Mar 4 2018

Hidden Government? Information Not Distributed on Charter Change Proposal

Piedmont’s Research Undercuts Proposed Charter Change –

City staff sought relevant data from dozens of cities on their statutes excluding former Councilmembers from becoming candidates for the Council in the future.  The results of the survey reveal Piedmont’s proposed Charter change is radically out of step.  In the summer of 2017, without direction by the City Council on a new exclusionary candidate proposal, Piedmont City Clerk John Tulloch began extensively researching and carefully detailing practices to further limit previously serving Councilmembers and possibly School Board Members from returning to office. Unbeknownst to the public and without any public involvement, Tulloch contacted 79 cities inquiring about their rules on  limits for their elected officials.  Survey is below.

Remarkably, the City Clerk’s 2017 summer research project showed that excluding candidates was the opposite of what other cities were doing. 

During the February 5, 2018 Council meeting, Tulloch verbalized  parts of the previously undisclosed and undocumented survey.  The Council majority disregarded the verbal survey information and decided to expeditiously, without community involvement or viewing the survey information, move ahead to put a Charter change on the June ballot to exclude former Council members from becoming candidates for Piedmont elected office until 8 years had elapsed since their prior service ended.

Public participants at the February 5 meeting did not comment on the the survey, for the survey information had not been made available.


Following a citizen’s > Public Records request to the City for a copy of the survey, the July research shows the Piedmont City Council’s proposed Charter change is not in keeping with other cities. 

The procured survey was sent to PCA and is being made available to the public on this site showing that only 19 of the 79 cities surveyed (25%) have any exclusion for returning council members to office.  Eleven exclude former council members for 2 years, 7 prohibit candidacy until 4 years have elapsed, which is what the Piedmont City Charter currently specifies, and only 1 city has an 8 year hiatus, Anaheim.

Survey > PCA Term Limit Questionnaire (Responses)(1)

Three Piedmont Councilmembers, likely to be seeking reelection in November 2018, could benefit from eliminating legally qualified individuals from seeking election to their positions.  Those Councilmembers are King, Rood, and Andersen.

The Council will consider controversial, proposed Charter changes at their meeting on Monday, March 5, 2018.  The meeting will be held at 120 Vista Avenue, starting at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be broadcast from the City website under videos and on Channel 27.

Contact numbers for the City Council members:

Robert McBain, Mayor (510) 420-3048 2nd Term Exp. 11/20
Teddy Gray King, Vice Mayor (510) 420-3048 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Jennifer Cavenaugh (510) 420-3048 1st Term Exp. 11/20
Tim Rood (510) 239-7663 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Betsy Smegal Andersen (510) 420-3048 Unexpired Term Exp. 11/18

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