Mayor and Members of the City Council:
This is the weekly report for the week ending September 23, 2016.
The next City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 27th beginning with a Closed Session at 5:30 PM, followed by the regular City Council agenda at 6:30 PM. The agenda may be found by clicking this link: Richmond City Council Agenda Packet.
- 2. Richmond Police Department Initiates Disciplinary Actions Against Police Personnel in Jasmine Abuslin Case
The Richmond Police Department has announced the extent of disciplinary actions to be recommended in the case involving improper conduct by police personnel related to the adult female teenager Jasmine Abuslin, who formerly self-identified as “Celeste Guap.”
The proposed disciplinary actions follow a thorough investigation that complied with the Police Officers’ Bill of Rights (PBOR). This investigation involved an examination of over 10,000 text messages and cellular phone records, over 5,000 social media pages, and contact with 45 individuals. Investigators logged 750 work hours in completing the investigation, including 13 hours of recorded, voluntary testimony from the teenage witness over the course of five interview sessions. The final investigative report contains 275 pages of findings.
The Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability, which led the investigation, identified eleven current and former police personnel that were involved in misconduct. As a result of this misconduct, disciplinary actions are being recommended as follows:
- One officer is proposed to be terminated from employment;
- One officer is proposed to be demoted;
- Two officers are proposed to be suspended, one for 80 hours, and the other for 120 hours;
- Five officers are proposed to receive letters of reprimand.
It should be noted that two officers had separated from City service prior to the investigation for reasons unconnected with the misconduct. It must also be noted that the law does not allow the City of Richmond to release the specific names associated with these recommended disciplinary actions.
The notices of disciplinary actions have now been served to the involved officers by the City of Richmond Human Resources Department. The remaining steps in the disciplinary process, which are in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Richmond and the Richmond Police Officers Association, are as follows:
- Each police officer has ten (10) days from receipt of the notice of proposed discipline to request a private hearing.
- Following this private hearing, the hearing officer(s), who will be Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown, will issue a recommendation to the City Manager. The recommendation may be to either uphold the level of discipline which is outlined in the notice, reduce the level of discipline, or to not impose any discipline whatsoever.
- The City Manager, after receiving initial notice of the proposed disciplinary action, receiving the hearing officers’ recommendations, and reviewing any other pertinent information, determines the final level of discipline to be imposed and notifies the affected police officer.
- Once the City Manager advises the police officer of the final level of discipline, the police officer has fourteen (14) calendar days to grieve the discipline, which may include a request for binding arbitration.
The City of Richmond has worked very hard to make the Richmond Police Department a national model for community- involved policing. I am both disappointed and outraged that the individual behavior of some Richmond police officers has brought discredit to the department and serves to undermine community trust. I know that this outrage is shared by the Mayor and members of the Richmond City Council.
Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown has affirmed that police officers must be held to a higher standard with regard to their personal and professional conduct because their effectiveness in serving the community depends on the public’s trust. Integrity is indispensable to the position of police officer, and a breach of that integrity will not be tolerated at the Richmond Police Department.
The Richmond Police Department has been purposeful in trying to protect the human dignity of the teenage witness since the investigation was opened. The Department will continue not to comment on matters that are covered by privacy protections guaranteed by law, and specific privacy protections that cover victims of crimes.
- 3. Mathieu Court Alley Play Street Selected as One of the 50 Winners Nationwide in the Play Everywhere Challenge
Earlier this summer, the City of Richmond partnered with the Richmond Art Center, Trust for Public Land, Richmond Love Your Block Initiative, and the Iron Triangle Neighborhood Council to submit a concept to paint interactive games and artwork on Mathieu Court Alley, a recently transformed "green alley". The idea is to add opportunities for play where families can have a fun, green, and clean place to play within the alley in this park-deficient neighborhood.
In August, this project was selected as a finalist to submit a full grant application and, on Tuesday, September 20th, the project was selected as one of the 50 winners, out of the 1000 plus applications submitted nationwide. The project implementation is expected to begin in November, following a design charrette with area schools and residents in October.
To learn more about the Play Everywhere Challenge, and to view a gallery of the other winning ideas from cities across the US, please visit http://kaboom.org/playeverywhere. To learn more about the Mathieu Court Alley Play Street Project, contact Francisca Penafiel (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Lina Velasco (email@example.com).
The Play Everywhere Challenge is hosted by KaBOOM! in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Target, Playworld, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
- 4. YouthWORKS - Partnering with Richmond Employers for the RichmondDESIGNS Program
The Employment and Training Department’s YouthWORKS Program is actively seeking Richmond employers in the creative industry to become worksites for the RichmondDESIGNS Program.
RichmondDESIGNS is a unique partnership between YouthWORKS and Richmond employers that will match local youth (ages 18–24) who have a career interest in the arts with Richmond-based commercial arts and design businesses involved in manufacturing, production, and/or fabrication. YouthWORKs will provide pre-employment training in soft and hard skills, subsidized work hours, and support to Richmond community partners who are committed to being trainers and employers.
For more information, please visit http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/3261/RichmondDESIGNS
- 5. 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:
- Met along with Planning Director Richard Mitchell, Senior Planner Lina Velasco, Administrative Chief Shasa Curl, and Deputy City Attorney Rachel Sommovilla, with staff from the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and attorneys representing Zeneca, to discuss contaminated soil remediation at the Zeneca site;
- Met with consultant Henry Gardner, along with Community Services Director Rochelle Monk, to review his organizational review of the Community Services Department;
- Met with potential buyers of the Hilltop Mall to discuss their development concepts, along with Planning Director Richard Mitchell, Senior Planner Lina Velasco, Administrative Chief Shasa Curl, Economic Development Manager Janet Johnson, and Deputy City Attorney James Atencio;
- Met with representatives from the Safe Return Project, along with Senior Deputy City Attorney Everett Jenkins and Housing Director Tim Jones, to discuss a “fair housing” ordinance;
- Reviewed project plans for the Carlson Boulevard “complete streets” project, along with Planning Director Richard Mitchell, CIP/Engineering Director Yader Bermudez, Police Captain Anthony Williams, Associate Civil Engineer Tawfic Halaby, and Infrastructure Administrator Patrick Phelan;
- Reviewed the status of the City finances as of the close of FY 2015-16, and through August of FY 2016-17, with Finance Director Belinda Warner and members of her team;
- Met with representatives of Richmond Main Street, along with Economic Development Manager Janet Johnson, to discuss the “CoBiz” project;
- Attended the annual Council of Industries shoreline tour;
- Met with the City Council-selected prospective developer of the 12th and Macdonald site, along with staff members from the Planning Department, City Attorney’s office, and City Manager’s office;
- Met with Commissioners David Brown and Therese Barquet, along with Councilmember Jael Myrick (via phone), to discuss ways to improve the operation of the Citizen’s Police Review Commission.
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.
- 6. Art In Windows Opening Reception & Love Your Block Mini-Grant Cycle Kick-Off
The Art In Windows program and Richmond Love Your Block are teaming up to celebrate children’s art and community…and you’re invited to the party!
Come Downtown to the retail spaces at the Richmond BART parking garage on Thursday, September 29th from 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM for a special reception. Enjoy the new Art In Windows exhibition featuring children’s art, the return of the Love Your Block BART art installation, and light refreshments. You can also learn how to apply to for a mini-grant to #LoveYourBlock.
For more information about Art In Windows exhibition, visit
www.RichmondMainStreet.org or call (510) 236-4049.
For more information about Richmond Love Your Block, visit
www.tinyurl.com/RichmondLoveYourBlock or call (510) 620-6563
- 7. Richmond Promise 2017 Launch: Student & Family Workshop on October 3rd
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opens early this year, and so does the Richmond Promise scholarship. On October 3rd, the Richmond Promise application opens for the Class of 2017. Richmond Promise will be celebrating the launch by hosting a community workshop from 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM in the IT Training room at 450 Civic Center Plaza. Students and families will receive assistance to get started on their FAFSA and Richmond Promise application. Pizza will be provided, and parents are highly encouraged to attend.
Please Bring your student identification number - SSID (get this from your College Counselor!)
The event is free, but space is limited. RSVP at http://tinyurl.com/gp6o33u
Can’t make it this time? The Richmond Promise team will be hosting additional workshops throughout the year. Visit the Richmond Promise website for upcoming dates: www.richmondpromise.org
Ask questions or request a Workshop any time - contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (510) 620-6531.
- 8. Richmond Promise: Deadline Extended for Class of 2016 to Submit Scholarship Documents
If a young person in your life applied to the Richmond Promise scholarship, please check to ensure they have completed all the documents necessary to process their award. The deadline to submit these documents has been extended to September 30, 2016.
Next week, the Richmond Promise team will be notifying students over the phone if they have not completed all necessary documents. Scholarship payments will be made directly to colleges and universities.
Mail or email documents to:
Mail: Richmond Promise Scholarship Program
Scholarship Management Services
One Scholarship Way, Saint Peter, MN 56082
Phone: 507-931-1682 (office), 507-931-8033 (fax)
We would also like to welcome Jessica Rodriguez as the new Program Manager for the Richmond Promise. She brings a wealth of both personal and professional experience around supporting youth getting to college. She will be heading the outreach to students who have not completed their documents, so if you know a young person in need of support, please have them contact her at email@example.com or 510-620-6531.
- 9. Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Continue to Brighten Up Wednesday at the Civic Center
Freshest Cargo Mobile Farmers’ Market, the non-profit Farmers Market on Wheels, is now in its third month of offering fresh produce to LEAP students, City staff, and nearby residents.
To encourage visits to the truck each Wednesday, LEAP students receive “LEAP BUCKS” on a weekly basis: one dollar per day of attendance. Some students save their bucks for a once per month shopping spree while others are coming out weekly to purchase fresh food.
The Freshest Cargo program also provides double value purchase when using an EBT card. This value is exceptionally important to many of the LEAP students and local residents who are now becoming regulars. The truck visits the Richmond Civic Center each Wednesday from 10:45 AM to 11:45 AM. Freshest Cargo sells low-cost high quality California grown fresh fruits and vegetables in underserved communities, to improve healthy food access for families and individuals across the Bay Area.
All Ears Reading, a free program sponsored by Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation, has arrived at the Richmond Public Library, West Side Branch. Children in grades 1-5 can improve their reading skills by reading out loud to these special Pet Hug Pack therapy dogs. Young readers paired with a specially trained therapy dog gain confidence, and develop a love of reading. Studies by University of California Davis, in partnership with ARF and Nestle Purina Petcare Company, confirm the numerous benefits of dogs as calming, non-judgmental reading partners.
All Ears Reading is offered at Westside Branch Library (135 Washington Avenue) the third Monday of the month from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM. The next session is Monday October 17th. Pre-registration is required. Drop-ins will be accommodated if possible. For more information please contact Deborah Bonet, firstname.lastname@example.org,ca.us or 510-620-6521.
- 11. Richmond Bay Specific Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report Available for Comment
The City of Richmond Planning Division released the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) and the Final Draft Richmond Bay Specific Plan (September 2016) for the Richmond Bay Specific Plan (Project). The DEIR analyzes alternatives and identifies mitigation measures to avoid significant environmental effects. The DEIR is required under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and evaluates the environmental impacts associated with buildout under the Specific Plan. It will also evaluate the impacts of the Sub-Area 4 Project, which would be located within the Plan Area and built according to the Specific Plan.
The Final Draft Richmond Bay Specific Plan (RBSP) documents the community and stakeholder-driven long-term vision for a 500-acre portion of Richmond’s shoreline. This Specific Plan focuses on ways the City of Richmond can capitalize on future ferry service and other area assets to create a sustainable, waterfront community that will, over time, provide increased jobs and housing opportunities, improved transportation options, and access to entertainment and recreation for the city and region.
Release of the DEIR opens a 45-day comment period that closes at 5:00 PM on October 18, 2016. Comments on the Draft EIR should be sent in writing and must be received by 5:00 PM on October 18, 2016, at the following email email@example.com, or address:
City of Richmond Planning Division
ATTN: Lina Velasco
450 Civic Center Plaza, 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 4046
Richmond, CA 94804
A public comment hearing on the DEIR will also be held at the October 6, 2016 Planning Commission Meeting held at 6:30 PM in the Richmond Council Chambers at 440 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA.
The DEIR and the Final Draft Richmond Bay Specific Plan are available online at www.ci.richmond.ca.us/rbsp. Copies are also available for review at the following locations:
- Richmond Public Libraries:
Main Branch, 325 Civic Center Plaza;
West Side Branch, 135 Washington Avenue; and,
Bayview Branch, 5100 Hartnett Avenue.
- City of Richmond Planning and Building Services Department, City Hall, 450 Civic Center Plaza. The Planning Department public counter is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM and Fridays from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM.
- 12. Mayor Hosts Fundraiser to Support Youth Sports
Mayor Tom Butt invites you to help support youth sports in Richmond. The Mayor's Community Fund Second Annual Golf Tournament seeks to raise $35,000 for youth sports.
Last year, more than $14,000 was awarded to 15 Richmond youth sports teams. The funding supported a wide range of activities – including baseball, softball, basketball, martial arts, tennis, football, and golf. Teams used their grants for a variety of purposes, including purchasing new equipment, paying activity registration fees for low-income families, and traveling for tournaments in other parts of the country! Mayor Butt is hoping to increase the fund’s impact in the lives of our youth.
If you are interested in being an event sponsor or buying tickets, visit www.tinyurl.com/mayorsgolf2016 or contact the Mayor’s Office at (510) 620-6527.
- 13. Information Technology
Top 10 Webpage views for the week ending 09-23-2016
People reached increased by 7,450%
Post engagements increased by 100%
Page Likes increased by 75%
Mentions increased by 34.8%
Followers are up
KCRT DATANET OF THE WEEK:
KCRT Upcoming Programs
- October 3, 2016 – Richmond City Council Candidates Night.
City of Richmond 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 mobile app provides Richmond’s community members with one-stop access to City services and information via mobile devices. The app allows quick and real-time reporting of neighborhood-related issues; viewing the City’s Events Calendar; finding addresses and phone numbers of local businesses, city departments and council members. Locating one of Richmond’s numerous parks, and welcoming libraries and community centers, including reserving rental space for that special occasion are all done with ease!
Over 1000 issues have been submitted with the City’s mobile app to date.
- 14. Engineering/CIP Departments
The work on the Civic Auditorium to upgrade the restrooms and the facility to become American with Disabilities Act compliant is nearing completion. All tile work in the men’s restroom is complete and the new counter top and facilities are installed. The elevator walls and insulation are also installed and touch up painting around the new doors has taken place.
Men’s Restroom Improvements
Elevator Wall Installation
Paving crews ground and paved 9th Street from Lincoln Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue, installed speed tables on Atlas Road, completed skin patching in various locations, and worked from the outstanding pothole list.
Paving on 9th Street
Street sweeping performed commercial and residential sweeping services for the third Monday through Wednesday and the fourth Thursday and Friday in the North Richmond, Iron Triangle, North Belding Woods, Atchison Village, South Belding Woods, Richmond Annex, Parkview, Panhandle Annex and Eastshore neighborhood council areas.
Signs and Lines staff repaired 43 signs and poles, installed 22 new signs and poles, installed 35 pavement markers and painted 520’ of curbs.
- 15. Infrastructure Maintenance and Operations
Abatement crews abated the Miraflores property on the 4600 block of Florida Avenue, cleared the alleyway to the rear of the 600 block of 23rd Street, removed tons of illegal dumping in various locations, assisted in a neighborhood clean-up event, and removed graffiti throughout the City.
Carpenters made repairs to the stucco on the exterior walls of the Senior Annex Community Center and fixed the front overhang at the May Valley Community Center.
Senior Annex Maintenance
Painters are performing touch up painting on the Main Library and the Civic Auditorium.
Stationary Engineers installed new locks and repaired them at the Port, serviced sewer lines at the Recreation Complex and Fire Station #68, removed apparatus door motors at the May Valley Community Center, fixed the door locks at the National Parks Service building, and performed maintenance on the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system at the May Valley Community Center.
Utility Workers removed spider webs from the Civic Center Plaza area, removed leaves from the Main Library courtyard, set up various rooms for events, and maintained 29 City owned facilities.
Leaf Removal at Main Library
Electricians ordered the replacement pole for Marina Bay Parkway and Regatta Boulevard, repaired the main power for the traffic controller at Hilltop and Shane Drives, fixed the traffic controllers along Castro Avenue and Richmond Parkway, and replaced traffic signal at Cutting Boulevard and Harbour Way.
Overhead Light Replacement
Parks and Landscaping Division:
General maintenance crews completed maintenance in the East Bay Municipal Utilities District (EBMUD) garden, weeded at Lamoine Park, cleared overgrowth behind 1329 Ohio Avenue, set up for various City events, and completed irrigation repairs at Mira Vista Park.
LaMoine Park Maintenance
The tree crew cut or trimmed trees on Bush Avenue, South 38th Street, Marina Green Park and at the Civic Center. The crew also mowed and edged the Civic Center.
Hilltop Districtcrews continued with general maintenance and trash clean-up along slope above Lake View development, performed general maintenance on Blume Drive medians, preparing for volunteer day at Hilltop Lake Park, and continued maintenance around the business district.
Blume Drive Medians
Marina District crews mowed the turf, spread mulch along the trail, assisted the tree crew with tree removals, and changed the irrigation heads at Barbara Vincent Park for water management.
Spreading of Mulch
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