Sep 21 2011

New Report Released by Audit Subcommittee

Piedmont’s Audit Subcommittee has released a new draft of its preliminary report.  The new version incorporates changes discussed by committee members at its last  Subcommittee meeting on August 23.  (See video below.)  The report and its recommendations will be discussed, and may be approved, at the next meeting of the Subcommittee, which is set for September 22.

The draft preliminary report recommends changes to the city undergrounding policies and procedures.  If approved by the Subcommittee, these recommendations will then be presented to the City Council for consideration.  Several residents have noted that a fundamental concern, eliminating the City’s potential liability for private undergrounding costs, is not addressed by the proposed recommendations.  (See correspondence.)  Another resident, Judge Carl Anderson, has offered “to assist . . . in compiling a comprehensive “How to underground in Piedmont” when the time is right.”  Judge Anderson was a member of the private Piedmont Hills Undergrounding District steering committee and a strong proponent of private undergrounding who worked closely with the City in the past.

Additional undergrounding concerns have been raised by the League of Women Voters Task Force Review  and Piedmont Civic Association Commentary.  These concerns were beyond the initial scope of evaluation process or constrained by ongoing investigations and litigation.  However, the Subcommittee has emphasized that its report is preliminary.

The document states:  “It has been asserted by the Piedmont Civic Association that the report should be grounded upon the Piedmont City Charter.  That is a reasonable position, but as can be seen by the citations to other state and general statutes, other legislative acts impact the project, the individuals and groups involved and the rights and duties of various parties and entities. “

There is no mention in the document of emphasizing the roles and responsibilities of the Mayor, the City Council, the City Administrator, the City Attorney, the Public Works Director, the Finance Director, the City Engineer, or the City Clerk to reinforce the voter-approvedwording of the Piedmont City Charter, which prescribes the responsibilities and obligations of each of these positions.  Judge Kawaichi has indicated an interest in pursuing the roles of the staff and Council to provide a clear understanding and direction in order to avoid future problems.

Links:  LWV Forum on Undergrounding video, Audit Subcommittee Meeting of August 23 video.



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