Mayor Tom Butt says 2015 could be the year unincorporated North Richmond and the city of Richmond become “one Richmond.”
In his first State of the City address Tuesday, the mayor reported progress in his long-running plans to annex North Richmond into the city of Richmond. While residents and businesses in North Richmond have for years resisted annexation, Butt said that appears to be changing.
In December, the North Richmond Municipal Advisory Council voted to explore annexation.
“We believe North Richmond residents and businesses could receive better public services if the area were part of Richmond,” Butt said. “Richmond could also benefit by improving public safety and expanding economic opportunities.”
As early as this year, the mayor hopes to begin initiating the annexation process through the Local Agency Formation Commission.
North Richmond, which is completely surrounded by the city of Richmond, has a population of 2,310 in nearly 700 households and a median household income of $8,763. Services are provided by Contra Costa County, and Butt believes residents of the crime-ridden area are unhappy with county services including public safety.
In 1996, Butt, then a councilmember, called on the city to study annexation of both North Richmond and El Sobrante, according to a 2010 Richmond Confidential report. Butt said he received resistance from “big property owners, the industrial types,” who didn’t want to pay city taxes.
We encourage you to click the Richmond Confidential link above for more of the history, and we will continue to follow this issue as it progresses.