This presentation fulfils the Charter requirement that The Mayor shall make an annual report to the City Council as to the conditions and affairs of

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1 This presentation fulfils the Charter requirement that The Mayor shall make an annual report to the City Council as to the conditions and affairs of the City. 1

2 In ancient Roman religion and myth, Janus is the god of beginnings and transitions, and thereby of gates, doors, doorways, passages and endings, a suitable icon for this presentation for several reasons. Janus is usually depicted as having two faces, since he looks to the future and to the past. It is conventionally thought that the month of January is named for Janus. This report has two parts: The first part describes Richmond in many different ways. The second part describes the many projects and programs that the Mayor s Office will prioritize in the coming year. 2

3 First of all, I want to thank Mayor McLaughlin, the City Council, Bill Lindsay and his management team and all City employees for a great eight years. Richmond has truly changed for the better, and we want to continue the momentum. 3

4 I want to introduce the Mayor s Office staff. Everyone knows Terrance Cheung who moved over from Supervisor John Gioia s Office. David Gray, who was a City Council intern while in graduate school at Cal, recently relocated from Louisiana. And Alex Knox, a Richmond native, headed up our successful election campaign. 4

5 The mayor s job description is in the City Charter. Richmond is a Council Manager form of government and the city manager is the City s chief executive. The mayor does not run the city, but according the Charter, has a number of responsibilities and a staff of three to research, advocate, educate and lobby. 5

6 The mayor has few actual powers but lots of leadership opportunities, and we intend to use them for all the people of Richmond. 6

7 We all know Richmond, but do we really? Here is a quick snapshot of various characteristics of our city. 7

8 Richmond has 30.1 square miles of land area (19,264 acres). Beyond the City boundary are spheres of influence assigned by Local Agency Formation Commission indicating logical expansion areas, including North Richmond, the San Pablo Dam Road corridor in El Sobrante and the area between El Sobrante and Pinole. 8

9 Richmond has four islands: East Brother, West Brother, Brooks Island and Red Rock Island. Five if you count tiny Bird Island. 9

10 Richmond has over 250 acres of City parks, but we still do not meet our adopted standard of 3 acres of park per 1,000 population, with most of the deficiency in the central core. However, a lot of progress is being made to upgrade existing parks. 10

11 In addition to City parks, Richmond benefits from over 5,000 acres of regional parks in or abutting our City, nearly 3,000 of which are waterfront parks. 11

12 Richmond s premier regional attraction, Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park doubled its visitation rate in 2014 after installation of permanent exhibits. Right next door is Assemble Restaurant. 12

13 As a waterfront community, Richmond is the home to over 1,600 private boats in nine marinas and three yacht clubs. 13

14 The current estimated population of Richmond is about 108,000. Richmond population boomed during WWII, then declined. The city did not reach its WWII population peak again until the 21 st Century. 14

15 As we all know, Richmond is a very diverse city. As Gavin Newsom said two weeks ago, What makes Richmond great is its capacity to celebrate all of its interesting differences. 15

16 Richmond has a relatively high crime rate compared to the rest of Contra Costa County and the State of California. Within the City, the highest crime rate is concentrated in Central Richmond. 16

17 The good news is that, compared to 2013, crime was down 13% overall was the first year in over a decade with under 1,000 violent crimes. 17

18 Both property crime and violent crime has continued to fall to fall for over a decade calls for service were also down: Drug calls 31%, prostitution calls 11%, person with gun calls 7 % and shots fired calls 38%. 18

19 The Richmond Police Department expanded existing programs and started new partnerships in

20 The number of Richmond homicides in 2014 was the lowest since at least

21 Richmond has a history of high unemployment compared to the rest of the San Francisco Bay Area and California. 21

22 But Richmond s unemployment rate continues to fall and is now about what it was 10 years ago. It was at 9.4% at the end of November 2014, compared to 7.2% in California and 5.5% nationwide. 22

23 Unemployment is not just dropping, jobs are up. In the last four years, Richmond employment has increased by 5,000 jobs. 23

24 Richmond jobs continue to be dominated by Chevron and public agencies, but the real growth is in small businesses. Two of these, Nutiva and Alta Vista made the list of the Bay Area s fastest growing companies in

25 The Small Business Optimism Index nationwide is at its highest point since 2006, before the last recession. We expect to see job growth in Richmond le by small businesses. 25

26 One of Richmond s fastest growing business sectors is food products and services. 26

27 One of the challenges we face is hitching Richmond to the economic boom that has swept the Bay Area beginning in More on that later. 27

28 Richmond has lower household income and more poverty than both Contra Costa County and the State of California 28

29 Like the rest of the Bay Area, Richmond home prices tanked beginning in They hit bottom in 2009, hovered there for four years, then began a recovery, reaching 2004 levels in 2014 and continuing to increase. 29

30 Richmond continues to have some of the Bay Area s lowest residential rental rates, trending significantly below San Francisco as well as Oakland and Berkeley. 30

31 Compared to other Bay Area cities served by BART, apartment rentals in Richmond are a bargain for commuters only one place is lower in the entire BART system South Hayward. 31

32 In a Bay Area market hungry for affordable housing, Richmond has an opportunity to develop housing at all income levels. 32

33 Foreclosure activity on Richmond remains high compared to the rest of Contra Costa County and California, but there appears to be a downtrend. The number of foreclosures is down 9% from 2013 and dropping, now at only 0.12% of homes. 33

34 Commercial leases continue to improve with lower vacancies and higher rents, but they are still a bargain compared to the rest of the Bay Area 34

35 The condition of streets continues to improve in Richmond. The Current PCI Index, which is a measure of pavement condition, is the highest it has been in a decade, but people expect more. Look for a new high when revenues from Measure U kick in. 35

36 In 2014, approximately 85% of Richmond electricity users were signed up with MCE, saving over $2 million in electricity costs and over 7,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The City of Richmond saved over $100,000. By installing 7,000 new LED streetlights, the City of Richmond cut the cost of electricity for streetlights in half. 36

37 The City of Richmond faced a budget deficit for the fiscal year and had to reach into its reserves to make ends meet. Getting the budget under control remains a major challenge for

38 Richmond has used one time income to balance the budget, like the tax settlements with Chevron in 2009 that resulted in $114 million in additional revenue. However, that was front loaded and drops to nearly half in Fiscal Year compared to this fiscal year. 38

39 The number of City employees is at its lowest level in a decade. Doing more with less is today s reality. 39

40 The City s revenue sources are variable. Utility User Taxes are under downward pressure from energy conservation and cheaper power from MCE, and the Chevron component is subject to a complex formula that is a function of the energy market rather than Chevron s usage. Property taxes took a major hit during the recession but are slowly recovering. Sales taxes also took a major hit during the recession but have recovered to pre recession levels and are trending upward. 40

41 Overtime can inflate budgets. Of the ten highest paid City employees, nine are in the fire department, and some make more than the president of the United States. 41

42 Like the State of California and most cities and counties, the City of Richmond has a significant unfunded pension and health benefit liability. The amount depends on who is doing the analysis. Dan Borenstein of the Contra Costa Times editorializes on this subject incessantly, and his estimate differs from the City s estimate by $350 million. This is important because it is a cost that will be passed on to our children. We will have a study session on this later this year. 42

43 Sales tax receipts have recovered to 2008 levels and will likely head higher. 43

44 The results of the 2013 Community Survey showed that reducing crime and addressing blighted properties were the first and second priorities of residents. Third was improving street paving conditions, and fourth was developing job training opportunities. Fifth was improving environmental quality, and sixth was improving street and pedestrian lighting. 44

45 In the last six years, the number of Richmond residents rating quality of life as excellent or good has nearly doubled. 45

46 In the last six years, the number of Richmond residents who would recommend living in Richmond has increased by 13 percentage points. 46

47 The mayor s Office priorities are in three groups, not necessarily in this order. Some are short term goals that we expect to realize in the first 100 days. Others will take years, but we have to get started. There is also overlap among groups, and some could just as easily be in more than one group. 47

48 Group 1 includes business, jobs and economic development. 48

49 Richmond is open for business! We will remove impediments to business without sacrificing quality or the environment. 49

50 Richmond ferry service can be a reality in The critical Measure J funding agreement between Richmond and Hercules has been adopted by both cities. Now, we need to complete the agreement between Contra Costa Transportation Authority and the Water Emergency Transportation Authority and get those boats running. 50

51 It is time to start anticipating the next phase for Point Molate. We can t just put the future on hold until litigation is resolved. Getting essential utility services to Point Molate is the highest and most expensive priority, but there are creative ways to make this happen. We will start this planning in

52 When funding for the LNBL expansion failed to materialize, UC Berkeley adopted a different model for the Field Station property, envisioning it as a major expansion of UC Berkeley with U.S. and international students joining scholars and scientists advancing knowledge in fields such as bioscience, health, energy development and data studies. Attracting international investments is a key objective. Meanwhile, the City continues planning for the land adjacent to the field station, the development of which will be stimulated by the Global Campus. ACCE, CCISCO, the Safe Return Project and others have collaborated with the Haas Institute to advocate for stronger UC commitments for local employment opportunities, local business, local housing and other partnerships providing local benefits and opportunities. 52

53 In the 1970s, the construction of Hilltop Mall moved the center of center of retail activity from Macdonald Avenue to Hilltop, and main street rapidly declined. Now, an outdated retail model itself, Hilltop is declining like similar malls across the country. Finding a future that works for both investors and the City of Richmond will be a priority in

54 We want to get out ahead of the game create and nurture public/private partnerships that will ensure a vibrant future for Hilltop not this!. 54

55 While citywide sales tax receipts are climbing, those from Hilltop Mall are declining, both in total and as a percentage of the City total. 55

56 Hilltop is not alone. Malls are dying all over the country. 56

57 Malls are also being revived all over the country. Some are razed and replaced with mixeduse communities, while others are repurposed for schools, churches and civic centers. 57

58 We also want to support Richmond s historical main street (Macdonald Avenue) which is experiencing a renaissance of its own with the Richmond Main Street Initiative supported by a business improvement district that taxes local property owners for projects and programs to support business. Just a couple of weeks ago, the Main Street Initiative put on a boot camp for small business entrepreneurs. 58

59 The weekly farmers market attracted 13,000 shoppers in

60 The General Plan 2030 was adopted in 2012 but the Zoning Ordinance is 20 years old. Inconsistency is illegal and confusing. We will begin, and hopefully complete a new zoning ordinance this year. 60

61 For years, Richmond has been using logos and slogans that are based on no identifiable Richmond characteristics. We need a new identity that helps market the city s unique attractions and assets. 61

62 Richmond is missing the Bay Area tech boom, lagging in all economic indicators. We need a strategic marketing plan to sell Richmond as a place to live, work and play. 62

63 The arts are critical to attracting the creative people that are driving the Bay Area tech surge. And artists are being driven out of San Francisco, and even Oakland, by surging rents. We are welcoming them to Richmond with established institutions like the East Bay Center for Performing Arts, NIAD and the Richmond Arts Center. 63

64 For the last several years, disruption on the City Council has been cited as a turn off to businesses considering Richmond as a location. While we have continued to accomplish much in spite of this, there are many good reasons to try and make Richmond City Council meetings civil and businesslike while still encouraging public participation and discourse. It will take commitment form everyone. Let s start now. 64

65 There are dozens of former Redevelopment Agency parcels that are in limbo because of state law relating to successor agencies. Most of these are on Macdonald Avenue between 8 th and 15 th Streets and at Marina Bay. They are vacant lots and unoccupied buildings that are a blight and serving no purpose. We need to move swiftly to get these back on the market and on the tax rolls. 65

66 These are the Environment and Sustainability issues the Mayor s Office will be working on in

67 Richmond made an early start in sustainability planning, but budget challenges have slowed that down. Many cities now have Climate Action Plans, but Richmond s has stalled out due to lack of funding. A Climate Action Plan is the foundation on which the City s energy initiatives are built, and it is critical to qualify for grant funding from cap and trade. We have identified a source of funding, and we can complete and adopt a plan this year. 67

68 Richmond has more shoreline and more Bay Trail completed than any other city on San Francisco Bay. The Bay Trail is a significant amenity that draws people to Richmond. In 2015, we look forward to completing the trail segments at the Dotson Marsh restoration and at Garrard Boulevard. The most exciting prospect is a fast moving proposal to complete the spur to Point Molate and extend the trail across the Richmond San Rafael Bridge. 68

69 The Richmond Greenway will get a major boost this year with a $5 million grant to redesign and remake the portion from 6 th to 16 th Street into Unity Park. 69

70 Urban agriculture is a high priority in the General Plan 2030 and is part of Health in all Policies. In 2015, we look forward to adopting an Urban Agriculture Chapter in the Zoning Ordinance, expanding projects and programs of organizations such as UrbanTilth, the Food Policy Council and establishing an urban agriculture fair and awards for individuals doing home gardening. 70

71 Funding from the $90 million Chevron Environmental and Community Investment Agreement is held up pending litigation, which we hope will be resolved in However, in any event, the first two megawatts of the MCE solar farm with land provided by Chevron will proceed, and $1 million of guaranteed funding will be available for local greenhouse gas reduction projects, hopefully to allow our climate action plan to be completed so we can qualify for grants from cap and trade funding. (SB 535). 71

72 Richmond is a city of distinctive neighborhoods in which the residents take great pride. We can build even greater pride and make these neighborhoods more sustainable and livable by recognizing the unique amenities of each one, making them more full service in essential services such as shops and restaurants, making neighborhood schools into fullservice community centers, providing identification and way finding signage and encouraging active neighborhood councils 72

73 The final priority group includes initiatives to make Richmond safer for all and increase opportunities for education, affordable housing, and youth activities. 73

74 Chapter 9.15 of the Municipal Code states, Health starts where we live, learn, work and play, and everyday decisions within the City of Richmond can promote greater health and equity. 74

75 Did you now your zip code is more important than your genetic code? Health in all policies is setting out to change that. 75

76 2014 ended with the lowest homicide rate in decades and continued drops in both violent and property crimes. We will continue using every possible strategy to drive crime down even further in Partnerships such as the Office of Neighborhood Safety, Project Ceasefire, West County Family Justice Center and West County Reentry First Stop Center are essential. 76

77 The Hacienda has been one of the most controversial and divisive issue taken up by the City Council in The City Council unanimously agreed to a disposition plan that included relocation of all residents to suitable Section 8 housing. The plan was approved by HUD on January 16, and an application for Section 8 vouchers to complete the relocation was approved in San Francisco on January 23 and is off to HUD Headquarters. The Mayor s Office, city manager and housing director will make a full court press to get this done. 77

78 North Richmond is an unincorporated area entirely surrounded by Richmond, and the Local Agency Formation Commission has placed North Richmond in Richmond s sphere of influence. Because of economies of scale and proximity to Richmond, we believe North Richmond residents and businesses could receive better public services if the area were part of Richmond. And Richmond could also benefit by improving public safety and expanding economic opportunities. For many years, North Richmond residents and businesses have opposed annexation, but there is a new interest in it could be the year we become One Richmond. 78

79 Richmond needs housing opportunities at every income level. We will explore every way to provide affordable housing while encouraging the construction of new housing and the rehabilitation and occupation of vacant and abandoned units. 79

80 Connecting youth with opportunities for recreation, service, social activities, learning and fun can be done with a new Internet portal designed by and for youth. 80

81 As new information from the Chemical Safety Board arrives, the City Council ad hoc Committee on Industrial Safety will work with Contra Costa County to strengthen the ISO. 81

82 Planning for implementation of the Richmond Promise program will begin within the next month. If litigation challenging the Chevron Modernization project is resolved, we could be awarding scholarships next year. 82

83 To raise the profile of education in Richmond, I have appointed an ad hoc City Council committee of thre to focus on collaboration with the school district. 83

84 84

85 85

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