Although most agenda items are written and prepared by staff, City Council
members may also write and introduce ordinances and resolutions.
Among all council members, Tom Butt holds the record for the
number of resolutions and ordinances he personally authored
(as opposed to staff preparing or initiating them) as well as
the number of those initiatives that both passed and failed.
Butt has the experience, initiative and ability to personally
research and prepare resolutions and ordinances when he believes
that staff lacks the interest, motivation or knowledge to do
so, and he has introduced dozens.
failed, including measures to study renaming the City “Richmond
by the Bay,” resolutions to allow the public to vote on
removing the utility User Tax cap that benefits only Chevron,
a study to reorganize the fire department, a directive to clean
up Red Rock Marina, measures to block non-historic alterations
to City Hall, and directives for combating celebratory random
however, have carried, and most with unanimous votes. These
include the Lobbyist Ordinance, the amendment to the weed Abatement
Ordinance banning invasive exotic plants, amendments to the
Affirmative Action Ordinance strengthening the definition of
“Richmond” firms, ordinance amendments establishing
a procedure for allowing barbed wire, an ordinance amendment
modifying the way the City inspects construction at Chevron,
a resolution directing closure of the firing range near the
Richmond Annex, amendments to the parking ordinance prohibiting
parking of disconnected semi-trailers, the Historic Preservation
Ordinance and all the resolutions necessary to implement historic
preservation policy consistent with the establishment of the
Rosie the Riveter WW II Home Front National Historic Park, the
resolution to petition the PUC for a change in railroad crossing
blockage times, establishment of the Ahwahnee Principals and
design guidelines for the DRB to use for infill housing.
most controversial were the resolutions resulting in the termination
of Floyd Johnson as city manager. On March 30, 1999, Butt wrote
and placed on the agenda a resolution intended to initiate steps
to result in the adoption of an Industrial Safety Ordinance.
It passed unanimously, and the draft ordinance is now under
consideration by the City Council.
been an aggressive advocate on a wide range of issues and has
often seized the initiative to get action items in front of
the City Council with minimum loss of time.
Butt wrote and sponsored an ordinance amendment banning
parking of unattached semi-truck trailers on city streets.
Butt wrote the resolution that resulted in closure of the Union
Pacific firing range.