Mayor and Members of the City Council:
This is the weekly report for the week ending February 19, 2016.
1. Meeting Notes
The next regular City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 23rd beginning with a Closed Session at 5:30 PM followed by the regular agenda at 6:30 PM. The agenda may be found by clicking this link.
2. Richmond Promise Richmond Promise Update
Staff continues to work diligently to outreach to Richmond families and school sites and have eligible students complete Richmond Promise scholarship applications. As of February 15, 2016, 204 students started applications, with 171 students applying from WCCUSD schools, 25 from charter schools, and 8 from private schools. The chart below provides a breakdown by school site.
We encourage you to help us spread the word and get local students enrolled. Please visit www.richmondpromise.org to start an application and find out more information. Students must complete their FAFSA or CA Dream Act by March 2nd to qualify.
3. City Manager Chronicles
I have listed below some of the topics for meetings that I attended during the past week 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 two weeks included:
- Met with Human Resources and Finance Department staff to discuss “other post-employment benefits” (OPEB) funding strategies;
- Met with Richmond Promise Executive Director Jessie Stewart to discuss organizational start-up activities and related issues;
- Met with Chevron Modernization Project Manager Jeff Hartwig to discuss permitting issues;
- Attended the monthly Council of Industries meeting;
- Met, together with Finance Director Belinda Warner, with a benefits consultant to review cost containment strategies;
- Attended the Richmond Community Foundation Corporate Advisors Circle meeting;
- Attended a very moving and inspirational memorial service for Richmond Police Officer Gus Vegas;
- Met with former Richmond City Attorneys Louise Renne and Randy Riddle;
- Met, along with Environmental Manager Adam Lenz, with Chevron representative Joe Lorenz to discuss their continuation of the community air monitoring program.
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.
4. FY2015-16 Mid-Year Budget Review
An important part of evaluating the City’s budget performance is by completing a thorough mid-year budget review. In completing this review, staff conducts a comparison of actual results to budget estimates to determine whether revenues and expenditures are on target or need to be adjusted.
This past week, the City Council reviewed and approved the fiscal year 2015-16 Mid-Year Review Budget that was presented by Finance Department staff. In brief, operating revenues for FY 2015-16 are higher than projected, and expenditures are proposed to decrease primarily due to savings in salaries, benefits, and other operating costs. As a result, the ending operating surplus is projected to be approximately $1.5 million.
The FY 2015-16 Mid-Year Budget Report can be found on the City’s Finance Department webpage: City of Richmond Mid-Year Review Fiscal Year 2015-2016.
5. Tenant and Landlord Resource List
Because of the very difficult housing rental market, the Richmond City Council asked that staff prepare a list of resources that are currently available to assist renters and landlords to advise them of their rights and responsibilities, and that might be of assistance in resolving conflicts over rent increases and other issues.
I have attached to this report a list of such resources in both English and Spanish. This information will be posted on the City’s website, and the specific link will be included in future weekly reports.
We welcome suggestions for other resources to be included on this list.
6. Richmond Housing Authority Receives Public Housing Assessment Score
Richmond Housing Authority (RHA) Executive Director Tim Jones reports that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released the RHA’s Public Housing Assessment System (PHAS) Score Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015. The score is currently at 71%, which is a designation of “Standard Performer,” and, as you will recall, shows improvement from prior years.
7. Environmental & Community Investment Agreement (ECIA) Competitive Grant Program
The City of Richmond is hosting an informational meeting regarding the new Richmond – ECIA Competitive Grant Program. This grant program is funded through the Chevron Modernization Project Environmental and Community Investment Agreement (ECIA) that was entered into between the City of Richmond and Chevron in 2014. Funding will be available over the next 10 years to fund programs that support community, youth and youth sports. Grants will be awarded on an annual basis and awards will range from $5,000 to $75,000.
Governmental entities and non-profit organizations that provide services focused on community, youth and youth sports services to Richmond residents are all encouraged to attend. Non-profits must have 501c3 tax status or plan to use a fiscal sponsor that has 501c3 tax status.
The next workshop will be held at the Richmond City Council Chambers (440 Civic Center Plaza) on Wednesday, February 24th at 6:00 PM.
For more information contact (510) 620-6828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
8. Bicycle Rack Voucher Program
For the third year in a row, Engineering/Utilities Department staff submitted a successful application to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District’s Bicycle Rack Voucher Program (BRVP). As a result of their efforts, the City received $11,160 in vouchers that will be used to purchase 72 bike racks, creating up to 186 new bike parking opportunities.
This year’s application includes decorative bicycle-shaped racks which will go in prominent settings in front of Richmond and John F. Kennedy High Schools, as well as at DeJean Middle School and at the Civic Center. These racks will not only provide new bike parking locations, but will also provide a welcoming statement of the City’s support for active transportation options.
The application also includes several corral-style installations for local schools and City facilities. City staff, working with students and school district employees, identified the need for more formal and secure bike parking at Richmond and John F. Kennedy High Schools, where bikes currently have to be locked up to fences. Each school will be set up with a bike parking “corral” that will accommodate 20 to 40 bicycles.
A similar installation of arc-shaped racks will be installed at the newly refurbished Kennedy Swim Center, and a few more racks will be added at the Richmond Plunge and the Family Justice Center.
Ordering, shipping, and installing the racks will take several months, so look for these improvements in the spring or early summer. The BRVP deadline has also been extended to June 3, 2016 – so if you know of a business or activity center needing bicycle racks, contact Infrastructure Administrator Patrick Phelan at Patrick_phelan@ci.richmond.ca.us. For more information about this program, see http://www.baaqmd.gov/grant-funding/public-agencies/brvp.
9. Free Home Solar Systems Now Available for Qualifying Richmond Residents
Richmond homeowners can now qualify for a FREE home solar system funded by the City of Richmond and State of California. To qualify, you must own and live in your Richmond/North Richmond home and earn at or below the 2015 Maximum household income, depending on household size.
Grid Alternatives, the City’s nonprofit solar technology partner, is now accepting applications from qualifying Richmond homeowners to participate in the program. To assist homeowners in the application process, the City of Richmond and Grid Alternatives are hosting a sign-up event on Thursday, March 3rd from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM. To enroll at the workshop, please bring copies of: 1) a latest tax return (two pages) for each member of the household; 2) one PG&E bill (all pages); and 3) either a mortgage statement, insurance statement, property tax bill or copy of deed to apply.
Please see the attached flier for additional event details and qualifying household income limits.
Please RSVP for the event at www.gridalternatives.org/richmond or call 510-621-1541.
Apply to Participate now at http://www.gridalternatives.org/clients or call 510-731-1333.
10. Six-Week S.A.T. Preparation Workshop
Taking the SAT is an essential component of the college application process. Preparing well will help students achieve a high score and attend the college of their choice.
Richmond Public Library Teen Services is now offering a six-week S.A.T. Preparation Workshop for college bound teens. The 19th annual workshop is open to students in West Contra Costa County. Participation in the workshop can be used to fulfill the college readiness requirement for the Richmond Promise Scholarship. Enrollment is limited and applications are due by 7:00 PM on Monday, March 14th.
For more information and an application, go to www.richmondlibrary.org or contact Angela Cox at (510) 620-5516. The workshop is sponsored by the Friends of the Richmond Public Library in partnership with College is Real.
11. Richmond Public Library’s Adult Literacy Program: A National Model for Volunteers and Digital Literacy Acquisition
From 2010-2013, the Richmond Public Library joined as a lead partner in the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) to study tutor facilitated digital literacy. During the 3-year period, Richmond library’s program LEAP, served 1,933 learners.
Findings from this three year effort speak to the value of our local library and its programs. According to the research, “The program designed and implemented by LEAP was first and foremost a people-centered process. As a result, learning interactions gave rise to mutual respect.” The findings concluded that “libraries are especially able to connect with a diverse array of individuals who might not otherwise have opportunities to learn digital literacy or to volunteer…the impact of such programs goes far beyond the development of individual’s digital literacy skills and both expand and improve the overall health and well-being of the community.”
The complete research findings can be found on the webpage: Portland State University Literacy, Language & Technology Research Group.
Readers interested in lifelong learning e-tools available through the Richmond Public Library may visit: www.cal.learnerweb.org or www.richmondhealth.learnerweb.org.
12. City of Richmond Zoning Update
The City of Richmond is updating its Zoning Ordinance (Update). Existing zoning predates the General Plan 2030, which was adopted by the City Council in 2012. State law requires that the zoning ordinance be consistent with the General Plan because it translates General Plan policies into specific regulations that govern land use. Once the Update is completed, procedures for reviewing land use applications will be simplified.
Please visit the project webpage www.zonerichmond.com to get more information about the Update, to review preliminary documents, and stay up-to-date on upcoming workshops.
13. 2016 Historic Preservation Awards
The City of Richmond and the Richmond Historic Preservation Commission invites nominations for the 2016 Richmond Historic Preservation Awards. The purpose of the Historic Preservation Awards program is to increase public awareness of Richmond’s heritage by recognizing individuals, organizations, businesses, and agencies whose contributions demonstrate outstanding commitment to excellence in historic preservation, local history or promotion of the heritage of the City. Awards will be presented in May during National Preservation Month.
In addition to public and private buildings and structures, historic preservation projects may include media, publications, presentations and exhibits, parks, burial grounds, public art, oral history, theater productions, events and video presentations.
Eligibility: Any individual, group, organization or agency involved in historic preservation or promoting Richmond’s heritage is eligible to receive a Richmond Historic Preservation Award. The preservation project or activity (or a substantial portion of a large-scale multiple activity project) must have been completed no later than December 31, 2015.
Nomination Form: You may nominate an eligible preservation project or activity by submitting a completed 2016 Historic Preservation Awards Nomination Form to the Richmond Planning and Building Services Department. Additional details about eligibility, evaluation criteria used, and submittal requirements are found in the nomination form which can be downloaded at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/preservationaward or you can pick up a nomination form from the Planning and Building Services Department located in the City Hall Building, 450 Civic Center Plaza, second floor.
Nominations are due by 5:00 PM on March 24, 2016. Feel free to call Soco Montore at (510) 620-6705 with any questions.
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 service and reserve your next trip to the movie theatre for $2.00 each way. See the flyer below for additional details.
15. Information Technology
Top 10 Webpage views for the week ending 02/19/2016
People reached increased by 252%
KCRT DATANET OF THE WEEK
Don’t forget to download the City of Richmond mobile app and provide your feeback at email@example.com
16. Public Works Updates
Facilities Maintenance Division:
Carpenters built and installed a reception desk at the Senior Center and built and installed a new key organizing board at the Police Department.
Painters taped and textured the new walls for the Internal Affairs offices and repaired walls in the Mayor’s office for an art display.
Stationary Engineers replaced backflow parts and devices at the Recreation Complex, installed door closures at the Family Justice Center, performed maintenance on pumps at the Plunge, cleared the sewer line at Fire Station #66 and re-routed a water supply line at the Recreation Center.
Re-routing Water Supply Line
Utility Workers waxed floors at the Main Library, performed Auditorium storage clean out and cleaned 29 City owned facilities.
Storage Cleaning at Auditorium
Parks and Landscaping Division:
General maintenance crews drug and spiked the ball infields at Nicholl Park, performed irrigation repair on Barret Avenue at the Community Garden, trimmed and weeded bulbs on Macdonald Avenue, trimmed ivy on Giants field at Nicholl Park, completed fence repair at the Community Garden and welded electrical boxes at Shields Reid.
Infield Prepping at Nicholl Park
Tree crews cut or trimmed trees on Burbeck Avenue, Maine Avenue, at Hilltop Park and at Booker T. Anderson Park.
Hilltop District crews continued weed abatement around Hilltop area, completed right of way weed abatement and started weed abatement at Hilltop Lake.
Hilltop General Maintenance
Marina District crews cleared sewer blockage at Lucretia Edwards Park, maintenance on Marina Bay Parkway medians, continued Bay Trail rehabilitation and completed irrigation repairs at Marina Green Park.
Bay Trail Rehabilitation
Paving staff dug out the shoulder on Lobos Avenue and replaced the base rock, cleaned on Point Molate Road and worked from the outstanding pothole and sidewalk lists.
Street sweeping performed commercial and residential sweeping services for the third Monday through Friday in the North Richmond, Iron Triangle, North Belding Woods, Atchison Village, South Belding Woods, Santa Fe, Coronado, Marina Bay and Point Richmond neighborhood council areas as weather permitted.
Signs and Lines staff installed six new poles and signs, painted 2,101 feet of curbs, fabricated seven new signs and installed six pavement messages and delineations.
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, California