On April 6, 2015, I went to the Piedmont City Council meeting. The Piedmont City Council meets on the first and third Monday of each month, at 7:30 p.m., in the City Council Chambers at City Hall. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss important issues presented by citizens and organizations, as well as the government body.
The major issues discussed were drought options and fossil fuel reduction, the consideration of an application for a Conditional Use Permit for Zion Lutheran Church as recommended by the Planning Commission, the consideration of a street closure for the Recreation Department’s first annual family triathlon, and information update on a new affordable housing proposal, the City’s Regional Housing Needs Assessment Allocation Project.
The City Council first addressed some environmental public issues concerning the drought, setting up a community aggregation system, and conserving fossil fuels. Most of the City Council members supported a community aggregation system, and Tim Rood, a City Council member, stated that Marin and Sonoma County both have it. Because of this system, Tim Rood continued, these counties have cleaner, and more local power which is cheaper than PG&E.
During Public Forum, Dr. Welch, a Piedmont resident, addressed the related issue of conserving fossil fuels, and divesting from fossil fuel corporations from Piedmont, which the City Council later decided to discuss in a future meeting.
Tucker Johnson, a Piedmont High School student, also addressed his concerns about California’s drought, which the City Council supported, and Mayor Margaret Fujoika replied that the City would be providing drought information programs at a future meeting.
The City Council then addressed the Conditional Use Permit for Zion Lutheran Church, and Pastor Paul Aldrich of Zion Lutheran Church spoke about his complete support towards the permit. Vice Mayor Jeffrey Weiler also supported the permit, claiming that he was a Lutheran himself. He supported the diversity and education it would also bring.
Council member Teddy G. King, voiced her concern that the planning of the church was unstable and unhealthy for children, but the majority of the City Council decided that the church made some significant changes, and the City Council agreed to approve a Conditional Use Permit.
The City Council then discussed the street closure for the Recreation Department’s Triathlon. Rebecca Sunaima, who was the “brain child” for the event, voiced her encouragement. Mayor Margaret Fujioka also voiced her support, stating that Piedmont has never had a race like this before. Tim Rood was concerned about the safety of firetrucks getting in and out of Piedmont and residents accessing their driveways. The City Council then unanimously agreed to the street closures for the Triathlon.
The last item discussed on the agenda was the new affordable housing project. The affordable housing project is an important issue that will also bring more diversity to Piedmont. Robert McBain, a City Council member, supported the new affordable housing project, saying that it obeys housing needs and gives variety to buyers. Tim Rood was concerned about the incentives for the buyer, as well as enforcing requirements for payment from the residents and grants available for low income buyers.
I interviewed Pastor Paul Aldrich, who was there to support the Conditional Use Permit for his church. He had voiced his opinion to the Planning Commision and was hoping for the church to expand to include a foreign language school, controlled by Shu Wren. This meeting was the last step for him, and he hoped the City Council would pass the permit if there was no complaints. It was approved by the City Council.