Jan 9 2019

Hampton Field Backstop Dedicated to Piedmont Native John Hege

On Sunday, January 6th despite the rain, the backstop at Hampton Field was dedicated to Piedmont native and Oakland Police Officer John Hege, who was killed in the line of duty in March of 2009.

Present at the dedication was Hege’s mother, Tam Hege, who spoke at the occasion to the throng of police officers from Oakland and Piedmont the well over 100 participants gathered to honor Hege.

Prior to his 10-year law enforcement career, John served as a teacher, an umpire, and a coach. In addition to coaching football at Piedmont High School, John umpired hundreds of baseball games at Hampton Field. Raised and educated in the East Bay, Hege earned the distinction of Eagle Scout with Troop 15 in Piedmont. Hege’s mother Tam was actively involved in Piedmont with many volunteer roles including School Board member, Planning Commissioner, and President of the Piedmont League of Women Voters. Hege graduated from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California.

After college, Hege worked as a teacher in Hayward. In 1993, he joined the Oakland Police Department as a volunteer reserve police officer. OPD hired Hege as a full-time police officer in 1999, assigning him to the Bureau of Field Operations. After patrolling Oakland neighborhoods for 10 years, Hege fulfilled a lifelong dream with a transfer to the Traffic Operations Section and an assignment as motorcycle officer.

John loved both his career and his hometown Raiders. Friends and family were also important, and Hege was famous for planning parties, organizing trips and gathering people together. Selfless to the end, Officer Hege’s organ donations saved the lives of four people and his tissue donation improved the lives of as many as fifty others. Hege will be remembered as a caring friend, a devoted son, and a role model for his fellow officers.

Residents with questions are encouraged to contact Recreation Director Sara Lillevand at (510) 420-3040 or slillevand@piedmont.ca.gov

Oct 26 2016

New Play Structure, Hampton Field Use Allocations, Cavenaugh Advocates Recreation Programs for Elderly, Haunted House, Aquatics Plan, Encouraging Girls to Play Basketball

What happened at the Recreation Commission meeting?

Student Reports on the Piedmont Recreation Commission Meeting of Oct. 19, 2016

   I went to the Recreation Commission meeting on Wednesday, October 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Piedmont City Hall. The Commission meets every third Wednesday of the month at 7:30 p.m. The Commissioners meet to discuss recreation projects and improvements that are being done around the city, as well as work with the Recreation Department on sports and other programs.

    The major subject addressed in the meeting was the topic of a new play structure that is going to be placed next to the Rec Department and the Community Pool. This structure will have two slides, a tire swing, a small climbing wall and two decks respectively of 3 and 4 feet high.  Kit Stephens, the man who presented the model, is a Piedmont resident and works for a company that makes play structures. The estimated cost of this structure is about $63,000, which will be able to be moved and bolted into a new location once the pool goes under reconstruction. The benches surrounding the area will stay the same and they tried hard to paint the structure natural colors so that it would blend into the environment.

     I asked the Commissioners and Stephens whether the building of this structure would be environmentally friendly. I brought up the fact that they used recycled and some natural materials while renovating Havens School and I wondered if they would do the same in this situation. The answer I received was that, due to regulations, it is difficult to reuse things like swings and metals because they do not meet current standards. They are using recycled materials to make the roofs over the platforms as well as make the structure movable to lengthen its possible lifespan.

     All the Commissioners approved the recommendation of the play structure. I felt that they could have tried a little harder to repurpose the old play structure in other objects or in the new one, but unfortunately too often the environment is placed on a back burner due to financial and logistical reasons.

    Another issue addressed was recreation basketball. The Recreation Director Sara Lillevand brought up the issue that out of the 2nd grade class there were 72 boys playing basketball and only 5 girls. This disparity was unusually high even though boys generally have a higher participation level. Student Will McDonald suggested that in order to raise awareness and boost enthusiasm the Rec Department could host a viewing of the WNBA finals to encourage girls to play basketball and get the community involved.

    They also addressed the progress of Hampton Field. The back section is completed and they are finalizing the field portion and the infield. Student Michael Hebert asked if they are going to refurbish the tennis courts which the Director confirmed has already been done. Student Andrew Meredith asked if the field will be able to host games for older ages (above 5th grade). Due to the field size, they will not be able to have older teams play.

    Commissioner Glyn Burge asked many questions throughout the meeting, clarifying information, and also somewhat critical to discussion. At the same time, the Director spoke throughout most of the meeting, more so than the Commission Chair. The Director had all the updates about events, progress, and finances. It was impressive that she was so organized and interested in her job that seemed like a hefty amount of work.

    Jen Cavanaugh, City Council candidate, was at the meeting as well, and we got to hear some of her views. She said that she was there to advocate for the elderly who pay taxes for the Recreation Department, yet often feel that most of the money goes towards programs for younger people like children and toddlers. She also wanted to voice opinions on whether the new Hampton Field would be hosting softball, because when her daughter played she never got the chance to play on Hampton Field. The Commissioners answered this by saying that the field schedules are split up by the coaches and teams and then divided so it is not discriminating against gender, and it is coincidental.

Yuka Matsuno, Piedmont High School Senior


Student report:

The Recreation Commission met on Wednesday, October 19 starting at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. The purpose of this particular meeting was to consider the recommendation of a new children’s playground and to discuss updates on various recreational improvement projects throughout the city. The Commission meets once a month allowing for enough time to pass to give updates on recreational projects.

During the meeting there were 6 major issues being discussed. The first issue on the agenda was the consideration of the “Tot Lot” play structure at the Recreation department. For this topic the owner of Miracle Playsystems, Kit Stephens was in attendance. Mr. Stephens presented a slideshow for the Commission and answered many questions coming from the Commission members. He talked about the need for the play structure, the old one had been previously torn out due to being outdated. He stated that the new structure is much safer and can accommodate more children playing at once. Also he said that the structure is removable so if the upcoming pool plan goes through the structure can be relocated very easily. From the audience Piedmont High’s own Yuka Matsuno spoke asking the Commission and Mr. Stephens about the environmental effects of the project and if the environment was being taken into account. Mr. Stephens went into detail about all of the recycled materials used in the making of the play structure. The structure was recommended for approval by all of the members of the Commission.

The next item on the agenda was an update about the Hampton Park improvement project. The project is aimed at fixing the drainage of the sports field, resurfacing the tennis and basketball courts, and making the area into more of a park area. Everything is on track and going as planned with the proposed opening date to be February 18 right in time for the upcoming baseball season.

Jen Cavenaugh asked a good question about the usage for the new playing field asking if it is for baseball and softball or just baseball like it has been in the past. Commission Chair Betsy Anderson addressed this by saying that it is planned to be utilized by both baseball and softball.

Personally, I love the new plan for Hampton Park. I grew up playing sports there and the drainage was always an issue as well as bad weather. I think it is wonderful what the Rec Department has done/is doing in terms of making the space more park-like and fixing problems that definitely needed to be fixed.

The third item was an update on the Recreation Department/Veteran’s Hall plan. In this plan the Commission talked about the two buildings having a lot of open space and how they would like the space to be used. Although no official plans have been drawn up there are many proposals being considered and voted upon. Also they are looking to do more safety inspections and retrofitting periodically.

The fourth item addressed was an update on the ongoing search for a new Aquatics Coordinator. The Commission stated that all of the interviews have been concluded and by the next meeting the position will be filled.

The next topic was an update on the Aquatics Master Plan Conceptual Design. The Master Plan conceptual design is (hopefully) coming to the City Council in November at one of the two City Council meetings that month. Also the Plan has been shared and talked over with the neighbors of the area, showing them the plans and taking into account what they had to say. Overall the plans are going well and one member of the Commission asked what the timeline looked like and Commissioner Glyn Burge replied, “probably won’t be on the Rec Commission when it’s finished,” which leads me to believe the process will take a long time to complete.

The final topic addressed was the upcoming Piedmont Recreation Department Haunted House on October 26-28. The Haunted House is going to be very similar to the last few years offering more and more scary options with the first, least scary option on the 26th. Not much will change from previous years.

After the meeting was adjourned, I had the pleasure of interviewing Commissioner Glyn Burge. I asked him why he was a part of the Commission and he replied, “I was asked by other members and decided it would be nice to be a part of the actual decision making process.” When asked about how he would get his concerns addressed, he told me that the people on the Commission don’t have all that much power or pull, however discussing and recommending items to the City Council allows his views and opinions to be heard.

Andrew Meredith, Piedmont High School Senior

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors.
Oct 23 2016

Crime Report, Renewable Energy, Fund Raising for Hampton Field, Waste Disposal Contractor

Council learned of Piedmont robbery increase, approved plan to reduce cost of Piedmont waste disposal contract, supported methods of fundraising for Hampton Field, encouraged collaborative energy savings ….

Student Report of October 17th, City Council Meeting

    On Monday October 17, the Piedmont City Council met at City Hall to discuss an array of issues. The purpose of this meeting was to cover four topics: the possibility of renewable energy in Piedmont, the third quarter crime report, the renovation of Hampton Field and finally the possibility of a contract negotiation with the current waste collector for Piedmont.

    The most discussed issue was regarding joining Alameda County’s Community Choice Aggregation program. Bruce Jensen gave a presentation on the topic complete with graphs, hypotheticals and facts. This program would allow local governments to develop renewable power on public facilities, residences and businesses. The proposed plan would reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs and provide cheaper energy than PG&E. This in turn would save the city and it’s residents money. If residents decided they were not interested, they could opt out of the plan and continue using PG&E as their power supplier.

    Following the clean energy presentation, Chief of Police Rikki Goede presented the third quarter crime report. She started by mentioning the increase of robberies in recent months; the numbers were up from 42 burglaries by the third quarter of 2015 compared to 52 burglaries by the third quarter of 2016. With this, she stressed the importance of locking windows and doors and looking out for and reporting any suspicious activity. On a brighter note, she commended the work of her officers in enforcing traffic laws on busy streets and writing 433 traffic citations. Following her presentation, Councilwoman Teddy King thanked the Police Department for their vigilant effort in protecting the community.

    The next topic covered was the renovation of Hampton Field. Members of the Piedmont Recreation Facilities Organization (PRFO) spoke about fundraising for the project. The proposed budget for the renovation is $1,978,760 with the PRFO helping tremendously to raise additional funds. They are offering donation gifts ranging from personalized bricks all the way to naming rights of the baseball field. I am excited to see this project come to fruition after so much hard work and generosity from our community.

    Lastly, discussion on what company should be used for waste collection was brought up. The contract with the current provider, Republic Services, is coming to an end. Council members and other city officials have been considering changing waste collection companies as a contract extension from Republic Services would cause rates to increase anywhere from thirty to forty percent. Furthermore, the company would have to cut the backyard service they provide as workers have been getting injured lifting heavy trash cans up and down stairs. All members of the council were open to looking into alternatives and plan to begin the search for a new waste collector.

The City Council members meet twice per month, on the first and third Mondays.

Nick Perkocha, Piedmont High School Senior

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Oct 12 2016

Report: Hampton Field, Linda Kingston Triangle, Tree Conditions, Financing

Park Commission Meeting, October 5, 2016

by Mitchell Argue, Piedmont High School Senior

    On October 5, 2016, the Park Commission met for their monthly meeting in the City Council Chambers at Piedmont City Hall. The purpose of the Park Commission is to discuss current projects for the city parks and collaborate on how to maintain the wellbeing of land owned by the city. The topics discussed at this meeting were the Hampton Field Master Plans, the Linda Kingston Triangle, the health of the Oaks and other trees at Magee Overlook and CIP (Capital Improvement Projects) and the financing for those projects. Supervisor of Maintenance Dave Frankel presented an evaluation of the projects in greater detail in his monthly maintenance report with emphasis on the trees near Magee Overlook. Due to what the Commission suspects is a consequence of the drought, some trees have noticeably started to suffer and at least one Oak will have to be removed.

    On a happier note, the maintenance crews were able to pick up heaps of bulbs so now large numbers of flowers can be grown in the parks, especially at Hampton Field. Also, new landscaping equipment is being considered for purchase, where they may select something with more durability and increased energy efficiency.

    There were very few people in attendance other than the members of the Parks Commission. Those in the audience were Vice Mayor Bob McBain, Dave Frankel, two other classmates, and myself. The topics discussed were mainly updates on the progress of said projects, so arguments were not present.

    I was glad to find out how the Hampton Field Master Plan is taking shape. When I saw the pictures in the meeting’s agenda packet, I was happy to see the excellent work being done. The improvements, when finished, are going to be awesome!

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Jul 28 2016

Hampton Field: Special Tour and Meeting, Friday, July 29

City Council will tour Hampton Field Renovation Project and Review Project Progress (No Action Will Be Taken).

This Special Meeting is OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

Special City Council meeting will be held on Friday, July 29, 2016,  3:30 p.m., Hampton Field, Hampton Road and La Salle Avenue.

“The $2 million project was approved by the City Council in late April. The large-scale improvements are being financed by a combination of public and private funds. The city is using $507,000 in Measure WW park bond money, $417,000 from the legal settlement with Harris & Associates over the Piedmont Hills undergrounding project and about $390,000 in private donations. The city is backfilling the remaining cost for now from the athletic facilities preservation fund and the general fund. Other donations may roll in reducing the city’s obligations, City Administrator Paul Benoit said.”   Piedmonter

Read the entire Piedmonter article > here.

Piedmont News Release and Photos of Hampton Field Projecthere.

Apr 16 2016

Hampton Field: City Finds $1,471,435 to Complete Project

The entire Hampton Field project will move forward, if the Council approves Hampton Park Improvements Budget of $1,978,760.

City Administrator Paul Benoit in his April 18, 2016 staff report asks the City Council to approve a budget of $1,978,760 for Hampton Park Improvements and authorize him to sign a construction contract in the amount $1,573,435.50 with low bidder Suarez and Munoz to complete the plan for the park. (See plan of park facilities here.)

The City Council approved the Hampton Park Improvements Master Plan on June 2, 2008. The project was then sidelined due to budgetary constraints. On March 3, 2014, the Council awarded a $134,238 contract to William Harris, Harris Design for plans for phasing the project or, alternatively, completing the entire project at one time. Read the City Administrator’s Report here.

The focus has been on refurbishment of the hardscape surfaces for tennis, basketball and handball as well as drainage improvements (Phase I).  Hazardous conditions on the tennis courts, significant maintenance of the play field during and following wet weather, soil wash out onto nearby roadways, and other issues have been a concern. Measure WW, East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) Local Grant Funds, in the amount $507,325 were previously approved for the project. To complete the entire project, Phase I and II, the estimated cost is $1,978,761. The City will add $1,471,435 using various pots of City money and donations.

Funding Sources for the $1,978,761 Hampton Park Project:

  • EBRPD Measure WW Funds: $ 507,325
  • Private Donations & Commitments $ 303,254
  • City Athletic Facility Preservation Fund: $ 200,000
  • Harris Engineers Settlement: $ 417,000 (undergrounding)
  • City Facilities Maintenance Fund: $ 275,591
  • City General Fund: $ 275,591

City Sources = $1,168,182

Private Donations & Commitments = $ 303,254

EBRPD Measure WW Funds = $ 507,325

Read the City Administrator’s April 18, 2016 Report here.

Read the City Administrator’s January 4, 2016 Report here.

Agreement with Harris Design [separate from Harris Associates] in the amount of $134,238 was previously approved and expended by the City.

Read about Piedmont’s Risk Management Policy & Procedures for Major Capital Improvement Projects

The Council meeting is open to the public and will be broadcast live via Cable Channel 27 and live streamed on the City website – “videos.”  The meeting starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue. 

Jan 3 2016

Planning Commission Vacancy, Municipal Services Special Tax, Hampton Field, Marijuana, Pool on City Council Agenda Mon, Jan 4

City Council Meeting – January 4, 2016 –

To Fill a Planning Commission vacancy, a Special Meeting will be convened at 6 p.m. in the City Hall Conference Room.


A Special Meeting will be convened at 6 p.m. in open session in the City Hall Conference Room to consider filling the vacancy on the Planning Commission. The opening is a result of the recent resignation of Commissioner Phillip Chase.  No staff report on the vacancy or public notification soliciting applicants is available. The Special Meeting will not be broadcast nor recorded, however, it is open to the public.  Piedmont’s City Charter states that Special Meetings may be called by the Mayor or three or more members of the Council with 24 hours notice.

The regular meeting will be convened at 6:30 p.m. with a Closed Session, also in the City Hall Conference Room on two subjects: performance evaluation of the City Administrator and litigation with Harris & Associates.

At 7:30 p.m. the City Council will take up its regular agenda in Open Session in the Council Chambers, Monday, January 4, 2016. The meeting is open to the public, broadcast live and a copy of the meeting will be retained in the city’s archives.

Read the full agenda.


Available staff reports follow:

01/04/16 – Award of Contracts for Aquatics Center Maintenance as follows:

a. Replacement of Locker Room Floors to MC Construction Services

b. Replacement of the Main Pool Filter to Aquatic Commercial Industries

01/04/16 – Award of Contract to Cleary Brothers Landscape, Inc in the Amount of $12,250 for Blair Park Tree Removal

01/04/16 – Consideration of Acceptance of the 100% Complete Construction Documents and Specifications; Authorization to Solicit Bids for the Hampton Field Renovation Project; and the Phasing of the Project

01/04/16 – Consideration of Direction to Staff Regarding the Placement of a Municipal Services Special Tax Measure on the June 7, 2016 Presidential Primary Election Ballot

01/04/16 – Consideration of Ord. 720 N.S. Amending Chapter 17 of the City Code to Preserve Local Control by Prohibiting the Cultivation, Delivery and Dispensing of Marijuana

01/04/16 – Consideration of Authorization for the City to Join the ICLEI Compact of Mayors

01/04/16 – Introduction of the Concept of Building Energy Savings Regulations and Direction to Staff on Further Steps

Read previous article on marijuana issue in Piedmont.

Read previous articles on Piedmont Municipal Services Special Tax.

Read previous articles on Hampton Field.


Oct 19 2015

$1.5 Million Hampton Field Improvements Public Hearing: Oct. 21

Piedmont Recreation Commission

  PUBLIC HEARING > Hampton Field Master Plan and Expenditure of City Funds

Wednesday, October 21, 2015  – 7:30 pm

City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue 

a. Presentation from Consultant William Harris

b. Public Testimony

c. Consideration of Recommendation to the City Council to Proceed with Construction of the Hampton Field Master Plan in a Single Phase

  Staff Report Consider recommending to the City Council to proceed with construction of the Master Plan for Hampton Park/Field in a single phase.

BACKGROUND: This project has been under consideration by the City of Piedmont since 2005. Public Hearings were held in October 2006 and January 2007. Joint Recreation and Park Commission meetings were held in June and July 2007 and again in April 2008.

Council approved the Master Plan on June 2, 2008. The project was then sidelined due to budgetary constraints. In March 2014, Council awarded a contract to Harris Design Architecture to complete construction documents.

From June through August 2014, the Capital Improvement Project Review Committee (CIP) considered possible projects for Measure WW funds.

On September 15, 2014, Council directed staff to proceed with the implementation of the Hampton Park Improvements, with primary focus on the refurbishment of all of the hardscape areas related to the tennis, basketball & handball courts and associated drainage improvements for these areas (Phase I) with the intent that this project be submitted for Measure WW Local Grant Funds; and resolved further, that staff be encouraged to pursue private fundraising to complete the Hampton Park Improvement Plan in its entirety.

On June 15, 2015, the City received notification from the East Bay Regional Park District that our Measure WW Grant application for Hampton Park Improvements had been approved in the amount of $507,325.

The total cost of Phase I is estimated at $732,685 with the difference between $507,325 and $732,685  payed for by the City.

Currently, this project is slated to be completed in two phases. Phase I includes the hardscape areas described above and will be funded by the Measure WW grant. Phase II includes the grassy field, adjacent areas and associated drainage. Phase II currently is not funded. In order to minimize impact on Recreation Department and Piedmont Sports Club programming; to reduce overall project costs; and to shorten overall project duration; Staff recommends investigation into possible funding sources to allow the Hampton Field Master Plan to be completed in a single phase.

The total cost for Phase I and II has been estimated at approximately $1.5 million. 

“Piedmont Sports Field Master Plan Renovation Mr. Bill Harris of Harris Landscape Design, displayed colored renderings of the proposed Master Plan renovation of Hampton Park/Piedmont Sports Field. It was noted that this proposed Master Plan renovation was extensively reviewed by both the Park and Recreation Commissions beginning in 2006 and on July 11, 2007, both Commissions recommended Council approval of the proposed plan. The proposed renovation is estimated to cost between $1.3 and $1.5 Million and involves comprehensive improvements to the park’s drainage system, playfield surface, tennis and basketball courts, landscaping, pathways and entrances and PlaySchool play area.

Council approved the Master Plan under Resolution 46-08 on June 2, 2008. The project was then sidelined due to budgetary constraints. In March of 2014, Council awarded a contract to Harris Design Architecture to complete construction documents.

No substantive changes have been made to the Master Plan approved in 2008. Architect, Bill Harris of Harris Design Architecture will present the 100% complete plan at this meeting.


Public testimony is invited. Written comments should be directed to the Recreation Director at    slillevand@ci.piedmont.ca.us  For further information, contact Recreation Director Sara Lillevand at 420-3073.

If recommended to the Council by the Recreation Commission, consideration and approval by the Council is required.  Budgetary demands, resident concerns, and timing are relevant to the final Council decision.


The Recreation Commission meeting will be available for remote viewing via Piedmont’s KCOM Channel 27 cable or the City’s website.

Aug 3 2015

Park Commission: Updates on Triangle, Hampton Field, Crocker Park Garage, Highland Walk

The Piedmont Park Commission will meet on Wednesday, August 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, located in City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.

Agenda for the meeting:

Approval of June 3, 2015 minutes

Public Forum

Update on Linda/Kingston Triangle

Update on Hampton Sports Field

Update on Crocker Park Garage

Update on Highland Garden Walk

Monthly Maintenance report

May 30 2015

Park Commission Updates on CIP, Dog Off-Leash Signs, Linda Kingston Triangle, Hampton Field Project: June 3

The Piedmont Park Commission will meet on Wednesday, June 3 at 5:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, located in City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.

Agenda for the meeting:

Approval of May 6, 2015 minutes*

Public Forum

Update on Arbor Day

Update on CIP Process

Update on Linda/Kingston Triangle

Update on Hampton Sports Field

Update on Crocker Park Garage

Update on Off-leash Dog Signage

Monthly Maintenance report on parks, medians and street trees

Read the minutes of the May 6, 2015 Park Commission meeting.

The Park Commission meeting is open to the public and will be broadcast live via KCOM Channel 27 and the City website.