Dec 12 2018

Chester Nakahara, Director of Piedmont Public Works wrote to:

Bruce [Joffe],

On September 6, 2016, the City Council approved a new street sweeping schedule after operating for years under the former schedule. The former schedule was complicated and was loosely based on specific tree leaf drop cycles, impacted streets, and driver efficiency. It was Council’s goal to make the schedule easier to remember and therefore promote more cooperation.

Moving of the cars was still voluntary, but it was our hope that the online neighborhood groups would establish their own regular notifications for each sweeping day in each neighborhood.  I know this voluntary cooperation can be frustrating, but on the whole, it works well for Piedmont as our streets are clean for an urban setting. We know this through our annual reports for the Alameda County Clean Water Program. In addition, this new schedule helps the City achieve approximately 20 – 25% more scheduled sweeping compared to the old schedule. This does not include any “supplemental or emergency sweeping” that usually occurs on the off-weeks and during storms. I’m not sure the system you suggest would significantly impact what our peers already consider a pretty clean city. I agree that it might affect how it looks in front of your house, but we have to look at street sweeping with a bigger lens over the whole city.  Also, remember that you can call Public Works for supplemental sweeping

Creating a system as you suggest would have significant impacts. These include:

  • Increase Police personnel and costs for daily enforcement of parking restrictions, towing, impounding vehicles, and administering enforcement.
  • Increased costs and aesthetic impacts for a massive signage program throughout the City, which is largely residential in character.

Chester Nakahara, Director of Public Works
City of Piedmont
(510) 420-3061

~~~~~~~~

Hi Chester [Nakahara],

     Thanks for your responsive reply.

     I am glad to know that Piedmont now has a standard, regular street sweeping schedule.  I didn’t know what the schedule was for Rose Avenue this year.  How will the City notify us about the schedule when next year’s sweeping season starts?

     I am also glad to know that the volunteer notification process – neighbors posting signs four days in advance, calling the Public Works office, and calling the Police Dept when cars have parked in violation – works in some neighborhoods.  It does not work in the Lower Piedmont neighborhoods.

     You sited increased cost for not having a professional procedure of permanently posted signs (“no parking during these street sweeping days”), but what about the cost of the expensive machine NOT sweeping curbs because cars are parked on sweeping days?  As I said in my previous letter, taxpayers paid a lot of money for the street sweeping machine, and that money is wasted if the machine can’t clean the gutters because cars are parked on sweeping days.  And what about the cost of having to clean out storm drains because they are filled with unswept leaves?

     I suspect those costs would be reduced if the City conducted street sweeping more professionally, without depending on volunteers to keep cars off the street on sweeping days.  The benefits of cleaner leaf removal could be greater than the cost of posting signs (a on-time expense) and the cost of increased enforcement (paid for substantially by the fines imposed on violators).

Please reconsider your response of continuing to conduct street sweeping as a volunteer-assisted operation.

Sincerely,

Bruce Joffe, Piedmont Resident

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Dec 11 2018

Wireless Antennas for 18 Sites to be Reviewed by City in New Crown Castle Applications

At its December 17, 2018 regular meeting, the Piedmont City Council will consider whether to approve a proposed settlement in the law suit filed against the City by Crown Castle NG West LLC challenging the Council’s denial of applications for five wireless communication facility (WCF) sites and conditional approval of three other sites. A ninth site, which was conditionally approved by the Council, was not included in the suit.

The proposed settlement agreement, which is the product of over eight months of mediation between Crown Castle and the City of Piedmont, provides that Crown Castle will file new applications for the eight original sites and ten additional sites. The additional sites are included because the applications will be deleting the 700 MHz radios for which they previously applied. Instead they will use only 1900 and 2100 MHz bandwidths which would serve the same area as the original proposal. Elimination of the 700 MHz radios allows for smaller antennas and radios. Fifteen of the sites are proposed for existing utility pole sites. Antennas will be located at the top of the pole and will be three feet in height. The radios will be mounted on the poles. The antennas and the radios will be concealed within shrouds. There are a few utility poles with different designs to address site specific site issues and to eliminate or reduce impacts on City trees. Three sites will be on City light poles with two foot antennas and above ground mounted cabinets.

If approved by the City, the proposed sites will have smaller antennas and radios, be mounted higher on poles, reducing visual clutter, and have less or no impact on City trees. These applications will go through the normal City hearing process applicable to the particular site. If approved, Crown Castle will dismiss its lawsuit against the City. If not approved, the lawsuit will proceed.

It is important to note that the settlement agreement does not approve the installation of any new wireless sites in Piedmont. Crown Castle must submit applications for a Wireless Communication Facilities Permit for all the sites included in the settlement agreement. The Planning Commission reviews and makes a recommendation to the City Council regarding approval or denial of applications for all new sites. The City Council then considers all applications and make a final decision.

The City Council staff report for the proposed settlement will be posted on the City website (http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/citycouncil…) on Thursday, December 13, 2018.

Comments regarding the proposed settlement agreement may be sent to the City Council via email to: citycouncil@piedmont.ca.gov. To send comments via U.S. Mail, please use the following address: Piedmont City Council c/o City Clerk, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94611.

Residents with questions about the settlement may contact Senior Planner Pierce Macdonald-Powell by email at pmacdonald@piedmont.ca.gov. Any correspondence sent to the City may be considered a public record.

The City Council meeting on December 17, 2018 will be televised live on KCOM-TV, the City’s government access TV station and available through streaming video on the City’s web site at www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/video.

Dec 10 2018

The newly elected board members, Megan Pillsbury and Amal Smith, will be sworn in by City Clerk John Tulloch.

The Board will take action to elect the Board President, Vice President and Secretary to the Board for the period of December 12, 2018 through December 2019.

1. Election of President: December 12, 2018 through December 2019 (Superintendent presides)

2. Election of Vice President: December 12, 2018 through December 2019 (President presides)

3. Election of Secretary to the Board: December 12, 2018 through December 2019 (President presides)

Additional agenda items:

  • California Education Code Sections 41507,41572 and 64001 and the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) require each school to consolidate all school plans for programs funded through the School and Library Improvement Block Grant, the Pupil Retention Block Grant, the Consolidated Application and the ESEA Program Improvement into the Single Plan for Student Achievement. The Board will be requested to approve the plans for the tri-schools: Beach Elementary, Havens Elementary and Wildwood Elementary.
  • Following review of the First Interim Financial Report, the Board will be requested to approve a Qualified Certification of the District’s ability to meet financial obligations for the 2018-19 and subsequent two fiscal years; and authorize appropriate transfers of funds.
  • VII.G. Approve Resolution 14-2018-19 Exemption of the New STEAM Building Project from City of Piedmont Municipal Code – Zoning Ordinances

December 12, 2018  in the Council Chambers, City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue

Closed Session: 6:30 p.m. Regular Session: 7:00 p.m.

Read the full agenda by clicking :        > https://agendaonline.net/public/Meeting.aspx?AgencyID=1241&MeetingID=68390&AgencyTypeID=1&IsArchived=False

Dec 10 2018

The PUSD design for the high school STEAM and theater buildings incorporate the District’s science, art, computer science, and performing arts  See the schedule and architect’s renderings of the exteriors and interiors of the new buildings here.

Dec 9 2018

City of Piedmont

Special City Council Meeting

The City Council will find and declare that the whole number of ballots cast and numbers of votes received are as set forth in the attached canvass, that Betsy Smegal Andersen, Teddy Gray King, and Tim Rood have been elected to the Piedmont City Council and that Megan Pillsbury and Amal Smith have been elected to the Board of Education; the City Council will find and declare that the whole number of ballots cast and numbers of votes received are as set forth in the attached canvass and that Charter Amendment Measure BB and Charter Amendment Measure CC have received the required number of votes and have been adopted by the voters of Piedmont. (See election results attachment below.)

 Tuesday, December 11, 2018 6:30 p.m.

Community Hall, 711 Highland Avenue

The meeting and election celebration is open to the public. 

Agenda:

Call to Order    Pledge of Allegiance 

1. Certification of Election Results for the General Municipal Election of November 6, 2018 

2. Swearing In of New Councilmembers

3. Election of Mayor (Conducted by Vice Mayor)

4. Election of Vice Mayor (Conducted by New Mayor)

5. Comments by New Councilmembers

6. Comments by New Mayor

Link to November 6, 2018 election results is below:

http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/html/govern/staffreports/2018-12-11/electioncertification.pdf

Dec 4 2018

Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Avenue

10:00 AM  Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018

Please join the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and the Piedmont Police Department for an interactive program focused on seniors staying safe during the holidays. We will discuss shopping securely, avoiding phone and email scamps, and being aware of other types of fraud common during this time of year. Attendees will also learn about general financial exploitation, and how to safeguard oneself and seek assistance.

The program will be held on Wednesday, December 5th from 10:00 – 11:30 AM in the Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Avenue.

All are welcome to attend as this information will be useful to share with elder family and friends.

Dec 4 2018

12-4-18

Dear City Administrator, City Council, and Public Works Director,

While street sweeping is conducted by a Public Works Department professional driving a very expensive street sweeping machine, our city’s street sweeping program is run like an amateur volunteer activity.  Effective street sweeping requires that the machine sweeps up fallen leaves in the gutters, otherwise those leaves wash down into our storm drains and clog them.  Yet, cars routinely park on streets scheduled for sweeping, so the machine just sweeps around them, missing most of the gutter leaves.  Why do cars remain on streets during sweeping days?

The answer is because clearing the streets depends upon an intensive and frustrating volunteer effort.  Local residents have to find out and remember when their street is scheduled for sweeping (there is no fixed day or time).  Then, volunteer residents have to tie or tape floppy cardboard “no parking” signs to trees or poles in front of their houses.  Then, they have to call the Public Works Department to report and register that they have mounted the temporary signs.  Oh, and the report must be made four days before the scheduled street sweeping day.  Then, on street sweeping day, the volunteer has to check to see if any cars are parked where the signs were posted, and if so, call the Piedmont Police to report a violation.  Then, this is the frustrating part, they have to wait to see if a cop will come out to ticket the violating parker.  Sometimes a parker has moved his car before a cop comes out.  Often, someone will park in the empty space after the cop has left, causing the volunteer to call the Police Department again to request street sweeping enforcement.

Whew!  It has taken a lot of time just to describe the process.  Most of our neighbors don’t have time to actually go through this process.  My wife, Karen, followed the city protocol – to the letter – because a lot of leaves have been accumulating.  She even raked the leaves away from the gutter into the street to help the machine collect them.  In spite of her efforts, four cars parked on the street, ignoring the signs she posted.  This is not the way to run a professional city service, and, the lack of adequate sweeping costs our city extra expense to clean out clogged storm drains.

The solution is not rocket science; it just requires looking at what most other cities do.

(1)    Establish a regular schedule for sweeping each street.

(2)   Post permanent signs saying “No Parking” on those specific dates and times.

(3)   Deploy police to enforce the regularly scheduled “no parking” rules.

This is how Oakland conducts its street sweeping parking restrictions on Linda, Kingston, and other nearby streets in that city.

My wife and I are not going to continue performing this tedious volunteer work to aid the city’s street sweeping.  Many of our neighbors don’t do so either, because they are not home during sweeping times or because it is too much of a burden.  It is long past time for Piedmont to run its street sweeping operation professionally.

Taxpayers paid a lot of money for the street sweeping machine, and that money is wasted if the machine can’t clean the gutters because cars are parked on sweeping days.

Sincerely,

Bruce Joffe, Piedmont Resident

3 Comments »
Dec 4 2018

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

Park Commission Agenda – December 5

  • Approval of August 1, 2018 and October 3, 2018 minutes (read the minutes )
  • Receipt of a Report on Eucalyptus Tree Assessment – Dracena Park
  • Update on Request by the Residents of Oakmont Ave for new street trees  
  • Update on Heritage Tree Nominations for 2019
  • Monthly Maintenance report for October – November

Read the full agenda, draft minutes, and staff reports > FINAL PUBLISH Park Comm 12-5-18

If you have any questions, please contact Nancy Kent, at 420-3064 or by email nkent@piedmont.ca.gov.

Dec 1 2018

On November 8th, the City hosted an Energy Efficiency workshop for residents to learn how to achieve climate action goals at home.  There was a great turn out with speakers from East Bay Community Energy (EBCE), StopWaste, and Community Energy Services Corporation (CESC).

The City would love to host more workshops for the community in order to achieve our climate actions goals set forth by CAP 2.0.

Please complete the quick survey below so the City can get a sense of what topics would be of interest for Piedmonters!

https://goo.gl/forms/zHDspkKTZzJd7Yhz1

If you have any questions, please contact me.

Brooke Edell

Climate and Sustainability Fellow

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

Phone: (510) 420-3085

Email: bedell@piedmont.ca.gov

Nov 28 2018

Get involved!  Public participation is needed.
HELP PIEDMONT BE HAZARD-READY!
A Local Hazard Mitigation Plan is currently being developed by the City of Piedmont.

Fires, drought, earthquakes, and severe weather are just a few of the hazards to be addressed in the plan.

While hazards such as these cannot be prevented, a Hazard Mitigation Plan forms the foundation for a community’s long-term strategy to reduce disaster losses by breaking the repeated cycle of disaster damage and reconstruction. Additionally, only communities with a FEMA-approved Hazard Mitigation Plan are eligible to apply for both pre- and post-disaster mitigation grant funding.

Nationwide, taxpayers pay billions of dollars annually helping communities, organizations, businesses, and individuals recover from disaster. Some disasters are predictable and, in many cases, much of the damage can be reduced or even eliminated through hazard mitigation planning.

The people most aware of potential hazards are the people that live and work in the affected community. In addition to plan participation by local, state and federal agencies, the community is seeking all interested community members to hear more about our Local Hazard Mitigation Planning project.  The City encourages attendance and participation from the general public at an upcoming public meeting:

Thursday, December 6, 2018
Public Meeting: 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Piedmont Community Hall
711 Highland Avenue
Piedmont, CA 94611

For additional information, please contact Chris Yeager at (510) 420-3067 or email at CYeager@piedmont.ca.gov.

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