Tom Butt
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  City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending November 6, 2015
November 7, 2015

Mayor and Members of the City Council:

This is the weekly report for the week ending November 6, 2015.

1. Meeting Notes

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 17th.  Enjoy next Tuesday off!

2. Veterans Day Observance

City offices will be closed next Wednesday, November 11th, in observance of Veterans Day.  Take the time to thank a veteran for their service!

3. Goat Grazing in Richmond

The goats are still coming! The goat grazing event originally scheduled for November 2nd was postponed due to rain, and now the goats are coming to 695 Chesley Avenue in North Richmond on Thursday, November 12th to raise awareness about the need to stop illegal dumping!

Here's the thinking: Underutilized open spaces are magnets for illegal dumping.  Trash concentrates in lots that look abandoned and have overgrown weeds. Code Enforcement officers in North Richmond collect on average 12.09 tons of waste every month from abandoned, overgrown lots.  Eliminate the weeds, mulch the area, and you get dramatic reductions in illegal dumping. That is why the Love Your Block Team at Richmond City Hall is employing a herd of goats to eat the waist-high grass on a lot at 695 Chesley Avenue.

The November 12th event at 695 Chesley is a pilot project to see if goat grazing can become a regular part of North Richmond’s landscape in the future. The work actually began on October 31st, when a number of North Richmond residents came out to help clean up the lot in anticipation of the goats' arrival. Nearly 300 North Richmond residents helped the City dispose of 52.62 tons of trash as part of the community clean-up project. Because of this tremendous assistance, the lot for the goats is looking spick and span.

Goats R Us will host a fun workshop at 3:45 PM next Thursday, November 12th and we encourage you to attend. You will have the opportunity to see a few special goats and learn about goat's milk and cheese, as well as the environmental benefits of goat grazing. It's sure to be a fun-filled event for all!

4. City Manager Chronicles

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 included:

  • Met, along with Housing Authority Executive Director Tim Jones, with Kara Douglas and Gabriel Lemus of the Contra Costa County Office of Conservation and Development, to discuss administration of CDBG program funds;
  • Met with Housing Authority and Finance Department staff to discuss contracting procedures for the Lead Hazard Abatement program;
  • Attended a tour of potential sites in Richmond for veteran’s housing, together with Councilmembers Martinez and Pimplé, Housing Authority Executive Director Tim Jones, Planning Director Richard Mitchell, Rhonda Harris of the Veterans Resource Program, and representatives from the State of California Department of Veterans Affairs, and Homes for Families – Enriched Neighborhoods;
  • Met with Vern Whitmore and Jacqueline Majors to discuss State legislative advocacy activities;
  • Met, along with Planning Director Richard Mitchell, with Councilmember Eduardo Martinez to review projects in the development pipeline;
  • Met, along with Transportation Program Manager Lori-Reese and Capital Improvements Program Manager Chad Smalley, with Contra Costa Transportation Authority Executive Director Randy Iwasaki and staff members, to review the Contra Costa County Transportation Expenditure Plan and related issues;
  • Met, along with Public Works Director Yader Bermudez, with Councilmember Jovanka Beckles, and participants in the Unity Park project, to discuss the project status;
  • Attended the monthly meeting of the Contra Costa Mayors Conference, graciously hosted this month by the City of Richmond at the Richmond Country Club;
  • Attended the Richmond Fire and Police Holiday Toy Program Fundraising Breakfast;
  • Met, together with Mayor Butt and Councilmember McLaughlin, and Planning Director Richard Mitchell, with representatives from The Trust for Public Land and the Urban Land Institute to discuss possible technical assistance for Pt. Molate planning activities;
  • Met, together with Administrative Chief Shasa Curl, with UC Berkeley Assistant Vice Chancellor for Real Estate Rajiv Parikh, and Project Planner Jennifer McDougall, to discuss the status of the Berkeley Global Campus project.


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.

5. Free Bike Repair Day!

The Bay Area BikeMobile and the Richmond Public Library will host a free bicycle repair clinic on Saturday, November 14th from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Richmond Main Library.  The bike repair technicians coach participants in a hands-on repair process, empowering youth to maintain their own bicycles.

This free resource is a result of a partnership between Spare the Air Youth and Safe Routes to School.  It focuses on underserved communities that often do not have access to professional bike repair.  The Bay Area BikeMobile helps keep youth rolling to school safely while reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.

6. Knit2gether

This past Monday, November 2nd, members of the Richmond Bayview Library community enjoyed improving their knitting skills thanks to volunteer knitting coach Eleanor Aldrich (pictured below in the center with glove), and thanks to generous private donations of knitting needles and yarn.  The informal drop-in group meets Mondays at 3:30 PM and is free, with no registration required and all materials supplied.  The Bayview Branch Library is located at 5100 Hartnett Avenue.  Please call (510) 620-6566 for more information.

7. FREE Workshop: First Steps to a Successful Start-Up

Thinking about starting a business? Don’t know where to start? Richmond Main Street and the Contra Costa SBDC invite all aspiring entrepreneurs to take the first step with this free resource. In this three hour workshop, aspiring business owners will learn the attributes of a successful entrepreneur, invaluable sources of information regarding the proper ways to start a business, licenses and permits, the business planning process, key information for developing a business plan, and more.

First Steps to a Successful Start-Up takes place on Thursday, November 19th, from 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM, at Richmond Main Street office (1015 Nevin Avenue, Suite 105). Space is limited and registration is required. For more information and to register, visit or call (925) 602-6806.

8. LEAP Goes to College - U.C. Berkeley & Berkeley Community College

On Wednesday October 28th, LEAP took a group of students to the University of California, Berkeley and Berkeley Community College. The tour sought to introduce and educate students about their potential academic future.

At UC Berkeley, a student ambassador greeted students and led them on a tour of the campus. Students learned what UC offers, including in areas of academics, athletics, and financial aid. Students were engaged in their exploration of the campus and asked many questions including, “When was UC Berkeley first desegregated?” and “What is the annual tuition cost?” After completing the UC Berkeley tour, students walked to Berkeley Community College.

At Berkeley Community College, students were given a brief orientation that included information about various types of Associate degrees and support programs. After the orientation, students were invited to explore the campus. Several students commented positively on the college’s efficiency and cost effectiveness. LEAP surveyed students before and after the tour to measure any learning gains and assess the effectiveness of the tour. Students were asked to gauge their level of knowledge regarding programs, degrees offered, cost, financial aid assistance, and campus familiarity. Students who completed the post-survey reported more knowledge and comfort with the Berkeley campuses.

9. Digital Health Literacy Classes at the Nevin Community Center

The Richmond Digital Health Literacy Project continues to lead successful Digital Health computer classes at the Nevin Community Center. The class has grown from 7 to 18 students over the past five weeks. This first cohort includes English- and Spanish-speaking learners from the YES Nature to Neighborhoods Wellness Navigators program. More students will start the training program during drop-in computer lab hours at Richmond’s Literacy for Every Adult Program (LEAP) on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM.

You are welcome to explore the Digital Health curriculum by creating an account at the Richmond Digital Health Literacy webpage. Please let us know what you think! Topics include finding reliable health information online, using Google Maps to locate health services, and understanding health insurance. Additional learning plans on the topics of physical wellness, family wellness, and community wellness will be added over the next month.

To volunteer to help out with the classes, or for more information about the Richmond Digital Health Literacy Project, contact the Project Coordinator, Ellen Kersten, at (510) 307-8002 or

10. Five-Year Financial Plan

This past week, members of the City’s Finance Department staff met with Public Financial Management Group, Inc. (PFM) via webinar to answer another round of follow-up questions on specific revenue and expenditures line items in building a five-year financial model for the City.  Additionally, staff received a preview of the financial model and the initial set of assumptions that went into its building.  Following the meeting, staff forwarded written responses to additional questions that came up during the group discussion.  On Monday, November 9th, PFM representatives will be on site to present the financial model to staff.

11. Hacienda Tenant Relocation Update

In January 2015, the Richmond Housing Authority received approval from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development for the disposition of the Hacienda public housing development and approval of Tenant Protection Section 8 Vouchers to assist in the relocation of the residents. The Housing Authority has retained the professional firm of Autotemp to provide relocation assistance for the residents. As of the week ending November 6th, the following relocation activity has occurred:

Total # of units 101







Tenants interviewed







Vouchers Issued







Inspections Conducted







Request to port out of Richmond







Applications Submitted







Relocations completed







Autotemp consultants are actively providing ongoing advisory assistance; in addition to the completed relocations, seven households have Housing Quality Standard (HQS) Inspections scheduled, and 37 Hacienda households have been accepted with approved applications and unit assignments at the newly constructed Harbor View Senior Apartments, with HQS Inspections scheduled for the week of 11-09-2015. There have been eight (8) households that have successfully leased up outside our jurisdiction and two of them have successfully leased up outside the State of California (New Jersey and Arizona). Total relocation costs as of 10-30-2015 are $372,990, approximately 37% of the relocation budget, all of which have been supported with federal funds.

12. Deadline for Comments on Richmond Bay Specific Plan Extended to December 15, 2015

The draft Richmond Bay Specific Plan (RBSP), formerly known as the South Shoreline Specific Plan, is now available for public review and comment.  The deadline for comments on the draft RBSP has been extended to December 15, 2015. 

The RBSP will facilitate the implementation of Richmond's new General Plan by establishing specific planning policies, regulations, and urban design guidelines for an approximately 220-acre area located in the City of Richmond, south of Interstate Highway 580. The RBSP will focus on ways Richmond can take advantage of the planned Berkeley Global Campus at Richmond Bay, future ferry service, and other area assets to create a sustainable shoreline district providing jobs, housing, transportation options, and opportunities for entertainment and recreation. This planning effort is being funded in part by a Priority Development Area Planning Grant from the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).

Comments on the draft RBSP must be in writing and received no later than December 15, 2015.  Please send comments to:

Lina Velasco, Project Manager
Planning and Building Services
450 Civic Center Plaza
P.O. Box 4046
Richmond, CA 94804-1630

Comments may also be sent electronically to
Start of Public Review: October 1, 2015               
End of Public Review: December 15, 2015

Plan Availability: A copy of the draft RBSP is available for review online at  Copies are also available for review at the following locations:

  • Richmond Public Libraries: Main Branch, 325 Civic Center Plaza; Bayview Branch Library, 5100 Hartnett Avenue; West Side Branch, 135 Washington Avenue; and
  • City of Richmond, Planning and Building Services Department, City Hall, 450 Civic Center Plaza, 2nd Floor. 

13. Richmond’s Minimum Wage Ordinance

The City of Richmond’s Minimum Wage increase goes into effect January 1, 2016.  The new minimum wage set forth in the Ordinance will be $11.52 an hour (compared to $9.00/hour for the State of California and the initial $9.60/hour wage initially established in the City on January 1, 2015) and it applies to any employee who works two or more hours per week.

The Employment & Training staff posted notices announcing the increase on KCRT, and the City’s website. Packets will be mailed to over 3,000 businesses and the Richmond Chamber of Commerce members to inform them of the change.  The information packet includes English and Spanish versions of the official notice that must be posted in all workplaces along with a list of employer and employee rights under the ordinance.  Employers who pay for less than 800 hours of employee labor in a given two-week period need not pay the City’s minimum wage until they pay over 800 hours or more of employee labor in a two week period. This is the first of three annual increases that will max out at $13.00/hour on January 1, 2018.

For questions and concerns please contact Gina Baker at (510) 307-8011.

14. The 2015 Community Survey Available to All Richmond Residents to Complete

The 2015 Richmond Community Survey can now be completed by ALL Richmond residents in English or Spanish by accessing the following link:

Feel free to contact LaShonda White in the City Manager’s Office at (510) 620-6828 with questions, comments, or to obtain a paper copy of the survey. Your input can help make the City of Richmond a better place to live, work, and play. We look forward to receiving your feedback.

15. City of Richmond: Transportation

By rethinking your daily commute, you can decrease congestion, improve air quality, conserve natural resources, and save money. Now you can learn more about your commute options at the City of Richmond’s Transportation webpage. You can enjoy the benefits of alternate transportation modes – the key is finding which one (or combination of options) that work for you! Need assistance planning your trip? Call 510-620-6869.

16. R-Transit

R-Transit provides door-to-door transportation service to persons with disabilities and seniors (age 55 and older) living in the communities of Richmond, Kensington, El Sobrante, East Richmond Heights, Hasford Heights, Rollingwood, and North Richmond. Register for services and reserve a free round trip ride to Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historic Park. See the flyer below for additional details.
17. City of Richmond Rideshare Database

Explore the many benefits of ridesharing today:    

  • Reduced stress from commuting
  • Financial savings due to shared costs
  • Reduce parking demand at work
  • Reduce traffic congestion

The ridematching service is powered by 511 Contra Costa and is completely FREE! Follow the step by step tutorial below and create a profile today.

18. Richmond Main Street Farmers’ Market Every Wednesday!

The Richmond Main Street Farmers’ Market is in full swing! Come Downtown on Wednesdays, now through November 18th, from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM at the Nevin Plaza (Nevin Ave at 13th Street) for a fantastic selection of fresh seasonal fruits and veggies, artisan vendors, baked goods and treats, food booths, and more!

The market proudly offers the Market Match program which allows any CalFresh recipient who shops using their EBT card to get extra money to buy fruits and veggies! For example, spend $10 and get another $10 to spend. Visit the information booth for details.

For more information on the market, visit the Farmers' Market webpage, like our Facebook page, or call (510) 236-4049.

FM 2015--Postcard English

19. Information Technology

Top 10 Webpage visits for the week ending 11/06/2015




1113-An evening of solidarity with the Cuban People 3

City of Richmond Website and Mobile APP UPDATE

The City recently upgraded its website which now incorporates responsive design that allows the content on the City’s website to automatically adjust to the screen size of any device. Forget about using the pinch-zoom to see something. This responsive design makes content easy to view and easy to navigate on tablets and smartphones providing a great user experience no matter how the content is accessed.

city of richmond smartphone app 4-Gabino

Great News!! The City of Richmond mobile app is now available. It provides Richmond’s community members with one-stop access to City services and information.  You may watch the informational video  for an overview of the app available for free at Apple App Store for IOS devices and at Google Play for Android phones. 

The City of Richmond is looking forward to feedback from the community on this new Mobile APP. We welcome your comments at

20. Recreation Highlights


Adult Morning Program participants were involved this week in healthy life-style skills through exercise and nutrition, picking out healthy foods that also taste great. They also used iPads to locate the distance from the Disabled People’s Community Center to Century 16 Theater in Richmond and figured out the cost for tickets and popcorn. The music therapist is back from vacation and they had one of the best jam sessions ever. They served food to the seniors for the Nutrition Program, cleaned the eating area and socialized with everyone. They went to the movies and watched “Goosebumps” and said they want to go again because it was so good. The best part was paying for their own tickets and snacks with the money they earned from recycling.

The favorite part of the week for the Therapeutic Interactive Recreation Program participants is music therapy and, again, they had an excellent session with the return of the instructor.  They laughed, played instruments and sang to their hearts’ content. Their next favorite part of the week is cooking and, if they say so themselves, the pancakes were scrumptious!


Shields Reid Achieve Afterschool program hosted a Spooky Harvest Festival on Friday, October 30th.  Thirty five program participants, their friends and families, were trick-or-treated to games, food and a costume contest.

Halloween 4Halloween 3Halloween 2
Halloween 1

21. Public Works Updates

Engineering Division:
The Pavement Rehabilitation Project has completed paving Hilltop Drive from Robert Miller Drive to Park Central Street with rubberized asphalt. The rubberized asphalt will slow down the cracking of the surface and absorbs sound allowing the roadway to be quieter and last longer.

Description: IMG_0719
Paving on Hilltop Drive

Facilities Maintenance Division:
Carpenters completed ergonomic adjustments to work stations in the Finance and Planning Departments, repaired the key switch at the Police Station’s command building, completed floor work at the Senior Center and continued detail work at the Richmond Swim Center.

Sanding of Senior Center Floors

Painters began prepping the hardwood floors at the Senior Center for refinishing.

Stationary Engineers cleared the main drain at the Children’s Library, installed a new water supply and waste lines at the Senior Center and serviced the furnace in the Employment and Training building.

Servicing of Employment and Training Furnace

Parks and Landscaping Division:  
General maintenance crews continued maintenance at John F. Kennedy Park, weed whipped at Wendell Park, completed median maintenance on San Pablo Avenue, assisted with the Plunge Garden Project, repaired irrigation at John F. Kennedy and Nicholl Parks and delivered mulch to Wendell Park.

Irr repair Nicholl
Irrigation Repair at Nicholl Park

Hilltop District crews continued work on the landscaping project near AM/PM on the Richmond Parkway, general maintenance on the Richmond Parkway and continued color mulching at Vista Del Mar Park.

Work  continues on Richmond Parkway
Landscaping Project Near AM/PM

Tree crews cut or trimmed trees along; Lincoln Avenue, Park Place, Stewarton Drive, Burbeck Avenue, Blume Drive and at Belding Garcia, Marina Bay and Mira Vista Parks.

Streets Division
Paving staff ground and paved South 45th Street, completed paving of South 33rd Street, hauled grinding, removed a concrete and worked on potholes from the outstanding list.


Paving on 33rd Street

Street sweeping performed commercial and residential sweeping services for the first Monday through Friday in the; Parchester Village, Hilltop Bayview, Hilltop Green, Fairmede/Hilltp, Carriage Hills North Side, El Sobrante Hills, Greenbriar, Hansford Heights, Via Verda, San Pablo Dam Road, Bristlecone Drive, May Valley, Vista View and Clinton Hill I neighborhood council areas as the weather permitted.


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!



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

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