Sep 12 2017

On Monday, September 11, 2017, the four Piedmont City Councilmembers met and decided what the procedure would be to fill the Sept.5 vacancy resulting from Jeff Wieler’s resignation. As prescribed in the Piedmont City Charter, there are 24 days left until October 5, when the appointment is to be made by the Council. The schedule has now been set for filling the vacancy: applications, Council interviews of the applicants, consideration, and appointment by the Council.

The selection process is open to the public including Council interview sessions and meetings when candidates are considered by the Council. The Brown Act is in effect during the selection process meaning serial meetings between Councilmembers or a potential point person are not allowed.

 —–City Announcement dated 9/12/17 ——

City Soliciting Applications to Fill Council Vacancy – Deadline Wed. 9/27 at 5:00PM to submit an application.

Applications are available from the City Clerk’s Office and on the City website at

Application Period: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 through Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

Applications must be returned to: City Clerk’s Office 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, California

Application Deadline: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City of Piedmont will accept applications from qualified [Piedmont] voters for appointment to the City Council to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Councilmember Jeffrey Wieler, effective at 12:01 a.m. on September 5, 2017.

To be eligible to serve on the City Council, a person must meet three requirements. First, the person must be a qualified voter in the City [Piedmont]. Second, the person must not hold any other office or employment with the City. Third, due to the City Charter’s term limits provision, the person must not be a former Councilmember who served two successive full terms and left office in either 2014 or 2016.

The term of this Council seat is from the date of appointment until the results of the General Municipal Election of November 8, 2018 are certified, which likely will take place at the first Council meeting in December, 2018.

Original applications must be delivered to the City Clerk’s Office [120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont] by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 27, 2017. Postmarks will not be accepted.

The City Council will interview candidates separately and each applicant will have the opportunity to present their qualifications and discuss their candidacy with the City Council.

At a Special Meeting of the City Council on October 2, 2017 and/or October 4, 2017 in the afternoon/evening, each applicant will be asked to make a brief presentation to the City Council.

The applicants may then be asked to respond to questions the City Council may have regarding their presentation or application. Applicants are requested to hold these dates available for interview.[October 2 and/or October 4]

An appointment will not be made without a Council interview.

The City Council may make an appointment at the special meeting or may direct staff to place the matter on a future agenda for action.

Upon appointment, the successful candidate will be required to complete and file a Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests [Financial Statement]. For more information on this requirement, please contact the City Clerk.  [420-3040 or 420-3041]

A fillable PDF version of the application is available at:

Residents using the electronic version are requested to fill out the application on their computer, print the completed application, sign it, and deliver it to the City Clerk’s Office. [120 Vista Avenue] Hard copies of the application are available from the City Clerk’s Office.

For more information on the application process, please contact City Clerk John O. Tulloch at (510) 420-3041 or

Being an unexpired term, qualified individuals can seek election to a full term position on the Council at the November 2018 General Election.  Additional information for applicants and interested individuals can be found in the > Piedmont City Charter.


Those wanting to communicate with Councilmembers about desirable qualities in applicants can reach Councilmembers at the following contact numbers.

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 12 2017

The Los Angeles Times article on former mayor and councilmember Jeff Wieler interview.

Read the article > HERE.

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

Because of the vacancy created by Jeff Wieler’s resignation as mayor, the City Council meeting of September 5, 2017 called for the election of a new mayor and vice mayor to be selected by the Council from amongst themselves.

The Piedmont League of Women Voters asked that some description be made about each nominee and their qualifications.  This request was honored by Councilmember Teddy King who nominated Bob McBain for Mayor, and then by Councilmember Tim Rood in nominating King for Vice Mayor.

McBain and King have long histories of volunteerism in Piedmont having served on numerous commissions and committees. Bob McBain was elected Mayor of Piedmont and  Teddy King was elected Vice Mayor.  Both were elected unanimously, as the selection process followed a tradition of choosing the most tenured Council members and the individuals with the most votes in their election cycle.

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

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
Jun 4 2017

Piedmont Post Claim about Measure H1 Plan is Inaccurate –

The May 31, 2017 Piedmont Post headline asserts: “School Board to spend $57 million on one building; Balance of $9 million from H1 bond not enough to pay for theater.”  Apparently, the Post reporter or editor failed to read the memo to the Board setting forth what was included in “Option 2B,” which the Board approved.

The memo is available online as the supporting material for the May 24, 2017 Meeting Agenda, Item VIII.A,>

Among other things, it clearly states: “OPTION 2B 3-Story Main High School Building on Magnolia + New Theater.”  And it includes: “Modernize the vacated 20s building, converting antiquated science labs to general classrooms.”  And further: “($526,500 in FFE for 27 new or modernized classrooms),” which are the classrooms in the new STEAM building, new AHT [Allan Harvey Theater] and modernized 20s building.

At this point, these are all estimated costs.  However, Piedmont residents should understand what is actually included in Option 2B.

Richard Raushenbush, Former Member, Piedmont Board of Education

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.