Tom Butt
  E-Mail Forum – 2017  
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  City Manager's Weekly Report for the Two Weeks Ending March 17, 2017
March 20, 2017

 Mayor and Members of the City Council:

This is the weekly report for the two weeks ending March 17, 2017.

  • 1. Meeting Notes

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 21st beginning with a Closed Session at 5:15 PM, followed by the regular meeting at 6:30 PM. The agenda may be found by clicking this link: Richmond City Council Agenda Packet.

  • 2. Wendell Park Receives a One-Day Makeover

Today, residents of the Richmond community teamed up with more than 200 volunteers from Target, the City of Richmond, Richmond Friends of Recreation, and Groundwork Richmond, along with organizers from KaBOOM!, to build a new community playground at Wendell Park.
Designed in January when children from the neighborhood put crayons to paper to draw their dream playground, the new play space includes state of the art equipment. The new playground will bring more than 1,900 kids in Richmond one step closer to having the childhood they deserve.
It was my privilege as city manager to serve alongside community and business volunteers who are ensuring that children and families have a safe and vibrant park. I learned today that many of the community volunteers played at this park when they were kids, and I know this new playground, and other park enhancements, will create new memories for generations to come.

The event was organized by Community Services Director Rochelle Monk and her staff, working with local North and East residents.  Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles was there to greet the crowd first thing in the morning, and Councilmembers Eduardo Martinez and Melvin Willis were there to lend their skilled labor.

As part of the construction, volunteers assembled the playground from start to finish in approximately six hours. They mixed and poured thousands of pounds of concrete and moved enough safety surfacing to cover more than nine NBA-sized basketball courts.

KaBOOM! is a national non-profit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve, filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive. Since 1996, KaBOOM! has collaborated with partners to build, open, or improve more than 16,700 playgrounds, engaged more than one million volunteers, and served 8.5 million kids. KaBOOM! creates great places to play, inspires communities to promote and support play, and works to drive the national discussion about the importance of play in fostering healthy and productive lives.  This is the second park build on which KaBOOM! has worked with the City of Richmond, with the first one being several years ago at Belding Garcia Park.

Target supports KaBOOM! in promoting and protecting a child’s right to active play at home, at school and in the community. Partnering with KaBOOM! is part of Target’s ongoing efforts to help make wellness more affordable, accessible and inspirational for its team members, guests and communities. Through this partnership, more children will have the joyful childhood they deserve.

We appreciate the help from KaBOOM!, Target, Richmond Friends of Recreation, Groundwork Richmond, Community Services staff, Parks and Landscape staff, and all of the community groups and volunteers that made this possible.



  • 3. Update on Slide in Area Above Via Verde Roadway

 As you may be aware, a landslide has developed on private property in the El Portal area of Richmond that is impacting the Via Verdi roadway.  The earth above the roadway continues to move and the roadway and utilities continue to be impacted.

City staff has been monitoring the Via Verdi roadway on a daily basis and has been making repairs in order to ensure the road and sidewalks are passable. Water and wastewater lines have been relocated above ground to ensure continued service.

Subsurface geotechnical investigations are ongoing and will likely take several weeks. Initial observations indicate that the slide is very deep; consequently the long term remedy may include extensive work on the adjacent private property.

If the situation worsens due to the forecasted rains, the City will take any immediate steps, including going onto the private property, which are necessary in order to preserve public safety.

City staff will continue daily monitoring, and we will keep you informed of any additional developments.

Please contact Tawfic Halaby, Senior Civil Engineer, at, or (510) 621-1612, if you have any questions.

  • 4. Air District Workshop on Draft Emission Reduction Rules in Richmond on March 30th

Come learn about the new proposed refinery rules and local air monitoring. Please give your feedback in Richmond on March 30th to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District). Your input matters.

The Air District invites Bay Area residents to participate in a workshop to learn about three new draft rules:

  • Regulation 11, Rule 18 aims to reduce potential health risks from toxic air emissions at hundreds of existing Bay Area facilities.
  • Regulation 12, Rule 16 proposed by a coalition of advocacy organizations, would place a numeric cap on greenhouse gas and other emissions at refineries.
  • Regulation 13, Rule 1 is the first in a series of regional rules that address greenhouse gases and related pollutants. Rule 13-1 would cap the carbon intensity per barrel of crude oil refined at each Bay Area refinery.

At the workshops, you can speak with Air District staff, hear a presentation about the proposed rules, ask questions, and offer comments. The Air District will host a workshop in Richmond on March 30th from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium, Bermuda Room (2533 Nevin Ave.). Language interpretation can be provided upon request at least 72 hours before an event.  Contact Azibuike Akaba at to request interpretation. See flyer for more details.

Draft rule language will be posted on the Regulatory Workshops webpage as soon as it is available:  The Air District will accept public comment on these rules until Friday, April 7, 2017. For questions and written comments, contact Greg Nudd at

  • 5. Richmond Rent Program Community Education Workshop & Computer Lab Support Sessions

The City of Richmond is hosting a series of community education workshops and computer lab support sessions to educate the community about the Rent Program and the Richmond Fair Rent, Just Cause for Eviction, and Homeowner Protection Ordinance.

Your attendance is encouraged to:

  • Learn about the Rent Program
  • Receive computer lab assistance to access and complete online forms
  • Explore resources for Tenants and Landlords

Space is limited – RSVP today:

Community Education Workshop          Computer Lab Support Sessions
Wednesday, March 29, 2017                    Thursday, March 23, 2017 &
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm                                   Thursday, March 30, 2017
City Council Chambers                             6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
440 Civic Center Plaza                             Computer Lab
                                                                450 Civic Center Plaza

Questions? Visit to learn more about the Rent Program, or call or email the Rent Program at (510) 620-6576 or


  • 6. Number of Submitted Richmond Promise Applications Increases by 25%!

The Richmond Promise scholarship application closed this past Friday, March 10th. Over 500 young people across 15 schools completed applications, a 25% increase from last year.  While there was improvement across the board, a big congratulations goes to the team at Kennedy High School for the largest number of applications completed from any high school (103), and the largest growth from 2016 (51%). Go Eagles!!

In the coming weeks, Richmond Promise staff will be working with their partners to verify applications. Students will receive notice of their scholarship awards in early May. The second annual Richmond Promise Scholars Celebration is planned for May 25th, followed by a series of summer success workshops in June. 

Thanks to the Richmond community, parents, students, WCCUSD and charter/private schools, our higher education institutions, and the Richmond Promise organization for their tremendous support of young people in Richmond!

Questions? Contact us at or (510) 761-7231.


  • 7. 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.

Meetings of note this past week included:

  • Met, along with staff from the City Manager’s Office, the Police Department, the Department of Infrastructure Maintenance and Operations, and Engineering departments, with representatives from the Santa Fe Neighborhood Council to review progress being made to address blight, crime, and infrastructure deficiencies in the area;
  • Met along with Police Chief Allwyn Brown, with staff from the Contra Costa Animal Services Department, to discuss service issues;
  • Attended a multi-disciplinary meeting to review procedural integration of the rent program, rental inspection program, code enforcement unit, housing authority, fire department inspection program, and business licensing program;
  • Attended the monthly Council of Industries luncheon, at which Councilmembers Ben Choi and Melvin Willis were the guest speakers;
  • Met, along with Administrative Chief Shasa Curl, Management Analyst Gabino Arredondo, and Richmond Promise Executive Director Jessie Stewart, with representatives of the Richmond Progressive Alliance to discuss full service community schools in Richmond;
  • Attended the Richmond Promise Board of Directors meeting;
  • Attended the Healthy Richmond Hub meeting;
  • Attended a meeting of the Marina Bay Assessment District Advisory Committee, together Director of Infrastructure and Maintenance Operations Director Tim Higares, and Parks and Landscape Superintendent Greg Hardesty;
  • Attended the Wendell Park rebuild (see item [2], above).

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.

  • 8. Draft Richmond Wellness Trail Vision Plan Available for Public Comment

As part of the National Park Services Urban Agenda Initiative, the Richmond Urban Fellow, staff from the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, City of Richmond, Local Government Commission and community partners have completed a draft of the Richmond Wellness Trail Vision Plan and it is available for public comment. 

The Richmond Wellness Trail Plan is an active trail that will be a safe, inviting, multimodal route that inspires a healthy, active lifestyle - increasing connections between historic Downtown Richmond, the Iron Triangle, and the natural and historic features of the waterfront and the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park Visitors Center.  Enhancements will include health themed art sculptures, murals, fitness equipment, safety and comfort improvements for pedestrians and traffic calming measures in addition to decorative treatments; wayfinding signage and opportunities for connections with health focused technology applications.

Please send comments on the draft to Kieron Slaughter, Urban Fellow by March 20, 2017 via email at or by mail at Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park, 440 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 300, Richmond, CA 94804.

  • 9. Firefighter of the Year

Last week, the Richmond chapter of the Kiwanis Club hosted the annual public safety awards dinner where the Richmond Fire Department presented the Firefighter of the Year Award to Fire Inspector Eric Govan. The award is given to a firefighter who has exceeded the requirements expected of his or her position and has shown a distinct pattern of community service and professional achievement.

Inspector Govan exemplifies every quality of the Firefighter of the Year Award. He has been instrumental in implementing aerial view plans of Richmond buildings that assist both police and fire with the outlay of buildings, resulting in more rapid responses. Additionally, Inspector Govan implemented a placarding system for businesses to display their fire safety status in the front window of the establishment, letting patrons know that businesses are safe to enter. Inspector Govan's dedication to the community and its future has also been demonstrated through his continuous work with the Richmond youth academy. Inspector Govan’s contributions to the guidance and development of Richmond’s youth promotes opportunity and a more positive future for Richmond.

Congratulations, Inspector Govan.

  • 10. Railway Training

BNSF Railway in conjunction with TransCAER (Transportation Community Awareness and Emergency Response) joined the Richmond Fire Department this past week to provide a training course for emergency response to the railroads. The course is taught from a rail industry perspective, with its purpose to ensure that firefighters receive a better understanding of the hazardous materials regulations that apply to land transportation and, in particular, to the railroad industry. This course consisted of two sections, a classroom presentation, and hands-on part working with valves and appurtenances from railroad tank cars.
Hands-on training was conducted using rail specific training trailers and one of BNSF’s training tank cars. This training focused on familiarization with various valves and fittings on pressure and general service tank cars. Leaks were simulated on most of the equipment, so attendees were able to obtain experience in the appropriate response methods used to address them. 

  • 11. Richmond - ECIA Community Grant Program – Application Now Available – Closing Monday!

The Richmond – ECIA Competitive Grant Program is funded by the City of Richmond’s Environmental and Community Investment Agreement (ECIA) with the Chevron Refinery.  Governmental entities and non-profit organizations (with 501(c)(3) tax status) that provide services focused on the community, youth, and youth sports to Richmond residents are all eligible to apply. Grants will be awarded on an annual basis and awards will range from $2,500 to $50,000. 

The guidelines and application was released on Friday, February 3rd, and can be accessed at Applications are due on Monday, March 20, 2017 by 5:00 PM. For all questions or comments, please connect with us at or (510) 620-6828.

  • 12. Sisters in Solidarity

On Saturday, March 4th, in commemoration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, the Richmond City Council Office hosted the 10th Annual Sisters in Solidarity event.   The day started with opening remarks from Vice Mayor Beckles and Councilmember McLaughlin, recitals of passages from Resolution 116-16 reiterating our values for inclusion, equality, human rights and women’s rights. After hyping up the crowd, Michelle Milam led the march from City Hall to LaVonya Dejean Middle School with great fervor and chants of solidarity.

Once the marchers arrived at the middle school, they were welcomed with other community members; about 175 in total, including 21 local organizations. The celebration included spoken word, music by local youth vocalists Black Diamond, an inspirational speech from Cynthia Peterson, Executive Director of Community Violence Solutions, lunch catered by Eat Suites and pledges made to Be Bold for Change throughout the year.  Participants were able to socialize with community members and obtain resources from local service providers.

The celebration was very uplifting and unifying. In a time of great uncertainty filling the nation and many residents of Richmond, it was nice to see so many women and men come out and showed support for International Women’s Day. The 2017 Sisters in Solidarity event was a wonderful day.

Check out the video by Richmond Pulse


  • 13. Read Across America Day

    On Thursday, March 3rd, Firefighters and City staff celebrated reading and Dr. Seuss’ birthday at the annual Read Across America Day. Throughout the country, thousands of schools, libraries, and community centers participate by bringing together kids, teens, and books. 

    Richmond Fire Chief Adrian Sheppard read aloud to the students at the Verde Elementary School Head Start Program. The kids enjoyed reading the story and teaching Chief Sheppard some words in Spanish. When the story was over, there was time to learn about fire safety and how to Stop, Drop, and Roll. 

    Sequoia Erasmus, the Director of Community Engagement for the Office of the Mayor joined the Fire team to read another story aloud in Spanish.  Dr. Seuss sounds great in Spanish!

    Thank you to the schools and community centers for organizing a great event!

    • 14. Community Services Highlights


    Shields Reid – Four participants from the Shields Reid Achieve Afterschool Program competed in the Warriors Math Hoops Competition at the Golden State Warriors Training Facility in Oakland on Saturday March 4, 2017.  Amillion Morgan, Marcus Moore, Alexis De Leon, and Wilmer De Leon competed against hundreds of children from around the Bay Area in math games. Though they didn’t win the tournament, they represented Richmond well and received Warriors t-shirts and certificates.

    Math Hoops 1Math Hoops 3
    Math HoopsMath Hoops 2


    ServiceWorks, powered by the City of Richmond Community Services Department in partnership with AmeriCorps, the Citi Foundation, and Points of Light, is a groundbreaking, national program that engages 16-24 year olds in Skill Building, Volunteering, and Success Coaching as strategies to help address barriers to youth economic opportunity within the targeted communities in ten major cities in the US. Richmond is one of these sites.

    Through ServiceWorks, program participants - also known as Service Scholars - gain critical leadership and workplace skills, strengthened networks, community connections, AND the opportunity to apply those skills by volunteering and leading their own community service projects.

    There is a range of ways for volunteers to support ServiceWorks. We are recruiting Success Coaches, Workshop Facilitators, and Recruiters to help us. Whether you have just a day, a few hours a week, or a few hours to commit each month, you can help empower Service Scholars to articulate a vision for their futures, take steps to accomplish their goals, and leverage their networks to overcome any obstacles they may be facing in reaching their goals.

    Come and volunteer with ServiceWorks to help youth become the leaders of tomorrow. Contact Vanessa Chau at (510) 620-6552 or email for more information and to RSVP for a training session.




    On March 16th, Richmond Love Your Block grantees are partnering with Leadership High School and other local organizations for beautification projects in Richmond. All are invited to volunteer with us!

    • 15. Information Technology

    Website Statistics

    For the week ending 03/10/2017

    Twitter Statistics
    Tweet impressions increased by 29%
    Profile visits increased by 26.7%
    Mentions increased by 424.2%
    Followers are up!


    For the week ending 03/17/2017

    Facebook Statistics
    Page views increased by 400%
    Page likes increased by 200%

    Twitter Statistics
    Tweet impressions increased by 31.1%
    Profile visits increased by 29.7%
    Mentions increased by 391.7%
    Followers are up!


    0320-Richmond Wellness Train Vision Plan 50320-Richmond Wellness Train Vision Plan 4
    0320-Richmond Wellness Train Vision Plan 30320-Richmond Wellness Train Vision Plan 2
    0325-The Come Up Talent Search - RPAL 20325-The Come Up Talent Search - RPAL 1
    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

    • 16. Engineering/CIP Departments

    Engineering Division

    At the Via Verdi sinking pavement location, the utility companies have come and relocated all underground services. City staff has also gone to the site and sealed cracks, patched the sidewalks, and filled in the large sinking area of pavement. Due to the rapid movement of the ground an underground slide monitoring system has been installed, it will help determine the magnitude of the slide and movement.

    Monitoring System Installation

    Crews are taking full advantage of the break in the weather. Work on the Nevin Avenue Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) entrance continues. They are moving rapidly to complete the elevator and new entrance by summer 2017.

    Nevin Avenue Entrance and Elevator

    Rifle Range Road where a portion of the pavement has given way was inspected and barricaded. There have been multiple inspections by Paving and Engineering staff. Geologists have been called to complete soil testing of the area before repairs can be completed.


    Rifle Range Rd. Slide 17265077_1599851206711164_8660961249530955956_n
    Rifle Range Rd. K Rail installation # 3
    Rifle Range Road

    Rifle Range Road Inspection


    Streets Division
    Paving crews worked from the outstanding pothole list in various locations around the City, repaired asphalt on Meade Street and Regatta Boulevard, and worked to repair a slide on Rifle Range Road. Crews have also been addressing asphalt issues on Via Verdi with crack sealing and paving.


    Via Verdi asphalt repair
    Via Verdi Paving


    Via Verde sidewalk RepairVia Verde sidewalk Repair #3
    Via Verdi Sidewalk Repair

    Street sweeping staff performed commercial and residential sweeping services for the first Monday and Tuesday and the second Wednesday through Friday in the Parchester Village, Hilltop Bayview, Hilltop Green, Fairmede/Hilltop, Clinton Hill II – IV, and East Richmond neighborhood council areas. Commercial and residential sweeping services were also performed for the second Monday and Tuesday and the third Wednesday through Friday in the May Valley, Vista View, Clinton Hill I – III, Atchison Village, South Belding Woods, Santa Fe, Coronado, Marina Bay and Point Richmond neighborhood council areas.

    Signs and Lines staff repaired 32 signs and poles, installed six new signs and poles, installed 22 pavement markers, painted 1,449 feet of curb and fabricated 33 new signs.

    • 17. Infrastructure Maintenance and Operations

    Abatement Division

    Abatement crews cleared vacant lots, cleaned a vandalized bus stop, removed tons of trash from Freeman’s Tow yard, and continued removing graffiti and illegal dumping throughout the City.

    Vacant Lot Clearing

    Freeman’s Tow Yard

    Illegal Dumping

    Graffiti Removal

    Facilities Maintenance

    Carpenters repaired areas of the stairs at the Recreation Complex and poured concrete pads for the new bicycle racks at the Swim Center.

    Painters completed the hallways in the Mayor’s Office and American with Disabilities Act (ADA) markings at the Senior Annex.

    Painting in the Mayor’s Office

    Stationary Engineers replaced lavatory faucets in the former KCRT building, changed the apparatus exhaust fan in Fire Station #62, secured doors in various Port buildings, boarded windows of the Port building, purchased additional door locks for City facilities and repaired the door at the Richmond Recreation Complex.

    Facilities staff boarding up Port buildings
    Board Up of the Port

    Stationary Engineers replacing exhaust fan in Fire Sta#62
    Exhaust Fan Installation at Fire Station #62

    Utility Workers cleaned windows at 450 Civic Center Plaza, repaired the flag in front of City Hall, reset clocks in City buildings, delivered tables and chairs for an event at Wendell Park, added the Tibetan flag to the pole at City Hall, cleaned the motorcycle port at the Police Department, set up various rooms for events, and maintained 29 City owned facilities.

    Flag Repair at City Hall

    Motorcycle Port Cleaning

    Electricians disconnected the street light circuits and fixtures on Rifle Range Road due to slide, supported repairs at Port facilities, replaced the traffic cabinet at Hilltop Drive and Research Drive, replaced overhead wires at Hilltop and Research Drives, replaced Cypress Path lighting, repaired Nicholl Park path lighting, fixed crosswalk lighting at 7th Street and Lucas Avenue, repaired damaged traffic heads and replaced the yellow light on 23rd Street and Macdonald Avenue, fixed lighting in the restoom at 450 Civic Center Plaza, supported efforts to restore power to Point Molate, and replaced the street light head at Richmond Parkway and Gerrard Boulevard.

    Traffic Cabinet Installation on Hilltop Drive

    Street Light Repair

    Parks and Landscaping Division
    General maintenance crews repaired irrigation at Civic Center Plaza, repaired fencing, fixed exercise equipment at John F. Kennedy Park, removed graffiti from LaMoine Park, repaired play equipment at Nicholl Park, fixed the gate at Burg Park, weeded and trimmed the Carlson Boulevard medians, prepared Nicholl Park for Little League Opening Day, replaced broken boards at the baseball field of Wendell Park, completed baseball field maintenance at the same location, cleaned a homeless encampment on the Greenway and removed three trees near the Plunge.

    Weed abatment Carlson Blvd
    Weeding on Carlson Boulevard

    Wendell Park Community Build Preparation
    Wendell Park Maintenance


    Hilltop Districtcrews continued with weed abatement on Atlas Road, street sweeping the Hilltop area, maintenance around Hilltop Mall business area, weed abatement on Hilltop Drive, and weed abatement around Country Club Vista Park.

    Atlas Road Weed Abatement 3-8-17
    Weed Abatement on Atlas Road

    Richmond Parkway Maintenance 03-13-17
    Richmond Parkway Maintenance

    Marina Districtcrews continued with the rehabilitation of the playground at Barbara J. Vincent, assisted with tree trimming throughout the area, continued with an irrigation project on Regatta Boulevard, weekend use cleanup and weed abatement throughout the Marina, and weed abated along the trails.

    Weed abatement on Marina Trail
    Trail Maintenance

    Irigation Work on Marina Bay
    Irrigation Work on Regatta Boulevard


    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!


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

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