Jul 23 2017

Climate Action Plan Task Force

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

6:30 p.m.

Emergency Operations Center

403 Highland Avenue, Piedmont, CA

Call to Order Roll Call

Public Forum This is an opportunity for members of the audience to speak on an item not on the agenda. The 10 minute period will be divided evenly between those wishing to address the Task Force.

Regular Agenda

1. Review of Previous Task Force Discussions (10 minutes)

2. Discussion of Proposed Solid Waste Sector Measures for the 2030 Climate Action Plan (30 minutes)

3. Discussion of Proposed Consumption Measures for the 2030 Climate Action Plan (30 minutes)

4. Discussion of Outreach and Community Engagement Strategies (30 minutes)

5. Consideration of Future Agenda Items (10 minutes)

Adjourn

Materials related to an item on this agenda submitted to the City Council are available for public inspection in the City Clerk’s office.

Jul 23 2017

The Superintendent of the Piedmont Unified School District, Randall Booker, has announced that Victor Acuna will no longer be serving as Athletic Director.  For protection of both employer and employee, the reasons for the separation have not been publicly released.

Below, Acuna is highly praised in the School District “Press Release.” Acuna had been repeatedly, publicly criticized for various issues related to the athletic program and his initial selection.

The School District has announced the intention of filling the vacancy with a replacement athletic director through a widely publicized recruitment.  See the end of this press release for details.  The District announcement is below:

Office of the Superintendent – 760 Magnolia Avenue – Piedmont, CA 94611 – 510.594.2614

PRESS RELEASE

July 22, 2017

On July 22, 2017, the Piedmont Unified School District announced the departure of Director of Athletics Victor Acuña, who has served with distinction since the Spring of 2016. Superintendent Randall Booker noted, “His dedication to our students and coaches has been exemplary and he improved every aspect of our athletics program, particularly in the areas of budgeting, coach development, and communications. Most importantly, he improved the overall student-athlete experience, and he will be sorely missed.” Mr. Acuña’s last day of service will be July 31, 2017.

Many high school athletes are already preparing for Fall sports, and the District is working to have a new Director of Athletics in place before the start of school. PHS Principal Adam Littlefield and MHS Principal Shannon Fierro, who have extensive experience with administration of student athletics, will coordinate the recruitment and selection process. Administrators, members of the PHS Athletic Boosters, Recreation Department, coaching staff, and several student athletes will participate in the interviews. Assistant Athletic Director Megan Hernandez will continue in her position for the next several weeks to help ensure a smooth transition.

The District’s Director of Athletics is responsible for: recruiting, hiring, supervising, and evaluating 175 coaches; developing and overseeing the Athletic Department budget; monitoring student eligibility; serving as the school representative of the Western Alameda County Conference; partnering with the PHS Athletic Boosters; coordinating team schedules, transportation, equipment, and supplies for 49 teams; and ensuring a safe and supportive program for over 500 student athletes. Over the past five years, the athletic program has grown to meet the increased interest of our high school students and community, adding three additional sports to serve over sixty students.

The Director of Athletics, which is a full-time administrative position funded jointly by the District and the Piedmont Education Foundation, requires a coaching certification and has a base salary of $74,068. The position will be broadly advertised, including posting on Ed-Join and the North Coast Section websites.

“We are looking for an exceptional candidate to continue the excellent work started by Mr. Acuña and Ms. Hernandez,” said Superintendent Booker. “The District will be searching for a new Director of Athletics with tremendous communication skills and who can support coaches to instill sportsmanship, teamwork, and self-discipline in our student athletes.”

For candidates interested in the position, visit www.edjoin.org and search under “Piedmont Unified School District”.

*Updated July 24: Contacts for the PUSD are currently unavailable and on vacation. Administrative representatives should be available by either July 28 or July 31.  

Contact: Ms. Sylvia Eggert at 510.594.2614 or seggert@piedmont.k12.ca.us

*****

The Piedmont Unified School District is located in Piedmont, California, a city of approximately 11,000 residents in the San Francisco Bay Area. The outstanding staff provides a remarkable education and learning environment for all students. The residents of Piedmont demonstrate a strong sense of community and are committed to maintaining and enhancing educational programs, services and facilities.

1 Comment »
Jul 22 2017

THE ONLY BIDDER WANTS MUCH MORE MONEY AND THE CITY WANTS RATEPAYERS TO PAY FOR CITY AND SCHOOL WASTE.

Backyard service proposal leaps from $61.08 to $131.43 per month.

While Piedmonters have complained that the current rates for waste collection are too high, Republic Services, Piedmont’s current collector, was the only bidder offering to provide service to Piedmont under a new contract.

The City Council hired a special consultant, Garth Schultz of R3 Consulting, to advise on the expiring contract with Republic, but only Republic responded with a bid.

In the most extensive public outreach seen in years, backyard service was repeatedly pointed out to be a desired service by many Piedmonters.

Piedmont with its significant population of senior residents, lugging carts back and forth to the curb presents issues.  The proposed new contract will increase the costs for “backyard” service from the current $61.08 to $131.43 per month. Curbside rates will go from $55.11 per month to $88.65 per month.

Republic Services rejected the City’s RFP request for variable backyard rates.  Republic would only consider an additional flat fee for backyard pickup rejecting the notion of individual rates for each home based on distance, terrain, etc. for backyard service. 

Reduced rates for seniors or the “handicapped” needing backyard service is not part of the proposed contract unless they qualify under unspecified rules. (See p3 of the staff report linked below.)

Resident Rick Schiller “asked Council by email and the City what is the qualification for the handicapped discount and received no reply (see my Jul 14 letter which I posted in comments). ”

Schiller further states: “Early in the process, I gave the City a list of many regional cities that have this discount, including nine in Marin County. The City’s own consultant on this, Garth Schultz, was quizzed on this by Tim Rood and Garth commented that I was correct and such a discount is common.  The City told me such a discount is not legally allowed which is odd when it is “common” and has never been legally challenged elsewhere.”

All Piedmont property owners are required by law to pay for waste services with the contracted service provider.  Ratepayers through their service charges will be paying for the waste service for all Piedmont public schools, all City buildings, various authorized special events, all municipal waste in parks and the corporation yard, plus all sidewalk bins.

According to the City’s Request for Proposals, part of the ratepayers fees will be returned to the City for the following City benefits:

  • Reimbursement for the Procurement Process
  • Transition Payment
  • Franchise Fee
  • Annual Service Rate Adjustment payment
  • Performance Review Payment

Under the proposed new contract Republic will be required to expend $75,000 per year to educate Piedmonters on how to properly dispose of and limit their waste.

Bulk pick ups will be allowed to increase in volume and multi-family dwellings will be newly allowed bulk pick ups. There will be no charge for any recycling waste cans.

Most Council members seemed unimpressed by the increase in the rates being charged.  One justified the increase because Piedmonters were stated to be currently receiving a bargain for service.  Looking for ways to eliminate the use of the diesel fuel used to power waste trucks, one Council member expressed concern; however, the Council was told refueling stations in the area for other fuels were not available.

In  the fall of 2016, resident Rick Schiller commented to the Council:

“In early 2015, I did a rudimentary survey of weekly garbage service cost in surrounding cities. At that time the Alameda three full size bin weekly service was $36.07 monthly. Berkeley’s was $35.93. The Chronicle reported the 3 bin weekly Oakland service as $36.82 monthly. However, a friend living in the windy, hilly streets of Montclair put her service cost closer to $30 monthly. In contrast the current Piedmont charge is about 80% higher. In the past service providers have taken advantage of Piedmont’s lax contract procedures and the false belief that all residents had no financial concerns. I urge you to control the garbage service costs.”

To read other regional comparison rates provided by Schiller, click here.

The matter will be continued to a future meeting following the City’s “consultant’s” attempts to further negotiate with Republic Services on a new contract.

Read the staff report here.

Readers may send comments to the City Council, as follows:

Jeff Wieler, Mayor   jwieler@ci.piedmont.ca.u  (510) 428-1648

Robert McBain, Vice Mayor   rmcbain@ci.piedmont.ca.us  (510) 547-0597

Jennifer Cavenaugh  jcavenaugh@ci.piedmont.ca.u  (510) 428-1442

Teddy Gray King  tking@ci.piedmont.ca.us  (510) 450-0890

Tim Rood  trood@ci.piedmont.ca.us  (510) 239-7663

Or to:

citycouncil@ci.piedmont.ca.us.

To send via U.S. Mail, please use the following address:

City Council
City of Piedmont
120 Vista Avenue
Piedmont, CA 94611

*Article updated July 23.

4 Comments »
Jul 22 2017

Piedmont’s First Annual National Night Out Tuesday, August 1st 

Throughout the United States neighbors have been gathering annually to familiarize themselves with one another and to learn how to be responsive to neighborhood safety concerns.

Piedmont’s new police chief, Jeremy Bowers, has initiated a Piedmont celebration of “National Night Out,” (NNO) which has been recognized throughout the USA as a way to engage neighbors in protecting their homes, themselves, and neighbors.

Tuesday, August 1st , marks the City of Piedmont’s inaugural participation in National Night Out.

For a bit of background, “National Night Out is an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community. Furthermore, it provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.

Millions of neighbors take part in National Night Out across thousands of communities from all fifty states, U.S. territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide on the first Tuesday in August. Neighborhoods host block parties, festivals, parades, cookouts and various other community events with safety demonstrations, seminars, youth events, visits from emergency personnel, exhibits and much, much more.” Read for further information > (https://natw.org/about)

In Piedmont’s initial year, there are four NNO neighborhood events which will occur on Tuesday, August 1st.  They are:

100 Block of York Avenue …….6 – 8 p.m.

300 Block of St. James Avenue…..5 – 7 p.m.

200 Block of Greenbank Avenue 6 – 8 p.m.

100 Block of Crest Road time TBA

Members of the Piedmont Police Department will be visiting each of the above locations throughout the evening.

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If you would like further details or want to participate, contact Captain Chris Monahan at 510-420-3012.

Jul 17 2017

Recreation Commission Agenda Wednesday, July 19, 2017 7:30 p.m. City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA

Call to Order Public Forum: This is an opportunity for members of the audience to speak on an item not on the agenda. The 10 minute period will be divided evenly between those wishing to address the Commission.

Regular Agenda

1. Welcome

2. Approval of Minutes – May 17, 2017 and June 21, 2017

3. Chair’s Report

4. Aquatics Coordinator Transition Plan

5. Update on PRD Adult Programming

6. Updates on Facility Master Planning Projects

  • Aquatics
  • Recreation Department/Veteran’s Hall
  • Linda Beach Playfield
  • Coaches Field

Announcements, old business

This meeting can be viewed on Cable Channel 27 or on the City of Piedmont website.

 

Jul 10 2017

Rate increases of 19% over two year period:

East Bay MUD Board

Public Hearing

Tuesday, July 11

1:15 p.m.

375 11th Street

Oakland

The East Bay Municipal Utility District will consider raising rates 19% over the next two year period.   The Board will first meet on July 11 in a closed session at 11:00 a.m.  The regular business meeting will begin at 1:15 p.m. in the EBMUD Board Room at 375 11th Street in downtown Oakland.  Item 14 on the agenda is the Public Hearing on the proposed rate increases and drought surcharges.  See agenda here.

Water efficiency requirements begin on page 333 of the staff reports, followed by the schedule of rates.

Read the agenda here.

Read the staff reports here.

1 Comment »
Jul 10 2017

Going out of town?  Give the Piedmont Police Department a phone call at 420-3000 before you leave your home.

The Police Department will make routine checks of your home when you are away to determine if there is any suspicious activity.  If you have an alarm system, the police will also have prior knowledge of how to get in touch with you concerning problems. 

Home checks are one of the outstanding services offered in Piedmont.  Take advantage of the opportunity to further secure your home by giving the Police Department a call prior to going away on vacation.

 

Jul 8 2017

Fourth of July events in Piedmont started in the Veterans’ Hall at 8 a.m. with the Recreation Department’s Pancake Breakfast assisted by the Piedmont Community Service Crew.  By 10 a.m. most marchers had arrived in their designated post positions.

Piedmont’s 52nd Annual 4th of July celebration in our small town brought thousands of neighbors, friends, and the community at large to line the parade route on Highland Avenue with many arriving well before the 11 a.m. start of the parade.  The previously placed empty viewing chairs lining the parade route on Highland Avenue sidewalks were soon occupied, leaving only standing room available in the sidewalk.

Antique and specialty cars were the most dominant feature of the parade.  The Piedmont Community Band once more provided a musical announcement at the beginning of the parade as the last arrivals hurried toward Highland Avenue.   The groups included numerous musicians – bagpipers, New Orleans Parade Band, the Hamilton float, The W. A. Rose band, Jules Leyhe Family Band, and others.

A special tribute was made to resident and long time Piedmont childcare provider, Ashley Nackley, who is retiring this year. A large group of supporters and beneficiaries of Nackley’s care surprised her by congregating in the parade.

Numerous community based organizations were in the parade: Daughters of the American Revolution, Piedmont Pride, AC Transit, Piedmont League of Women Voters celebrating 70 years, CHIME, Cub Scouts, Oakland Women’s Rowing Club, East Bay SPCA, Camp  Augusta, Piedmont CONNECT, Piedmont Education Foundation, Fairyland, Dress Best for Less, Piedmont Historical Society, Piedmont Mountain Bike Racing Crew, Piedmont Baseball and Softball Foundation, PITS Rugby Club, Piedmont Center for the Arts, Berkeley Humane Society, Trillionaires for Trump, etc.

The parade included Grand Marshals Nancy and Tom Lehrkind, founders of the Piedmont Center for the Arts with their family members. City Council members Mayor Jeff Wieler, and wife Jean, Vice Mayor Bob McBain, with wife Pam and children Leigh and Will, Council member Teddy Gray King with children, Nicholas, Allison and Danny; Council member Tim Rood, and Council member Jennifer Cavenaugh with husband Dan, and children Jackson, Salem and Shelby.

School Board members Sarah Pearson, President, Amal Smith, Vice President, School Board members Doug Ireland and Cory Smegal were each in the parade.

The Piedmont Community Band gathered for their once a year performance.

Straw Hat Band

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aahmes Shrine Mounted Patrol on Tobiano Paint horses

AC Transit 10 foot minibus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Balloon Platoon from Pleasanton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the parade the side streets were lined with cars as parade goers headed to the park to picnic while listening to the musical group Pride and Joy. There were so many cars some even blocked crosswalks.

No parking tickets were observed as the Police indulged the celebrants

Crosswalks became parking spaces.

Jul 1 2017

The Piedmont Park Commission will meet on Wednesday, July 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, located in City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.  The meeting will be broadcast live on cable Channel 27 and on the City’s website.

Agenda for the meeting:

  • Approval of June 7, 2017 minutes (read the minutes here)
  • Update on Linda/Kingston Triangle ribbon cutting ceremony
  • Update on Linda Beach athletic field and other neighborhood projects
  • Update on Hampton Field Maintenance
  • Monthly Maintenance report
Jul 1 2017
In case you missed it, there was an interesting pair of front-page headlines in last week’s Piedmonter. City Council: “Budget OK’d; municipal sewer taxes rising in July.” Education: “District withholds teacher raises.” Let that sink in for a minute and then ask yourself – which would you choose, paying more for sewers or paying teachers what they are owed? To answer that, you need to know a little about Piedmont’s sewers and a little about the teacher retirement fund.
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Like Piedmont overall, our sewers are the best in the East Bay. That was not true 20 years ago but after EPA made all East Bay cities replace their old lines, Piedmont increased the Sewer Tax and every few years replaces sections around town – this summer’s work will take the city to 80% completion, 8 years ahead of schedule. The Sewer Tax increase amounts to about $25 per parcel and raises an additional $60,000 to bring annual sewer revenue to $2.4M. Piedmonters rejected a 50% increase in the Sewer Tax a few years ago, and it’s a good thing they did – the need was not there.
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The need is there for the School District. At a recent School Board meeting, the business official said that District teachers will not get their 2017-2018 salary increases in order to maintain educational programming. The reason – school districts must increase their annual contributions to the underfunded employee pension funds (CalPERS and CalSTRS). The state has mandated these annual increases from the districts going forward and they represent a real problem for maintaining the School District’s current programming – read Rick Rausenbush’s assessment at http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/01/31/piedmont-my-word-increased-pension-payments-threaten-states-schools/ to see how bad it could get for the Piedmont Unified School District (PUSD.)
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So back to the question, sewers or schools? That seems like a no-brainer given the condition of our sewer system and the PUSD projected deficits but it’s not that simple. City revenues and School revenues are two different pots of money and they don’t share. That’s too bad because the mantra of any resident, new or old, is that they came to Piedmont for the schools and stayed for the community. With the robust housing market, the City’s revenues are at all time-highs, thanks to the home sale transfer tax and property reassessments. In addition, the City benefits from state revenue increases more than PUSD – the new gas tax will increase City funds for street paving (TBD) and permanent funding increases to state public safety funds will bring $100K to Piedmont. As a result, the City has added two positions and is giving out 2% raises. The picture is not so rosy for the School District – the school has cut positions and programming and, according to the Superintendent, more cuts may be needed. For more details, see city and school budgets at http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/html/govern/staffreports/2017-06-19/1718budget.pdf (City) and www.piedmont.k12.ca.us. (School.)
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Another way to understand this funding disconnect is to look at how the City and School District maintain required annual reserves. Each is required to maintain reserves as part of their budget – for the City, it is up to 25% of the General Fund, for the School District, minimum 3%. For the past several years, the City has met this cap by transferring over $1M in General Funds to special accounts – this year $800,000 to Facilities Maintenance, $400,000 to Equipment Replacement. For the School District it is just the opposite – the school budget had to be reduced by over $400,000 this year in order to meet their reserve requirements.
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The Piedmont City Clerk recently proposed removing the 25% cap written into the City Charter so even more reserves could be held by the City. Instead, Council directed staff to undertake a review of the City Charter and address the 25% cap and other ambiguous Charter provisions. Perhaps there can be new Charter provisions so the City and School District can “share the wealth” so to speak. Such language won’t be forth coming from City Hall so residents should weigh in when this City Charter review comes to Council.
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Garrett Keating, Former Piedmont Council Member
Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.