Sep 16 2020

Piedmont City Council Candidates Answer Questions

Voters will select two from four Piedmont City Council candidates.

City Council candidates were asked to respond to the following questions in 60 words or less by September 15. 

1. Which issue listed below is your highest priority and why? Services,  Recreation,   Transparency,   Planning, Equality, Infrastructure,  Administration, Environment,  Safety,  Funding,   Community Involvement

2. What are the most successful areas of Piedmont governance? 

3. What would you endeavor to improve if elected to the City Council?

Responses are listed in the order received.  Responses were not edited.

Connie Herrick –  City Council Candidate

(1.) Safety is always the highest priority for our citizens. Every City decision always factors in the safety of our person, homes, streets and schools. Our City is chartered to ensure our emergency preparedness and provide critical support services. Safety has to come first for the other listed priorities to function. We decide the ranking of other priorities through our vote.

(2.) It is impressive what we accomplish with a volunteer City Council and a small City staff. We are proactive, strategic in our vision and able to execute on complex issues. Our citizens receive a good return on their tax dollars and enjoy a high quality of life due to excellent City services. And we interface well with our neighboring cities. 

(3.) I would like to see more visually based ways of communicating to support public outreach about our City issues. An easy-to-understand chart with pros and cons or short 2 minute videos are more effective than reading through voluminous reports and meeting minutes. Offering our citizens interesting, visually based, executive level summaries will get them more engaged and better informed.     Connie Herrick


Conna McCarthy – City Council Candidate

(1.) Public Safety services, including evaluation of existing infrastructure and emergency preparedness, are a primary concern. We rely on first responders to arrive quickly when we need them. Our emergency communications technology must meet new state and federal standards. In the event of an emergency, we need safe operating facilities. When a major seismic event occurs, we want to be ready.

(2.) Piedmont residents value Piedmont’s strong fiscal management. We must continue to exercise fiscal responsibility to maintain high quality services. We must continue long term financial planning that ensures current services are being paid for in the current year, and that funds for known future obligations, including retirement commitments and facilities maintenance are set aside on a current basis.

(3.) We are a built-out city. Space will always be a premium. City-school collaborations are necessary. For a community with limited recreational facilities, parks and open spaces we are at our best when we collaborate to bring services and programs to our residents. I favor city-school partnerships where feasible and when the partnership improves the quality of life for Piedmont residents.    Conna McCarthy 


Jennifer Cavenaugh – City Council Candidate

(1.) As a City Council Member for the last four years, I have made it my priority to balance fiscal responsibility with a commitment to improving Piedmont’s aging infrastructure and enhancing public services.  We are a small city with limited resources and staff, and it is essential that we budget conservatively and address past unfunded liabilities, including our streets and sidewalks, parks, and recreation facilities. Essential long-term investments will ensure a beautiful, sustainable city for our kids and grandkids.

(2.) The Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee has been a tremendous asset. I found my colleagues on the committee to be smart, hard-working, dedicated financial professionals who offer comprehensive, detailed analysis and recommendations. The work of this committee has provided independent budget oversight, transparency and in-depth understanding of city finances; by implementing recommendations of this committee the city consistently strengthens its financial position.

(3.) As a Council Member, I intend to leverage my deep community connections to engage and promote diverse perspectives, develop mutually beneficial solutions, and increase equity and inclusiveness. I am actively involved with many community organizations to hear their perspectives and support their efforts including Piedmont Racial Equity Campaign, PUSD School Board, Piedmont Connect, League of Women Voters, Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee, Piedmont Community Service Crew, Appreciating Diversity Film Series, and many others.      Jennifer Cavenaugh


3 Responses to “Piedmont City Council Candidates Answer Questions”

  1. Piedmont’s governance is theoretically resident driven though behind the scenes City Staff pushes the agenda on many issues. The Brown Act, except in cases of “emergency,” requires three day notice of meetings and supporting documents. Often the documents are voluminous and technically driven so that three days can be problematic for residents. Further, contentious and/or controversial issues often come before the public at inconvenient times during the summer months when many are on vacation or right before Thanksgiving or Christmas. Is this coincidence or by design?

    Piedmont can greatly benefit from an Open Governance Ordinance aka “Sunshine Ordinance” such as Berkeley has which requires publication of notices and document eleven days before meetings. Berkeley has an 11 day notice period and I advocate for a 7 day notice for Piedmont.

    Are there thoughts on this from Council candidates?

  2. Rick makes a good point about scheduling important agenda items after long weekends. It can really depress public input. Council should adopt a policy of no votes at meetings following a holiday. And the City should adopt the scheduling calendar that the school district uses which provides much more advance notice of agenda items. Can anyone explain why the city does the absolute minimum when it comes to public notice?

  3. Regarding the “detailed analysis” of the BAFPC, the committee does a great job with its 7 year projections with the exception of the Transfer Tax. The committee used to use the prior 10 year TT average to estimate the coming year’s receipts. That has underestimated TT revenue for years but BAFPC still clings to $2.8M. As justification for Measure TT, BAFPC Again “estimates” annual TT revenue will remain flat at $2.8M for the next 10 years. At this rate, a “deficit” occurs, justifying the measure to increase the tax. For all it’s financial acumen, BAFPC can’t bring itself to do a simple linear estimation of revenue growth, a standard practice of any institution. To see that, visit:

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