RNCC Meeting Minutes, April 13, 2015

1.  The meeting was called to order at 7:02pm by President Don Woodrow. President’s Report – President Woodrow introduced City Councilman Vinay Pimplé and told the members that Stanly Anderson, President of Marina Bay NC was stepping down as the Corresponding Secretary of RNCC to spend his time elsewhere.

2.  MSP approval of the Minutes from March 9, 2015

3.  Representatives from the following (16) neighborhoods introduced themselves and some gave reports: Belding/Woods, Fairmede/hilltop, Greenbriar, Hilltop District, Hilltop Villages, Laurel Park, Marina Bay, May Valley, North & East, Panhandle Annex, Park Plaza, Point Richmond, Pullman, Richmond Annex, Richmore Village / Metropolitan Square, and Santa Fe neighborhood councils.

4.  City Department Heads/City Official Reports:

Public Works: Warren Williams spoke to us about public works continuing their paving and pothole work as long as the weather is good.  They are working on the revamping of Shields/Reid Park, the 2nd St. Park, and the Plunge.  The Parks department is focusing on weed abatement and control since they are no longer using any pesticides.  The Richmond Swim Center is ahead of schedule and is being totally rebuilt and should be open on time.

Engineering Services: Chad Davisson spoke to us regarding wastewater and the storm drain system he is in charge of in the Engineering Department.  They need approximately $100 million to do all the work necessary to the 80 year old system the City has.  They will have public meetings in May and will come before City Council in June to get funding.  They were able to complete a wet weather storage facility that will help prevent the overflow of the sewers when we have heavy rains.  In the past this used to cause raw sewage to flow into the bay.  The City is contemplating an aggressive lateral sewer program that would replace the sewer line and the lateral sewer lines from the curb to the main if needed before repaving the street to prevent the digging up of newly paved streets. The City is trying to fulfill the 2020 state mandated clean water issues.

City Manager/Community Coordinator: Rochelle Monk spoke about the volunteer luncheon held April 7, 2015.  The City has a small token of appreciation for the RNCC volunteers.  As far as she knows, the RNCC budget will be the same as it was this year.  So we should have the same amount of money for the postage and mailings of newsletters and $2,000.00 for one or two members of the RNCC to go to NUSA.  At next month’s meeting, Rochelle should have the new policy for having an annual event put on by the members of the neighborhoods.  She passed out this year’s clean up calendar for those neighborhoods that are on the list this year.  She also passed out a new initiative called “Love Your Block” that the City has received money from Cities of Service.  The first kick-off party will be on April 24th.

Mayor’s office: David Gray spoke about the Mayor’s branding and marketing campaign of the City of Richmond.  He has raised $60,000.00 of the $100,000.00 he wanted for the project.  If you would like to donate, please address your check to the Main Street Initiative, for the Mayor’s Branding and Marketing Campaign.  May 5th the City will bring the budget to the City Council and right now there is a $9 million deficit.  The City Manager said he can close the deficit without layoffs or service reductions.  He is having roundtable discussions with businesses that have come to Richmond and find ways to draw more businesses into Richmond to increase our business community.  He is also working on My Brother’s Keeper, the President Obama Initiative aimed at helping young men and boys of color facing tough odds reach their full potential.  They are still working on Richmond Promise and are crafting the documents to make this happen for the graduating classes that live in Richmond.  The Chevron Modernization project has cleared all of it’s hurdles and the money should start to come into the City soon.  May 14, 2015 is Bike to Work Day, so everyone should ride their bike to work.  There will be an Earth day program in North Richmond, the Mayor’s office will be providing refreshments in June.  The Mayor will start a “Coffee with the Mayor” event to bring citizens and the Mayor together to fix the problems of Richmond.  The Mayor is planning a weekly report just like the City Manager has.  There were a question about what is happening with Hilltop Mall and the questions were referred to Alex Knox in the Mayor’s office.

Police Department: Deputy Chief Medina spoke about a rise in crime and auto theft is the # 1 crime in the area.  They are doing stings and working with the community to do the best you can.  The Police Department is hiring for 8 vacancies to fill those that are out sick, injured, and long term vacancies.  They have 10 lateral positions that they would like to fill.  They are continuing with their unbiased training and will continue to be the most open and transparent agency regarding how they react in the community.  The are raising officers awareness through these and other events that bring the community closer together.  Another training they are doing is called T-3 (tacts, tactics and trust).  They are also always updating their technology to make their officers the most efficient around.  Deputy Chief Medina did share with us that the difference from having a new recruit that has gone through the academy and getting an officer from another agency is quite large. The recruit would have to complete 6 months of training before they could be on the street alone as where the lateral candidate would take about 5 weeks of training to be ready for the street.  They are also in the process of updating the Beats list online, there were so many moves this year that it is taking longer than expected but should be done soon.

Code Enforcement: Tim Higares, N/A

Planning Department: Jonelyn Whales, started out telling us that they have lost another planner for at least 2 years as Kieron Slaughter has taken a position within the City working with the National Parks Service.  There are now only 3 planners in house, Lina Velasco, Hector Lopez and Jonelyn Whales.  She brought the updated planning project list and said that they (all three planner) would be updating the list on a regular basis.

Fire Department: Terry Harris, N/A

5.  Announcements from RNCC PIO: Garland Ellis brought to us the County jail expansion meeting that will happen on April 30, 2015.  Contact Sabrina Lundy.  The City Council is going to increase the two hour parking on 23rd Street from 9-6 to 9-12 midnight.  If you need a parking permit so you can park there longer, contact Michelle Milam.  Crime Prevention meet Wednesday April 15, 2015 from 7:00 to 8:30 pm at the Richmond Recreation Complex.  Ronnie Shell and Friends are having an event on April 26, 2015 and the tickets are $30.00.  All proceeds will go to the Red Oak Victory ship.  The housing element is going to City Council in May and the Form Based Codes will have a workshop the end of April or the beginning of May.

6.  Presentations: 1) John Gioia discussed the closing of Doctors Medical Center.  He brought 3 handouts for the group, one has health care resources for those without health care, a breakdown of who uses the West County Services including the West County Health Center, the North Richmond Health Center, and school-based clinics.  The last handout is the Doctors Medical Center Chronology.  We do know that the 2011 parcel tax will go away because the hospital will close.  They are not telling us about the future of the hospital property, when the debts will be paid off, or what the amount of debt is.  The closest STEMI Certified hospitals are Alta Bates in Berkeley, Kaiser Foundation in Oakland, John Muir in Concord, Summit Medical Center in Oakland and Marin General in Marin.  They have plans to have a 24 hours urgent care center as well as education of the masses on when and why you go to the emergency room to be treated.

7.  Old Business: None

8.  New Business: None

9.  Adjournment: This meeting was adjourned at 9:09 pm by President Don Woodrow.

Respectfully submitted by,

Jan Mignone,
Recording Secretary

The Refreshments tonight were furnished by Eastshore and the North & East NCs.