December 15, 2003

PRNC Minutes, November 2003

Here are the minutes for the PRNC November, 2003 meeting.

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Point Richmond Neighborhood Council
Point Richmond Community Center
Minutes of November 19, 2003 Meeting

Officers: President, Don Woodrow; Co-First Vice President, Rod Satre; Treasurer, Artrese Morrison; Secretary Sheila Davidson-Rollin

The meeting was called to order by President Don Woodrow at 7:30 p.m.

Reports of Board Officers:

Treasurer Artrese Morrison reported the balances of the PRNC bank accounts to be as follows:

Bishop Alley Path Fund $ 694.87
Ferry Point Fund 628.23
Wig Wag Fund 2,970.94
General Account +$50. dues deposit 3,334.31

Total $7629.35

Police Report: There was no police report this month.

Report from Richmond City Councilman Tom Butt:
1. City Manager Isiah Turner is expected to retire in January of 2004.
2. Jay Corey will be the Interim City Manager
3. In July of 2003 the city passed a budget with an estimated $6 million deficit for the fiscal year. Now it appears the deficit is actually $10 million. This means a reduction of staff salary and benefits or a 10 percent reduction in staff. Layoffs may occur. The list was made public in October, and notices will go out Dec. 1.
4. Most of the General Fund goes to Police and Fire, $35 million and $14 million respectively, and then comes the Library and Parks and Recreation, with $4 million and $8 million respectively. Some departments are not fully dependent on the General Fund for their budgets. There have been no “hard offers” from service employees. Police grants with earmarked funds are matched by city funds, so non-police are facing layoffs. Eighteen positions in the fire department are facing layoffs.
5. The City Manager makes the layoff decisions. He had decided to close the Point Richmond Fire Station and to severely cut back the open hours of the library.
6. Butt suggested that the only way to get the decision to close the station reversed would be to organize the residents of Point Richmond and have them attend the Dec. 2 City Council meeting and loudly protest the closure.
An audience member noted that an informal survey in town revealed that few people knew the fire station was about to be closed. Joan Gatten of the Point Richmond Safety Committee reported that they had developed a petition to the City Council to save services. The petition would then be delivered to the Council on Dec. 2

It was moved, seconded and approved to ask Tom Butt to put the closure of the fire station on the City Council’s agenda for Dec. 2. Residents were strongly encouraged to attend the meeting, and to make their wishes known to the Council.

Addendum: So many residents contacted city officials that the city rescinded the decision to close the station, and will instead use “rolling blackouts” of all the city’s fire stations to save the same dollars.

Summary of Design Review & Land Use Committee recommendations:
There were no items on the agenda for the committee.

Old Business:
1. Update on Richmond/San Rafael Bridge seismic retrofit and related repairs. A presentation complete with scale model was made by CALTRANS Public Relations Officer Robert Haas. The project is expected to cost in excess of $600 million by completion in Winter of 2005. Work is currently in progress on the concrete trestle section, which is being completely replaced as part of the seismic retrofit. Most of the work takes place in the middle of the night when traffic is at the lightest. The current work will entail one bridge deck being closed and traffic routed onto the other deck while million pound sections of concrete roadbed are replaced by a mammoth crane floating on a huge barge next to the bridge. Over the next 18 months the work will require shutting down one lane at an earlier hour four nights a month. More information may be found at:

2. Update on Seacliff Estates (Brickyard Cove) and developments at the Petromark Property, Terminal One and other planning issues. Morty Prisament, Senior Planner with the Richmond City Planning Office was present to answer questions. He reported that there are 149 homes planned for the new development in the Brickyard Cove area, and that by prior approval by the city, the streets of the development will not be up to city standards. Prisament said city planners had driven by the development and expressed concerns about the way grading is being done on the hillside there, but also discovered that former senior planners at the city had approved the grading plan. Prisament said the only way to intervene in the grading at this point would be through enforcement of the state’s storm water requirements, which city planners are pursuing. Prisament reported that the planners had also realized there was no one to do any mitigation monitoring. As a result of this discovery, it is now a part of the application process to pay for the later monitoring of required mitigation measures. In response to a question about traffic problems in the Seacliff area, Prisament reported that traffic concerns are not the purview of the Planning Dept., but rather the Public Works Dept. He suggested calling the police if people are observed to be speeding in the area. Regarding the progress of change at Terminal One, Prisament said this is City property, and the City is in the process of “exclusive negotiation” with Toll Brothers. Prisament invited residents to call the Planning Dept. if they observed something they felt needed to be addressed.
The proposed Hansen aggregate project will have a Negative Declaration available for
public review. The purpose of this document is to allow the public to have information
regarding the proposed project, and to provide input if people feel there are significant
impacts requiring a full Environmental Impact Report instead of a simple Negative
Declaration. These notices will now be on the City’s website so the public can easily find out
what projects are in process with the City.
3. New Business: None
4. Public Forum/ General Announcements:
Lynn Whitson, Senior Librarian from the Point Richmond Library said the local library’s hours of operation are being severely cut back from 32 hours a week to only 10 hours a week. The hours will be Monday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Wed. from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Whitson said eight library positions are being cut at the Main Library in Richmond and staff from the branch libraries are required to cover the main library. She reported that the Point Richmond Library was the first in Richmond, opened in 1925. Audience members spoke in favor of supporting the library with the City Council, and of the great benefits of a library to the community. Whitson reported that the Library Committee is investigating setting up a foundation to hold money generated privately for the library. PRNC Co-Vice President Rod Satre observed that residents can benefit the City by making purchases within the city limits so that a percentage of the sales tax on the purchases will go to benefit our own community.

Reports of Point Richmond Neighborhood Council Committees:

Point Richmond Safety Committee
Joan Gatten reported the City firefighters had joined the Safety Committee at their Nov. 12 meeting to discuss the planned closure of Station 61. The City Council had made this decision without any public discussion. In response, the Safety Committee drew up petitions and distributed them to local businesses to collect signatures to then turn in to the City Council at their Dec. 2 meeting.
PRAM (Point Richmond Association of Mothers) reported that their CPR class in November had trained 20 people. PRAM is also working to keep the Field House and the Community Center open – additional City services slated for the budget-deficit chopping block.
TRAC : No report
Mini Parks: Work is expected to begin soon on the Western Drive park.
Point Molate : The Request for Proposals will be sent out soon, according to Rod Satre.
Wig Wag: Tom Butt reported that the City and the Railroad are in 95% agreement and the process seems to be moving along.
Undergrounding of Utilities: Ed Gingrich reported on his investigation into the status putting Point Richmond utilities under ground. He found that the City Finance Committee had approved $70,000 to pay for an engineering study and potential funds have been identified, but the funds are currently frozen due to the budget crisis. Tom Butt suggested that Point Richmond residents consider raising the funds privately as the city has a severe cash flow problem.

Meeting Adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

Posted by kgs at December 15, 2003 09:46 AM
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