for the project under CEQA. The improvements at the Port that are necessary to accommodate the Subaru contract are to reestablish the accessory and vehicle repair work stations inside the existing buildings that were in place when the City provided similar service to Hyundai and Kia in 2004 to 2009. The projected start-up date for Subaru operations is June 2011.
I attended a budget briefing today hosted by State Senator Loni Hancock, at which both she and State Treasurer Bill Lockyer provided an extended presentation, with a question and answer session, on the State budget process. Councilmember Corky Boozé also attended the meeting. I have attached the presentation that was made by Mr. Lockyer that provides some background information regarding the issues that surround the budget.
Among the highlights at the meeting included that both Senator Hancock and Mr. Lockyer support the elimination of redevelopment as part of the budget solution (although Mr. Lockyer reminded the attendees that he does not have a vote on the budget), citing statistics that job creation resulting from redevelopment has been small in numbers. They both indicated that they would support a jobs bill in the form of “green building bonds” for energy efficiency improvements, where debt service is paid for out of energy savings (similar to the programs that the City of Richmond is already using to fund its energy retrofits). They both also believe that this is the first “honest” budget discussion in years, which doesn’t focus on “gimmicks and tricks” to balance the budget, and that, if the current temporary tax increases are not extended by voters at an upcoming special election, the effects on services will be devastating.
More information can be found in the attached presentation.
The Richmond Community Redevelopment Agency was one of eighteen Redevelopment Agencies chosen by the State Controller’s office for an audit review, which was completed during this past week. The objective of the audit review was to determine the RDA’s compliance with accounting, reporting, and administration under Health and Safety Code sections 33080 and 33080.3. The focus of the review was for fiscal years 2008-09 and 2009-10, and concentrated on reporting requirements, low to moderate income housing fund requirements, accounting requirements, and audit requirements with emphasis on compliance. The result of the State Controller’s Audit Review as stated in their report is that, “The City of Richmond Redevelopment Agency appears to be in compliance with the (Health and Safety) H&S Codes and (Revenue and Taxation) R&T Codes.” There were five items noted and discussed with the Richmond Community Redevelopment Agency at the exit conference. The Richmond Community Redevelopment Agency will prepare management responses to these items and send these responses to the State Controller’s Office.
This week, a group of Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) young adult Peacemaker Fellows attended the National Mentoring Summit. MENTOR, along with the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention hosted this first summit at the U.S. Library of Congress.
First Lady Michelle Obama spoke to a room of nearly 500 mentoring advocates, including mentor/mentee pairs and corporate executives. "Having a mentor is more important than ever before. And that's because, in many ways, being a kid today is tougher than ever before. And then when you add in the age-old struggles of just plain old growing up – the anxiety, the confusion, the academic and the social pressure – you've got an entire generation of young people truly in desperate need of a friend, someone they can trust, an example they can follow. And that's where all of you come in," she said.
Following the First Lady's address, a panel discussion ensued with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jr., U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service Patrick Corvington, Chief of Staff of the White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs Mike Strautmanis, and Special Assistant to President Obama and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Joshua DuBois.
Wastewater Manager Chad Davisson, together with Veolia Water representatives, attended the Point Richmond Neighborhood Council meeting this past Wednesday, January 26th. At this meeting, Mr. Davisson and Veolia provided updates on a number of sewer-related issues, including the status of the anaerobic digesters and odor control measures in the sewer system and at the Canal Boulevard treatment plant. Due to the considerable interest of the residents, Mr. Davisson and Veolia agreed to attend upcoming Neighborhood Council meetings as well as other community meetings at the request of the residents. City staff members, including the City Manager and Wastewater Manager, are also planning to provide an update to the Council and community at an upcoming Council study session.
As many as 75 Richmond voters may receive 10-minute telephone surveys by a company named True North Associates. This firm is a consultant for the Contra Costa Clean Water Program and is conducting these surveys in order assess the feasibility of pursuing new revenue sources for stormwater programs in Contra Costa County. The San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board Municipal Regional Permit (MRP) has increased the mandated requirements for communities, including Richmond. Existing stormwater program fees, which have not changed for many years, are no longer sufficient to fund the new MRP requirements, maintain the stormwater conveyance system, and provide capital improvements necessary to repair or replace stormwater infrastructure that has reached the end of its service life. The telephone surveys are expected to continue through February.
This past week, the Finance Department’s Purchasing Division was presented with the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement award from the National Purchasing Institute. Presentation of the award was made Wednesday, January 26th at the Annual Conference of the California Association of Public Purchasing Officers in San Jose. This prestigious award is earned by those organizations that demonstrate excellence by obtaining a high score based on standardized criteria. The criteria are designed to measure innovation, professionalism, productivity, e-procurement, and leadership attributes of the procurement organization.
I can personally attest to the customer-friendly professionalism that is the standard for this work group that includes Ofelia Alvarez, Rose Gibson-Martinez and Courtney Creswell.
The City of Richmond’s website www.ci.richmond.ca.us was recognized by the Web Marketing Association (WMA) as one of five city government websites worldwide in 2010 for website development and redesign that allows for more government transparency and ease of navigation throughout the website. The City of Richmond’s website was awarded in the Government Standards of Excellence category.
The first phase of the project to replace and upsize the sewer pipeline along San Pablo Avenue from Macdonald to Nevin is nearing completion. Due to problems encountered during the pipe bursting process (trenchless method), the City will allow Veolia to install the pipelines identified in Phases II and III with the traditional open trench method. In addition, a new main line will be re-routed to the No.1 northbound lane of San Pablo Avenue. Most of the excavation will take place from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM, with the exception of the intersections at Barrett and Roosevelt. That work will take place at night to minimize traffic delays.
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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