Tom Butt: City Manager Contract Renewal


While the big news is the acceptance by Police Chief Chris Magnus of a new job in Tucson, what we need to focus on TODAY is that the contract of City Manager Bill Lindsay, who had the foresight to hire Magnus nine years ago, terminates in less than 90 days and is up for renewal TONIGHT.

Item I-15 on tonight’s City Council Agenda will extend Lindsay’s contract for another four years. Unbelievably, there a several City Council members who may not support that renewal. I urge you to contact Nat Bates, Eduardo Martinez and Vinay Pimple and urge them to support renewal of the contract, or better yet, show up attonight’s meeting to support Bill Lindsay.

Read on…

Probably the most important thing on tomorrow night’s agenda is item I-15, Renewal of Bill Lindsay’s Contract. His current five-year contract ends on February 13, 2106, less than 90 days away.

You can click on the hyperlink below to access the staff report and the draft contract.

APPROVE a contract with the City Manager that will provide for: (1) an extended four-year term fromFebruary 14, 2016, to February 13, 2020; (2) postpone a previously agreed to 6% salary increase but grant annual two percent (2%)deferred salary increases to his then current salary, effective July 1st of the applicable fiscal year, up to a maximum of three such two percent (2%) increases over the life of the Contract; and (3) authorize such salary increases upon the occurrence of one or more designated triggers for any given Fiscal Year from Fiscal Years 2015/2016 through 2019/2020 - Mayor Tom Butt (620-6502).

Keeping Bill Lindsay in Richmond may seem like a no brainer to almost everyone, but I have to warn you that several City Council members are ready to let him go for reasons that are completely baffling to me.

If you want to keep Bill Lindsay in Richmond, I recommend you email [email protected],[email protected] and [email protected] and urge them to renew his contract. Or call them (See for contact information). Or better yet, show up at tomorrow night’s City Council meeting to support our city manager.

Lindsay came to Richmond in 2005 after a financial crisis that makes today’s grumblings over bond ratings look like small potatoes. The previous City Manager Isiah Turner simply walked away from the impending meltdown in 2003. Turner’s assistant city manager had a meltdown himself and disappeared. We eventually brought in Phil Batchelor, a former Contra Costa County administrator and workout expert who, as an interim city manager, stabilized the City’s finances after massive layoffs. Batchelor then recruited Bill Lindsay, who over the next ten years truly transformed Richmond with a ten-year renaissance in spite of a grueling recession.

In 2007 Richmond began participating in the semi-annual National Citizen Surveys, which measure dozens of metrics related to city conditions, perceptions and services. Richmond has made dramatic improvement during Lindsay’s ten-year term as city manager with the support of a progressive city council. See the charts below with examples of metrics from the National Citizen Survey that cover just the last eight years in Richmond.



Lindsay has accomplished all this with a 27% reduction in the City’s workforce, which stands at 700 today compared to 962 in 2007-08.



Today, virtually of the statistics relating to Richmond’s financial health are trending upward. 

Richmond’s unemployment rate is at 5.1%, equaling the lowest since WWII, lower than the California average and equal to the national average. More Richmond residents are employed now than any time since WWII.

Zillow shows a 15.1% change in Richmond home values in the last year, and forecasts  a 4.5% increase in the coming year. Richmond foreclosures are the lowest since 2006. Commercial property values and rental rates are up, and vacancies are down. See Cushman & Wakefield Third Quarter Report.

On September 29. 2015, the City Council approved a contract with the National Resource Network, a program of the White House, to provide $110,000 of technical assistance to the City of Richmond (of which the City had to fund only $27,500) to construct a sophisticated, interactive 5-year budget forecasting model. This will be introduced to the City Council and the community in the next 30 days and can be used to explore alternative fiscal futures.

In the ten years since Bill Lindsay came to Richmond as city manager, the City has changed dramatically for the better under his leadership and under an independent and progressive city council. We are losing our police chief; I urge you to make sure we don’t also lose our city manager.


Reposted from Mayor Tom Butt's E-Forum

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