Aug 25 2016

A problematic new legal interpretation of Piedmont’s decades old City Charter makes land uses interchangeable amongst zones and removes Piedmont voter from their right to decide on land use.

According to the Piedmont City Charter both classification and area of a zone must be submitted to the voters for approval prior to a change. Classification and area are separate and distinct terms in the City Charter; however, this is not recognized by the City’s new legal opinion, linked below.

After Planning Commissioners along with residents requested a written legal opinion on how the Council could find authority in the Charter to allow changes in land use without voter approval, the City finally produced a legal opinion on July 27, 2016.

This legal opinion came eight years after a seemingly extra-legal land use change in a zone from Public to Multiple family residential to allow the development of the expensive townhouses on the former site of the PG&E substation. Thc movement of property from one zone to another and changing the use was accomplished through the General Plan without voter approval as noted in the EIR for 408 Linda Avenue:

“The zoning for the project site is Zone C, Multiple Density Residential. The land use designation for the site was converted from Public/Quasi Public to Medium Density Residential with the City Council adoption of the updated City of Piedmont General Plan in April 2009.” pages 1 & 2

http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/publicworks/docs/408_is.pdf

According to the City Charter* voters have control of land use. 

The City Charter states: “ The Council may classify and reclassify the zones established, but no existing zones shall be reduced or enlarged with respect to size or area, and no zones shall be reclassified without submitting the question to a vote at a general or special election.” 

The size and area “reduced or enlarged with respect to size or area,” are separate from the classification/use. The Charter states, “no zones shall be reclassified without submitting the question to a vote at a general or special election.”  Classification and area are not synonymous.  According to the Charter both, classification and area must be submitted to the voters for approval.

The Charter further defines “classification” by stating: “provided that any property which is zoned for uses other than or in addition to a singlefamily dwelling may be voluntarily rezoned by the owners thereof filing a written document executed by all of the owners thereof under penalty of perjury stating that the only use on such property shall be a single-family dwelling, and such rezoning shall not require a vote of the electors as set forth above.  This clarifies that classification is specifically the use: “the only use on such property shall be a single-family dwelling, and such rezoning shall not require a vote of the electors as set forth above.” 

The  words “and” and “use” are pivotal in any discussion of voter rights regarding zone area and classification/land use.  City terminology regarding zones states the classification/ land use assigned to the zone – Single family residential, Commercial, Public, and Multifamily – in the City Code, the General Plan, and zone descriptions. 

Piedmont’s former Deputy City Attorney Linda Roodhouse, who worked closely for years with Piedmont’s long time City Attorney George Peyton wrote:

June 7th, 2012 at 2:13 pm   <Context

“Staff is correct on the general scope of the Council’s legislative authority. I was the deputy City Attorney for Piedmont for many years and advised the planning department. I was also the City Attorney in Orinda for 11 years, until 2006. In both cities, I had a major role in the creation of new zoning codes. In Piedmont, the boundaries of a zone and the general land use within the zone are subject to voter approval. The City Council decides the specific rules and regulations within any zone, but the rules and regulations must be consistent with the charter description of authorized uses in a zone.”  emphasis added

 Linda Roodhouse, Former Piedmont Deputy City Attorney 

A project has now been proposed for the Shell Station on Grand and Wildwood Avenues. The City changed the land use in this zone, the Commercial zone, to allow multiple family residential, without voter approval.  The City Attorney stated the zone change was allowed because there was single family residential in the Commercial zone, so multiple family residential was permitted and the zone land use was changed without voter approval. There is now yet another proposal by the Planning Department to change land use in Piedmont’s Public zone ( parks, open space, buildings, facilities, etc.) to allow commercial/business land uses without gaining voter approval.

None of the present City Council Members, Planning Commissioners, City Attorneys, City Administrative staff, including Planning were involved when in 1980 the revised City Charter was overwhelmingly approved by voters.  Language in the revised Charter perpetuates long held voter rights in Piedmont.  There was never any intention or mention by voters, attorneys, elected officials, or administrative staff, for voters to  relinquish land use control to the City Council through the City Charter, City Codes, or General Plan, and this fact is repeated in all of these documents.

The Piedmont City Charter provides for enforcement and amendments:    

“SECTION 9.06 CHARTER ENFORCEMENT

The provisions of the Charter shall be enforced, with violations punishable in the manner provided by State law and by City ordinance.

SECTION 9.07 CHARTER AMENDMENT

Amendments to this Charter may be proposed by the City Council or by the initiative process, as prescribed by this Charter and by State law.

All proposed Charter amendments shall be presented to the qualified voters of the City at a general or special election. If a majority of said voters voting upon a proposed amendment vote in favor of it, the amendment shall become effective at the time fixed in the amendment or, if no time is therein fixed, thirty (30) days after its adoption by the voters. ” emphasis added

If the City Council wants to change the language in the City Charter, the City Council must place the change on a Piedmont ballot.  Changes have been made from time to time throughout the years.  However in regard to taking away Piedmont voters right to determine land use decisions in Piedmont, no proposal has ever been placed on a ballot. 

The current attempt to change land use in the Public zone to allow commercial uses and the previous yet not implemented change to the Commercial zone to allow multiple housing without getting approval by Piedmont voters demonstrates how land uses are being considered interchangeable from zone to zone.

A ballot measure specifying zoning changes for both size and land use could potentially receive approval by the voters, but the Piedmont electorate are being excluded from these decisions based on the City attorney’s new opinion.

The City’s new legal opinion apparently did not consider the precise language in the Charter and the extensive documented history of placing zoning changes/reclassifications before Piedmont voters.  The new legal opinion appears rely on external interpretations and non-compliance with the Charter.

The Piedmont City Code states in regard to zoning:

SEC. 17.35 CONFLICTING REGULATIONS To the extent that provisions of this Chapter 17 conflict with or are inconsistent with any other ordinance or rule previously adopted, the terms of this Chapter shall control the construction, alteration or other improvements of property, except as to ordinances and rules which are subject to voter approval pursuant to the terms of the City Charter, which are not intended to be modified or repealed by any such inconsistency. (Ord. 488 N.S., 10/87) 

The City Charter Article on zoning is below: 

ARTICLE IX. General Provisions 

SECTION 9.01 GENERAL PLAN The City Council shall adopt, and may from time to time, modify a general plan setting forth policies to govern the development of the City. Such plan may cover the entire City and all of its functions and services or may consist of a combination of plans governing specific functions and services or specific geographic areas which together cover the entire City and all of its functions and services. The plan shall also serve as a guide to Council action concerning such City planning matters as land use, development regulations and capital improvements. 

SECTION 9.02 ZONING SYSTEM The City of Piedmont is primarily a residential city, and the City Council shall have power to establish a zoning system within the City as may in its judgement be most beneficial. The Council may classify and reclassify the zones established, but no existing zones shall be reduced or enlarged with respect to size or area, and no zones shall be reclassified without submitting the question to a vote at a general or special election. No zone shall be reduced or enlarged and no zones reclassified unless a majority of the voters voting upon the same shall vote in favor thereof; provided that any property which is zoned for uses other than or in addition to a singlefamily dwelling may be voluntarily rezoned by the owners thereof filing a written document executed by all of the owners thereof under penalty of perjury stating that the only use on such property shall be a single-family dwelling, and such rezoning shall not require a vote of the electors as set forth above.” emphasis added

The Piedmont Civic Association does not support or oppose specific ballot measures.  The Association supports following the Piedmont City Charter.

The Piedmont Civic Association advocates that the Piedmont City Charter, essentially Piedmont’s constitution, be followed and voters’ rights be known and followed.  As to the merits of voter approval of land use proposals being put forward by the Planning and Legal staff, the Piedmont Civic Association supports the Charter and allowing Piedmont voters to decide on what is their right to decide. 

The City has publicly stated the cost to put a ballot measure on a General election is minor. Even so, the City has every obligation to follow the law.  Questions of Charter language intent and definitions, voters must make the determination, and the Council must follow the Charter by putting the matter before the voters in regard to both area and land use in all zones.

The heritage and historic right of voters to determine land use in Piedmont cannot be removed by the new legal opinion.

The City Attorney’s recent legal zoning opinion of the City Charter can be read by clicking the link below:

Piedmont – Memo re Interpretation of Section 9.02 of City Charter

1 Comment »
Aug 21 2016

Citizen Opposition to Increased Height of Commercial Development Adjacent to Residences and Other Issues –

Neighbors near the Shell Station at Wildwood and Grand Avenues are circulating a petition to gather support for their proposals to protect Piedmont residents. The pervasive zoning matter, originating in the Planning Department, attempts to increase the height of commercial buildings next to Piedmont homes to 40′, reduce the size and number of parking spaces required, permit eaves and overhangs on all Piedmont buildings to extend to the property line, and require housing on upper levels of new commercial buildings.

The petition does not address the dormant breach per the City Charter precluding Piedmont voters of their right to control land use changes. The breach was proposed in 2012 and later approved by the Council.  No development has occurred while awaiting the controversial 2016 proposed regulations.

The Planning Commission meetings covering consideration of zoning changes has been found by some to thwart community input while proposing consequential negative impacts on residential properties near the commercial zones located on Grand Avenue and in the Civic Center on Highland Avenue, and thus impacting all of Piedmont.

Below is the petition being circulated:

https://www.change.org/p/piedmont-planning-commission-and-piedmont-city-council-maintain-zoning-regulations-that-protect-piedmont-residents    Don Dare and Miguel DeAvila Piedmont Residents

Editors’ Note:  Opinions expressed in the petition are those of the authors.
Aug 14 2016

Lengthy explanations and community input at the August 10, 2016 School Board meeting –

Superintendent Randall Booker calmly and intricately explained the selection process, funding, and need for a full time Athletic Director (AD) for the high schools.

Speaking in support of the selection, need, responsibilities and funding of the position were parents and Booster Club members: Eric Sullivan, Lisa Reynolds, Allison Elvekrog, Barbara Love, Glyn Burge, Steve Kalmbach and Wendy Fitzgerald.

They provided examples of previously unmet needs and their personal experiences. The selection process was extensively detailed.  The funding contributions by the Booster Club of $50,000 and Education Foundation of $10,000 augment the funding provided by the District for a part-time Athletic Director.  Parents emphasized the complexity of the position and the problematic turnover in the position. The AD is responsible for scheduling facility space both for the schools and external organizations, while overseeing 49 teams and 175 coaches.  A timely filing of the position was a primary consideration.

Speaking against the proposed position and selection process were: Ralph Catalano, UC professor and parent, Neil Rothenberg, former Soccer and Tennis Coach, and Burt Curtin, resident. Concern was expressed on the emphasis on athletics and a potential detrimental impact to the overall academic needs of the District. The specific chosen Athletic Director presented concern to some.  It was noted that the significantly increased compensation for a full time AD had not been announced during the recruitment process.

Questions not discussed were:

  • If the position is continued in future years, will the position be partially funded by outside sources or will the funding responsibility be absorbed within the District budget?

  • Will payment for retirement benefits be based on the approximate $125,000 compensation for the full time Athletic Director and funded by the District?

Below is  a letter to the Piedmont Unified School District Families from Superintendent Booker and Principal Daniels explaining their choice and rationale:

Dear PUSD Families,

As the new school year approaches, and many high school athletes are already preparing for Fall sports, we’re writing to share some important information about the Piedmont Unified School District’s administration of student athletics.

PUSD is proud of its student-athletes and successful athletic program.  With over 500 athletes (65%+ of PHS and MHS students), 175 coaches, and 49 varsity, junior varsity, and frosh teams, high school athletics in PUSD is a robust and vital component of the student experience.

In past years, PUSD’s Athletics Director position was a part-time position filled by a teacher at PHS.  As discussed below, this model is no longer sustainable or appropriate.  Given the increase in scope and responsibilities of this position, and the administrative nature of the job, PUSD now requires a full-time Director of Athletics with specific administrative experience.

PUSD Requires A Full-Time Director of Athletics
Over the past 12 years, there has been a marked increase in the scope and responsibilities of the Athletics Director position.  This is due in part to the increase in the number of athletes and coaches, and the range of travel opportunities for our teams.  Given these changes, the responsibilities of the Athletics Director can no longer be fulfilled on a part-time basis.

Over this 12-year period, PUSD has had six different teachers serve this role. This turnover, due to both the growing demands and increasingly administrative nature of the job, has led to inconsistency in leadership and had a detrimental effect on our athletic program as reported by coaches, student-athletes, and families.  By recognizing the full-time nature of the position, PUSD can foster steady and consistent leadership of the athletic program.

The Director of Athletics Position is Administrative in Nature
The Director of Athletics position requires administrative duties that include responsibility for: recruiting, hiring, supervising, and evaluating coaches; development and oversight of the Athletic Department budget; monitoring student eligibility; serving as the school representative of the Western Alameda County Conference; partnering with the PHS Athletic Boosters; and coordinating team schedules, transportation, equipment, and supplies.  By recognizing the administrative nature of the position and hiring staff with relevant administrative experience, PUSD can provide a more effective athletics program that is more responsive to student needs.

The Director of Athletics Must Provide Leadership on Core PUSD Principles
PUSD believes that its athletics program can and should instill life lessons concerning sportsmanship, hard work, teamwork, and integrity, among other issues.  Although coaches can play a critical role in this, the reality is that coaches are now more transient than in the past.  Of our 175 coaches, only two serve as PUSD teachers, and many coaches are affiliated with PUSD for only one or two years.  For these reasons, the Director of Athletics must provide leadership for the coaching staff, guiding and cultivating the social and emotional curriculum for high school athletics, and setting expectations for coaches as well as athletes.  By hiring an experienced Director of Athletics, PUSD can more consistently promote these core values across all sports.

Creation of the New Athletics Director Position
Following the resignation of the former part-time Athletics Director in December of 2015, the District advertised the position to recruit an Interim Athletics Director on a contract basis for January through June of 2016.  The District received 22 applications.  An interview committee, consisting of administrators, coaches, and parents, interviewed five candidates.  Mr. Victor Acuña was selected for the interim position due to his extensive experience and positive recommendations.

Throughout the Spring of 2016, the PHS Administrative Team and the Athletic Booster’s continued discussing the need for increased athletic leadership. Recognizing the District’s limited budget, the PHS Athletic Boosters donated $50,000 for the 2016-17 school year to support a full-time Director of Athletics. The Piedmont Education Foundation also contributed $10,000 to help fund this position for the 2016-17 school year.

With this funding secured, and working in close collaboration with the PHS Athletic Boosters, PUSD created the Director of Athletics position for the 2016-17 school year.  The Director of Athletics will be included in the salary schedule of the Association of Piedmont School Administrators (APSA). The position has a base salary range of $74,068 – $103,048 (ranging from 1 to 22 years of experience), plus health and statutory benefits.

Selection of New Athletics Director
After working with Mr. Acuña during the Spring of 2016, Principal Daniels recommended that PUSD hire Mr. Acuña for the new position.  With support from the PHS Administrative Team, Athletic Booster’s leadership, and a variety of coaches, the Superintendent interviewed and appointed Mr. Acuña as the Director of Athletics.

Mr. Acuña is a graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies.  For 12 years, he was a high school Athletics Director in Tucson, Arizona at the Gregory School and the Green Fields Country Day School.  He has extensive experience in coordinating interscholastic athletic programs.  His strengths lie in working collaboratively with principals, teachers, coaches, student-athletes, and parents to create a supportive and successful athletic program.  He is knowledgeable in developing interscholastic schedules, supervising utilization of athletic facilities, coordinating athletic uses of training and weight rooms, monitoring student eligibility, and the recruitment, hiring, and evaluating of coaches.  Mr. Acuña has direct experience developing stable athletic operating budgets and supervising team accounts.  In addition, he was an associate scout for Major League Baseball.

The selection of Mr. Acuña has drawn considerable praise from those who worked closely with him this past Spring.  Principal Daniels said, “I am enthusiastic and excited for Vic and am thrilled with his positive energy, experience, and leadership qualities.  He is focused and driven to ensure that PHS offers an exceptional educational athletics program.”  PHS Athletic Booster’s President Beth Barrett added, “PHS Boosters is proud to partner with PUSD in supporting a full-time Director of Athletics. As interim Director of Athletics, Vic Acuña has proven a very capable leader who cares deeply about youth sports and will help create a healthy, positive and safe experience for all our student athletes.”

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments about the Director of Athletics position, and please don’t hesitate to contact Mr. Acuña directly about high school athletics at vacuna@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Sincerely,

Randall Booker, Superintendent Piedmont Unified School District

Brent Daniels, Principal Piedmont High School

After taking public testimony and considering the staff report, Board members present gave full and enthusiastic support to the ratification of a full time AD compensation, plus the appointment of Mr. Victor Acuna.

Board members expressed concern over the negative comments in the press regarding the applicant and the apparent lack of information on the selection process and District needs. The Board emphasized the important role athletics and other student activities play in benefiting students now and for their futures. The three affirming School Board members voting at the meeting were Doug Ireland, President Andrea Swenson, and Amal Smith. Board members Rick Raushenbush and Sarah Pearson were absent.

The  AD position is approved for one year and will be re-evaluated prior to continuation in the following year.

2 Comments »
Aug 14 2016

Paint and signage change the street crossings for 10 intersections in Piedmont.

Pavement with painted crosswalks, the word “STOP” and a stationary stop signs will give pedestrians safer street crossings at minimal cost.  City Administrator Paul Benoit reported the total cost for the 10 intersection improvements ($2,338 each), brings the revised total contract to $26,086, funded by Measure B and BB funds.

Painting "STOP" for new crosswalk

Painting “STOP” and  new crosswalk

The Kingston-Linda-Rose Triangle in Oakland and Piedmont is well under construction this summer.

On July 5, the City Council authorized a contract with Ray’s Electric for their “base bid of $207,362” for trench work for the intersection project providing crosswalks on the Oakland and Piedmont border with a large pedestrian island in the middle of Kingston Street. Three ornamental street lamps will be a feature of the Triangle.

Excavation of the new pedestrian triangle

Excavation of the new pedestrian triangle

Aug 12 2016
City Clerk John Tulloch has announced – the following candidates have qualified for the two positions on the 

CITY COUNCIL:

N. “Sunny” Bostrom-Fleming

Jen Cavenaugh

Jonathan Levine

Bob McBain 

– The following candidates have qualified for the three positions on the 

BOARD OF EDUCATION:

Julie Caskey

Sarah Pearson

Cory Smegal

Andrea Swenson

Hari Titan

Each of the qualified candidates will be listed on the November 8, 2016 General Election ballot.
Editors’ Note: Information, comments, recommendations, announcements and issues relative to the election are welcomed. Personal attacks will not be published.
Send information for publication to: www.editors@piedmontcivic.org. 
While encouraging public participation in Piedmont civic matters, PCA does not support or oppose specific candidates for public office.
Aug 8 2016

The Agenda for August 10, 2016 School Board meeting includes ratification of the newly appointed full time Director of Athletics for Piedmont High School. The matter is agenda item VI.A. “Ratify the appointment of the Piedmont High School Director of Athletics.” It is scheduled for approximately 7:30 p.m.  The meeting will be held in the Council Chambers and broadcast on Cable 27 and on the City website. 

Some residents and parents have questioned  the emphasis on athletics while science, math, technology, and the arts are trimmed.

On July 13, 2016, the Piedmont Unified School District announced the appointment of Mr. Victor Acuna as a full time Director of Athletics for Piedmont High School, effective July 13, 2016.  The Piedmont High School Boosters and the Piedmont Education Foundation are supplementing Acuna’s compensation. In prior years, the position of Athletic Director was not a full time position.

The endlessly cash strapped District has trimmed programs while continuing to heavily rely on community donations and support for schools. To augment funding for school operations, every Piedmont property owner is annually charged an approximate $2,600.  The $2,600 tax is due regardless of the size of one’s property or, unlike certain surrounding districts, any exclusion for senior citizens.

Below is the staff report for the Ratification of Piedmont High School Director of Athletics Board Meeting of August 10, 2016 from Superintendent Randall Booker, Superintendent

I. SUPPORT INFORMATION
PUSD is proud of its student-athletes and successful athletic program. With over 500 athletes (65%+ of PHS and MHS students), 175 coaches, and 49 varsity, junior varsity, and frosh teams, high school athletics in PUSD is a robust and vital component of the student experience.

In past years, PUSD’s Athletic Director position was a part-time position filled by a teacher at PHS. As discussed below, this model is no longer sustainable or appropriate. Given the increase in scope and responsibilities of this position, and the administrative nature of the job, PUSD now requires a full-time Athletic Director with specific administrative experience.

PUSD Requires A Full-Time Athletic Director
Over the past 12 years, there has been a marked increase in the scope and responsibilities of the Athletic Director position. This is due in part to the increase in the number of athletes and coaches, and the range of travel opportunities for our teams. Given these changes, the responsibilities of the Athletic Director can no longer be fulfilled on a part-time basis.

Over this 12-year period, PUSD has had six different teachers serve this role. This turnover, due to both the growing demands and increasingly administrative nature of the job, has led to inconsistency in leadership and had a detrimental effect on our athletic program as reported by coaches, student-athletes, and families. By recognizing the full- time nature of the position, PUSD can foster steady and consistent leadership of the athletic program.

The Athletic Director Position is Administrative in Nature
The Athletic Director position requires administrative duties that are above and beyond that of the classroom teacher. For example, the position involves responsibility for: recruiting, hiring, supervising, and evaluating coaches; development and oversight of the Athletic Department budget; monitoring student eligibility; serving as the school representative of the Western Alameda County Conference; partnering with the PHS Athletic Boosters; and coordinating team schedules, transportation, equipment, and supplies. By recognizing the administrative nature of the position and hiring accordingly, PUSD can foster a more responsive, supported, and strengthened athletics program.

The Athletic Director Must Provide Leadership on Core PUSD Principles
PUSD believes that its athletics program can and should instill life lessons concerning sportsmanship, hard work, teamwork, and integrity, among other issues. Although coaches can play a critical role in this, the reality is that coaches are now more transitory than in the past. Of our 175 coaches, only two serve currently on the PUSD teaching staff, and many coaches are affiliated with PUSD for only one or two years. For these reasons, the Athletic Director must provide leadership for the coaching staff, guiding and cultivating the social and emotional curriculum for high school athletics, and setting expectations for coaches that they may not sacrifice good sportsmanship for better athletic performance or success. By hiring an experienced Athletic Director, PUSD can more consistently promote these core values across all sports.

Background: Position Development and Funding
Following the resignation of the former Athletic Director in December of 2015, the District advertised the position to recruit an Interim Athletic Director on a contract basis for January through June of 2016. The District received 22 applications and the interview committee (administrators, coaches, parents) interviewed five candidates. Mr. Victor Acuña was selected for the position due to his extensive experience and positive recommendations.

Throughout the Spring of 2016, the PHS Administrative Team and the Athletic Booster’s continued discussing the need for increased athletic leadership. While the District was in favor of increasing the position from part-time to full-time, the budget would not support a full-time Athletic Director. Over the years, the District has budgeted approximately $60,000 annually toward this position and would not allocate any additional funds.

Recognizing the District’s limited budget and the need for a full-time Director of Athletics, the Athletic Booster’s Board approved a donation of $50,000 for the 2016-17 school year to support a full-time Director of Athletics. The Piedmont Education Foundation (now merged with the Parent Clubs) also recognized these needs and voted to support a full- time Director of Athletics position by contributing $10,000.

With this funding secured, the Superintendent, in collaboration with the PHS Administrative Team and the Athletic Boosters Organization, created the Director of Athletics position for the 2016-17 school year. High school students, coaches, and families will benefit from having a full-time Director of Athletics without any increase in expenditures from the General Fund.

Candidate Selection
After working closely with Mr. Acuña during the second semester, Principal Daniels recommended that the Superintendent hire Mr. Acuña for the new position. With support from the PHS Administrative Team, Athletic Booster’s Leadership, and a variety of coaches, the Superintendent interviewed and appointed Mr. Acuña as the PHS Director of Athletics.

Mr. Acuña is a graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies. For 12 years, Mr. Acuña was a high school Athletic Director in Tucson, Arizona at the Gregory School and the Green Fields Country Day School. He has extensive experience in coordinating interscholastic athletic programs. His strengths lie in working collaboratively with principals, teachers, coaches, student-athletes, and parents to create a supportive and successful athletic program. He is knowledgeable in developing interscholastic schedules, supervising utilization of athletic facilities, coordinating athletic uses of training and weight rooms, monitoring student eligibility, and the recruitment, hiring, and evaluating of coaches. Mr. Acuña has direct experience developing stable athletic operating budgets and supervising team accounts. In addition, he was an associate scout for Major League Baseball.

The selection of Mr. Acuña has drawn considerable praise from those who worked closely with him this past Spring. PHS Principal Brent Daniels said, “I am enthusiastic and excited for Vic and am thrilled with his positive energy, experience, and leadership qualities. He is focused and driven to ensure that PHS offers an exceptional educational athletics program.” PHS Athletic Booster’s President Beth Barrett added, “PHS Boosters is proud to partner with PUSD in supporting a full-time Director of Athletics. As interim Director of Athletics, Vic Acuña has proven a very capable leader who cares deeply about youth sports and will help create a healthy, positive and safe experience for all our student athletes.”

Director of Athletics Compensation
The Director of Athletics will be included in the salary schedule of the Association of Piedmont School Administrators (APSA). The position has a base salary range of $74,068 – $103,048 (ranging from 1 to 22 years of experience), plus health and statutory benefits.

II. RECOMMENDATION: ACTION
Ratify the appointment of Victor Acuña as the Piedmont High School Director of Athletics for the 2016-17 school year.

Below is the July 13, 2016 Press Release provided by the District when announcing Mr. Acuna selection.

“A graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies, Mr. Acuna is an associate scout for Major League Baseball. Mr. Acuna served as the interim Athletic Director for Piedmont High School since January 2016.

“Over the past 12 years, Mr. Acuna was a high school Athletic Director in Tucson, Arizona. He has extensive experience in coordinating interscholastic athletic programs. His strengths lie in working collaboratively with principals, teachers, coaches, student-athletes, and parents to create a supportive and successful athletic program. He is knowledgeable in developing interscholastic schedules, supervising utilization of athletic facilities, coordinating athletic uses of training and weight rooms, monitoring student eligibility, and the recruitment, hiring, and evaluating of coaches. Additionally, Mr. Acuna has direct experience in developing a solvent athletic operating budget and supervising team accounts.

“Piedmont High School Principal Brent Daniels worked closely with Mr. Acuna in the spring, saying “I am enthusiastic and excited with Vic Acuna as our new Director of Athletics and am thrilled with his positive energy, experience, and leadership qualities. He is focused and driven to ensure that PHS offers an exceptional educational athletics program.”

“Piedmont High School Athletic Booster’s President, Beth Barrett commented, “PHS Boosters is proud to partner with PUSD in supporting a full-time Director of Athletics. As interim Director of Athletics, Vic Acuna has proven a very capable leader who cares deeply about youth sports and will help create a healthy, positive and safe experience for all our student athletes.”

Mr. Acuna begins on July 13. His responsibilities include the development and oversight of the PHS Athletic Department Budget, recruiting and evaluating coaches, monitoring student eligibility, serving as the school representative of the Western Alameda Country Conference, partnering with the PHS Athletic Boosters, and coordinating team schedules, transportation, equipment, and supplies. Mr. Acuna’s email address is VAcuna@piedmont.k12.ca.us

“PUSD thanks the PHS Athletic Boosters and the Piedmont Education Foundation for their support. ”

Randall Booker, Superintendent of Piedmont Unified School District

Editors’ Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Read the full agenda > here.

1 Comment »
Aug 8 2016

“As Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens’s mother, I am writing to object to any mention of his name and death in Benghazi, Libya, by Donald Trump’s campaign and the Republican Party.

“I know for certain that Chris would not have wanted his name or memory used in that connection. I hope that there will be an immediate and permanent stop to this opportunistic and cynical use by the campaign.”

MARY F. COMMANDAY, Oakland, Calif.

1 Comment »
Aug 7 2016

The deadline is this week to file as a candidate for the Piedmont City Council and the Board of Education.

Two members of the City Council will be elected for a regular term of four years.  Three members of the Piedmont Board of Education will be elected for a regular term of four years

  • Friday, August 12, 2016:  Last day to file nomination papers 

Nomination papers are issued in person by Piedmont City Clerk, John Tulloch. Papers must also be returned to the City Clerk, who will stamp the documents as received. Because of these requirements, the documents required for candidacy will not be posted to the web site.

For more information, promptly contact the Piedmont City Clerk at 420-3040.

Aug 7 2016

Plans, EIR, Comments –

Piedmont notification information: 

Mountain View Cemetery is proposing to expand into currently undeveloped portions of the cemetery property for the addition of future burial sites. The proposed project includes three separate but interconnected plots on the Mountain View Cemetery property that are entirely within the City of Oakland. [Development areas border Piedmont.] Developing the three parcels would include extensive grading and tree removal, extension of existing roadways through the three plots and improvements such as landscape walls and stairs, an amphitheater for gatherings, crypts and columbarium niches, and planting of new trees.

All comments on this proposed project must be sent to The City of Oakland. The proposed project is entirely within the City of Oakland, and Oakland is the lead agency on this project. The information below is provided as a convenience and courtesy to Piedmont residents with an interest in this project.

Please follow the links below for more information on the project. Comments on the project and DEIR should be sent to Catherine Payne, Planner IV, City of Oakland, Department of Planning and Building, Bureau of Planning, 250 Frank H.Ogawa Plaza, Suite 2114, Oakland CA 94612, (510) 238-6168 (phone); (510) 238-4730 (fax); or by email at cpayne@oaklandnet.com

Information on the Project

As a convenience and courtesy to Piedmont residents, the City of Oakland has provided printed copies of the Draft Environmental Impact Report, which are available for public review at the City Clerk’s Office at 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont.

Deadlines for comments and participation are unclear.  Piedmonters should contact the Piedmont City Clerk at 420-3040 for further information.

Jul 30 2016

Safety dominates the plan to install stop signs.

Two weeks ago the Council deliberated on various stop signs to be installed at vulnerable intersections for pedestrians, including school children, and vehicles.  Some neighbors to the proposals were pleased with the proposals; whereas, some thought the stop signs were problematic.  Speakers stated the lack of notification from the City of the proposals. The Council directed the staff to return to various sites and evaluate their appropriateness along with costs that would allow flexibility.

The staff returned with an almost identical plan with the exception of further study for the eliminated intersection at Dormidera Avenue and Mountain Avenue, and the addition of an all way stop at the intersection of Saint James Drive and Hampton Road.

Prior to the beginning of the regular school calendar in approximately 2 weeks, the City staff has urged moving ahead with the stop sign installations and concurrent pavement striping.

All of the proposed intersections were not included in the recently adopted Pedestrian and Bicycle Plan; however, the approved Plan provides for flexibility as new issues arise.

Read the current 24 page staff report here.

The total expense was previously estimated at $55,857, including a 15% contingency to be funded by Measure B and BB funds. The new estimate for the work is $26,086 with 10 intersections to be included. 

DISCUSSION for the August 1 meeting: Based on the directive of the City Council at the July 18, 2016 meeting, the City Engineer developed plans for inclusion of the intersection at Hampton Road and St. James Drive in the proposed list, and to include this in the solicitation of bids. Additionally, based on resident concerns expressed at the July 18th meeting, it was decided by staff to postpone a decision on the intersection at Mountain Avenue and Dormidera Avenue pending further study of both traffic and parking in this area. The diagrams for each of the proposed intersections prepared by the City Engineer is attached as Exhibit B. Based on the engineer’s estimate, and in accordance with the City’s purchasing policy, informal bids were requested from various contractors. Striping Graphics was the only contractor to respond. Their bid was $28,424. Deleting the costs for the Mountain Ave. & Dormidera Ave. intersection improvements ($2,338), brings the revised total contract to $26,086. Striping Graphics is a company that has done work for the City of Piedmont for over 20 years. They are fully qualified and have consistently completed projects for the city in a professional manner. The city’s standard contract is attached as Exhibit C.    City Administrator Paul Benoit

Read the current 24 page staff report here.

Read the prior staff report here.

The matter will be considered at the August 1, 2016 Council meeting. It will be broadcast live starting at 7:30 p.m.

Agenda for the meeting > here.