The Flywheel

Program for friDAY JUNE 27Th

Changing of the Guard

Almost X-Prez Pam Jones officially ends her term of office and the new slate of officers are instated. They are:

President Mark Howe
President-elect Ted Abreu
Treasurer David Brown
Secretary Jonathon Lawlis
Sergeant-at-Arms TBD

Glenn Daggs Liliane Koziol
Alan Baer Rafael Madrigal
Jan Brown EJ Shalaby


MEETING OF June 20th, 2008

Welcome, Invocation, Thought for the Day

Soon to be Ex-Prez Pam welcomed the group.  Glenn led the invocation and his son Kade Daggs did a great job leading the pledge!

Visiting Rotarians

Pat Robertson joined us form the Orinda club and she is our neighbor, living in El Cerrito.

Rotarians with Guests

  • Jan brought Todd Perlman, the Bureau Chief for the West County Bay Area News Group (West County Times)
  • Rafael Madrigal brought jeweler Barbara Diaz.
  • Sid brought his wife so he “could drink”.
  • Kade Daggs joined his dad Glenn.
  • Hank Covell brought Henry Moe.

Sunshine Report

Norm Foley fell but fortunately did not break anything. Barbara M. had shoulder surgery and will be recovering for several weeks.  Get better soon Norm and Barbara!


  • Our Treasurer David Brown announced that the club had approved a $1,000.00 grant to the Richmond Art Center (RAC) for a much needed technology upgrade, in addition to funds the club had previously submitted.  The only condition was that the hardware purchased proudly display a “purchased through donation from the Richmond Rotary” sticker.
  • Mr. Brown also announced that Rafael Cartagena will be taking several sample prosthetic hands down to El Salvador, for which the club has put aside $1,000.00 towards an effort to eventually hopefully provide a few hundred hands to those in need.


  • Jan Brown celebrated a birthday on June 16th and had a “marathon week” because in addition, her son turned 30 (substantially diminishing her ability to credibly claim she is 29 notwithstanding a quantum jolt to the space-time continuum), and she celebrated her parent’s anniversary!
  • Judy had a birthday on June 13th and made a donation to Polio Plus.  She spent most of her B/D flying back from Massachusetts, her second favorite place to visit next to Maine.
  • Don Hardison and wife Betty celebrated their 60th Anniversary!  Thanks to daughter Jan, they had an “absolutely fantastic” time and their most memorable anniversary braving a beautiful balloon ride!

Happy and Sad Dollars

  • Tom Waller was happy because the club continued funding of the Richmond Art Center.
  • Erle Brown was pleasantly surprised to see his old buddy Ted Smith who had served with Erle on the Board for the Richmond Boys Club.  Erle also acknowledged the rarity of Ted’s stature as one of the very few (if not only) African American Republicans in the area.
  • Bill Koziol was happy because his sister had a healthy baby boy on June 10.
  • David Brown was happy because Leigh Johnson donated $100.00 to the Rotary Foundation.
  • Rhonda Harris is the proud grandmother of a new baby boy and is also happy because the Boston Celtics beat L.A.
  • Herb Cole was happy because he had a good time at the L.A. Rotary Convention and because his son earned his BA in Vermont.
  • Hank was happy to have seen Elof twice during the week at the ‘Y’ and has apparently begun an exercise program.

Raffle Results

The fix was in because Glenn’s son Kade drew his dad’s name in the Raffle.  The double fix was in because Glenn drew the Orange Ball!


Building a Strong Financial Foundation

Richmond’s City Manager, Bill Lindsay, and Finance Director, Jim Goins, joined us this week and presented an informative and optimistic snapshot of Richmond’s financial status.

Mr. Lindsay said his career move from Orinda to Richmond was a great decision. "I really like this community." He reminded us that shortly after coming to Richmond he visited the Richmond Rotary. Now on the occasion of his second visit, he speculated that he may one day join the Club (he's currently a member of the Orinda Rotary). 

Mr. Lindsay hopes that people will eventually stop referring to Richmond's "potential" and instead recognize "the results". But results depend on tackling the “major building-block” — getting our city’s financial house in order. This was a perfect segue for his introduction of Richmond's Finance Director.

Mr. Goins' slide presentation focused on the FY 2008-2009 city budget proposal. He noted that successful cities increasingly understand that they must be run like businesses.  Thanks to implementation of sound financial principles and a rigorous review process ("...down to the $5 bill"), the City has gone from having no credit rating in March 2005, to a rating of ‘A+’ as of May 2008.

Mr. Goins stated that Richmond's strong financial foundation is built on:

  • A strong and healthy balance sheet
  • Lending less money than the City formerly did; and when it does lend, imposing strict re-payment conditions
  • Improved financial controls & sound financial principles
  • Investment in infrastructure
  • Negotiating multi-year labor agreements that the City can live with

Mr. Goins outlined new policies that will avoid crippling deficits:

  • A structural balance policy, requiring that one-time monies only be spent on one-time expenditures
  • A policy limiting General Fund debt to not more than 10% of General Fund revenues. (The current debt ratio is 2%.)
  • An investment policy whose first priority is safety, then liquidity, and lastly, yield.

The City's budget is guided by these priorities:

  • Maintaining and enhancing a pleasant environment
  • A safe and secure community
  • Economic vitality
  • Effective government
  • A sustainable city

Mr. Lindsay and Mr. Goins are guiding our city through a period of shrinking state and federal grant money, while nevertheless strengthening our financial standing. Their skill and efforts have not gone unnoticed. Richmond has earned consecutive annual awards recongizing exceptional financial managment, including the GFOA Distinguished Budget Award.

-Your Rotating Editor, Joshua Surowitz