Backyard Brief header - A monthly newsletter from the Dublin City Manager (on grass)

March 2023

Welcome to the March 2023 edition of "Backyard Brief." Our biggest event of the year, the annual St. Patrick's Day Celebration, will take place March 17 - 19. I hope to see many of you at the festivities! I have other exciting news to share - the San Francisco Opera is coming to Dublin later this month! See details, below, about "Bohème Out of the Box," a wonderful cultural event for the whole family. Here, you'll also learn about updates to the Housing Element; the upcoming "Nature in Our Backyard" photography contest; the annual "One City, One Book," program; a "call for artists" for new utility box art; the upcoming Eastern Alameda County Human Services Needs Assessment; and more.

Headshot of Dublin Police Chief Garrett Holmes.

Dublin Police Chief Garrett Holmes Announces Retirement

Dublin Police Chief Garrett Holmes has announced that he will retire from his post, effective March 17, 2023. Chief Holmes, who is a Commander with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, began his role as Dublin Police Chief on December 15, 2017. This was his third stint with Dublin Police Services.

“It has been an honor to serve the community of Dublin for over 18 years, and the last five as the Chief of Police,” said Chief Holmes. “Over the past two decades, the City has grown rapidly, but it still has a hometown feel. I have been extremely fortunate to work with the many dedicated women and men of Dublin Police Services, and I am grateful for the wonderful support that our community members have shown us through the years. Together, we have made the City a vibrant and safe place to live and work.”

Commander Holmes has nearly 30 years of experience in law enforcement. A lifelong resident of Alameda County, he started his career in 1993 with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office as a Reserve Deputy. He worked for several years at the North County Jail and Santa Rita Jail before becoming a Deputy at the City of Dublin. He served Dublin until 2009 in numerous capacities including patrol, crime prevention, investigations, and as a field training officer and supervisor; patrol supervisor; and administration sergeant. During that period of service to the Dublin community, he rose to the rank of Lieutenant. In 2009, he left Dublin and served in several roles with the Sheriff’s Office, most notably as Captain and Commanding Officer of Oakland International Airport. He returned to Dublin as a Captain in 2015 to oversee Operations and Administration of the department, serving as second-in-command under then-Commander Dennis Houghtelling. In early 2017, he was promoted to Commander and took over the Countywide Services Division. He returned to lead Dublin Police Services in December 2017.

During his five-plus years as Chief of Dublin Police, Commander Holmes led Dublin Police through the difficult period of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the unrest stemming from the death of George Floyd. During the pandemic, he worked to provide greater transparency of Dublin Police Services, holding regular online meetings with the community, and creating the first Dublin Police Annual Report. He was regularly out in the community at City of Dublin activities, including the Dublin Farmers’ Market, the St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, and at “Coffee with the Chief” events.

“Chief Holmes’ retirement is personally and professionally bittersweet,” said Dublin City Manager Linda Smith. “I have had the opportunity to work closely with him these last eight years and to have had a front row seat, watching him take community policing to the next level. He’s a man of great integrity, is extremely caring, and has always wanted the best for the City. He is deserving of all wonderful comments to come, and he will be dearly missed.”

An announcement regarding Chief Holmes’ replacement will be forthcoming.

Read the full press release.

2023-2031 Dublin Housing Element Update graphic with hills and home

Public Review Period Now Open for 2023-2031 Housing Element Update

On November 15, 2022, the City Council adopted the 2023-2031 Housing Element and directed staff to submit the Housing Element to the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for review and certification. On January 17, 2023, HCD concluded their review and issued a comment letter to the City indicating that revisions were needed to fully comply with State Housing Element Law. City Staff has worked with HCD staff to make minor changes to address their comments. Pursuant to Assembly Bill 215, the revised Housing Element is available for public review and comment on the City’s website from February 27 through March 7. The City will resubmit the Housing Element to HCD at the conclusion of the comment period.

Tri-Valley Cities to Conduct the Eastern Alameda County Needs Assessment


Every 10 years, after the U.S. Census, the Tri-Valley cities of Dublin, Livermore, and Pleasanton update a human services needs assessment. This assessment addresses current Tri-Valley human service gap areas (both in services and infrastructure). The needs assessment allows the Tri-Valley region to be strategic in assisting local service providers with human service needs.

JSI, a public health research and consulting organization, with an office in Berkeley, California, has been hired by the cities of Pleasanton, Dublin, and Livermore to conduct a Human Services Needs Assessment in the Tri-Valley.

What is a Needs Assessments?

Needs Assessments are used to understand the unique qualities of a given community, including its strengths and opportunities for growth. Needs Assessments often utilize both quantitative data ( data that can be counted, measured, or given a numerical value) and qualitative data (descriptive data collected through focus groups, interviews, and conversations) to gain a representative depiction of a community.

This Needs Assessment will highlight the important services already provided in the community and will identify gaps. It will seek to answer the following questions:

o Who lives and works in the Tri-Valley? What are their needs as it relates to human services?

o What human service businesses and organizations are central to the Tri-Valley and how do they work together?

o What are the strengths of the Tri-Valley?

o What are the areas for growth within the Tri-Valley and how does that impact the services and infrastructure needed for human services?

The Needs Assessment process will take place now through November 2023.

Get Involved!

• We want to hear from you! The success of this Needs Assessment lies in being able to hear various perspectives across the Tri-Valley.

• Would you like to be interviewed or participate in a focus group? You can learn more and express interest here.

• Join the EAPAC! The Eastern Alameda Power and Action Committee (EAPAC) is integral to the development of a needs assessment that is representative of the community. Members will be involved in qualitative data collection and analysis. This is a paid position with no experience required. Please fill out an interest form here.

• Connect with us! Is there an event happening in your community? Want to ask a question, give feedback, or share a suggestion? We welcome your input! Please email us at

Learn more at the following City Council meetings:

Dublin City Council Meeting - April 4, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. (100 Civic Plaza, Dublin)

Pleasanton City Council Meeting - April 18, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. (200 Old Bernal Avenue, Pleasanton)

Livermore City Council Meeting - May 8, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. (1016 S. Livermore Avenue, Livermore)

Woman wearing a Viking hat with long red yarn braids, and an
Cowgirl wearing glittery green top and cowboy hat on a light brown horse.
Asian man dressed as a leprechaun for the Shamrock 5K Fun Run and Walk.

Join the City of Dublin for All Things Irish at the 39th St. Patrick's Day Celebration!

All eyes will be smiling at the City of Dublin’s 39th St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, which includes a two-day festival, the Shamrock 5K Fun Run and Walk, Dublin Historical Society’s Shamrock Gala, Alameda County Firefighters Local 55 Pancake Breakfast, and Dublin Lions Club St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The Shamrock Gala will take place on Friday, March 17, 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., at the Dublin Senior Center. The semi-formal event, for adults aged 21 and older, will feature hors d'oeuvres, music, dancing, plus a raffle and door prizes. Tickets are $50.00 each and can be purchased at

On Saturday, March 18, revelers can start their morning bright and early at 7:00 a.m. with a big stack of hot, green pancakes served fresh off the griddle at the annual Local 55 Firefighter’s Pancake Breakfast at Fire Station #16 (7494 Donohue Drive). Breakfast also includes sausages and juice or coffee. Tickets can be purchased at the door for $5 per person.

After a hearty breakfast, residents and guests can find a spot in Downtown Dublin to watch the Dublin Lions Club St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which begins at 9:30 a.m. The parade kicks off at Dublin Boulevard and Amador Plaza Road, traveling east on Dublin Boulevard, north on Village Parkway, and west on Amador Valley Boulevard, ending near the Dublin Senior Center. Guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets to watch from along the parade route.

The 39th St. Patrick’s Day Festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday, March 18 and 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Dublin Civic Center (100 Civic Plaza). Highlights include three stages of authentic Irish music and dance; an Irish Marketplace; an Irish Tea Cottage serving up tea and scones; plenty of delicious international cuisine, including Irish food and beverages; over 250 arts and crafts vendors; and a children’s carnival.

On Sunday, March 19, the City of Dublin will host the annual Shamrock 5K Fun Run and Walk. The race begins at 8:30 a.m. along Dublin Boulevard near the Civic Center, and winds its way through town, finishing at the festival with live music, awards, and giveaways for participants. Register online here. For further race information, please call (925) 556-4500.

For additional details about the Festival, including entertainment highlights, parking information, and more, visit

"Nature in Our Backyard" Contest Now Open

It's that time of year again when novice or professional photographers can show their love of the community by participating in Dublin's "Nature in Our Backyard" Photography Contest. Submit your creek, wildlife, and natural park photos taken in Dublin to win prizes and City recognition. Photos must have been taken within the last 12 months (no earlier than April 1, 2022).

The deadline to submit pictures is Sunday, April 2, 2023, at 11:59 p.m.

Photo Guidelines:

• Photographer does not need to be a Dublin resident, but the submission must be a photograph taken in Dublin, CA.

• Location of where the photograph was taken must be included.

• Photographs should represent the scene that is photographed; no removal or insertion of objects using software. It is acceptable to change the exposure or use software to highlight various parts of a photograph.

• Photographs must have been taken within the last 12 months (generally, April to April).

• Limit of five (5) entries per individual. One form submission is required for each photograph.

• A panel of judges will narrow contest submissions down to the top then. The Dublin community will be asked to decide the final winners in an online survey in April.

Enter the Photo Contest

Photo credit: Catherine Treyes, "Golden Hour"

Grand Prize Winner of 2022
Colorful graphic of an actor and actress performing on stage in a multi-dimensional box.

San Francisco Opera's Performance of “Bohème Out of the Box" Comes to Emerald Glen Park

In collaboration with the San Francisco Opera (“Opera”), the City of Dublin will be hosting the Opera’s free performance of “Bohème Out of the Box,” from March 31 through April 2, at the Emerald Glen Park Amphitheater. This one-hour version of Puccini’s opera will be sung in Italian and feature English dialogue.

Performances will take place on Friday, March 31, and Saturday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, April 2, at 2:00 p.m. Food and beverage will be available onsite. Registration at is encouraged, but not required. Those who register will receive a discount for select San Francisco Opera summer season performances.

The event will also feature a Pre-Opera Talk and a First Act Workshop. Visit Bohème Out of the Box for more information.

City of Dublin Seeks Designs for Next Phase of Utility Box Art

The City of Dublin invites qualified professional artists, or high school student artists working under the supervision of an art teacher or art professional, to submit designs for painted utility boxes. The deadline to apply is Sunday, April 16, at 11:59 p.m.

All of the approved utility boxes are City-owned traffic signal boxes. Selected artists will be paid a $1,000 stipend per utility box painted. This year's theme is, “Out of the Box.” The City is seeking unique proposals that can put a fun and creative twist on the theme.

There will be 10 boxes available to paint, and one artist will be selected for each box. For more information, visit

Artist Application

A utility box painted in golds, reds, and oranges and a family painted in silhouette.
Teen Job and Career Fair flyer - Saturday, March 4, noon to 3:00 p.m., at Pleasanton Senior Center

Teen Job Seekers: Attend the Teen Job and Career Fair on Saturday, March 4

The annual Teen Job and Career Fair will take place on Saturday, March 4, noon to 3:00 p.m., at the Pleasanton Senior Center (5353 Sunol Boulevard, Pleasanton).

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with employers; apply for jobs; attend resume-building workshops; participate in mock interviews; and more.

Those interested should dress in professional attire and bring an updated resumé. Contact for more information.

Join the City of Dublin and Dublin Unified School District in Celebrating Literacy Through the "One City, One Book" Program

During the month of March, Dublin will be celebrating literacy with two projects, "One City, One Book" and "Books in the Park."

All Dublin schools, both public and private, will be reading, Manjhi Moves a Mountain, a true story written by Nancy Churin. In the story, Dashrath Manjhi used a hammer, chisel, grit, determination, and twenty years to carve a path through a mountain that separates his poor village from the nearby village that has schools, markets, and a hospital. Manjhi Moves a Mountain shows how everyone can make a difference if their heart is big enough. Residents throughout Dublin are encouraged to participate by reading the book.

For the second program, Books in the Park, one picture book will be left on a bench at each of the City's 25 parks for families to find and read together while visiting the park. After reading the stories, books should be left on the park bench for other families to discover.

The goals of both literacy projects are to bring our community together over shared reading experiences, to educate our community on the value of reading, and to learn about the importance of reading aloud.

Both projects are fully funded by Dublin-owned businesses and organizations, and are supported by the Dublin Unified School District and the City of Dublin.

Informational flyer about protecting yourself from lead poisoning.

Protect Your Family From Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning can be lethal. Regardless of how old your home is, it could contain unhealthy levels of lead. The Healthy Homes Department of Alameda County has a great deal of information on lead poisoning, and how you may come in contact with it:

* Paint - Paint on or in older homes has been known to contain lead and cause lead poisoning.

* Soil - Many homes here have yards with lead-contaminated soil. You may come in contact with lead when gardening.

* Cooking Spices - Many imported ground spices contain high lead levels.

* Ceramic Dishes - Lead has often been used to make dishes with bright colors and transparent glazes.

* Home - Lead in older homes can be exposed during home improvement projects.

* Ceremonial Powders - Many imported ceremonial/cultural powders can contain high lead levels.

* Imported Cosmetics - Many imported cosmetics can also contain high lead levels.

* Herbal Remedies - Most herbal/ayurvedic medicines and remedies may contain high lead levels.

* Toys - Children may be exposed to lead from toys that have been imported or ones that are antiques.

* Other Sources - Baby food, blinds, and playground equipment have all been recalled for having lead, at times.

* Water - Water, on the other hand, has not been a source of lead poisoning in Alameda County.

Learn more.

Dublin, California logo with graphic of grass and links to social media sites