|City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week
Ending May 15th, 2009
May 15, 2009
Mayor and Councilmembers:
This is the weekly report for the week ending May 15th, 2009.
1. Meeting Notes
There will be a Council meeting on May 26th for Study Sessions and Presentations. Upcoming Council meeting dates for June are the 2nd, 16th and 23rd.
2. Community Budget Meeting
On Saturday, May 9th, the first of five community budget meetings was held at the Seaport Missionary Baptist Church, located at 376 South Street in Richmond. Vice-Mayor Ludmyrna Lopez; Councilmember Tom Butt; James Goins, Finance Director; Keith Jabari, Recreation Director; Monique le Conge, Library & Cultural Director; and other city staff attended this meeting, at which time the operating and capital improvement plan budgets, and the five-year strategic business plan were discussed. Citizens expressed their concern for the type of fence to be installed as part of the Richmond Greenway. Other concerns included code enforcement issues, such as abandoned houses that may be used for illegal activities, and wild blackberries. Keith talked about the more than 200 programs offered by Recreation, and Monique talked about the Library programs. She mentioned there has been an average of 15 new LEAP participants each week and that this number will increase when the adult school closes for the summer. Residents requested additional information on the LEAP and PAL programs. The next community budget meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 21st at 7:30 p.m. at the Nevin Community Center, 598 Nevin Avenue.
3. Stimulus Tracking Through See-it
As you are aware, in February, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which provides $787 billion in spending and tax cuts to stimulate the economy. The ARRA represents a tremendous opportunity for communities to fund current programs and establish new initiatives. The program is creating badly needed jobs, building infrastructure, improving energy efficiency, and increasing public safety. These funds will be distributed through existing formulas to programs that have proven track records and accountability measures, competitive grant programs, loan provisions, and “passed-down” through the State of California. As funding becomes available, the City of Richmond has applied for slightly over $60 million, mostly for Wastewater Plant and Collection System Improvements and Public Safety programs. As of May 11th, the City’s allocation from formula funding totaled $8,858,649. At its May 5th meeting, the City Council adopted a resolution which allows City departments to submit applications for ARRA funding as it becomes available, and appropriate the funds when they are awarded.
Beginning in June, a new software program called See-it will display money received from each funding source, detail how much money goes into each project within that area, how much has been spent, to date and progress on the City’s objectives.
4. Department of Planning and Building Highlights
· 23rd Street Corridor Form-Based Code Visioning – June 15th-19th: A presentation to introduce the 23rd Street Corridor Form-Based Code community planning process is scheduled for Monday, June 15th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Community Room at the Recreation and Parks Building located on Macdonald Avenue and 33rd Street. On the following day, a design studio will be set up on the first floor conference room at the City Hall campus.
During a four day period (June 16th – 19th), the public will have an opportunity to guide urban designers who will craft design standards for the 23rd Street corridor from Bissell Avenue, north to the San Pablo City limit. Opticos Design of Berkeley will facilitate this unusual process. Daniel Parolek, AIA, and a Principal with Opticos Design, is the author of “Form-Based Codes,” A Guide for Planners, Urban Designers, Municipalities, and Developers,” a widely circulated book in the planning community that describes this specialized community visioning process.
· National Guard Armory to be Refurbished: Richmond’s National Guard Armory, located on Carlson Boulevard between Cutting Boulevard and 37th Street, will receive numerous repairs and improvements including paint, roof, window restoration, and landscaping. This work will be carried out using funds from the Economic Stimulus program.
Last year, Senior Planner Jonelyn Wales, currently a Captain in the National Guard, met with representatives of the Armory and requested they take steps to improve their facility when funds became available. Work will be completed this summer. City staff (Planning and Building, Redevelopment, Fire, and Public Works) will meet with Guard representatives to discuss details of their renovation plan.
The building is a standard type constructed in many cities for use by the National Guard in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s. It includes a large meeting hall that was intended to be used for community events. Armories are often used as homeless shelters and as emergency service centers. A fully refurbished version of Richmond’s Armory is located in San Jose, across the street from the County Court House.
· Charter High School to Relocate from Richmond Annex to the Heights: During its regularly scheduled meeting held on May 7th, the Planning Commission approved the relocation of West County Community High School from its current location on Carlson Boulevard to an existing Church complex located at 777 Sonoma Street. The school has an enrollment of 100 students and is expected to expand to its capacity to 150 students during the next three years. The school’s operators will now work with the Department of Planning and Building to fully evaluate the structures and develop a program to update them for occupancy.
· Internal Review of General Plan Elements Nearly Complete: The Planning staff is finishing its administrative review of all fifteen General Plan elements. The one thousand page draft document will be returned for modification and the draft plan will be released for public review in July. Planning staff will present an update to the City Council in late May or at the first Council meeting in June.
5. Tennis Program
The Recreation Department’s Tennis Program has six participants who have been accepted to the 2009 USTA Northern California Summer Tennis Camp Scholarship Program - Sonoma State University. The camps are conducted from 07/06/09 to 07/09/09 for boys, and 07/13/09 to 07/16/09 for girls.
6. Hand in Hand: An NGO Community for a Thriving Richmond
On Monday, May 11th, 2009 the City of Richmond launched its new non-profit organization capacity-building initiative Hand in Hand: An NGO Community for a Thriving Richmond. Thirty-eight Richmond-based and/or Richmond serving organizations attended for a total of 90 participants. In the morning, the attendees formed 9 teams, which all produced community maps that are currently on display at the Richmond Library. In the afternoon, there were 9 different workshops (i.e., strategic planning, fundraising, board development, marketing, etc.) offered by the City’s consulting partners and participants had the opportunity to sign up for follow-up workshops the City is offering over the next two months.
7. “Welcome Spring” Storytime
As part of the regular storytimes held each week at the Bayview Branch Library, 16 participants were treated to a special visit during a recent “Welcome Spring” themed-storytime. Children and their parents were able to meet a chicken and her chicks! Storytimes at all of the libraries are held weekly for families, pre-schoolers, and babies. Early literacy programs like storytime are valuable in helping children perform better in school and develop a love of reading, as well as creating lifelong learners who are library users.
Have a great week!
Lisa Carter, Executive Secretary II, for
Leslie T. Knight, Assistant City Manager/HRM Director, for
City of Richmond
450 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, CA 94804