|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week
Ending May 1st, 2009
May 2, 2009
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending May 1st, 2009.
1. Meeting Notes
The next regular City Council meeting is Tuesday, May 5th, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM, followed by Redevelopment items at 6:30 PM, leading up to the regular City Council agenda at 7:00 PM.
2. City Moves Back to Civic Center Plaza
As of Monday, April 27th, all staff moving into the City Hall at 450 Civic Center Plaza were in place, operational and open for business back at the Civic Center Campus. Everything went quite smoothly, with staff from Redevelopment, Information Technology (IT), and Public Works working over the weekend with the construction management firm, move consultants, computer installation people, movers and furniture installation people to ensure a successful transition.
Departments now at the Civic Center are: Mayor, City Manager, City Clerk, City Attorney, Human Resources, Planning, Building, Engineering, Fire Marshal, Cashier, Finance, and Information Technology.
The only units remaining at 1401 Marina Way South are: Redevelopment, Fire Department Administration, Office of Neighborhood Safety, and the City Councilmembers’ offices. These units should all be moved to 440 Civic Center Plaza (the old Hall of Justice) by the end of June. We are planning to have the first City Council meeting in the new Council Chamber on July 7th.
I believe that I can speak for the entire staff at 450 Civic Center Plaza in saying that it is a privilege to serve the Richmond community from this wonderful location, and in thanking all of those who worked so hard to make this a reality.
3. Bond Financing Team Meeting with Standard & Poor’s Rating Agency
This week, the City’s Bond Financing Team met with credit analysts from Standard & Poor’s Credit Corporation to present the financing plan for the upcoming Point Potrero Lease Revenue Bonds which are being issued to finance Port improvements related to the Honda project. Making a detailed presentation on behalf of the City were Finance Director Jim Goins, Debt Analyst Susan Segovia, Deputy City Attorney Carlos Privat, Underwriter Bob Williams, Bond Counsel John Knox, and myself. Topics covered during the presentation included a financial overview of the City; audited results of the City’s operations for the year ended June 30, 2008; local housing market and assessed valuation information; an update on the City’s investment performance and budget projections; and, detailed information on the Port of Richmond and the Honda Port of Entry Project. The proposed bonds will finance the $36.8 million in planned capital improvements at the Point Potrero Marine Terminal, for the Honda Port of Entry Project. Standard & Poor’s will issue a credit rating on these Port bonds in mid-May, and the bonds will be sold in early June.
4. Legal Ruling on California Redevelopment Agency’s Education Revenue Augmentation Funds
As you may recall. the State of California’s FY 2008-09 budget included a provision regarding a “one-time” take (they seem to want to do this every year) of $350 million in Education Revenue Augmentation Funds (ERAF) from the redevelopment agencies statewide. The effect of this take on the Richmond Redevelopment Agency for FY 2008-09 was approximately $3.5 million. Last year, the California Redevelopment Association (CRA) filed a legal challenge to this provision, arguing that State raids of redevelopment funds to balance the State’s budget are unconstitutional. On Thursday, April 30, the Court agreed, ruling in CRA’s favor.
While this is a great victory for all redevelopment agencies, the ruling is not likely to be the last word, as it is expected that the State Department of Finance will appeal the decision.
5. Recognition For Emergency Services Manager
This week, Emergency Services Manager Kathy Gerk received a letter of recognition from the International Association of Emergency Managers. Out of 4,000 emergency managers nationwide, Kathy was one of 776 that maintained her credentials as a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM). This is not an easy feat, as one must continue a program of professional development for five successive years. The letter stated, “As a CEM, Kathryn Gerk demonstrated a high level of competence and ethical fitness for emergency management. Your organization is to be commended for having a professional of this caliber on staff.”
I offer my congratulations to Kathy Gerk as she continues to serve the City of Richmond. I have had the opportunity to be in emergency planning meetings, emergency training, and drills that were organized by Kathy and can personally attest to her first rate professionalism.
6. Meeting with CalTrans Regarding Bay Trail Funding
This past Tuesday, Public Works Director Yader Bermudez, using his years of successful service with CalTrans as an entrée, arranged a meeting with CalTrans District 4 Director Bijan Sartipi, and two other CalTrans staff members, so that he and I could discuss ideas for funding the Bay Trail “gap” between Point Richmond and Point Molate. While Mr. Sartipi did not offer any immediate “magic funding wand” for this project, he made it very clear that getting the project to the point of it being “construction ready” is a critical step to securing funding.
7. Community Benefits Agreement – Community Fund Applications
By Tuesday, May 5th, the Richmond Community Fund Advisory Committee's (RCFAC) application for its first cycle of funding will be available on the City of Richmond's website, at the Richmond City Hall reception desk from 8:30 AM to 12:00 noon and from 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM, and at the Richmond Public Libraries. These funding applications are pursuant to the $1,000,000 annual funding for non-profits serving the Richmond community made available through the Community Benefits Agreement between the City of Richmond and Chevron. The application deadline for this initial cycle is June 1, 2009.
8. Richmond YouthWorks Update
Richmond YouthWORKS has received pledges from Chevron and Kaiser Foundation for participant wages for the Summer Youth Employment Program. Chevron has supported the program every summer for the last four summers with an annual contribution of $75,000. This year they increased that donation to $100,000.
The Kaiser Foundation has also been a consistent supporter of the program, traditionally providing $1,000 to $2,000 for the past four summers. This year they increased their support to $5,000. Combined with the $3,000 pledge from the Kaiser Optical Lab, Kaiser Permanente will donate a total of $8,000 to this year’s program.
It should also be mentioned that the Contra Costa County Community Services Block Grant Fund has increased their annual support from $40,000 to $50,000 this year.
The current total in cash and pledges for the 5th Annual Richmond Summer Youth Employment Program is $592,000 – only $8,000 short of the $600,000 fundraising goal.
The current challenge for the program is to find worksites that can provide 120 hours of meaningful, career path work experience for the youth enrolled in the program. Currently, YouthWORKS has secured worksites for approximately 200 of the 600 youth in the pipeline and is asking all supporters to assist them in finding additional opportunities.
9. Earth Day Creek Challenge
This past Saturday, April 25th, City of Richmond staff participated in a Creek Challenge to acknowledge Earth Day. The annual Creek Challenge removes trash from Baxter, Wildcat and San Pablo creeks. Groundskeepers from the Parks Department, and Stormwater Manager Lynne Scarpa, helped over fifty volunteers remove 2.9 tons of trash and 400 pounds of recyclable material out of Baxter Creek near San Pablo Avenue. Code Enforcement staff also assisted in setting up the clean-up. Items that were removed from the creek banks for proper disposal at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility included five microwave ovens and several fluorescent tubes. Volunteers removed 1,124 pounds of trash from Wildcat Creek in San Pablo and North Richmond, and other volunteers removed 1,039 pounds from San Pablo Creek in El Sobrante. All of these efforts keep trash from reaching downstream portions of these creeks in Richmond and the Richmond shorelines.
10. Bi-Annual React/Cert Drill
On Saturday, April 25th, the City of Richmond Office of Emergency Services, the Richmond Fire Department, the El Cerrito Fire Department and the San Pablo Police Department held their bi-annual REACT/CERT drill at the El Cerrito City Hall complex. For the first time ever, the CERT drill was conducted in both Spanish and English. This drill is the culmination of twenty hours of life saving training which includes such topics as fire suppression, search and rescue techniques, utility control, cribbing and lifting of heavy objects, and first aid. The format was changed this year, as participants were split up into two teams. Each team was given a variety of rescue scenarios to work through during the day. The American Red Cross also conducted a class on setting up a community disaster shelter. A total of sixty five people participated and will now go into their neighborhoods to form emergency response teams. These teams will help residents become more self sufficient and increase survivability during a disaster. Feedback from the drill participants was very positive as they were eager to share their knowledge with family, friends and neighbors.
11. Environmentally Preferable Procurement Policy
The City has drafted an environmentally preferable procurement policy to be used by the Purchasing Division, which gives specific guidelines to assure the City’s effort in procuring environmentally preferable products, materials and services. The primary purpose of the policy is to minimize negative environmental impacts of the City’s activities by ensuring that the procurement of products, materials and services adhere to environmentally preferable purchasing principles. These principles include conservation of resources and energy, promotion of waste reduction, and pollution prevention, in the context of value and performance. As a large organization, the City has the purchasing power to influence suppliers to become more environmentally focused in the products, materials and services they provide. Procurement choices affect the environmental performance of the City through the operation and disposal of products.
12. Recreation Highlights
The following are highlights from the Recreation Department for the current week:
§ DPRC: The Recreation Department DPRC (Disabled Persons Recreation Center) Recreation Coordinator, Sharolyn Babb, assisted the Developmental Disabilities Council with final preparations for the Transitions Fair held on April 25, 2009 at the Transitions School in Richmond. The Fair provided information for disabled people regarding adult services, transitioning from schools, and other resources for support. The Recreation Department participated with an information and popcorn booth.
§ DPRC (part 2): The Recreation Department DPRC held its annual Spring Break Camp for ten participants. The campers enjoyed walking at the Richmond Marina, hiking at Tilden Park, going to the movies and taking a tour of Alcatraz.
§ Tennis Program: The Recreation Department tennis program participant, Gordon Huang, has been chosen to attend the Carmel Valley Tennis Ranch summer camp, with a full scholarship, this summer from June 7th to June 14th. A second participant, Dominic Tu has been chosen to attend the Nike Tennis Camp, with a full scholarship this summer during a session of his choice.
13. Public Works Highlights
Public Works will start tonight (Friday) at 9:00 PM supporting the Cinco de Mayo celebration by closing 23rd Street from Rheem Avenue to Garvin Avenue and will continue with ongoing support throughout the coming weekend events.
Next week, Public Works will be paving the Richmond Parkway lane number 1 in both directions from Blume Drive to Lakeside Drive. Additionally, paving will take place on Ohio Avenue from 37th to 42nd Streets, weather permitting.
The Parks Division is currently reviewing 26 proposals in response to an RFP for the rehabilitation of the Shields Reid Park, and is reviewing 24 proposals in response to an RFP for the rehabilitation of the Burg Park.
Resurfacing of basketball courts at Nevin and Atchison parks is currently underway.
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!
City of Richmond
1401 Marina Way South
Richmond, CA 94804