RNCC Meeting Minutes, May 13, 2013

1.  The meeting was called to order at 7:01 P.M. by President Don Woodrow.

2.  MSP approval of the Minutes from April 8, 2013 meeting.

3.  Representatives from the following (18) neighborhoods introduced themselves and some gave reports: Atchison Village, Carriage Hills North, Cortez/Stege, Eastshore, Fairmede/Hilltop, Greenbriar, Hilltop Villages, Marina Bay, May Valley, North & East, Panhandle Annex, Parchester Village, Park Plaza, Pt. Richmond, Richmond Annex, Richmond Heights, Richmore Village/Metro Square and Shields/Reid.

4.  Announcements from RNCC PIO: Goretha Johnson was absent, but Treasurer Bea Roberson read them in her place.  There was no representative from the Mayor’s office but they sent a report about Cinco de Mayo and a list of events occurring in the City in June, Juneteeth on June 22nd at Nicholl Park, the Native American Pow Wow on June 22nd at Wendell Park and the next pancake breakfast on the SS Red Oak Victory Ship on Father’s Day to mention just a few.

5.  Presentation from the City Manager’s Office and the Director of Finance’s Office: We had a change in our regular agenda and we allowed the City Manager, Bill Lindsay to present ahead of schedule.  Director of Finance, Jim Goins, who was recovering from surgery, was unavailable for this presentation.  This PowerPoint presentation will be online by the end of the week.  Mr. Lindsay pointed out that as of right now, they have a budget gap shortfall of 7 million dollars and hope to close it by the time the City Council approves the budget in June.  Much of this gap is happening because of the cost of benefits for city employees and retirees.  The City has maintained close to 200 sworn police officers and this is good for the City.  They have learned to save money by doing their paving projects in-house.  They are moving forward with the Moody Underpass and should award a contract for it in the next 6 weeks.  The new parking garage at the Richmond BART station will open May 30th.  As of now the City has worked hard to keep the budget balanced.

City Department Heads/City Official Reports:

    Public Works: Yader Bermudez was unavailable but Warren Williams was here in his place.  Warren talked about the accomplishments Public Works has had over the past year.

    Engineering Services: Tawfic Halaby spoke about the 1,000 street lights that have been replaced with LED lights and next year they plan to do 2,500 more.  They have completely reconstructed Costa St., 18th St., El Portal, and Via Verde should be complete in a few more weeks.  The Dornan Tunnel is taking longer than expected as there was more funding needed once the project began.  It should be completed by the end of July.

    City Manager/Community Coordinator: Rochelle Monk Told us to keep an eye out for the City Manager’s Weekly Report.  Thursday, May 16th the City would be honoring the youth volunteers at 5:00 P.M.

    Mayor’s Office: Nicole Valentine not available.

    Police Department: Chief Magnus spoke about gang violence and how the City has done a good job in getting the older gang members off of the streets and now the younger youth are becoming gang members, some as young as 12 years old.  They did make 4 strategic arrests of gang members over the weekend.  They are working on a CPTED (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) video and also made a large copper wire arrest.  They will roll out their predictive policing in the next couple of months now that the City Council has given them the money.

    Code Enforcement: Tim Higares told us that Renee Sousa has left Richmond Code Enforcement and taken over Code Enforcement in Antioch, so they are searching for a new officer.  He introduced Hugo Mendoza, the supervisor for cleaning up the illegal dumping.  He told us that they had started to have a Code Enforcement Employee of the month and this month it is Tiffany who is the secretary for Public Works staff but is able to help Hugo as he is housed in their location.  They are hoping to get some new street sweeping signs up so that they can become more consistent with the ticketing and street sweeping.

    Environmental Manager: Lynne Scarpa told us that the Richmond City Council was considering a ban on plastic bags and she handed out reusable bags to all.  She also told us about the bio-swales being done at the new Grocery Outlet.  The bugs of the month were white flies and aphids and she brought us many ideas of things to use that are a part of the integrated pest management system.  Some of her suggestions were neem oil, natural fertilizers and sticky things.

    Planning Department: No one from Planning was available and Lynne Scarpa did bring their project list to the meeting.

    Fire Department: Terry Harris was not available.

6.  Presentations:

    1) The City Manager’s budget report was presented as agenda item 5.

    2) Heather Kulp from Chevron came to the RNCC to talk about a community group Chevron would like to form with the community.  This group would give the residents the ability to discuss their concerns with Chevron and learn about how the Chevron plant works.  There was a lively discussion regarding this and President Woodrow said the final decision will be made by the Executive Board.

7.  Old Business: Since we were unable to get anyone to go to the NUSA convention this year, we will return the $3,000.00 to the City and hope they will give us the money again next year for the NUSA convention.

8.  New Business: None

9.  Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:39 P.M.

    We would like to thank the City of Richmond Staff and Park Plaza for tonight’s refreshments.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Jan Mignone