Feb 24, 2015
Pimple was appointed to the City Council Tuesday

Vinay Pimple

In an unexpected turn of events, the Richmond City Council selected Vinay Pimple, a 47-year-old attorney, to fill the vacant seat left by Tom Butt’s election as Mayor.

After failing for three weeks to select among the 18 residents who applied for the seat, the Council selected Pimple with no formal discussion or debate. Eduardo Martinez made the motion to appoint Pimple, which was seconded by Nat Bates. Mayor Butt and Jael Myrick joined with the majority to appoint Pimple with Gayle McLaughlin and Jovanka Beckles abstaining.

The selection of Pimple is likely to surprise many who saw the Richmond Progressive Alliance members as unwavering in their insistence that a member of their organization fill the vacant seat.

Pimple, who is blind, earned a law degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law. In his application for the council seat, Pimple cited his work planting trees, mentoring at-risk youth and teaching math to adults studying for their GED degrees among his community service qualifications. Bates initially moved to nominate Pimple at the Feb. 18 council meeting. Martinez seconded the motion but Myrick, McLaughlin and Butt abstained. Beckles voted no.

According to the application, Pimple’s goals as a City Councilmember include:

  • Work with the school district and other groups to implement solutions for improving student results.
  • Create more jobs with better outreach to businesses.
  • Use sound reasoning skills to craft laws that address the concerns of all council members whenever possible.
  • Respect all other council members, and understand that we all want very similar things for the people of Richmond.

Pimple will be sworn in at the March 3 City Council meeting.


  1. Congratulation Mr.Vinay Pimple ,
    The job you face in Richmond will be very changeling with the cities out of control salaries in a poor city of 105,000 people , the city employee’s pay with benefits average more then twice the medium income of a Richmond resident. The high salaries of our city manager and certain department heads of the under preforming city are red flags .Specifically the city managers salary and benefits of $ 411,972 , Tim Jones housing authority Executive director of $ 238,996 and Planning Director Richard Mitchell of $ 259,996

    This concern of ever rising salaries of a city combined with a total pension debt of $ 415,441,600 which totals 180 % of revenue , is a prescription for disaster . The average full-career (30 or more years of service before retirement) received $87,453.83 from their pension in 2013 . This ever increasing salaries is a major problem and is a contributing factor to the unfunded pension liability for the city of Richmond . Since pensions are tied to salaries, as salaries rise pensions rise with them. The growing burden has crippled other cities, such as Stockton, CA, which went into bankruptcy. Currently, Richmond’s CalPERS pension has a $214 million unfunded liability.

    We listened your public interview and was extremely impressed about your ability to listen to and digest a large amount of information. I believe you will study and quickly conclude as other have , Richmond has a huge challenge to get under control the growing pension debt which will consume most of your time to help lead Richmond out of crisis .
    We look forward to seeing your creativity of how to help implement the Richmond promise program. Education and Business out reach and getting the financial house in order will be no small feet , we wish you all the success in the world. God’s speed.

    Richard Poe | Feb 24th, 2015
  2. As poorly written as your hit piece.

    Mike | Feb 25th, 2015
  3. Yet another sell out of the residents’ democratic rights. Corruption, nepotism, cronyism, regressive taxes, hypocrisy, etc in the name of progressive politics. These politicians have no shame.

    Charles Smith | Feb 25th, 2015
  4. Local attorney? He just cleared the bar three months ago. The council has no regard for public opinion. Granted the selection process eliminated the need to spend thousands to go to elections this Nov. Why did they have to select someone new? Just look at the election results and go for the runner up! The clear choice is Jim Rogers who was 1% behind from Eduardo Martinez. That’s who the public elected! Rogers spent his evenings actually calling residents and speaking to them about their issues. He spent money campaigning and then we get this new person we know nothing about who only had to put in an application and probably know people on the council. But I guess we will get to know him as time goes on. Hope he is the change we need because it’s not like we really have a choice!

    Pierre | Feb 26th, 2015

About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.