“The water emergency is real and potentially dangerous – but we can all live with it if we follow the sensible advice of the East Bay Municipal Utility District. A pamphlet was mailed to water users last week setting forth some of the things everyone can do to conserve water.

Experts say that the shortage is going to get worse before it gets better, so it’s well to develop water saving habits now. The City is working with your Homeowners’ Association to distribute plastic bottles for insertion in toilet tanks to displace flush water and flow-reducers for faucets and showerheads. They’ll be available as long as the supply lasts.”

A recent article from the Times or the Chronicle? Minutes from the latest City Council meeting, perhaps?

Not exactly. The above passage was taken from the very first City Newsletter, from March 1977. Everything old is new again, eh?

The severe drought was just one of the subjects covered in that very first newsletter, a simple double-sided sheet. Other matters of interest to the newly burgeoning city included:

Sales Tax – as a gesture of goodwill to the City, Pacific Refining turned over its 1% sales tax it collected for the fuel oil it produced at the plant — $500,000.

“The gesture was so unusual that it received widespread coverage in the press, wire services, radio and T.V. and was the subject of a segment on NBC’s ‘Today’ show on March 1.”

Cable TV – the City was in the process of accepting proposals to bring cable television to the community. The requirements – 20 channels, along with a public access station, to “make available to the viewer the broadest possible spectrum of available channels plus future capability for educational and informational programing by local groups.”

New School – the Richmond Unified School District announced plans to build a new elementary school, on Lupine near Violet. The City was also moving forward with plans to build a neighborhood park nearby. “Landscaping and turfing will be postponed, however, until the end of the water emergency.”

High Level Meetings – the City was planning a series of meetings with local and state officials to address issues of importance, including Highway 4 realignment, and doing something about “growth inhibiting regulations of State and Federal agencies which impair Hercules’ efforts to finance needed public improvements such as wastewater treatment and disposal.”

As an aside, so you can be a champion at the next trivia night, do you remember who our elected officials were?

County Supervisor: Nancy Fahden
State Assemblyman: John Knox
State Senator: John Nejedly
U.S. Representative: George Miller
U.S. Senators: S.I. Hayakawa and Alan Cranston

Speaking of elected officials, the first City Newsletter also reminded people to turn out for the upcoming election, and helpfully included where they could vote.

On Lotus Court. Yes, the young, bustling City of Hercules had all of one polling place.

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