1. Welcome – President Will Plutte called the meeting to order at 7:02pm. He thanked everybody for coming and introduced the GNC board and invited speakers Lieutenant Brian Dickerson from the Richmond Police Department, General Manager Shawn Moberg from Republic Services, and Officer Kevin Tisdall from the City of Richmond Code Enforcement Department.
2. Approval of Minutes – Valerie Ridgers moved to approve the minutes from last year’s annual meeting as written. The motion was seconded by Joni Grassi and approved with one person abstaining (- she had not attended the meeting).
3. Richmond Police Department – Lieutenant Dickerson introduced himself and described the structure of the three police districts in Richmond. Each one has a beat and a captain. We were reminded to call anytime we see something strange and not try to investigate on our own. We should always ask for a follow-up call, otherwise we may not hear back. He reported that there is little crime in our neighborhood. - Only two incidents in the last 4 months, one being a daytime burglary on Mason and another being a car burglary. Several police officers live in the Carriage Hills area.
The county and city boundaries can be hard to keep straight. In an emergency situation call 911, they will direct the call. You can always call the Richmond Police dispatcher, too. The Richmond Police often goes to areas outside their proper jurisdiction and collaborate closely with the county sheriff, particularly on serious crimes.
Richmond Police Dispatch: (510) 233-1214
4. Treasurer’s Report – Treasurer Karen Springsteen discussed the income and expenses of the neighborhood council. A written statement was given to the secretary. Our income consists of annual donations of $10 per household and direct payments at the National Night Out. Our expenses include annual dues to the City of Richmond Neighborhood Council of $40, rental of tables for National Night Out $50, and mailers and expenses, for the annual meeting $100-200. Ending balance $294.11. Karen encouraged everyone to join the GNC and pay their dues.
5. Illegal dumping – Shawn Moberg, General Manager of Republic Services (formerly Richmond Sanitary Services): Illegal dumping is a big problem throughout the region. Republic Services contract and collaborate with several counties and cities, including Richmond and Contra Costa County. It is very costly to deal with waste and recycling appropriately, e.g. some waste is shipped overseas; therefore the high fees. When illegal dumping is reported, an operation supervisor goes out the next day to inspect the items. Republic Services collect every Monday in our area.
They do their best to track illegal haulers. We can work with the City of Richmond to have a neighborhood clean up event. (This has been done by the GNC in the past. Two containers at no fee. Can collect white goods and E-Waste. Can be a good fundraiser.)
Kevin Tisdell, Code Enforcement Officer, City of Richmond: They have their own trucks and collect dumped items throughout the city as quickly as they can (within 48 hours). In certain city hotspots they collect up to a ton daily! He handed out laminated cards with info about illegal dumping and hotline numbers. His department currently has a $500,000 grant, which allows them to implement sting operations and other efforts to curb illegal dumping.
To report illegal dumping, call:
· The City of Richmond Illegal Dumping Hotline: (510) 965-4905
· The Contra Costa County Illegal Dumping Hotline: (800) 663-6874
Janna Covertson, Municipal Contracts Manager, Republic Services discussed free curbside pick-up for Richmond residents:
· Twice per program year (November 1 – October 31).
· Up to 15 (35-gallon) bags of non-hazardous household trash, or ALL yard waste only
· One of the two annual pick-ups can consist of up to 3 eligible bulky items (including up to five E-waste as one bulky item) instead of plastic bags.
Call (510) 262-7100 for more details and to schedule a pick-up.
Christmas Trees: Cut in half and place in green cart. If you place it at the curb, you get charged $16.50. You may have it picked up through a prescheduled twice a year free curbside pick up. You can also take it to the Golden Bear Transfer Station for free (offer ends the first weekend of February).
The number one complaint reported to the Richmond Code Enforcement Department is abandoned vehicles. If an immobile car is parked on a street, complain to the Parking Enforcement Department. If it is in a driveway, report it to the Code Enforcement Department.
Will Plutte thanked the three guests for presenting. He noted that, as he sees it, there are three aspects to stopping illegal dumping: a) Clean up, b) Enforcement/prevention (cameras, sting operations, etc.), and c) Affordable and accessible services (fees at the dump are high. Mattresses can be recycled for free in Oakland. In San Pablo residents get two vouchers per year for free dump-trips from the city.)
Shawn Moberg: The Joint Powers of Authority Waste Management Agency sets rates according to laws and regulations.) He suggested that we implement a neighborhood free clean up; such efforts help keep costs down. Contact Rochelle Monk.
6. Neighborhood Watch: Jonee Grassi brought up that mail theft is one of our biggest crime issues. She also encouraged others to attend the monthly citywide Neighborhood Watch meetings. We are required to attend six meetings per year to remain a valid group.
7. National Night Out 2017 (Dave Zuckerman and Jack Casetta): The 2016 National Night Out went well and is considered a well-established neighborhood event. The fire truck and the police turn up around 6:00pm. They welcome suggestions for making the event even better. We discussed the fact that the expenses were higher than the income (short $50). The next National Night Out will be held on Tuesday, August 1 at 6:00pm at the same location as last year.
8. Adopt-A-Road Project – Randy Felix described the program. The county will provide trash bags, gloves and safety vests for a group of volunteers to clean up a designated area, such as a section of Alhambra Valley Road or Castro Ranch Road. So far we have no one interested in leading such an effort.
9. Good of the Order:
· Food and Wine event in April at Contra Costa Junior College
· The GNC will check into organizing a Neighborhood Clean Up fundraiser. Joni Grassi volunteered to help organize such an event.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:32pm.
Grethe HoltanGNC Secretary