Sep 9 2017

The recent tragedies of Harvey, Irma, and wildfires remind Piedmonters – it is time to prepare for an emergency!  Piedmont’s close proximity to earthquake faults and potential raging wildfires are ongoing reasons to prepare. 

Click for preparation checklist HERE.

A booklet, GET READY, PIEDMONT! was prepared for all Piedmonters.  The booklet is online HERE.

Piedmont is fortunate to have its own Public Safety Committee appointed by the Piedmont City Council.  The Council charge to the Committee can be read HERE.

Roster of the Public Safety Committee

Council Liaison: Jen Cavenaugh (H) 428-1442

Chief of Police Jeremy Bowers (W) 420-3010
Fire Chief Bud McLaren (W) 420-3030

Andrea Swenson, School Board Appointee

Lori Elefant

Ryan Gilbert

Garrett Keating

Chris Houlder

Gina Scialabba

Lynne Wright


Additional information below:

Get Ready, Piedmont – Disaster Preparedness Brochure & Checklist

The Piedmont Public Safety Committee has prepared the Get Ready, Piedmont disaster preparedness guide. This document provides comprehensive information on preparation for and response to, earthquakes, fires, landslides, and other emergencies. The guide is 50 pages in length with checklists and illustrations on things like turning off utilities, food and water storage, first aid materials, seismic measures etc. This document is available by clicking here as well as on the Public Safety Committee and Fire Department pages of the site. Printed copies are available at the Fire Department.

Also available is the four page checklist which provides a ready reference on steps to take in the event of an earthquake or wildfire as well as general guidance on disaster preparedness and crime prevention. Printed copies are available at the Fire Department.

Sep 8 2017

What will the process be to fill the vacancy resulting from Jeff Wieler’s Piedmont City Council resignation ?

Wieler resigned effective September 5, 2017.  The Council must make an appointment within 30 days from the vacancy, which is October 5, 2017.

CITY CHARTER : (C) FILLING OF VACANCIES. A vacancy on the City Council shall be filled by appointment by the Council, with said appointee to hold office until the next general municipal election, when a successor shall be chosen by the electors for the unexpired term. If the Council does not fill such vacancy within thirty (30) days after the same occurs, then such vacancy shall be filled by the Mayor.

The City Administrator and Mayor changed their minds on when to meet to discuss how to fill the vacant council seat.

At the Sept. 5, 2017 Council meeting the City Administrator, Paul Benoit, stated the Council would undertake consideration of the process for the vacancy appointment on September 18 leaving only a little over 2 weeks (16 days) for the process of advertisement/notification, application, interviews, consideration, and appointment within the Charter limit of 30 days.

Some in the community speculated that the shortened time frame, two weeks rather than 4 weeks or 30 days, to make the appointment was a result of there being a favored candidate.  No candidate has been noticed as a preferred candidate.

The process being currently suggested by staff condenses the time allowed for applicants and their consideration. 

Update ( 9/10/17): The Special Council Meeting date of September 11 to determine the appointment selection process was set to accommodate the staffs’ ability to prepare a recommended selection process.  The Special Meeting date has been stated as not intended to favor any candidate. 

Staff report and recommendation is linked below:

The process selected for a prior vacancy appointment can be read HERE.

The Special Meeting is open to the public for public participation.  Interested candidates should find the meeting informative.  There will be no broadcast of the meeting. 

The agenda states:

City of Piedmont
Special City Council Agenda
Monday, September 11, 2017

7:30 p.m.

Emergency Operations Center

403 Highland Avenue, Piedmont [This venue does not lend itself to broadcasting.]

Call to Order Pledge of Allegiance
Special Session
1. Consideration of the Process for Filling the Council Seat Vacated by the Resignation of Councilmember Jeffrey Wieler

For further information, contact the City Clerk at 510/42o-3040.

Those wanting to comment on the process may send an email or emails to the Council as follows:

Robert McBain, Mayor (510) 547-0597 2nd Term Exp. 11/20
Teddy Gray King, Vice Mayor (510) 450-0890 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Jennifer Cavenaugh (510) 428-1442 1st Term Exp. 11/20
Tim Rood (510) 239-7663 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Sep 6 2017

Speakers at the September 5, 2017 Council meeting, praised the Council for its fast reaction to recent controversial remarks made by prior mayor, Jeff Wieler.  Before Wieler resigned from the Council all Councilmembers had gone on record publicly stating Wieler should resign from his council seat for the sake of the City.

During the Public Forum, citizens addressed the Council with the following points:

  • A representative of the Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee thanked the Council and the public for their involvement and concern.  Notice was given of Piedmont’s upcoming anti-discrimination films.
  • A new resident was shocked by the comments reported in the media, indicating opinions typical of the alt-right.  The publicly available open facebook page of Councilmember Tim Rood was praised as a good resource to learn a Councilmember’s opinions. It was suggested that all Councilmembers establish an open facebook page so that residents can learn about the positions of their elected Councilmembers.
  • The Piedmont Civic Association (PCA) was praised for providing timely and accurate information on the issues.
  • Speakers said there should be no place in Piedmont government for prejudicial statements and in the future more attention would be given to the Council actions.
  • One speaker asked residents to write Jeff Wieler and note matters where he had contributed positively to the City.  In this way, he would learn to use his mind and his mouth for positive results.

During Public Forum, California’s sunshine law, the Brown Act, does not allow the Councilmembers to engage in discussions with speakers. 

Sep 1 2017

Meeting will be in City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue, Tuesday, September 5 at 7:30 p.m.

The Piedmont City Council will vote on September 5, 2017, to elect a new mayor from the Councilmembers to fill the vacancy resulting from Jeff Wieler’s resignation as Mayor of Piedmont.  Vice Mayor Bob McBain has been in an interim “acting” position since the vacancy occurred pending the election by the Council of a new mayor.  McBain is the most tenured member of the Council.

If McBain is elected Mayor, the Vice Mayor position, as described in the City Charter, will require election of a new Vice Mayor.

The public is welcome to speak to the agenda item.  The meeting will be broadcast live on Channel 27 and from the City website.  The City keeps recordings and makes them available from the City website.

Comments regarding the selection of a new Mayor and/or Vice Mayor can be sent to the Council members as follows:

Robert McBain, Acting Mayor (510) 547-0597 2nd Term Exp. 11/20
Jennifer Cavenaugh (510) 428-1442 1st Term Exp. 11/20
Teddy Gray King (510) 450-0890 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Tim Rood (510) 239-7663 1st Term Exp. 11/18


Sep 1 2017

Statement from Acting Mayor Robert McBain

September 1, 2017

The past days have been tumultuous, sad, and extremely difficult for Piedmont residents and for the city organization. The opinions and postings of former Mayor Jeff Wieler were in no way reflective of the values and sensibilities of this community. We, his colleagues on the City Council, took swift action to communicate our collective outrage and disappointment in his statements. At the same time we were clear and consistent in our requests that he should resign as Mayor and from his position on City Council. In the end, Jeff made a decision that was well-advised and in the best interests of all concerned.

I am proud of how the Piedmont community responded swiftly to the situation and affirmed our shared values. Our residents are intelligent, committed, and engaged in civic affairs. We have great schools, a history of sound leadership, and a City organization of talented people committed to providing excellent services. We are a resilient community and will be quick to get back to focusing our attention on all that makes this such an outstanding place to call home.

So, what is next? Our City Council will be meeting next Tuesday, [Sept. 5, 2017] with a full agenda. First up will be the election of Mayor and Vice Mayor. In accordance with the rules set out in our City Charter, the Councilmembers elected to these offices will serve through the general election of November 2018. In December 2018, the Council will again elect a Mayor and Vice Mayor from its members. As to the vacancy created by the resignation of Jeff Wieler from his seat on Council, the Charter directs the City Council to fill the vacancy within thirty days.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Council will also consider a resolution reaffirming Piedmont’s commitment to inclusivity and opposing actions of hate groups, a contract for the development of a Master Plan for the Linda Beach Playfield, and bring renewed focus and discussion on the subject of a new aquatic facility for Piedmont. We look forward to taking care of the city’s business and working together to make this an even better community.

Acting Mayor Robert McBain

Sep 1 2017

The Council has 30 days from September 5 to select someone to fill the vacant Council seat left by Wieler’s resignation.

Effective September 5, 2017, Jeff Wieler resigned as a Piedmont Councilmember.  Now, the City Council has the task of filling his vacant seat – unexpired term – that ends in November/December 2018.

The Council has 30 days in which to complete the task of filling the vacant unexpired term held by Wieler.  The agenda for the September 5, 2017 Council meeting does not include consideration of a process for selecting the replacement Council member.  According to the City Administrator, Paul Benoit, the Council may hold a Special Meeting to consider the selection process.

Those interested in applying for the unexpired seat can make inquiry with the City at 420-3040. 

Historically, the Council has asked for applications which must be from qualified electors of Piedmont – those who are registered Piedmont voters. In previous years, applicants submitted a standardized written application followed by an interview session held by the remaining four Councilmembers. By law, all applications and interviews are open to the public.

As the Councilmember selection is political, applicants frequently lobby the public and the Council.

Throughout the process, Councilmembers must follow the Brown Act (California’s sunshine law) by conducting all considerations and discussions of the applicants in a public meeting.  Councilmembers may not discuss privately amongst themselves who they think should be appointed.

When former Mayor and Councilmember, Margaret Fujioka, resigned her unexpired position on the Council, Jonathan Levine was chosen from amongst the applicants.  He subsequently ran for a regular four year term on the Council; however he did not win in that election.

The Council chosen appointee to the Council will serve until December 2018, when the unexpired term ends.  To continue to serve on the Council, the appointed individual must be elected at the November 2018 General Election.

The process of filling a vacancy is set out in the Piedmont City Charter as follows:

(C) FILLING OF VACANCIES. A vacancy on the City Council shall be filled by appointment by the Council, with said appointee to hold office until the next general municipal election, when a successor shall be chosen by the electors for the unexpired term. If the Council does not fill such vacancy within thirty (30) days after the same occurs, then such vacancy shall be filled by the Mayor. 

Questions may be posed to the City Administrator, Paul Benoit, at 510/420-3040.

The public can provide input to the Council by using the following contact information.

Councilmember contact information:

Robert McBain, Acting Mayor (510) 547-0597 2nd Term Exp. 11/20
Jennifer Cavenaugh (510) 428-1442 1st Term Exp. 11/20
Teddy Gray King (510) 450-0890 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Tim Rood (510) 239-7663 1st Term Exp. 11/18


Aug 30 2017

It is with great sadness that I announce my resignation from the Piedmont City Council effective Tuesday September 5, 2017.

I will provide the City Administrator with a formal letter of resignation, which I will ask him to read at that meeting.

Throughout my service on Council, I strived to do what was best for Piedmont, and tried to be fair and open to everybody’s opinions. I challenge people to find a single instance where my personal opinions affected any vote or action I’ve taken Piedmont.

 In closing, I want to say I’m proud of the contributions I’ve made to Piedmont.  I helped reform Piedmont’s parcel taxes to provide funding for our high quality municipal services and to help retain the skilled people who provide them.  As a Chair of the Municipal Tax Review Committee, I successfully fought for a Charter amendment that allowed Piedmont to maintain an adequate General Fund reserve, and also helped structured a sewer tax that has allowed Piedmont to lead the East Bay cities in upgrading our infrastructure to reduce pollution in San Francisco Bay.  I’ve contributed on at least seven civic committees, and spent nearly 12 years on the City Council, missing sessions only when hospitalized.

I’ve written my “Piedmontage” column in the Piedmont Post for 14 years, with the aim of providing a clear, easily read, discussion of significant issues facing Piedmont.  Nobody has ever accused me of inserting personal political biases into any of my hundreds of columns about Piedmont’s civic issues.

In closing, I want to say that I have a deep love for our beautiful city, and think it has been an honor to work with so many fine civic volunteers.  I especially want to say how much I appreciate our city employees.  It has been my privilege to spend time with our police, firefighters, and public works employees.  Our employees and our skilled management team make Piedmont the superb city it is.

The City Council and staff have important issues to deal with, from cell towers to labor negotiations to garbage service.  It would be unfair to the City and a personal betrayal of my principles and past efforts if I allowed this circus to continue distracting residents, the Council, and City Staff.  I also don’t need any more obscene hate mail or veiled threats of violence.

I apologize for helping create this situation.  Continuing to fight the situation might make me feel better, but will not help our community.

Therefore, I am tendering my resignation from the City Council, effective as of Tuesday September 5, 2017.  My best wishes to you and to my former colleagues on the Council.  I am grateful to the friends, former colleagues and everyday citizens who have reached out with their support and understanding.

Jeffrey Wieler, Former Mayor and Councilmember

August 30, 2017


City Press Release:  August 30, 2017

Jeffrey Wieler Resigns from Piedmont City Council

On Wednesday, August 30th, Jeffrey Wieler resigned from the Piedmont City Council effective Tuesday, September 5, 2017.

Mr. Wieler was elected to the City Council in 2010 and 2014. He previously served on the City Council from 2002 to 2006. The text of Mr. Wieler’s resignation is available on the City’s web site at *

Contact: Paul Benoit, City Administrator   420-3040

Aug 29 2017

Jeff Wieler’s indiscreet statements about an intimate female part are online and on television.  

Wieler has resigned his position as mayor of Piedmont while continuing to serve on the Piedmont City Council.  Yet, numerous individuals are calling for him to resign from the City Council.  

Not good enough. He needs to personally apologize to each and every person in this town whom he has directly and needlessly insulted during his years on the Council. And then he should resign from the Council.

Mike Rancer

Tim Rood’s Facebook page addressing Jeff Wieler:

Following Jeff Wieler’s resignation as mayor, but not from City Council, the drumbeat of emails from outraged citizens continues as new outrageous posts continue to emerge. Mr. Wieler’s boorish and offensive online posts and the widespread publicity about them have caused him to utterly forfeit the respect of broad segments of the Piedmont community, as well as that of his colleagues, and have sullied Piedmont’s reputation – not to mention opening many more eyes to the obvious journalistic shortcomings of the Piedmont Post as a source of unbiased information about local events.

This self-imposed mess isn’t in the slightest an issue of partisan politics, and it’s also not an issue of free speech – it’s really just a matter of treating elected office as the privilege that it is and treating constituents (and others) with due respect.

A citizen-led recall campaign would take months and could cripple the Council and staff’s ability to advance the City’s business.

Jeff, I thank you for your service, but I think you know in your heart of hearts that for the good of the community, it’s appropriate for you to step down from the Council.

Tim Rood, Piedmont City Councilmember


I think compassion is too high a bar for the councilman -basic civility would be a start. There seems to be a thread through his statement that his comments on NATIONAL affairs were offensive to the liberal sensitivities of Piedmont, completely ignoring the invective and hateful content of his speech.

What is needed now from the councilman is not compassion but contrition and that could best be shown by his stepping down from council. There is a post on Quora (is that Latin for sexist?) attributed to the councilman that makes his Facebook posts pale in comparison. It’s not a national issue, not a conservative opinion but a denigration of women. If true, The councilman needs to resign.

Former Councilmember Garrett Keating


Councilmember Wieler’s degrading labeling and name calling of those who espouse a liberal point of view has rendered him impotent as a City Council leader and as an elected representative of Piedmont in meetings with Oakland, Alameda, Berkeley and beyond.
He cannot continue to claim service to Piedmont and express contempt for Piedmont residents.

 Conna McCarthy


Acting Mayor Bob McBain pressed Wieler to resign from the City Council.


View Channel 5 CBS report on latest concerns regarding Wieler’s public statements on a national website >HERE


While making offensive remarks, Wieler utilized his elected Piedmont positions – Piedmont Councilmember and Mayor.

Former Mayor Jeff Wieler’s resignation as mayor has sparked interest and concern far beyond Piedmont’s borders. Readers can google his name online and observe the reach of his comments and actions reflecting on Piedmont. The national Quora website features more than 100 Wieler opinions on a range of issues, some of which have been found to lack basic civility.

We need to immediately remove Jeff Wieler from the Piedmont City Council.  His comments on social media are disgusting and should not be tolerated in an elected official.

He and his love of vaginas should be home alone with no role in deciding our city’s public policies.  

Kristina McLaughlin


[“Having a vagina is not a vision that inspires. And before some feminist harpy objects to the last sentence, I want to say that I dearly love vaginas.” Jeffrey Wieler, July 19, 2017 ] Read the entire statement by clicking below.

  Answered Jul 19 


A “small sampling” of Mayor Wieler’s online views:

“The left burns buildings and deprives people of free speech and physically attacks conservatives. There’s a b***** named Falatco who led a gang that attacked a Trump rally in Berkeley.”

“Black lives matter encourages cop killing.”

“The Left is dangerous and un-American.”

“Transgenders are mentally ill”

‘The left is Intellectually bankrupt”

“Democrats are the plantation slave masters of today” (article)

“Fight the leftie barbarians”

“The tinfoil hat crowd of the left should be pitied because insanity is a terrible fate”

“Some people hate Trump, but more people hate liberals”

“The loonies of the resistance are worth a laugh, but not much more than that.”


Jeffrey Wieler, Elected official in California, and poly-sci major at Princeton

Additional links on Wieler below:

Read an online review of Wieler’s comments below:

Read about the website Quora and commenter participation requirements HERE.

Readers seeking more information on Jeff Wieler and his activities can google his name.


Jeff Wieler has served on the Piedmont City Council for over 11 years. His initial service was for four years when he decided not to seek re-election.  After a break of 4 years, he was encouraged to seek election once more, which is allowed by the Piedmont City Charter.  He was elected to this second term of four years after which he again sought and won re-election for an additional four year term, as permitted by the City Charter.

Wieler will be “termed out” in November/December 2018 and cannot seek re-election until another 4 years have elapsed. He is currently Piedmont’s most tenured Councilmember.

Councilmember contact information:

Robert McBain, Acting Mayor (510) 547-0597 2nd Term Exp. 11/20
Jennifer Cavenaugh (510) 428-1442 1st Term Exp. 11/20
Teddy Gray King (510) 450-0890 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Tim Rood (510) 239-7663 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Jeff Wieler (510) 428-1648 2nd Term Exp. 11/18
Aug 29 2017

Councilmembers will decide who Piedmont’s next mayor will be.

Councilmembers are elected to serve 4 year terms, unless they assume an unexpired seat on the Council. In Piedmont, there is a Council election every 2 years; one election chooses two individuals and the alternate election chooses three individuals. Piedmont’s next General Election will be in November 2018.

The Piedmont City Council elects the mayor from one of its members.  The mayoral selection usually follows a general election, unless there is an intervening vacancy as currently exists.  To become the Mayor of Piedmont requires the affirmative vote of three Council members.

The Mayor serves at the pleasure of the Council for a two year term, that is unless the Mayor position is vacated, as with the resignation of Jeff Wieler.

In recent decades, the mayoral selection has traditionally been based on the number of years served in relation to the top vote-getter for that election cycle. Typically, there is harmony in the selection process; however, this has not always been the case.

There have been mayor and vice mayor selections that were not unanimous.  In other instances, a Councilmember has been jumped over to choose a less tenured Councilmember, or one who did not receive the most votes in a cycle.

The Mayor is one of the Councilmembers and has only the powers provided by City Charter or by those given by the Council. 

It seems all Council members want to be the Mayor, even though the position is not administrative, the mayor acts in approving agendas, running Council meeting as any chair would, representing the City in various situations, and being an ambassador for Piedmont.  There are a few exceptions to these responsibilities.

City Charter states:

SECTION 2.08 MAYOR Following each general municipal election, the City Council shall elect from among its member officers of the City who shall have the titles of Mayor and Vice-Mayor, each of whom shall serve at the pleasure of the Council. The Mayor shall preside at meetings of the Council, shall be recognized as head of the City government for all ceremonial purposes and by the Governor for the purposes of military law, but shall have no administrative duties. The Vice-Mayor shall act as mayor during the absence or disability of the Mayor. In case of the temporary absence or disability of both the Mayor and Vice-Mayor, the Council shall select one of its members to serve as Mayor Pro Tempore.

The selection of the mayor is a political process amongst the Councilmembers, who must adhere to the Brown Act during the consideration process, meaning a majority of the Council members can not meet outside of the public process to discuss their selection.

A vacancy currently exists in the position of Mayor.

Since the City Charter calls for a Mayor and a Vice Mayor, there is only an “acting mayor” when the Council elected mayor is “absent or disabled.”  The mayor is not now absent or disabled; the position is vacant. A vacancy is also described in the Charter, as when someone resigns, the current instance of Jeff Wieler’s resignation.

The Piedmont City Charter states:

(A) VACANCIES. The office of a Councilmember shall become vacant upon his/her death, resignation, removal from office in any manner authorized by law, or forfeiture of office.

No firm date has been set for Council consideration of a new mayor.

Councilmember Tim Rood has announced his request that the election of a mayor be scheduled on the September 5 Council meeting agenda.

Currently, Vice Mayor Bob McBain, the most tenured Councilmember other than Wieler, has assumed the responsibilities of the mayor.  The Council must make a decision on either choosing McBain or another Councilmember to become the next Mayor of Piedmont. If McBain is chosen as mayor, then another Councilmember will need to be chosen as Vice Mayor to replace McBain.

Councilmember contact information:

Robert McBain, Acting Mayor (510) 547-0597 2nd Term Exp. 11/20
Jennifer Cavenaugh (510) 428-1442 1st Term Exp. 11/20
Teddy Gray King (510) 450-0890 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Tim Rood (510) 239-7663 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Jeff Wieler (510) 428-1648 2nd Term Exp. 11/18
Aug 28 2017

Jeff, your point is well taken that people on both sides of the political aisle can and should do a better job of listening to each other and that this would be a better way to achieve goals that accomplish results reflective of shared values.
But a key ingredient of good listening is compassion and a true desire to understand the needs of the other human beings in the conversation.

While you have explained your facebook postings as simply being re-posts from other sites, the fact is that those re-posts show a total lack of compassion; in fact they venture far into the territory of classic bullying behavior.  Name calling, labeling, colorful insults and grouping of individuals into categories are all behaviors that are so destructive of effective communication and community participation that we begin teaching even our youngest children not to engage in them.

Your two plus decades of community service are commendable.  However, I can’t help but feel that the missing element at this point in time is care and concern for the individuals who make up the full spectrum of your constituency.

National politics, talk radio, internet & facebook groups are quite abstract. Getting to know the fellow human beings of Piedmont (PADC [Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee] is a great place to start) and building some friendships outside the realm of politics is a much more ‘real’ and useful approach for local leadership.  While there is no doubt that the national political arena creates absorbing, outrageous and even terrifying ideas to consider – our local community must put all that aside in our day to day lives. Local leadership is at its best when the focus is on the needs, cares and concerns of the individuals who make up our shared community, and through compassionate consideration of these concerns arrive at agreeable solutions to the problems at hand.

I hope you will find a way forward, possibly by remembering why you were drawn to public service in the first place, and hopefully by leaving toxic national politics out of the equation when it comes to local concerns.

Respectfully submitted,
Katie Korotzer

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.