Nine people in virtual meeting

City Council Looks at Security and Maintenance of Point Molate

Nine people in virtual meeting

Point Molate only has one security guard to work weekends, and some of its buildings are reportedly falling apart. Should it be up to the city of Richmond to fix these problems now? (Screenshot captured by Julia Métraux / Richmond Pulse)

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By Julia Métraux

Point Molate is reportedly in disarray, raising concerns about security and maintenance of the area and questions about whose responsibility they are.

Project manager Craig Murray gave a presentation to the City Council on Tuesday, showing areas that need work, before council members discussed the issue.

“We have a lot of break-ins in the northern end of the park,” Murray said. As of now, there is only one security guard on duty during the weekend.

After a deal to sell Point Molate to Winehaven Legacy fell through, Mayor Tom Butt said it became the city’s responsibility to step up and take care of security and maintenance of this area of Richmond.

“I think that security is pretty much nonexistent, and I think for a historically valuable property like that, that’s a huge problem,” Butt said. “Particularly, the residential buildings are deteriorating badly.”

Butt introduced a motion at Tuesday’s meeting to direct the city manager to prepare and execute a plan that would address the security and maintenance problems.

Following Murray’s presentation, members of the City Council debated whether addressing the issues in Point Molate, which are not new, should be a priority for the city of Richmond.

“It’s just ironic that we are having this conversation about some buildings, while there is so much need in the community, and so much that we need to be focused on,” council member Claudia Jiménez said.

Vice Mayor Eduardo Martinez agreed with Jiménez: “We have more pressing issues that should be spent on.”

“Why didn’t we address this eight years ago?” he said. “It really seems like a political move to me.”

Butt countered Martinez’s statement and said he’s “been a critic of security and maintenance of Point Molate for the last 20 years.”

“There was a transition going on, and these items are being taken care of, but of course, as we all know, that’s no longer true,” Butt said.

Agreeing with the mayor, council member Demnlus Johnson said that he has seen Point Molate become unsafe, especially during periods when there is no security.

“We have to make sure that we’re not creating havens for certain situations to go down,” Johnson said. “Take yourself out there … late on Friday or Saturday evening, and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.

Johnson did not specify what types of specific situations he was talking about.

After debate on this issue, the council voted 4-3, with Vice Mayor Martinez, and council members Gayle McLaughlin and Jiménez voting against it. Staff would need to bring recommendations back to City Council before any plans would be funded.

Improving Libraries in California

In 2021, the California government allocated $439 million in one-time funds to improve public libraries in the state. During her report, City Manager Shasa Curl announced that the city received $9.7 million to improve its libraries.

“Our main library is receiving a grant,” Curl said. Planned upgrades to the library include changes to seismic structures, electrical lighting, flooring and the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.

“This is an extremely exciting and transformative opportunity, and I’m just so thankful,” she said.

The next regular City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept 20.

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