"I think they knew they could not defeat the people of Richmond," Mayor Gayle McLaughlin told ABC7. "The people are clear that they deserve more from this corporation."
The two sides have been fighting for years over how much Chevron should pay in utility taxes. They even prepared rival measures for the November ballot. Now that the city council has approved the deal, those campaigns will be abandoned.
"This is a big step." Chevron spokesman Brent Tippen. "Really, this is a triple win for Chevron, for the city and for the residents of Richmond."
Under the settlement, Chevron will continue to pay utility taxes required by city law, plus an additional $4 million to $13 million per year. The first payment is due in July, just in time for the city to avoid making about $10 million in budget cuts, including the layoff of about two dozen city employees.
"It's really going to fill a hole," said Vice-Mayor Jeff Ritterman. "It's not that this is all of a sudden a windfall and we have all this extra money."