Aug 8 2019
A series of catalytic converter thefts have targeted Toyota Prius vehicles throughout the Bay Area.  During an investigation by the Berkeley Police Department (BPD), detectives identified a suspect vehicle and placed an alert for other law enforcement agencies to stop and detain the vehicle if found.

On the afternoon of August 7th,  the Piedmont Police Department spotted  the vehicle  – a white Nissan Pathfinder – having been alerted by the ALPR camera on Windsor Avenue.   Piedmont PD officers detained the vehicle and its occupants on Highland Avenue, alerting detectives from the Berkeley PD, who came to Piedmont taking custody of the suspects.

After further investigation, detectives arrested two men on suspicion of grand theft, conspiracy and possession of burglary tools.

Arrested:

  • Briana Nicole Crisp, Female, 37 years old, address unknown
  • Mauricio Romeo Navarrete, Male, 47 years old, Oakland, CA

A reciprocating saw, a tool police believe was used to remove catalytic converters, was found in the suspects’ car.

The investigation into the theft of catalytic converters remains active.  No catalytic converters were recovered, said Officer Byron White, a BPD spokesman.

There may be more suspects involved in these thefts.  If anyone has any information about the investigation, please contact Berkeley PD’s Property Crimes Unit at 510/981-5737 or the Piedmont Police Department at 510/420-3000.

The catalytic converter is a part of a vehicle’s exhaust pipe that’s responsible for reducing emissions. It can be removed from under some cars in a matter of seconds.

Drivers of vulnerable Prius vehicles have been advised to park their vehicle in a garage or well-lit area whenever possible.

Aug 6 2019

Armed Robbery in Piedmont – UPDATE 8-6-2019

Two subjects believed to be responsible for two Piedmont August 4th robberies were taken into custody August 5, 2019.

On August 4, 2019, two armed robberies occurred in the City of Piedmont.

The first event occurred at approximately 9:10 p.m. when three juveniles, 14 years of age, were in the area of Bonita Avenue, near the tennis complex. The juveniles were approached from behind by three suspects. One of the suspects was armed with black handguns. The suspects demanded valuables including smartphones, cash and backpacks. After taking the items of value, the suspects fled in a vehicle described as a white sedan on Vista Avenue towards Highland Avenue. The suspects were all wearing hooded sweatshirts which were pulled down in an attempt to conceal their faces however the victims did describe the suspects as black males wearing dark clothing. The victims were not able to describe the driver of the vehicle.

The second event occurred about ten minutes after the first event, at 9:20pm, in the area of Seaview Avenue. The 15 year old victim was walking in the area when three suspects ran up to him and one of the suspects, grabbed and removed his backpack. The suspects then ran off and got into a waiting white car and fled on Sea View Avenue towards Mountain Avenue. The victim described one of the suspects who took his backpack as a black male wearing all black clothing and the other suspects as unknown race males also wearing dark clothing.

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A vehicle matching the description of the involved car was stopped last night (8/5/19) by Oakland Police Department officers. Piedmont Detectives responded to the scene and were able to identify stolen items from both of the Piedmont robberies in the vehicle. Two subjects were taken into custody and booked at Santa Rita Jail for robbery and possession of stolen property. The subjects are believed to be responsible for two robberies that also occurred in Oakland that night.

S1-Angelo Garrett, age 20 from Hayward

S2-Parnell Walker, age 20 from Oakland

Piedmont Police Department thanks their partners at Oakland Police Department (OPD).

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Anyone with information and/or inquiries related to this case are asked to please contact Detective John Lagios at (510) 420-3015.

Piedmont Police Department – 403 Highland Avenue ▪ Piedmont, CA 94611 ▪ Phone (510) 420-3000 ▪ Fax (510) 420-1121

Aug 6 2019

City Parcel Tax Renewal and Rate  –

The Piedmont Budget Advisory & Financial Planning Committee will meet in the Emergency Operations Center, Police Department, 403 Highland Avenue at 6 pm on Thursday, August 8.

The meeting is open to the public. The meeting will not be broadcast. 

One of the Committee’s charges is to:

“Periodically examine the need for the Municipal Services Special Tax (Parcel Tax) and recommend whether this tax should be continued, and if so, at what rate. This charge shall be accomplished not later than eighteen (18) months prior to the expiration of the tax as set forth in Chapter 20B of the City Code.”

Committee minutes are not publicly available or placed on committee agendas for committee approval and public review.  Audio recordings are made of the Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee meetings and are available from the City Clerk’s office at (510) 420-3040.

Agenda:

Public Forum: This is an opportunity for members of the audience to speak on an item not on the agenda. The 10 minute period will be divided evenly between those wishing to address the Committee.

Regular Agenda

1. Update on the Committee’s Review of the Parcel Tax Pursuant to Resolution 12014. 

2. Consideration of Scheduling Future Meetings

___________

The Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee was formed by the City Council to review and provide comment on five year projections contained in the City’s annual budget proposal, the proposed funding and expenditures from several long term funds, and the proposed mid-year budget adjustments. It also provides a financial review of new programs in excess of $250,000 per year. The Committee also periodically reviews and comments on the long term sufficiency of several city funds as well as making a recommendation on whether the Municipal Services Special tax should be continued at and what rate. Click to read the committee’s complete > charge.

Aug 5 2019

The Piedmont Park Commission will meet on Wednesday, August 7 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.

Regular Agenda

  1. Approval of Park Commission Minutes for June 5, 2019
  1. Update on Piedmont Evergreen and Recycling and Compost Efforts at the July 4th Event
  1. Consideration of the Temporary Placement of Signs in Piedmont Park Near the Tea House Designating a Philosopher’s Walk
  1. Consideration of the Designation of Street Trees for Magnolia Avenue
  1. Update on Street Tree Planting and Sidewalk Improvements on Oakmont Avenue
  1. Update on Lower Grand Avenue Median Landscape Improvements
  2. Monthly Maintenance Report: Park, Open Space, and Street Tree Update for the Months of June and July 2019

Read the full agenda, minutes and staff reports > 8 19 FINAL_Park Commission Agenda Packet_8-7-19

Jul 31 2019

Piedmont Police Department encourages all Neighborhoods to Participate in the National Night Out from 5-8pm Tuesday, August 6, 2019.

Join in a neighborhood event near you!

Meet your neighbors and learn more.

• Heighten crime awareness
• Generate community support and participation in local anti crime efforts
• Strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships
• Send a message to criminals letting them know our neighborhoods are organized
and fighting back.

For more information contact Sergeant Bolden at nbolden@piedmont.ca.gov

Interested participants can contact the non-emergency number of the Piedmont Police Department at 510/420-3000.

Jul 31 2019

19 Sites Proposed: See list below.

Crown Castle Fiber Files Wireless Project Applications – More sites, but smaller equipment – 

On July 9, 2019, Crown Castle Fiber LLC filed wireless communication facilities (WCF) permit applications with the Planning and Building Department for 19 sites, most of which propose equipment attached to utility poles or street lights. The proposed sites are generally located around Piedmont Park and the surrounding neighborhoods.

The applications forms, plans, and other application materials are posted to the City website at: http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/publicworks/wireless.shtml#CCDAS.

The filing of these applications follows decisions made by the City Council in 2017 on eight WCF sites, a lawsuit filed in 2017 by Crown Castle challenging those decisions, and a settlement agreement that was the product of over eight months of mediation in federal court between Crown Castle and the City of Piedmont. The settlement agreement was approved by the City Council on December 17, 2018, and provides that Crown Castle will file new applications for the original sites reviewed in 2017 and ten additional sites. The additional sites were included because the settlement agreement designs delete the 700 MHz radios which Crown Castle previously requested. Due to the elimination of 700 MHz radios, the equipment can be sized to be appreciably smaller, but it also requires additional sites in order to cover the same service area.

Compared to the 2017 project applications, the proposed sites in the July 9, 2019 applications are designed to have smaller antennas and radios, be mounted higher on utility poles, reduce visual clutter, and have less or no impact on City trees.

The July 9, 2019 applications state that the sites are intended to improve cell phone service in Piedmont. Eighteen of the proposed sites included in the applications filed on July 9th result from the settlement agreement. Eight of these are the same sites as in the 2017 application. The ten new sites are needed to compensate for the elimination of the 700 MHz service. One of the ten new sites included in the July 9th applications does not match the location of the site included in the approved settlement agreement. For this and a number of other reasons, staff determined the applications incomplete on July 25, 2019.

The remaining facility site, located across from 314 Wildwood Avenue and within Piedmont Park, was not subject to the settlement agreement. However, the wireless permit for this site approved in 2017 had expired. Crown Castle chose to re-apply. This WCF application was also deemed incomplete on July 25th.

Once Crown Castle responds to the City’s letters outlining the items required to complete the applications, the projects will be scheduled for review by the Planning Commission and/or City Council. Due to recent changes by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the terms of the settlement agreement, the City must take action on the applications within 50 days of the response to the City’s letters.

The Planning Commission reviews and makes a recommendation to the City Council regarding approval or denial of the applications for all new sites (sites PHS-09 through PHS-19). The site near 314 Wildwood Avenue (PHS09) will also be scheduled for review by the Park Commission, which also makes a recommendation. The City Council will then consider all the applications and make a final decision.

If approved, Crown Castle will dismiss its lawsuit against the City. If not approved, the lawsuit will proceed.

The location of the sites included in the applications are listed below. Sites are across from, or in front of, the address indicated. Residents with questions about the applications 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.

Proposed WCF sites:

  •  340-370 Highland Avenue (PHS01)
  •  150 Highland Avenue (PHS02)
  •  799 Magnolia Avenue (PHS03)
  •  740 Magnolia Avenue (PHS04)
  •  303 Hillside Avenue (PHS05)
  •  428 El Cerrito Avenue (PHS06)
  •  355 Jerome Avenue (PHS07)
  •  1166 Winsor Avenue (PHS08)
  •  314 Wildwood Avenue (PHS09)
  •  201 Hillside Avenue (PHS10)
  •  237 El Cerrito Avenue (PHS11)
  •  410 Hillside Court (PHS12)
  •  338 Magnolia Avenue (PHS13)
  •  96 Fairview Avenue (PHS14)
  •  116 MacKinnon Place (PHS15)
  •  100 Palm Drive (PHS16)
  •  185 Wildwood Avenue (PHS17)
  •  523 Boulevard Way (PHS18)
  •  44 Wildwood Avenue (PHS19)

For more information contact Senior Planner Pierce Macdonald Powell at (510) 420-3050 or pmacdonald@piedmont.ca.gov . 

Jul 31 2019

On Saturday, August 3, starting at 8:00 am and continuing throughout the day, the Piedmont Unified School District will conduct a test of all Magnolia Campus fire alarms. This testing is required because of changes made this summer to the integrated fire alarm system for Piedmont High School, Millennium High School, Piedmont Middle School, and Witter Field.

Testing will include “horn strobes,” which have both an audible alarm and a flashing light designed for the hearing impaired. The school buildings will be closed but Witter Field will remain open for public use. The testing will be apparent at the Field and the immediate area around the Magnolia Campus.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Director of Facilities and Construction Manager Pete Palmer at ppalmer@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Jul 22 2019

Public Safety Committee Agenda Thursday, July 25, 2019 5:30 p.m. City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA

The meeting will not be broadcast, however the meeting is open to the public.  Minutes are kept of the meeting.

AGENDA:  7-25-19 PSC Agenda

Public Forum This is an opportunity for members of the audience to speak on an item not on the agenda. The 10 minute period will be divided evenly between those wishing to address the Committee.

1. Election of Chair Pro Tempore for July 25, 2019 Public Safety Committee Meeting

2. Approval of Public Safety Committee Meeting Minutes for 3/5/19, 3/28/19, & 5/30/19Public Safety 2019-03-05 DRAFT    Public Safety 2019-03-28 DRAFT  Public Safety 2019-05-30 DRAFT

3. Update on ALPR & Public Safety Cameras

4. Update on PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS)PG&E Public-Safety-Power-Shutoff-Fact-Sheet

5. Update on Police Department Social Media

6. Update on National Night OutTuesday, August 6  – For more information contact Sergeant Bolden at nbolden@piedmont.ca.gov

7. Update on Get Ready, Piedmont Guide http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/fire/docs/get-ready-piedmont.pdf

8. Update on Map Your Neighborhood Announcements, old business and consideration of future agenda items

Jul 21 2019

The Piedmont Budget Advisory & Financial Planning Committee will meet in the Emergency Operations Center, Police Department, 403 Highland Avenue at 6 pm on Tuesday, July 23.

The meeting is open to the public. The meeting will not be broadcast or recorded.  Minutes of the Committee meetings are not kept. 

Agenda:

Public Forum : This is an opportunity for members of the audience to speak on an item not on the agenda. The 10 minute period will be divided evenly between those wishing to address the Committee.

Regular Agenda

  1. Update on the Committee’s Review of the Parcel Tax Pursuant to Resolution 120-14 (No staff report was released for this item.)
  2. Consideration of Scheduling Future Meetings

Contact numbers:

Michael Szczech Finance Director mszczech@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 420-3045
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Jul 21 2019

12 Remaining Beneficiaries –

The Piedmont Police & Fire Pension Board will meet Wednesday, July 24 at 4:00 PM in the City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue. The meeting will not be broadcast, however it is open to the public. Minutes are kept of the meetings. 

This board will continue as long as there are retirees or dependents who are covered by the old plan established prior to Piedmont entering CalPERS. 

 Board membership of five individuals includes representatives from both the Police and Fire Departments and one appointed position, typically Piedmont’s mayor.  The Board meets quarterly and will continue as long as there are retirees or dependents who are covered by the discontinued plan.

For the last quarter, there were only 12 remaining beneficiaries of the Piedmont Police and Fire Pension fund.  See Finance Director’s Memo 719.

“The representatives of Osterweis Capital Management reported April 24, 2019 on the Police Trust Fund Report and Fire Pension Fund which was valued at $12,773,842, which is up 9.65% for the quarter. They reported that the Other Post Employment Benefits Trust was valued at $8,576,719, which is up 10.32% for the quarter.”

Agenda:

1. Approval of minutes for 4/24/2019  Pension Board minutes 2019-04-24 DRAFT 719

2. Acceptance of Participant Report, summarizing benefits paid in the 4th Quarter of FY 18/19 and current number of beneficiaries Finance Director’s Memo 719

3. Acceptance of the 2nd Quarter 2019 Report of Pension Fund Investments by Osterweis Capital Management

4. Acceptance of the 2nd Quarter 2019 Report of Other Post Employment Benefits Investments by Osterweis Capital Management

For further information, contact:

Michael Szczech Finance Director mszczech@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 420-3045