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  City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending March 29th, 2013
March 29, 2013

This is the weekly report for the week ending March 29th, 2013.

  • Meeting Notes


The next meeting of the Richmond City Council is on Tuesday, April 2nd, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:30 PM and with the regular agenda beginning at 6:30 PM.

  • Chevron Refinery Fire - Findings and Discoveries Public Meeting


Senator Loni Hancock and Assemblymember Nancy Skinner announced that they will hold a public meeting concerning last year’s August 6th Chevron Refinery fire on Friday, April 5th from 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM in the Richmond City Council Chambers.  The purpose of the meeting will be to hear reports on the “findings and discoveries” of the many governmental agencies that have investigated, or are currently investigating, the Chevron fire.

The two legislators have invited the following agencies to testify and present a summary of their “findings and discoveries” of the Chevron fire’s causes and effects:

  • U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
  • California Division of Occupational Safety and Health
  • Bay Area Air Quality Management District
  • Contra Costa County Environmental Health & Hazardous Materials Division
  • City of Richmond


The various agencies have been asked to focus on state laws or services that need to be changed to prevent future fires & harmful air emissions at chemical processing facilities as well as to better monitor and respond to such incidents.

For more information, please contact:

Carolina Salazar                                      Mark Chekal-Bain
District Representative                              District Director
Senator Loni Hancock,                             Assemblymember Nancy Skinner,
       9th District                                                 15th District
T: (510) 286-1333                                     T: (510) 286-1400
carolina.salazar@sen.ca.gov                    mark.chekal-bain@asm.ca.gov  

  • Contra Costa County Will Begin Hiring for Health Exchange Call Center Jobs


As you know, Contra Costa County was awarded a contract to operate one of the three Covered California Service Call Centers throughout the state to facilitate enrollment for the more than 1.4 million Californians seeking affordable, high quality health care coverage.  The County Board of Supervisors selected a site in Concord for this call center, despite the Richmond community making a strong case for a Richmond site.

Despite this setback, the Richmond Employment and Training Department’s RichmondWORKS program has already started a process to assist Richmond residents to apply for jobs at the health exchange call center, which will employ over 200 people in a variety of positions at the planned Concord facility.

Starting Monday, March 25th, the Contra Costa County Human Resources Department began recruiting for 180 Exchange Customer Agent I/II positions.  These Contra Costa County employment opportunities are for dedicated individuals who are interested in being a part of the new Affordable Care Act initiative to expand health care coverage in California through a partnership with the California Health Benefit Exchange (HBEX).  The minimum qualifications for the Exchange Customer Service Agent I/II positions are:

  • Driver’s License;
  • Possession of a high school diploma, or GED equivalency or a high school proficiency certificate;
  • Either one (1) year of full time (or equivalent of full time) office support experience which has included substantial public contact, or 2) one (1) year of full time experience with responsibility of processing documents relating to: loans, financial assistance, unemployment, veterans benefits, health benefits and/or social services programs, or 3) one (1) year of full time call center experience.


Interest individuals may apply by:

  • Visiting www.cccounty.us/hr and clicking on “Job Opportunities link; or
  • Stopping by the RichmondWORKS One Stop Center (330 25th Street) for on-line application assistance and access to computers or to pick up a paper application.  On-Line applications are strongly encouraged


Editor’s notes:  The next three items relate to Richmond ESC – Excellence Serving our Community.  This program was launched in 2012 with two-year funding from the S.D. Bechtel Foundation and is part of the national Cities of Service network.  Rochelle Monk, a veteran of the City Manager’s office and well-known throughout the community for her neighborhood work, is implementing this program as a full-time effort.  Richmond ESC has completed the comprehensive planning effort needed to organize the program, and it is now in its launch stage.  I encourage you to learn more about this nascent program, get involved, and spread the word.  Visit the new Richmond ESC website at
http://richmondvolunteers.org to learn about the program and specific volunteer opportunities.  The volunteer service needs in Richmond are plentiful, but the potential for volunteer impact is boundless.

  • Call for Nominations – Richmond’s Distinguished Volunteers


Richmond ESC – Excellence Serving our Community, and the offices of Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and City Manager Bill Lindsay, in partnership with the Richmond Community Foundation, invite you to celebrate Richmond volunteers during the annual city-wide Volunteer Recognition and Awards Ceremony on Thursday, April 25th from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM, at the Richmond Memorial Auditorium lobby.

You are invited to nominate your volunteer(s) for a Richmond ESC – Excellence Serving our Community Distinguished Volunteer Service Award that will recognize outstanding service in our community in the following areas of:

  • Public Safety
  • Beautification
  • Education
  • Health and Wellness
  • Youth Service
  • Arts
  • Excellence in Community Service


To nominate your volunteer(s), please visit http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/59QCK5Y to complete the short nomination form.  The deadline for nominations has been extended to Thursday, April 4th by 5:00 PM.

For further information, please contact Richmond ESC at (510) 237-SERV (7378) or (510) 620-6511.

  • Richmond ESC & Global Youth Service Day


Richmond ESC – Excellence Serving our Community – is a designated lead agency for Global Youth Service Day (GYSD).  GYSD, an initiative by Youth Service America, is the largest service event in the world, and the only one that celebrates the amazing work young people do to improve communities. The purpose is to involve youth in service for the month of April, with an emphasis on volunteering during the weekend of April 26th – 28th.


Do you know someone who wants to change the world?  Whether you’re concerned with education, hunger and homelessness, childhood obesity, or the environment, Global Youth Service Day provides you with the opportunity to get together with your friends to make a difference through volunteering. For more information, please call (510)237-SERV or email bertha_romo@ci.richmond.ca.us or corvolunteer@ci.richmond.ca.us. Get involved and make an impact today!

  • Visit Richmond Volunteers’ Webpage


Richmond ESC – Excellence Serving our Community, our impact volunteering program, invites organizations and volunteers to visit our new website, www.richmondvolunteers.org.   The web portal is an added resource for local agencies and volunteers to connect with one another.  Richmond organizations and volunteers can create free accounts to highlight volunteer opportunities, or connect with meaningful service projects here in Richmond.   For additional information regarding the website or Richmond ESC, please contact (510) 237-SERV (7378) or (510) 620-6511.

  • City of Richmond Tree Inventory and Survey Underway


The Davey Resource Group is currently performing a tree survey and inventory of all city-owned trees. The survey crews will identify, measure, and assess all street trees, park trees, and trees on city-owned property.  The City anticipates the inventory to be completed in the next three to five months. The data gathered from this inventory will be used to develop the City’s Urban Greening Master Plan, assist the City in managing the existing urban forest, and identify greening opportunities around the City. The inventory is funded through a grant from the Cal Fire Urban and Community Forestry Program.  The effort is being managed by the Planning Division in close consultation with the Parks and Landscaping Division.  Additional information about the inventory can be found by visiting www.ci.richmond.ca.us/urbangreening.



More Editor’s notes:  The next three items relate to the City of Richmond’s participation in the MCE Clean Energy program, which is well into its launch stage.  We will be working over the next several months to inform the community about the new energy choices that will soon be available.

  • Save the Date – MCE Clean Energy Program Town Hall Meeting on April 22nd


MCE and the City of Richmond are hosting two town hall meetings to inform electric customers of their electricity options.  The first town hall meeting has been scheduled for Earth Day, Monday, April 22nd at 6:30 PM at Lavonya De Jean Middle School at 3500 MacDonald Avenue.  MCE will distribute meeting materials, community announcements and flyers to publicize the town hall meeting over the coming days. 

  • MCE Program Enrollment and Opt-Out Notices


MCE will mail the first opt-out notice to electricity customers in Richmond beginning in early April 2013.  MCE sends five notices as part of its effort to help energy customers make an informed decision. The notices will inform customers of the electricity service choices they have with instructions on how to opt out.  A second and third notice will be mailed in the latter part of April and in May. 

Richmond electric customers will be enrolled with MCE service in July 2013 unless they choose to opt out. Starting in July, all electric customers in Richmond will have three electricity options:

  • MCE ‘Light Green’ 50% renewable energy (default service and competitive rates with PG&E);


  • MCE ‘Deep Green’ 100% renewable energy (a penny more per kilowatt hour);
  • PG&E electric supply that is 20% renewable energy.


After the July enrollment, a fourth and fifth notice to remind customers of their account enrollment in the MCE Clean Energy program will be sent out.  For no charge, Richmond customers will have the option to opt out of the program beginning in April.  After 60 days of service with MCE, if customers choose to opt out of the program, there is a $5 one-time fee for residents and a $25 one-time fee for businesses.

A rate comparison calculator is available on the MCE website at www.mceCleanEnergy.com.  Based on current rates for PG&E as well as MCE proposed rates (scheduled to become effective in April 2013), MCE will cost Richmond residential customers about $0.59 more per month on average, and commercial customers will see an overall cost savings.  This rate comparison reflects rates of April 1st and is a “snap shot in time” comparison.  It is important to note that these rates are likely to change as PG&E typically changes rates three times per year.  MCE changes their rates once per year in April and the proposed changes are reflected in the rate comparison. 

Electric customers who a) choose to opt out, b) opt up to ‘Deep Green’ 100% renewable energy, or c) would like more information, should call (888) 632-3674 or visit www.mceCleanEnergy.com.  The opt-out instructions, phone number and information are also included in the opt-out notice customers will receive in the mail.

  • Community Leader Advisory Group (CLAG) for the MCE Clean Energy Program

On Thursday, March 21st, the MCE Clean Energy Program convened the Community Leader Advisory Group (CLAG) to help implement a comprehensive community outreach campaign for the City's new electricity options. Among the CLAG's top priorities are:

  • Helping inform the public of the their choice to purchase electric energy from the MCE Clean Energy program or PG&E;


  • Advising MCE on how best to inform residents and businesses about the automatic enrollment to MCE's 50% Renewable Light Green service in July 2013;
  • Promoting at least two town hall community events where residents and business owners can ask questions and gain more detailed information on their electricity options.


The CLAG participants included a broad cross-section of the Richmond community, including those from local housing and business organizations, civic and environmental groups, educational nonprofits, ESL (English as a second language) advocates, and numerous others. The meeting was productive, collaborative, and identified additional community networks and constituents to engage as the MCE Clean Energy program is implemented over the next 5-month period.

The CLAG’s objective is to help facilitate effective community outreach; it will not issue any official decisions or resolutions.  It will typically meet once a month until September 2013. Participation is open and entirely voluntary.  If you would like to inquire about participating please email Alex DiGiorgio at adigiorgio@mceCleanEnergy.com.

  • Richmond Health Equity Partnership (RHEP) Meeting


On Wednesday, March 27th, Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) hosted the eleventh meeting of the Richmond Health Equity Partnership (RHEP). The RHEP consists of representatives from the City of Richmond, CCHS, West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD), University of California, Berkeley Associate Professor Jason Corburn and several community based organizations. The RHEP aims to advance health equity for children and families in Richmond.

At the meeting, CCHS provided a presentation on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Low Income Health Plan (LIHP), changes in access to health care, and an update on the school-based health centers. In addition, CCHS led a discussion on West County asthma data and comprehensive approaches to reducing health inequities in asthma. View the meeting presentation slides, notes, and materials here. For more information on the RHEP and City of Richmond Health Initiatives, please visit www.richmondhealth.org.

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  • Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Plan


The General Fund variance report for February 2013, summarized below, reflects budget-to-actual financial data for all City of Richmond departments.  The total General Fund adjusted budget is $141.5 million, with $95.3 million expended or encumbered to date; an average of 67%, which aligns with the target for the period.



  • West Contra Costa Unified School District (WCCUSD) Town Hall Meetings to Discuss School District Action Plan

WCCUSD will be holding a series of community meetings to gather information for a new strategic plan for the district.  The meeting schedule is as follows:

10:00 AM   April 13th, Ford Elementary School multipurpose room, 2711 Maricopa
                      Ave., Richmond

6:30 PM     April 17th, Crespi Middle School library, 1121 Allview Ave., El Sobrante

6:30 PM     April 18th, Hercules Library, 109 Civic Drive

10:00 AM   April 27th, El Cerrito High School multipurpose room, 540 Ashbury Ave.

6:30 PM     May 9th, Pinole Middle School multipurpose room, 1575 Mann Drive

10:00 AM   May 11th, Kennedy High School library, 4300 Cutting Blvd., Richmond

  • Public Works Updates

Facilities Maintenance:  Carpenters have been working on the “Friends” section of the Main Library and a building on Kelsey Street for occupancy.

Painters completed the refreshing of the “Welcome to Richmond” sign on Carlson Boulevard and Bay View Avenue.

Stationary Engineers have been monitoring the carbon monoxide levels within 440 Civic Center Plaza three times a day. They have repaired the main sewer line at the Bayview Branch Library and Fire Station #64 and repaired the heating ventilation and air conditioning unit in the Information Technology server room at 450 Civic Center Plaza.

Electricians completed the installation of three new illuminated emergency exit signs at the May Valley Community Center, repaired the lights at Shields Reid Community Center, and troubleshot the overhead traffic signal on Robert H. Miller and Hilltop Drive.


Lights Near Shields Reid Repair

Parks and Landscaping Division:  This week crews completed shrub and landscape pruning at Nicholl and Tiller Parks, weed abatement and vegetation management at Hilltop Lake, vegetation management on the Richmond Parkway from I-80 to San Pablo Avenue, turf maintenance at the North Richmond Ballfield, graffiti removal on the Greenway, and median clean-up at various locations. They also replaced damaged play equipment at Lamoine Park, fertilized four parks, repaired fence along Regatta Boulevard, aerated turf at Wendell Park, and prepared Booker T. Anderson Park for an Easter event.

Tree Crews trimmed or removed trees along Hayes Street, Groom Drive, Buena Vista Avenue, 22nd Street, Burbeck Avenue, and 19th Street.

Streets Division:  This week crews completed the dig out and paving of the gutter on 13th Street, rebuilt the guardrail at Castro Street, attended training, and worked from the outstanding pothole list.

Next week, crews will be paving Cutting Boulevard from South 41st to South 45th in the eastbound lanes.

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Guardrail Repair on Castro Street

The street sweepers performed street sweeping services for the fourth Monday through Thursday and the fifth Friday in Santa Fe, Point Richmond, Marina Bay, Coronado, Metro Richmond Village, Pullman, Cortez/Stege, Park Plaza, Laurel Park, City Center, Panhandle Annex, Richmond Annex, Parkview and Eastshore neighborhood council areas.


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!


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You can sign up to receive the City Manager’s weekly report and other information from the City of Richmond by visiting:


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