Mayor and Members of the City Council:
This is the weekly report for the week ending July 11th, 2014.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 15th, 2014, beginning with a Closed Session at 5:00 PM, followed by the regular Council agenda at 6:30 PM.
- City of Richmond and Pogo Park Cited for ‘Outstanding Model of Community-Based Planning’
In a new comprehensive outdoor recreation plan to be published next year, the California State Parks Department will feature the City of Richmond and Pogo Park as “an outstanding statewide model of community-based planning.” In making the announcement, Viktor Patiño, manager of the Office of Grants and Local Services for the Parks Department, cited the renovation of Richmond’s Elm Playlot and the planning of the new Unity Park on the Richmond Greenway as among “the most innovative best practices by local agencies and nonprofit organizations.”
The City and Pogo Park teamed up to win two separate grants in the highly competitive Proposition 84 Statewide Park Program - $1.94 million for Elm Playlot and $5 million for Unity Park. A coordinated effort by Pogo Park resulted in more than 1,000 local residents taking part in the comprehensive planning process for the two parks, attending meetings, giving interviews to volunteer canvassers, and becoming deeply involved in the design process. Mr. Patiño singled out the work of Pogo Park Director Toody Maher and former Superintendent of the City of Richmond Parks Department, Chris Chamberlain, in this effort. The State Parks Department seeks to document Richmond’s success so that other communities can learn from it. The State Parks Department’s comprehensive outdoor recreation plan will be presented in 2015 to the Governor’s Office, the California Legislature, the National Park Service, and all park agencies statewide.
One of the first steps in Pogo Park’s community design process had local residents draw pictures of what they would like to see at Elm Playlot.
In June 2011, Pogo Park’s resident team hosted an eight-day “Festival of Ideas” on the Richmond Greenway where community members described their vision of what should be built at Unity Park.
Pogo Park’s resident team pauses during a landscape planning session.
- Pricing Results for Civic Center Refunding Transaction
You may recall several recent City Council agenda items, including the budget discussion, during which the Council approved a financial transaction that allowed for an advanced refinancing of the Civic Center bonds, allowing for significant realized cash savings on that issue. On Wednesday morning, July 9th, the Finance Department executed an interest rate swap option (“Swaption”) with the Royal Bank of Canada, which effects an advance refunding of the Civic Center Bonds. The City received a one-time payment of $9.386 million, which represents the savings the City would receive if it were to complete a traditional bond refunding transaction at current market levels. This payment is at the high end of what was estimated to be the proceeds for this transaction, and gets the City off to a good financial start in the new fiscal year.
- Parchester Residents Informed about Design Day
This past Wednesday, July 9th, the planning team for the Parchester Park renovation hit the ground running. With the help of the youth from the Parchester neighborhood and the Boys & Girls Club of El Sobrante, the group was divided into two teams. The teams had 3 hours to knock on doors and invite Parchester residents to Design Day taking place on Wednesday, July 16th at 5:30 PM. The two teams competed for the most signatures and commitments from neighbors. After 3 hours of walking, talking, and informing together both teams received over 100 contacts from Parchester residents that will be attending Design Day!
The planning team ready to meet the Parchester neighbors!
The winning team that collected 63 signatures from residents.
Team two that gave the winning team some competition with collecting 53 signatures from residents.
Please join Parchester Neighborhood Council on Wednesday, July 16th at 5:30 PM to help design a new play space at Parchester Park.
- How Does a Writer Coach Measure Success?
“How do we (writer coaches) know that the work we have done over the year matters? We fine tune our expectations and celebrate the victories we can pinpoint such as finally becoming comfortable with our student we have been coaching all year and unpacking the stereotype that Richmond students are unmotivated. I have discovered through my work as a writer coach that every young person wants to do their best and know that their life matters.” This is an excerpt from a blog written by Jana Haertl, Writer Coach, Richmond High School.
Sign-up to be a Volunteer Writer Coach at Richmond or Kennedy High School ~ and register for a training today!
RCH3: Thursdays, August 14 & August 21, 2014 from 9:30-12:30 pm at Kennedy High School
RCH4: Wednesday, August 20 & August 27, 2014 from 6:00-9:00 pm at Pt. Richmond First United Methodist Church
RCH5: Tuesdays, September 2 & September 9, 2014 from 12:00-3:00 pm at Richmond High School
RCH6: Wednesdays, September 10 & September 17, 2014 from 12:00-3:00 pm at Richmond High School
To register go to http://www.writercoachconnection.org/volunteer-registration.html or contact the Richmond Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator June Pangelinan at email@example.com or at (510) 685-7054.
Don't know what do with all the extra goodies from your garden? Bring your excess garden produce to swap with your neighbors – lemons for chard, lettuce for herbs, and so on. You don’t need to bring a lot to attend, and you can also bring seedlings, tools or anything related to gardening. Come and meet with your neighbors, trade gardening tips and recipes, and have fun. The Crop Swap will occur each Wednesday from 5:00 - 6:00 PM in front of the Main Branch of the Richmond Public Library at 325 Civic Center Plaza. What to swap: garden produce (preferably organic), seedlings, garden supplies, books, etc.
Summertime is here and the Richmond Farmers Market is excited about all the new products that they have to offer: cherries, apricots, peaches, grapes, several vegetables, melons, and much more! Soon the Market will have tomatoes, figs and other great produce.
Come visit the Market every Friday from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM on 24th Street and Barrett Avenue. Come shop at the Market and see the market manager for a FREE ticket to win a FREE BASKET of food! (You don’t have to be present to win.) The growers hope to see you there!
I have listed below some of the topics for meetings that I have recently attended in the hope that it provides an idea of the varied issues with which our organization deals routinely.
Activities and meeting topics during the past week have included:
- Met, along with staff from the City Attorney’s office, the Planning Department, and the City’s outside consultants, with the ad hoc City Council committee for the Chevron refinery modernization project (McLaughlin and Butt), to review the project status and schedule;
- Received an update from City staff regarding activities at Point Molate;
- Met, along with Richmond Housing Authority Executive Director Tim Jones, with Rhonda Harris, of the Veteran’s Resource Program facility, to discuss veterans housing programs;
- Attended a roundtable discussion regarding issues and opportunities in the City of Richmond, hosted by staff and boardmembers from the Y & H Soda Foundation;
- Worked with staff members to prepare a “short list” of consultants for interviews for the Richmond Housing Authority management audit;
- Met with community members to discuss local hire provisions of the Chevron modernization project;
- Met with Councilmember Tom Butt, MTC Chair Amy Worth, TRAC’s Bruce Beyeart, and Contra Costa Transportation Authority Executive Director Randy Iwasaki, to discuss funding opportunities for closing the Bay Trail gap between Pt. Richmond and the San Rafael Bridge;
- Met with Cheryl Vaughn, Solar Richmond Executive Director, to discuss the status of their sublease to the City of the County building at 2730 Maine Avenue;
- Reviewed with City staff the status of HUD regulatory compliance issues;
- Attended the monthly Contra Costa Public Managers Association meeting (includes city managers from all Contra Costa cities);
- Attended the regular quarterly meeting among the six bargaining units to review City finances and other issues;
- Attended the monthly Contra Costa Mayors Conference in Oakley (featured presentation: community choice aggregation);
- Met with community members and Vice-Mayor Beckles to discuss solar facility financing options;
- Met with Diane Aranda, Program Officer with The California Endowment, together with staff members Shasa Curl and Gabino Arredondo, to discuss the status the Healthy Communities program in Richmond.
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.
- City’s Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS) and Peacemaker Fellowship recently featured by London Published British National Newspaper ‘The Independent’
The ONS and its Peacemaker Fellowship was recently profiled (click here) for its innovative approach towards reducing firearm assaults and associated injury. The efforts of the ONS continue to attract positive attention and inform the field of violence intervention and interruption through the development and implementation of promising practices.
- City Receives Award for its Procurement Expertise
The Purchasing Division has been informed that the City has received the Achievement of Excellence in Procurement award from the National Purchasing Institute for the fifth consecutive year. This prestigious award is earned by those organizations that demonstrate innovation, productivity, e-procurement, and leadership attributes. Presentation of the award will be made in January 2015 at the annual conference of the California Association of Public Procurement Officials in Monterey.
- West Macdonald Avenue Undergrounding Project
PG&E Rule 20A is an ongoing program that provides for undergrounding of overhead utility lines that is funded through a small surcharge on utility bills. A PG&E Rule 20A Electric Underground Conversion Project for the West Macdonald Avenue area between 5th Street and the Richmond Parkway is nearing completion.
The West Macdonald Avenue undergrounding project was initially brought forward to City Council by Engineering Department and Redevelopment staff in 2007 as part of the rehabilitation of Macdonald Avenue. Staff from PG&E and the City presented this approximately $4 million project to the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council in the fall of 2013. This project provided underground electric service and utilities in the area and provided much needed area improvements that included ADA curb ramps and upgraded street lighting. The project also allowed for certain private property owners to upgrade their electrical service from 60 to 100 amperage panel units. City Public Works staff are adding the finishing touches by installing new street signs.
A summary of the West Macdonald Avenue Underground Project is as follows:
- Twenty-five new street light poles;
- Eighteen new ADA ramps installed;
- Twenty-four steel and one wooden pole removed and a number of the old metal trolley poles;
- Approximately 18,000 square feet of new cement, sidewalk work;
- Approximately 29,000 square feet of new street AC work;
- Approximately 8,500 linear feet of trenching performed to underground electric, phone and cable utilities.
West Macdonald Utility Undergrounding Project
- Information Technology (IT) Department Updates
Shields Reid Community Computer Lab
IT staff completed the communications setup and wiring for the Shields Reid Community Center computer lab.
For the week ending July 9th, the following pages received the most views:
Site Keyword Search
For the week ending July 9th, the following keywords were used most frequently in web searches:
4th of July
IT/KCRT Image of the Week
City of Richmond Third of July 2014
- Code Enforcement Abatement Unit Activity
Code Enforcement has been very busy eliminating blight throughout the City. Below are some of their efforts to improve our residents quality of life. To report illegal dumping or graffiti please call the Code Enforcement Hotline at (510) 965-4905.
Crews removed 42.32 tons of debris from public right-of-ways
Crews abated weeds from 12 City locations
Crews abated 6 properties and fenced 2 on Maine Avenue
Abatement at 642 Mathieu Court
Crews removed graffiti from 72 locations
Crews performed a neighborhood clean-up in Park Plaza and
Assisted in the removal of 18.04 tons of debris from 30 senior citizens
- Literacy for Every Adult Program (LEAP) is Looking for You!
LEAP will celebrate 30 years of service on September 21, 2014. We want to thank the many volunteer tutors and students, as well as community service providers, who have supported and shaped LEAP’s success. Who are the LEAPster’s? What are their stories? In the next three months we will be collecting stories and photos to create a memorable timeline and history of the program. Are you part of this history? Please let us know and tell us the part that you played. Feel free to submit your information by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading: LEAP 30 Year Story. If you have any questions or want to assist with our plans, feel free to contact Sherry Drobner at (510) 307-8082 or email@example.com.
- Richmond Selects Three Poets Laureate!
So impressive was the response to the call for applications this spring that the Poet Laureate Selection Panel was hard pressed to select just one. Following a Poetry Slam on June 25th for finalists to help the panel decide, three Poets Laureate were selected: Donte Clark, Brenda Quintanilla, and Lincoln Bergman.
The winners represent a wide range of age, gender and cultural diversity, which the panel considers an asset. During the try-outs, each of the applicants expressed a desire to make a contribution to poetry in Richmond, whether or not they were chosen as Poet Laureate. The other applicants were: Nyabingha Zianni McDowell, Ivori Holson, Daniel Ari, and Collette McCaslin. A new poetry committee will include all of the applicants.
The Poet Laureate program provides a focus for the appreciation and dissemination of poetry in Richmond. The three new Poets Laureate will work together for the next two years to promote poetry among our youth, and will act as spokespersons for the growing number of poets and writers in Richmond. They will also work with the West Contra County Unified School District to bring poetry into the classrooms, and will coordinate poetry events in the community.
The inaugural Poet Laureate for Richmond was Dwayne Parish. Dwayne wrote many poems, always using the acrostic style, about the Richmond community. A collection of his work will be published this year.
- Improvements to the San Pablo Dam Road Interchange at I-80
In preparation for future improvements to the San Pablo Dam Road Interchange at I-80, El Portal Drive, near Glenlock Street in the City of San Pablo, will be temporarily closed to allow for the advance relocation of underground utilities.
The roadway closure is scheduled to begin on Monday, June 23rd, 2014, and is anticipated to continue into August 2014. The closure limits on El Portal Drive will be between Glenlock Street and the entrance ramp to westbound I-80 (towards San Francisco), near the Shell Gas Station. Access to/from Glenlock Street from/to El Portal Drive and all entrance and exit ramps will remain open at all times during construction. The sidewalk on El Portal Drive within the road closure segment will remain open at all times, except as needed, when construction activities require temporary closure for public safety.
Detour signs will be posted to inform drivers of alternative routes to reach their destination during the roadway closure. Electronic changeable message signs will be placed in strategic locations on city streets to minimize traffic delays and public inconvenience.
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority and project partners, including the cities of San Pablo and Richmond, Contra Costa County, and Caltrans, are making every effort to provide opportunities for project neighbors to stay informed about this construction work.
More information about the project can be found at:
The project hotline’s number is (510) 277-0444.
Thank you for your cooperation during this essential work.
Disabled People’s Recreation Center
Sharolyn Babb, Recreation Program Coordinator, shared how many of the Adult Morning Program individuals feel uncomfortable with sharing their feelings about themselves. Last week while sitting outside in the patio area of a restaurant in Emeryville, they had a discussion on “Paying It Forward”; how a smile can be passed along or a good deed, with the intent to just be kind to someone. It evoked in each them to confess the desire to change to become better human beings. Sharolyn was proud to hear and see how far her participants have grown in the area of self-expression. Sharolyn stated that, “It was and will always be a priceless moment in my life.”
Maintaining the garden is a huge responsibility for the adult participants, who water and check the progress of their plants on a daily basis. They constantly use the computers or iPads to look for other items to add to one of the empty planter boxes. They are excited about turning the patio area into a beautiful place to spend time in.
Members of the Richmond Senior Center Yuan Ji group participated in the City of Hercules July 4th Parade.
Waffle Breakfast – July 16th:
The Richmond Senior Center is in the final preparation stage for the July 16th Waffle Breakfast. Stop by between the hours of 7:00 AM and 10:30 AM for your $5 breakfast that consists of a waffle, eggs, sausage, grits, orange juice, coffee and a smile compliments of staff and volunteers!
Senior Center Classes:
The Richmond Senior Center is booming and has something for everyone…an additional Zumba Gold class, art, chess, exercise, pool, lunch program and much more! Stop by and consider a class or two.
Children and staff have had a great beginning to the Kids ‘N Motion Summer camp programs including swimming at the Plunge, community walks, excursions to Concord and Martinez, and making patriotic placemats and duct tape wallets.
The YES Families Wellness Navigators and C2C youth participants, along with Kids ‘N Motion summer camp participants were part of the Hydration Station Ribbon Cutting Ceremony festivities on Wednesday, July 9th at the Recreation Complex. Mayor McLaughlin was invited as a special guest. There were fun games and activities based on water, such as sponge relay races, restoring watersheds, and fruit infused water tastings.
Facilities Mainenance Division: Carpenters repaired the carpet in the lobby of the Main Library and have been monitoring the water quality at the Richmond Plunge.
Painters repaired drywall and painted in the Human Resources area and locations within the Nevin Community Center.
Stationary Engineers replaced the filters in the Richmond Auditorium, cleaned air conditioning coils at the Police Department, replaced the isolation valve at the Police Department, upgraded drinking fountains the the Disable People’s Recreation Center (DPRC) and upgraded the drinking fountain at the Recreation Complex.
Water Fountain Installation at DPRC
Utility workers replaced bulbs at the Main Library, provided after hour cleaning services to the Richmond Plunge and maintained 29 City-owned facilities.
Lighting Replacement at the Main Library
Electricians replaced damaged traffic heads at South 23rd Street and Cutting Boulevard, South 41st Street and Cutting Boulevard, and Carlson Boulevard and South 55th Street. Crews also supported the Independence Day events.
Traffic Head Replacement on Carlson Boulevard
Parks and Landscaping Division: Crews repaired irrigation systems at John F. Kennedy, Nicholl Park and the Main Library, mended the fence on Carlson Boulevard, performed weed abatement on Atlas Road and continued with the High Fire Severity Zones abatement on the Cantebury Pathway and Fairmede Park.
Library Irrigation Repair
Tree crews trimmed trees along Parchester Park, Broadway, Murdock Street, Chanslor Avenue and on Buena Vista Avenue.
Streets Division: Staff grinded and paved Wildwood Court and Ahern Court, as well as worked from the outstanding pothole and sidewalk list.
Wildwood Court Grinding
Street sweeping performed commercial sweeping services for the first Monday and the second Tuesday through Friday in Parchester Village, Hilltop Bayview, Hilltop Green, Fairmede/Hilltop, May Valley, Vista View, Clinton Hill I – IV and East Richmond neighborhood council areas.
Signs and Lines staff installed 13 new signs and poles, installed and replaced 2 pavement delineations, and installed Rosie the Riveter Signs and footings.
Rosie the River Sign Installation
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about these or any other items of interest to you.
City of Richmond
450 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, California 94804
You can sign up to receive the City Manager’s weekly report and other information from the City of Richmond by visiting: www.ci.richmond.ca.us/list.aspx
City of Richmond
450 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, California 94804