|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Two Weeks Ending September 16th, 2011
September 17, 2011
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the two weeks ending September 16th, 2011.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for this Tuesday, September 20th, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:30 PM and with the regular meeting agenda commencing at 6:30 PM.
On September 8th, the California Association of Code Enforcement Officers (CACEO) recognized the City of Richmond’s “One Block at a Time” (OBAT) initiative as the Innovative Code Enforcement Program of the Year. This prestigious award recognizes innovative and effective code enforcement programs throughout the State of California.
The City’s OBAT is a special partnership between residents, the Police Department’s Code Enforcement Unit, and the City of Richmond that targets neighborhood blight. A small area (typically one or two square blocks) with major blight problems is selected for abatement and beautification. The selected area is inventoried for blighted properties, Municipal Code violations, illegal dumping, broken streetlights, and other issues that destabilize the community.
Public education and outreach is conducted to inform residents about blight and how they can partner with the City to have a positive impact on their neighborhood. With the help of neighborhood volunteers, the City and the neighborhood hosts an abatement day where property owners are provided assistance with yard maintenance, tree trimming, trash disposal, graffiti abatement, inoperable vehicle removal, smoke detector installation, as well as paving and house painting, to help residents beautify their neighborhood and eliminate existing and potential code violations. At the City’s last OBAT, a total of 79 volunteers from the community participated and did their part to “take a bite out of blight!”
Members of the CACEO Board of Directors will present this award to the City at the September 27th City Council meeting.
We will continue to keep you informed as new blocks are selected for this recognized program.
Describing it as “an offer he couldn’t refuse,” Community and Economic Development Director Steve Duran is leaving the City of Richmond staff to accept the position as City Manager for the City of Hercules. His last day in Richmond will be Friday, October 7th. While I am very disappointed that Steve will be leaving Richmond, I am personally very happy both for him and the City of Hercules. I believe that Mr. Duran will be an outstanding city manager and that Hercules will grow stronger with his leadership. I will, nonetheless, miss his valuable counsel and steady guidance of Richmond's redevelopment activities. I am very pleased that he is staying in Contra Costa County, and, in particular, in West County.
I certainly wish him the best.
On Saturday, August 27th, the Richmond Public Library hosted a successful “Vamos a Leer” program (Let’s Read), which drew over 400 attendees. Sponsored by Univision Radio San Francisco, the bilingual family literacy program targets children (from kindergarten to age 5) and encourages parents to participate in their children’s education by reading with them. The event included bilingual reading sessions with radio station personality Jose Luis “El Zorro,” games, prizes, and a “school supplies” giveaway.
Baxter Creek, in the area of the Booker T. Anderson Community Center, is relatively trash free because of efforts made by local residents, volunteer groups, and Parks staff throughout the year. This weekend, volunteers will come out again and clean the opening of Baxter Creek to San Pablo Avenue. We will also be identifying the types of trash collected in order to work at ways of stopping the impact to our creeks and shorelines.
Notwithstanding the efforts by volunteers and staff described in the previous item, Baxter Creek in the City of Richmond was recently entered into Save The Bay's "Adopt a Hot Spot" contest which launched September 14th. This contest identifies specific creeks where trash is a severe problem, but also highlights fivecities that are attempting to tackle the trash problem in the Bay by considering plastic bags and Styrofoam bans. (Follow these links on the Save The Bay website to learn more about plastic bag and Styrofoam litter and how they threaten Bay wildlife, habitats, and recreation areas.)
Richmond is highlighted for considering a plastic bag ordinance, possibly in collaboration with a regional effort being led by regional solid waste agency Recyclemore. In particular, at its September 13th meeting, the Richmond City Council approved a resolution supporting collaboration with the West Contra Costa Integrated Waste Management Authority (WCCIWMA/RecycleMore) and member cities to develop a regional single-use bag ordinance. The proposed ordinance would prohibit the distribution of plastic single-use bags in Richmond retail establishments and charge a fee for the use of paper bags. In conjunction with implementation of the ordinance, Richmond Environmental Initiatives anticipates conducting a reusable bag campaign, including the distribution of free reusable bags in target communities, in fall 2011.
Thus, while achieving the dubious distinction of owning Baxter Creek as a trash hot spot, Richmond’s efforts in dealing with the issue makes us a participant in a beneficial contest. We need your vote to make Baxter Creek at San Pablo Avenue the winning spot among the five eligible cities. The hot spot with the most votes will be adopted by Save The Bay, which will in turn host cleanups at the site in 2012. Please participate by going to http://www.savesfbay.org/baytrash/vote-now to vote. Help ensure that Baxter Creek is the winning hot spot.
The City has begun work on the first phase of the annual sewer pipeline repair and replacement program. This work consists of pipeline replacements and upsizing, as well as trenchless pipe relining. Throughout this process, the City and Veolia, the City’s wastewater system operator, will make every effort to minimize traffic and service impacts to the community. A partnering meeting was held on September 6th, and included representatives from the City of Richmond and Veolia Water, as well as the contractor, Ghilotti Bros., their subcontractors and design engineers. This meeting set the goals necessary to keep the project moving (on schedule and within budget), with minimal disruption. Preliminary street work began on September 7th.
Looking ahead, community members are invited to a public information meeting which is scheduled for Monday, September 19th, from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM, in the City Hall Lobby, 450 Civic Center Plaza. Information will also be provided at upcoming Richmond Neighborhood Coordinating Council meetings. Both the City and Veolia will be conducting on-going public outreach efforts within the project areas, including informational mailings, additional public information meetings, the placement of door hangers, and project updates via the City’s website. Excavation and trenching are expected to begin the week of September 19th.
The Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) Director, DeVone Boggan, participated in the World Health Organization’s 5th Milestones Global Campaign on Violence Prevention meetings in Cape Town, South Africa last week.
Mr. Boggan was invited to attend this meeting as part of a California/West Coast USA delegation representing philanthropy, government, practitioners, evaluators, researchers and expert consultants on youth violence prevention and intervention. The California delegation was sponsored by The California Wellness Foundation (TCWF). Young adults that live in North, Central and South Richmond neighborhoods who are the most likely to be confronted by gun violence (ONS Operation Peacemaker Fellowship participants), traveled with the Director to South Africa. Approximately 60 Country/Nation Delegations were represented.
As a conference delegate, Mr. Boggan participated in several discussions that provided opportunities to share and receive valuable information about effective violence prevention and intervention practices, current research, and future policy/advocacy opportunities. Each discussion challenged delegates to critically examine and evaluate actions, accomplishments and challenges involved with effectively engaging and addressing the needs of young men involved in gun violence.
While in South Africa, Mr. Boggan was also provided the opportunity to share and discuss ONS programming with both USA and international philanthropic organizations.
Thousands of dollars in rebates, grants, and low-interest loans are available to residents to improve their home’s comfort and energy efficiency and the City of Richmond is helping to get out the word. The City is co-hosting a free workshop where property owners can learn how to obtain federal stimulus funding and PG&E rebates to make their homes more comfortable and efficient through the new Energy Upgrade California Program.
Interested persons may RSVP at http://westcountysmarthomes.eventbrite.com/ for “The Smart Approach to a Comfortable Home and Lower Energy Bills” to be held on Wednesday, October 12th, from 7:00 to 8:30 PM at the Richmond City Council Chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza.
At this workshop, attendees will
- Hear from a local homeowner about their energy upgrade experience;
The workshop is sponsored by the Cities of Richmond, El Cerrito and San Pablo in conjunction with Energy Upgrade California and Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. Visit https://energyupgradeca.org/overview for more information on Energy Upgrade California.
More information can be obtained by contacting the Richmond Environmental Initiatives Division of the City Manager’s office at 620-5537.
The Richmond Annex Mural, at Carlson Boulevard and I-80, received a much needed renovation by the original artists, Tom and Tim Taylor. The mural was washed, holes were filled, and the entire work of art was then repainted. This took place during the entire month of August. Ongoing leveling and repaving of Carlson Boulevard occurred at the same time. Once the project is finished, Carlson Boulevard will have a totally new look.
Senior Idol, originally scheduled for Friday, September 16th, has been postponed until spring.
Grants: The Parks and Landscaping Division received three grants from the East Bay Regional Park District under the Measure WW Program. They are for the installation of permanent restroom facilities at the Marina Park, and rehabilitation of the Burg and Shields Reid Parks.
Parks and Landscaping Division: This week, staff prepared the Civic Center Plaza for the Economic Summit and the multiple auditorium events scheduled this coming weekend; vegetation cleanup on the Bay Trail segment at South 51st Street; and landscape maintenance at Shields Reid Park. Next week, crews will conduct landscape maintenance at John F. Kennedy Jr. and Nicholl Parks; mow the Hilltop Landscape Maintenance District; remove old bleachers and fencing at Belding Garcia Park.
The tree trimming crews trimmed trees along Gertrude Avenue from York Street to Kelsey Street, and on Cherry Street from Chesley Avenue to Sanford Avenue in coordination with the paving program. Next week, they will be trimming trees on the following street blocks: 300 West Macdonald Avenue, 1900 Pennsylvania Avenue, 300 South 36th Street, and 4600 Potrero Avenue.
Facilities Maintenance Division: Electricians replaced lighting on 23rd Street; replaced two knocked down poles on San Pablo and Esmond Avenues, and on Carlson Boulevard and Imperial Avenue; repaired lighting for the mural on Macdonald Avenue near the Target Store; worked on repairing wire theft power outage on Marina Way and Bayside Drive; and repaired 70 lights in the Parkview Neighborhood.
Painters painted the restrooms in the basement, and 1st and 2nd floors of the auditorium. Carpenters replaced the fifty-year-old window sills at the Main Library, and installed new blinds at the Senior Center.
Stationary engineers finished setting up the new bulkhead at the Richmond Plunge, repaired the HVAC system at the Hilltop Mall Richmond Police substation, and the restroom facilities at the auditorium.
Streets Division: This week, paving crews completed resurfacing Gertrude Avenue from York Street to Kelsey Street. Next week, paving crews will resurface Cherry Street from Chesley Avenue to Sanford Avenue; Sanford Avenue from Cherry Street to Kelsey Street; and on Kelsey Street from Duboce Street to Willard Avenue.
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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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