MARTINEZ -- The Martinez Clippers, a professional baseball league team, may soon make its home in Martinez.

Plans are still in the discussion stages, but the Waterfront Park ball field is the proposed site for a 41-day schedule of day and evening games with seating for 500 to 700 spectators, according to Mayor Rob Schroder.

The announcement topped off a long City Council meeting Feb. 5, loaded with good news revelations, including increased sales and real estate tax revenue projections, a summer jobs program for teens, the 2014 Bay Area Blues Festival move to Martinez, and a Martinez farmers market switch from midday Thursdays to Friday night.

  • Assistant City Manager Alan Shear presented positive data on Martinez mid-fiscal year city budget adjustments, including the an expected increase by $100,000 in the city's share of Contra Costa County Tax Collector's revenue.

    Sales taxes could be increased by $397,000, while city fee income is going up, and a one-time funding of $15,651 has been received from the DMV fund.

    Councilman Mark Ross noted that Martinez has a 23 to 24 percent reserve, up from 15 to 20 percent.

    Councilwoman Lara Delaney thought the city should start putting money aside to pay unfunded liabilities. During public comment, a suggestion was made to spend the increase on maintaining the Martinez Marina.

  • Teens will be hired for a week of training and six weeks of work to provide 200 to 250 free summer energy assessments to Martinez residents. The program is a partnership between the city of Martinez and California Youth Energy Services (CYES), Martinez Unified School District and sponsors Shell, Republic Services and the Contra Costa Water District and the nonprofit Rising Sun Energy Center of Berkeley.

    PG&E will contribute incentive measures such as faucet aerators and shower heads for free. The young energy surveyors will be accompanied by adults and offer recommendations, pipe wrap, clotheslines and other environmentally helpful items, according to Wells Brown, CYES regional manager.

    Delaney asked if employment follow-up is tracked.

    Brown explained that teens often move up in the CYES organization and some could go to work at Rising Sun Energy Center and other environmentally oriented places. He said he expects more tracking in the future.

  • The Bay Area Blues Festival will move from San Francisco to Martinez on Sept. 27-28, and the event was the highlight of a Main Street Martinez mid-year update.

    Some 10,000 to 15,000 visitors are hopefully going to attend, according to John Curtis, Main Street board president.

    "I think it is a tremendous coup for our city," DeLaney said.

    Curtis described events and attendance to date, new businesses recruitment, Meals on Wheels donations, a list of new businesses, Restaurant Week and the return of food truck to the Martinez Marina.

    Food Truck Mafia will be there from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, beginning March 1.

    "Events are becoming more frequent and of a higher quality," Councilwoman AnaMarie Avila Farias said.

    Curtis discussed the Benjamin Moore Main Street Matters painting project and facts on consumer spending.

    "When you go to a local business, 68 cents on every dollar comes back to the community.

    "When you shop in national chain stores, it is 43 cents," he said.

    Martinez is one of 20 cities in North America chosen for a downtown restoration painting sponsored by Benjamin Moore. Requisite lead testing is being done on buildings in the 600, 700 and 800 blocks of Main Street while building owners choose between recommended colors and a refresh of existing colors.

    Specific buildings to be painted will be selected soon and Benjamin Moore will offer a discounted price for paint to other building owners, according to Leanne Peterson, Main Street Martinez executive director.

    Ending the meeting in a calmer tone than on Jan. 22, when Anna Gwen Simpson was chosen Interim City Manager, the council unanimously agreed on a "transparent" recruitment and hiring procedure for a permanent city manager, to be overseen by the city attorney.

    Contact Dana Guzzetti at dguzzetti10@gmail.com.

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