Tom Butt
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  City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending December 23, 2016
December 23, 2016

Mayor and Members of the City Council:

This is the weekly report for the week ending December 23, 2016.

Editor’s note:

This being the last weekly report of 2016, I am obliged to acknowledge the assistance that I receive in its preparation.  In preparing the weekly report, I receive news and notes with photographs from various departments, which I very much appreciate.  They help keep me up to date, in addition to allowing me to pass along useful and interesting information to the community.  These submittals are initially compiled by Shane Johnson and then edited by Mike Uberti, both of whom are outstanding members of the City Manager’s office staff.  From there, I complete the final edits, and add my own items of information.  I am very grateful to Shane and Mike who do their jobs so well; as the last reviewer, I take full responsibility for any errors in the report.


1.    Meeting Notes

City Council will be on recess during this holiday season. The next City Council meeting is Tuesday, January 10th, at which City Councilmembers will be sworn into office.  The first business meeting of the City Council for 2017 is scheduled for Tuesday, January 17th.  Enjoy the holiday break!

2.    City Hall – Holiday Closure

As a reminder, Richmond City Hall and other programs and facilities, will be closed during the week between the Christmas holiday and the New Year’s holiday (Monday, December 26th through Monday, January 2nd).  During this period, there will be a substantially reduced maintenance capability.  As always, City staff members will be available to respond to emergencies.

3.    Richmond Rent Program Office Will Open on Tuesday, January 3, 2007

As you know, this past November, Richmond voters passed Measure L, the “Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction and Homeowner Protection Ordinance,” which becomes effective on December 30, 2016.  The Ordinance establishes a Rent Program in the City of Richmond, directed by a five-member Richmond Rent Board.

In advance of a Rent Board being appointed to operate these new rent regulations, and in accordance with this new ordinance, staff members from the City Manager’s office are beginning to implement preliminary elements of the program.  As a first step, over the next week, residents will be receiving written information about the new rent ordinance and its implementation, and a Richmond Rent Program office will open on January 3, 2017 on the second floor at 440 Civic Center Plaza, Monday (except January 2nd) through Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.  The office phone number is 510-620-6576 and the email address is:

In addition, the Rent Program website is now live at, with rental unit enrollment and Annual Adjustment Rent Increase forms available for online submission on December 30, 2016.

The Rent Program Brochure (pictured below) is also now accessible at



4.    Last Week's Annual Downtown Holiday Festival was Spectacular! 

On Wednesday, December 14th, Richmond Main Street Initiative and the
East Bay Center for the Performing Arts co-hosted the annual Downtown Holiday Festival. Highlights included:

  • Welcoming nearly 500 visitors downtown to enjoy yuletide cheer;
  • 300+ kids visiting Santa and receiving gift bag filled with goodies;
  • Distributing hundreds of books;
  • Two performances of A Richmond Nutcracker;
  • Enjoying savory snacks, fresh fruit, cookies, and hot cider;
  • 150+ residents gathering for caroling and the ceremonial illumination of the holiday lights along historic Main Street.


The organizers thank the event sponsors – Mechanics BankCity of RichmondSims Metal ManagementWest County ReadsSupervisor John Gioia, dozens of volunteers, and Santa! 

Photos of the festival and Santa visits are now available! Check them out and download yours here.

HF 12 14 2016 270. Santa Gets a Hug
HF 12 14 2016 040 (2). Santa High 5'sHF 12 14 2016 039. Santa Arives


5.    Richmond’s Minimum Wage Ordinance Becomes Effective January 1, 2017

The next increase in the City of Richmond’s minimum wage increase goes into effect on January 1, 2017.  Effective on that date, the minimum wage as set forth in Richmond’s Minimum Wage Ordinance (RMC 7.108) will be $12.30/hour (compared to $10.50/hour for the State of California effective 2017, and the current $11.52/hour which went into effect in Richmond on January 1, 2016). The Minimum Wage Ordinance applies to any employee who works two or more hours per week.

To advise the business community of this upcoming change, the Employment and Training staff posted notices announcing the increase on KCRT and the City’s website. Packets were mailed to over 1,000 businesses and to the Richmond Chamber of Commerce members to inform them of the change. The information packet includes versions of the official notice in various languages that must be posted in all workplaces along with a list of employer and employee rights under the Ordinance. Employers who pay for less than 800 hours of employee labor in a given two week period need not pay the City’s minimum wage until they pay over 800 hours or more of employee labor in a two week period. This is the next of three annual increases that will max out at $13.00/hour on January 1, 2018.

For questions and concerns, please contact Gina Baker at (510) 307-8011.

6.    City of Richmond’s 2017 Charitable Giving Campaign

This year’s charitable fundraising campaign effort at the City of Richmond was an outstanding success.  In all, staff was able to raise $39,212.00 for the following organizations:

  • Bay Area Black United Fund
  • Community Health Charities
  • Earth Share of California
  • Friends of Disabled Children
  • Friends of Richmond Public Library
  • Local Independent Charities
  • Police Explorers
  • Richmond/El Cerrito Firefighters Toy Program
  • Richmond Police Activities League
  • Richmond Public Library Foundation
  • Richmond Youth Academy


I appreciate the continued generosity and commitment of our City of Richmond staff to support services in this community.

I would especially like to thank Theresa Austin, Executive Assistant in the Richmond Finance Department, for serving to coordinate these efforts.

7.    Drug Disposal Law Passed by Contra Costa County

Drug makers will be required to establish drop-off centers to accept unwanted or expired medications, under an ordinance passed Tuesday by the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors.  The bill requires drug makers to pay the full cost of establishing and operating a network of centers to take unwanted or unused pharmaceuticals.  The goal is to have at least three drop-off sites in each of the five supervisorial districts in the county.


County staffers said the program will protect creeks and bays against contamination by illegal dumping of drugs into the environment, and reduce the risk of people overdosing on prescription drugs.  The City of Richmond’s Department of Water Resource recovery and six other wastewater agencies in Contra Costa County supported the ordinance.

Richmond residents may dispose of expired and unneeded medications of at the take-back bin located in the lobby of the Richmond Police Department.

8.    Help Us Update the 2016-2021 Five-Year Strategic Business Plan

The City of Richmond is currently updating its Five-Year Strategic Business Plan (, with an outlook through the year 2021. The Strategic Business Plan was developed to help the City implement actions outlined in the General Plan 2030, as well as other priority issues that impact the quality of life for residents. We would be grateful to hear your ideas for projects/programs on which the City should focus during the next five years (between 2016-2021).

Please go to the City’s webpage, click on the Community Voice icon and look under the “Economic Development Ideas” area to locate the question regarding the Strategic Business Plan ( Suggestions collected by Monday, January 9, 2017 will be shared with the City Council for possible incorporation into the updated plan.





9.    City Manager Chronicles

I have listed below some of the topics for meetings that I attended during the past week in the hope that it provides an idea of the varied issues with which our organization deals routinely.

A significant amount of activity, including several meetings not listed here, was the result of working to implement Measure L, the Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction and Homeowner Protection ordinance.  Other meetings of note included:

  • Met, along with Planning Director Richard Mitchell, with representatives from a development company that is interested in opportunities in Richmond;
  • Met with various staff members to discuss ways to improve the property management function within the City organization;
  • Attended the “Southside Plus One” holiday luncheon;
  • Met with Karen Harris of Richmond Swims to discuss aquatics programs in the City.


These meetings were in addition to attending the regular management staff meeting, agenda planning, reviewing staff reports to the City Council, doing department head “check-ins,” having discussions on various personnel matters, and having short discussions with staff, community members, members of the press, etc.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about the substance of these or any other topics.

10. Richmond Farmers’ Market Santa Claus Visits City Hall

On Thursday, December 22nd, Santa Claus made a special visit to City Hall! Santa Claus (Aaron Coleman, Market Manager for the Richmond Farmers’ Market Association) and Tom Cloman, President of the Richmond Farmers’ Market Association, came by with sweet oranges and candy canes for all to enjoy! The Richmond Farmers' Market is open year round, every Friday from 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM and is located on the corner of 24th Street and Barrett Avenue. The market is also mobile and available to attend select events.  For more information please contact Aaron Coleman, Market Manager at (510) 761-8486.


11. Parchester Annual Holiday Toy Giveaway

On Wednesday, December 21st, Parchester Community Center was pleased to host its annual toy giveaway for all children in Parchester Village. This would not have been possible without the help of Rotary Club of Richmond, Richmond Country Club, Richmond Police Activities League (RPAL), and Chevron Richmond, which committed to assisting in any way possible within just 24 hours of learning that toy donations had been difficult to come by this year.

Staff watched the heartwarming faces of over 25 girls and boys light up on Wednesday afternoon as they unwrapped gifts of every kind, from books, to sports equipment, to dolls. There was no stopping them from playing and sharing their excitement once they started opening presents!

The Community Services Department appreciates the unbridled compassion and support that Richmond community members show one another when others are in any situation of need. We sincerely thank donors for spreading the holiday cheer, not just to the children of Parchester Village, but to their families as well.

12. Richmond Seeks Next Poet Laureate

The City of Richmond’s Arts & Culture Division is currently seeking applications for the next Richmond Poet Laureate. This position offers the unique opportunity of being able to interpret the challenging times we live in through original poetry, and allows the poet to gain exposure for his/her work. The position is a two-year term. The new application period will remain open until February 1, 2017. For the application and more information go to

The Poet Laureate position provides a focus for the appreciation and dissemination of poetry in Richmond, promotes poetry among our youth, and acts as a spokesperson for the growing number of poets and writers in Richmond. The Poet Laureate will also work with the West Contra County Unified School District (WCCUSD) to bring poetry into the classrooms, and will coordinate poetry events in the community. An anthology of poetry will be published at the end of each Poet Laureate term.

Previous Poets Laureate have been Dwayne Parish, Donte Clark, Lincoln Bergman, and Brenda Quintanilla. A combined anthology of Clark, Bergman and Quintanilla is available for $10 through the Arts & Culture Manager by contacting her at An anthology of Dwayne Parish’s work will be available in 2017.

Live poetry events were recently held at Kaleidoscope Café on December 10th, and at Richmond Progressive Alliance headquarters on December 15th. Both events featured over 30 poets, who read to overflow crowds at both locations – proving poetry is alive and well in Richmond.

13. Help the Community Services Department Better Serve You
The Community Services Department (formerly Recreation Department) wants to hear from you!  The department is currently conducting a survey regarding its programs and facilities. We want to know how we can better serve you and your family through recreational opportunities.  Please find and share a copy of the survey here: Community Services Department Survey.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to provide your input by Friday, January 13, 2017. Your responses and identity will remain confidential. The compiled results will be shared with the Richmond community and will be a critical part of our service planning.  If you have any questions, please contact Rochelle Monk, Community Services Director, at (510) 620-6511 or

14. Information Technology

Website Statistics

For the week ending 12/16/2016

Facebook Statistics
Total Actions on Page are up 100%
Total Page Views are up 142%
Post Engagement is up 63%
Total Video Views are up 100%


Twitter Statistics
Tweets increased by 35.5%
Tweet impressions increased by 25.5%
Profile visits increased by 28.3%
Followers are up

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City of Richmond Mobile APP UPDATE
The City of Richmond’s mobile phone app is available on the Apple App store and Google Play store. 

This City of Richmond mobile app provides Richmond’s community members with one-stop access to City services and information via mobile devices. The app allows quick and real-time reporting of neighborhood-related issues; viewing the City’s Events Calendar; finding addresses and phone numbers of local businesses, city departments and council members. Locating one of Richmond’s numerous parks, and welcoming libraries and community centers, including reserving rental space for that special occasion are all done with ease!

You may view the City’s mobile app on YouTube:

The City of Richmond is looking forward to feedback from the community on this upgraded Mobile App. We welcome your comments at

15. Engineering/CIP Departments
Capital Improvement Projects:
The Auditorium Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements are progressing well. The outside windows were cleaned in preparation of the final improvements being completed. The project should conclude the beginning of 2017.

Auditorium Window Cleaning

Streets Division
Paving crews worked from the outstanding pothole list utilizing hot mix patching, filled sand bags and performed storm patrol.

Pothole patching Castro Ranch Rd. # 3
Potholing on Castro Ranch Road

Street sweeping staff performed commercial and residential sweeping services for the third Monday through Wednesday and the fourth Thursday and Friday in the North Richmond, Iron Triangle, North Belding Woods, Atchison Village, South Belding Woods, Richmond Annex, Parkview, Panhandle Annex and Eastshore neighborhood council areas as weather permitted.

Signs and Lines staff repaired 12 signs and poles, installed 9 new signs and poles, fabricated 2 new signs, painted 75’ of pavement and performed storm patrol.

16. Infrastructure Maintenance and Operations
Code Enforcement:
Code Enforcement efforts to clean up a blighted property located on 7th Street have not been in vain. This property had numerous violations and was a nuisance visually as well as required continual attention from the Police Department. It was finally sold and remodelled by the new owner this year. It is now a model for the community.


Before and After 7th Street Property

Facilities Maintenance:
Carpenters installed laminate flooring.

Painters removed paint and pressure washed brick walls within the Auditorium.

Utility Workers polished metal at the Richmond Plunge, set up various rooms for events and maintained 29 City owned facilities.

Polishing at the Richmond Plunge

Stationary Engineers repaired the magnet on the lobby door at City Hall, fixed the evidence freezer at the Police Department, made keys for various departments, assempled desks for the Recreation Complex, replaced the carpet in the front offices at Shields Reid Center and relamped poles in Civic Center Plaza.

Electricians installed a new conduit for the Electric Vehicle (EV) charger at the Main Library and pulled new wire for traffic signals at Broadway and Macdonald Avenues.

Conduit Installation for the EV Charging Station

Parks and Landscaping Division:  
General maintenance crews performed playground inspections, repaired irrigation on Macdonald Avenue medians, maintenance at the Main Library, replaced the backflow meter at Judge Carroll Park, dug the trench for the Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station at the Main Library, removed graffiti on the Greenway and began preparations for the demolition of the Recreation Complex swimming pool.

Backflow Meter Installation

Trench for EV Charging Station

Hilltop District crews scapped non-operable equipment from Point Molate, continued maintance on the center medians of Blume Drive, continued maintenance around Hilltop Mall business area and general maintenance around Country Club Vista and Bay Vista Parks.

Marina District crews continued with maintenance along the Bay Trail, performed lawn maintenance throughout the Marina, litter removal in the Marina and continued sowing wildflower seeds throughout the Marina.


Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about these or any other items of interest to you.


Image result for happy holidays


Bill Lindsay
City Manager
City of Richmond
450 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, California 94804
(510) 620-6512

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