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  City Manager's Weekly Report for the Week Ending May 6, 2016
May 8, 2016

Mayor and Members of the City Council:

This is the weekly report for the week ending May 6, 2016.

1.    Meeting Notes

The next regular City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 17th. Enjoy the break next week!

2.    LEAP Celebrates Success

Passing the GED test is not easy, especially when adults are faced with so many other responsibilities.  To recognize this achievement, 16 Richmond residents rejoiced with their families and friends at their graduation on April 29th.  Over one-hundred guests attended the graduation party, organized by several of the LEAP (Literacy for Every Adult Person) graduates.  Noya’s, a local restaurant, donated their space and special guests Ken Reynolds, Outreach Coordinator from Contra Costa College, and Spoken Word artist Joy Elan shared the stage. LEAP graduates are starting college, attending Stride Center, gaining employment, and creating their future.  Congratulations!


3.    Richmond Tool Library Initiative Reaches 60% of Crowdfunding Goal!

The crowdfunding campaign for the Richmond Tool Library has reached over 60% of its goal! But we still need your help!

We have only 7 days left before our campaign closes! Help us reach our goal and provide Richmond residents with greater access to tools! You can donate to the campaign here:

Check out our Facebook for updates and more! Share with your friends and ask them to support this free community resource that will have a positive impact on our residents!

The goal of this campaign is to raise $12,598 by May 12th to purchase the remaining inventory of tools and furnishings for our tool library which will be located at the Richmond Recreation Complex (3230 Macdonald Ave).

With insurance and fiscal sponsorship from the local non-profit Urban Tilth, and support from the City’s Recreation Department,local labor unions, hardware stores, and individual sponsors, the crowdfunding campaign aims to get financial support from the community that the program will serve.

The Richmond Tool Library is a free service that will provide community members with building, landscaping, and artistic tools to be self-sufficient, take agency over their neighborhoods, and build a more sustainable Richmond. This initiative is the brain-child of Kiana Ward and Guadalupe Morales, two of Richmond’s fabulous AmeriCorps fellows.

If you would like to donate tools, please contact Guadalupe Morales at 510-620-6553 or email                                    

Tool-gether, we can build a better Richmond.
Ioby Screenshot

4.    National Bike Month is Here! Celebrate Bike Month in Richmond & the East Bay

Spring is the time to not only get riding again, but to encourage people close to you to bike as well. There is no wrong way to celebrate Bike Month in Richmond and in the greater East Bay. Biking has a lot of great benefits, including:

·         Saving money on gas, parking and transit
·         Bypassing congested traffic or transit schedules
·         Reveling in the convenience of the door to door commute and hassle free parking
·         Getting 40 minutes of exercise (the average commute) directly improves physical and mental health

Here is a short guide to getting started enjoying Bike Month to the fullest:

Bike to Work Day: Thursday, May 12
Bike to Work Day 2016 is Thursday, May 12th.  The City is collaborating with Bike East Bay, 511 Contra Costa, Rich City Rides, Richmond BPAC, and SunPower to host four Energizer Stations across the Richmond community. Stop by on your way to work for refreshments and a Bike to Work Day bag with all kinds of swag and goodies to make your biking experience fun and enjoyable.

Energizer Stations will be open 7:00 am-9:00 am along key bicycle routes:

  • Richmond BART
  • Macdonald Avenue & San Pablo Avenue
  • Richmond Greenway (Ohio Avenue & Harbour Way)
  • Marina Bay Park (along the Bay Trail)



More Bike Info
New to biking? Plan your route with the 511CC's route mapper.

Keep it going all May! Join Team Richmond and log your miles for the month long bike competition at

Please visit or call (510) 620-6512 for more information and to find out about more events throughout May.

5.    Office of Neighborhood Safety Presents at TED Talks

The Office of Neighborhood Safety’s Neighborhood Change Agent Sam Vaughn was invited to speak at the 2015 TEDMED Conference in this past November. TEDMED is the independently owned and operated health and medicine edition of the world-famous TED conference, dedicated to “ideas worth spreading.” TED Talks have been viewed online over two billion times around the world. Sam’s talk is about the normalcy and acceptance of gun violence in urban America and the innovative steps that the Office of Neighborhood Safety is taking through its Operation Peacemaker Fellowship to combat that.

Please follow the link to view the talk at TEDMED’s website: ONS TEDMED Talk.

6.    Weeds!

The return of near normal rainfall this past winter, as well as spring rains, have been welcome after so many years of drought, and have brought a bright green color back to landscaped areas and surrounding hills.  This has also brought weeds in abundance that our maintenance crews have been busy tackling.

A visual survey will quickly indicate that we are behind in our weed abatement efforts this season, but we are working hard to catch up.  Tim Higares, Director of Infrastructure and Maintenance Operations, is making sure that weed abatement work is scheduled appropriately, and estimates that all medians in the City will be trimmed by May 13th, and maintained currently thereafter.  We will also begin some “pilot project” use of organic sprays, with the first test area being the weeds in the paved areas of the Civic Center Plaza.

Please note that, if you see City maintenance crews employing any sprays, these crews are not using glyphosate products, which have been banned for City use by the City Council, but an alternative organic, non-toxic product.  We will also make certain that we advise the public of this fact through proper signage.

Before                                    After

Weed abatement on Cutting Boulevard

7.    Youth Sports Mentorship Documentary Screening: Ghost Town to Havana

Richmond Public Library Teens and Richmond Police Activities League are presenting the screening of the documentary Ghost Town to Havana. The program will be held Friday, May 20th at 6:30 PM in the City Council Chambers (440 Civic Center Plaza).  This film highlights sports as a positive tool to support our youth. Spend an evening with acclaimed local filmmaker, Eugene Corr, and Keynote Speaker, Richmond City Councilmember Nat Bates,  The event is sponsored by the Friends of the Richmond Public Library and Richmond Police Activities League.

Please follow the link to view the trailer for Ghost Town to Havanaon YouTube: Ghost Town to Havana Trailer.

8.    Upcoming Full Overnight Closure of Interstate 80 May 14-15, 2016

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and the City of San Pablo recently broke ground on an interchange improvement project on Interstate 80 at San Pablo Dam Road.

To facilitate the next phase of work, CalTrans must temporarily close a section of the freeway in order to help ensure public and motorist safety.

What to Expect:

·         Interstate 80 will be temporarily closed in the eastbound and westbound directions between San Pablo Avenue and San Pablo Dam Road;
·         The closure will occur from Saturday, May 14th at 11:00 PM until 7:00 AM, Sunday, May 15th;
·         Temporary detours will be in effect (please see the detour maps below).

Motorists should follow the instructions posted on all on-site signage.

These closures will enable the placement of falsework (temporary support structures) for the construction of a new pedestrian overcrossing at Riverside Avenue, which will replace the current pedestrian overcrossing. When complete, the new overcrossing will extend across Amador Street, enhancing safety for Riverside Elementary School students and the community.



Local Detour Map

About the I-80/San Pablo Dam Road Interchange Reconstruction

The Interstate 80/San Pablo Dam Road interchange provides access between residential areas north and east of the interchange and Bay Area employment centers. The first phase of the project will relocate the El Portal Drive on-ramp to westbound I-80 to the north, extend the auxiliary lane along westbound I-80 between the San Pablo Dam Road off-ramp and the El Portal Drive on-ramp, and reconstruct the Riverside Avenue pedestrian overcrossing. The second phase of the project, which is currently under development, includes replacing the existing San Pablo Dam Road bridge in phases that will keep traffic flowing, by building one side of the bridge, moving traffic to it, demolishing the old bridge, and then building the other side. The final product will be a safer and more accessible interchange for years to come, not just for drivers but for pedestrians and bicyclists as well.

Benefits of the overall project include improved traffic operations, reduced traffic congestion, efficient and safe bicycle/pedestrian access at the interchange, and the accommodation of future traffic volumes on San Pablo Dam Road. The $118.8 million project is being constructed by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority in partnership with Caltrans, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and the City of San Pablo. For more information, please visit or call the project hotline at (510) 277-0444.

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority will keep residents informed about future closures and other essential work to support construction as the project moves forward.

9.    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.  Meetings of note during the past week included:

·         Attended the 10th Annual Cinco de Mayo festival;


·         Met with Administrative Chief Shasa Curl, Planning Director Richard Mitchell, and Senior Planner Lina Velasco to discuss coordination of the Richmond Bay Specific Plan, Climate Action Plan, and the update to the Zoning Ordinance;
·         Met, along with Community Services Director Rochelle Monk, with Patrice Chamberlain of the Institute for Local Government and Barbara Jellison, Nutrition Center Director for the West Contra Cost Unified School District, to discuss summer meal programs in Richmond;
·         Met with David Gray, of the Mayor’s staff, Community Services Director Rochelle Monk, and Kimberly Aceves of RYSE to discuss strategic planning for youth and family programs in Richmond;
·         Met with staff members from Chevron to discuss the status of their modernization project, and other related issues;
·         Met, along with Finance Director Belinda Warner and her staff, and financial advisor Jocelyn Mortenson, to discuss potential cost savings from an advanced refunding of assessment district bonds;
·         Attended the meeting of the Legislative & Advocacy Committee of the East Bay Economic Development Alliance;
·         Met, along with CIP/Engineering Manager Yader Bermudez, and Infrastructure and Maintenance Operations Director Tim Higares, with the City’s landscape maintenance district assessment engineer to review the assessment methodology;
·         Met, together with Environmental Manager Adam Lenz, and Infrastructure and Maintenance Operations Director Tim Higares, with representatives from Richmond Sanitary Service to discuss a new State mattress recycling program;
·         Attended the Water Transit Committee meeting of the Bay Area Council;
·         Received an excellent presentation from Community Services Department staff member Troy Porter regarding the City’s summer day camp program, which is done through a partnership with the West County Ed Fund, and the West Contra Cost Unified School District;
·         Attended the final 2016 Richmond Youth Leadership Committee celebration.

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.

10. FY2016-17 Operating and Capital Improvement Budget

This past week, staff presented to the City Council the draft budget for fiscal year 2016-17, which projects a deficit of $10.1 million in the General Fund.  Several city departments presented information on their programs and services, goals for the upcoming fiscal year, and potential service level impacts due to budget reductions.  The remaining departments will present at the council meetings on May 17th and May 24th.  Over the next few weeks, staff will work to reduce the projected budget deficit with the goal of submitting a structurally balanced budget for adoption.

11. Sales Tax Receipts Analysis for 4th Quarter 2015

This past week, Finance Department staff met with the City’s sales tax consultant, MuniServices, to review sales tax figures for the 4th Quarter of 2015.  Richmond experienced a decrease of 0.5% in its sales tax net cash receipts for the most recent four quarters and, more specifically, a decrease of 4.2% for the last quarter of 2015 compared to the same quarter in 2014.

The City had experienced steady growth in this revenue stream since 2009. Richmond’s tax base is led by the Transportation category, which currently makes up 30% of the sales tax revenue. The main segment within this category is New Car Sales. The second most important category is General Retail, which makes up 29% of the sales tax revenue. This category is driven to a great extent by large retailers including Target, Costco, and Wal-Mart.

Of significance, the Business-to-Business category decreased by 29% in the last four quarters. This category includes the Energy Sales, Light Industry, and Chemical Products sectors. The Finance Department will continue to closely monitor the actual revenue submitted by the State Board of Equalization, the local trends developing in Richmond, and the projections provided by MuniServices.

Of note, as shown in the chart below, sales tax per capita is still below pre-recession levels.

12. Richmond Business Bites: Get Your Money Straight Micro-Loan “Kick Off” Workshop

Richmond Main Street and the City of Richmond invite all business owners and entrepreneurs to celebrate Small Business Month in the City of Richmond with the re-introduction of the Revolving Loan Fund, the City of Richmond’s community-based program designed to foster local economic growth in small businesses. This special event will be held on Thursday, May 19th from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, 339 11th Street in Richmond.  Admission is free, but registration is required.

Learn how the Revolving Loan Fund can help finance: façade improvements for the exterior appearance; fixed assets for leasehold improvements, renovation, structure expansion, etc.; machinery and equipment for use in operation of the business; working capital for day-to-day business operations or to hire employees; franchise startup funding post franchise award; non-profit loans for established businesses; and, relocation loans to establish a new Richmond location.

Space is limited. Reserve your space today! Register online here.

For more information: call (510) 236-4049, email, or visit  

13. Richmond Fire Department Celebrates Cinco de Mayo

The Richmond Fire Department joined local residents in the 10th annual celebration of Cinco de Mayo.  At the celebration, firefighters answered questions about fire safety in the home, resources and services available to residents, and held a vehicle extrication demonstration using the "Jaws of Life."

Fire prevention and public education are essential components in life safety and preservation of property.  For more information on fire safety and prevention contact the Richmond Fire Department at (510) 307-8031.

14. Leaders from Northern California to Convene in Richmond to Discuss Challenges and Solutions to Building the Next Generation Workforce

The Richmond Community Foundation is partnering with West Contra Costa Unified School District to present the 7th Annual Northern California Summit on Children and Youth, Building the Next Generation Workforce, on May 17th at the Craneway Pavilion from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. This year’s event will feature a career fair for students and teachers, an ideal way to incorporate participation from the target population of underserved youth and students of color.

The Summit will ensure that our communities are ready to fill the employment opportunities available in our region in coming years, including health care, information and communication technology, biotech and many other vocations.  In addition to presenting engaging workforce programs that actively train and develop young people for careers, the Summit explores academic, vocational, training, and mentoring programs targeting underserved youth and community college students.

The Summit will include inspiring speakers and presentations from programs throughout the Bay Area, including Marc Philpart from PolicyLink, Sherice Torres from Google, and Joseph Fortuno, a recent graduate of Hercules High School, as well as concurrent sessions and roundtable discussions to tackle challenges and opportunities. 

For more information about the Summit program, or to register, please visit the Summit webpage: Summit 2016.

2016 Summit Flyer-42016

15. 2016 Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony

The Richmond Historic Preservation Commission and the National Park Service invite you to attend the Historic Preservation Awards Ceremony honoring this year's award recipients. The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 at 5:30 PM in the Richmond City Council Chambers (440 Civic Center Plaza). The ceremony will be followed by a reception at the Richmond Art Center, catered by the Contra Costa College Culinary Department.

The purpose of the 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.

The Historic Preservation Commission is pleased to announce that this year's Historic Preservation Award recipients are:

  • Rosemary Corbin and Jennie Alexich for Creating the WWII Home Front Quilt Challenge;
  • The East Brother Wickies for Their Stewardship of East Brother Light Station;
  • Ryland Construction for Rehabilitating the Historic Home at 221 East Scenic Avenue;
  • Point Richmond History Association for Promoting the History of Richmond Through Its Museum and Newsletter;
  • The City of Richmond, The Rosie the Riveter Trust, The Richmond Convention & Visitors Bureau, The Spirit of ‘45, and The Rosie the Riveter/WWII Home Front National Historical Park for Sponsoring the Rosie Rally; and
  • Jan Brown National Park Service Home Front Award, for her Body of Work Over Many Years Supporting the Rosie the Riveter Park.


Feel free to download the Historic Preservation Awards ceremony invitation and help spread the word. Contact Jonathan Malagon, Planner II, at (510) 620-6887 or with any questions.

16. Information Technology

Top 10 Webpage views for the week ending 05/06/2016


Twitter Statistics

0512-richmond tool library campaign 1
City of Richmond Website and Mobile APP UPDATE

An upgraded version of the City of Richmond’s mobile phone app is now available on the Apple App store and Google Play store. 

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

17. Infrastructure and Maintenance Operations

Facilities Maintenance
Carpenters reconfigured work stations in the City Hall’s Information & Technology offices, repaired the floor edges of the orchestra pit in the Civic Auditorium, and constructed a partition wall in the Library to provide office space.

Painters completed the stage walls and the doors at the Civic Auditorium.

Parks and Landscaping Division:  
General maintenance crews repaired the play equipment at the Humphrey Play Lot, weeded medians on Rydin Road, completed irrigation work at Civic Center Plaza, and weeded and trimmed Tiller Park, the Senior Center, Civic Center Plaza and the bus stop on May Road. Staff also assisted with the Solano Play Festival at the Solano Play Lot and is currently weeding Nevin Park, Lucas Park, and Shields Reid Park.

Weed abatement CC (3)
Weed abatement CC (2)
Civic Center Plaza Maintenance

The tree crew cut or trimmed trees on: South 15th Street, Barnard Street, , Florida Avenue, Clinton Avenue and Marina Way South.

tree crew 5 2 16 01
Tree Trimming

Hilltop Districtcrews are continuing general maintenance of the Hilltop area, performing weed abatement on the Richmond Parkway center medians from San Pablo Avenue to I-80, completed weed abatement on Research and Lakeside Drives, installed 75 yards of play fiber at Country Club Vista and Bay Vista Parks, and cleaned the Auto Plaza monument.

Cleaning Auto Plaza Torque
Cleaning of Auto Plaza Monument

Marina District crews continued with weed abatement on the medians and trails throughout the area, mowed park turf, completed irrigation repairs, and ground elevated walkways for safety.

Weed abatement Marina Way
Median Weed Abatement

18. Engineering/CIP Departments

Capital Improvement Projects:
This week, construction at the Civic Auditorium included excavating of a portion of the lobby. The excavating of this area of the lobby is in preparation of the elevator that will be installed for public use. The addition of the new elevator will be a part of the upgrades to more effectively meet the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.

Excavation of the Auditorium Lobby

The Pavement Rehabilitation Project continued this week with the paving of Ohio Avenue from South 1st Street to South 23rd Street, approximately two miles.

Ohio Avenue Paving

Streets Division
The Streets division and Engineering & Capital Improvements Department staff would like to take the opportunity to wish Streets Superintendent Warren Williams a happy retirement. Thank you for your service to the City of Richmond and we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Paving crews removed the barricades and stage placed for the Cinco de Mayo celebration, ground and paved on Sierra Avenue, and worked from the outstanding pothole list.

Grinding on Sierra Avenue

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

Signs and Lines staff installed 31 new poles and signs, painted 441 feet of curbs, repaired 69 signs and poles, and fabricated six signs in-house.

IMG_1730 (3)
New Sign Installation
Curb Painting


Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments about these or any other items of interest to you.

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

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