Feb 18 2014

New Council, Mayor and Vice Mayor

– Piedmont’s Community Hall overflowed with well-wishers at the retirement of the Mayor and one Council member, swearing-in of newly elected Council members, and election of the new Mayor and Vice Mayor. –

Alameda County Supervisor Keith Carson in speaking to the gathering noted that retiring Mayor John Chiang and the entire Council had served Alameda County as well as their city. Assembly member Nancy Skinner complemented Chiang and retiring Council member Garrett Keating on their service.

Keating reviewed his experiences and advised the next Council to seek public support before embarking on major projects and to vigorously enforce the new risk management plan. He concluded by noting that Piedmont’s “debt is real” and the government is not financially sustainable.

Chiang recalled his service on the Alameda County Transportation Commission, Municipal Tax Review Committee, the projects accomplished in partnership with the Beautification Foundation and his great expectations for the new City Administrator.


Teddy King, Tim Rood and Jeff Wieler were sworn in by City Clerk John Tulloch.






Jeff Wieler nominated Margaret Fujioka as Mayor, seconded by Teddy King and approved without objection. King nominated Wieler as Vice Mayor, seconded by Bob McBain, also approved unanimously.

The newly elected Council members each spoke, beginning with King. She complemented Piedmont’s smart, sophisticated voters, noting that many of her voters had never voted for Council before. She is inspired by her heroine, the late Democratic Governor Ann Richards of Texas.

New Council member Tim Rood thanked his supporters and noted the loss of community volunteers Steve Weiner and Bill Drum. He pledged to address Piedmont’s unfunded liabilities, to work for safer walking and biking in Piedmont and provide robust discussion of issues facing the City. He affirmed the legitimacy of citizens’ voices, even when their viewpoints are unpopular.

Re-elected Council member Jeff Wieler promised his remarks would be short and brief. He complemented Piedmont’s public works, police, fire, and recreation departments. He also thanked retiring City Administrator Geoff Grote, noting that all Piedmont’s streets are now as “smooth as a baby’s bottom.” He thanked Chiang for acting as his campaign treasurer and congratulated the two new Council members.

Newly elected Mayor Margaret Fujioka presented five priorities for her mayoralty: strengthen Piedmont’s finances; improve public safety; repair the City’s aging infrastructure; enhance communications through technology; and encourage civic engagement by initiating a new annual award for volunteerism and holding a first ever women’s forum. (See video of the Council meeting.)

IMG_5849Paul Benoit will assume the duties of City Administrator on March 1.  He attended the meeting to meet the new Council members and introduce himself to the gathered Piedmonters.


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