State of the City Report

Don Gosney

Charter Requirement: The Mayor shall make an annual report to the City Council as to the conditions and affairs of the City.


At the Richmond City Council meeting this night Mayor Tom Butt presented his annual report—a 100-page report full of bullet points, graphs, wonderful photos and information that even steady Council going residents might not have previously picked up.

The 100 page PDF of the report can be found on the City’s website at:

Highlights included the following:

  • Mayor Butt declared that “Richmond is a great place because of the people who live and work here.”
  • Sales and property taxes are up 9.7% which helps to fund the many projects the people of Richmond demand.
  • Standard & Poor upgraded the City’s credit ratings.
  • RichmondBuild—in its 10th year—is enjoying phenomenal success. Last year’s graduation ceremony had to be canceled because 100% of the graduates were employed and couldn’t take off work to attend the event.
  • Unemployment is down from the 18+% in 2011 to only 3.6% in 2017.
  • The City has taken a dual approach to the annexation of North Richmond with one path including asking the people of North Richmond if they want to be a part of Richmond and the second path using LAFCO’s complex annexation process (where the City can always withdraw their application for annexation up until the point where a decision has been made).
  • Tents have stabilized since 2016 when rents were escalating out of control just about everywhere.
  • UC Berkeley is working with the City to move forward with their Richmond Bay Campus which will substantially be similar to their earlier proposals absent the residential element.
  • Richmond’s Rent Program has had over 5,000 inquiries, collected $1,629,052 in Rental Housing Fees for 11,230 rental units.
  • Hilltop Mall has been purchased (and renamed—The Shops at Hilltop) with new shops, grocery stores, entertainment, cinemas and restaurants planned. They’ve also announced the potential for approximately 9,600 residential units.
  • At the Port, Auto Warehousing moved more than 150,000 automobiles using more than 200 employees.
  • Mayor Butt reported that the homicide rate has decreased 37% since 2016.
  • The Richmond Promise scholarship program celebrated its second year with $3.4 million pledged for the classes of 2016-2017. The number of scholarships awarded in this second year increased by nearly 42% (from 255 in 2016 to 361 in 2017).
  • The new ferry terminal near the Richmond Craneway is expected to open later in 2018 with weekday service scheduled until the demand increases sufficiently to warrant weekend service.
  • And lastly, the Solar One project in North Richmond was completed and put on line.
  • Expected to eliminate 3,234 metric tons of carbon dioxide in one year, the equivalent of taking more than 680 fossil–fuel cars off of the road annually
  • Provides clean, local, renewable energy
  • Repurposed 60 acres of a remediated brownfield site
  • Supported 341 jobs
  • Partnered with job–training program RichmondBUILD to train and hire local residents (50%)
  • Maximized local economic benefits by requiring 50% local resident workforce and engaging Richmond–based contractors and supplier


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