Jan 21 2019

The goal of this year’s Giving Campaign was to raise $2.5 million in the fall of 2018. Residents from across Piedmont rallied like never before and contributed a record $2.8 million, a 13% increase from last year’s results.

Giving Campaign Raised $2.8 Million, Largest Amount Ever for Piedmont’s Schools

Press Release
PIEDMONT, California — The Piedmont Education Foundation (PEF) is thrilled to announce the results of the 2018-19 Giving Campaign, the annual fundraiser to support Piedmont schools. Funds raised by the campaign help to maintain low student to teacher ratios as well as essential programs including libraries and librarians, art and music, teachers, S.T.E.A.M. training, electives, A.P. classes, counselors, and special education support.


The Giving Campaign received donations from 1255 families and individuals, an 11% increase from the 2017-18 Giving Campaign. Additionally, two-thirds of all families of students in the Piedmont Unified School District contributed to the Giving Campaign and more than 95% of members of all six School Parent Club Boards donated with one Board reaching 100% participation.


Heather Frank, Executive Director of the Piedmont Education Foundation, is grateful to the community for its exceptional support. “We reached more people this year through marketing and personal asks,” said Frank, “but I think the main reason for the increased success is that the Piedmont community has done the research and understands the unprecedented needs of our schools. Piedmont schools have a rigorous, robust and inclusive program. This community knows how special that is and will work to maintain it.”


Robert McBain, Mayor of Piedmont and a former Board Member of the Piedmont Education Foundation, is also pleased with the campaign’s stellar outcome. “Congratulations to the Piedmont Education Foundation, Giving Campaign organizers and all of the volunteers for producing this great result. Truly impressive,” said McBain. “I always remain grateful for the generosity of our community in supporting Piedmont’s great schools.”


The success of Piedmont’s Giving Campaign comes amid a backdrop of challenges for California’s public schools. “Without the Giving Campaign, our schools would look very different,” remarked Randall Booker, Superintendent of the Piedmont Unified School District. “California has failed to provide school districts with sufficient funds to pay teachers appropriately. The continued growth of the Giving Campaign shows how much the Piedmont community values our teachers and our students.” Notably, funds raised by PEF from the generous community last year helped ensure that Piedmont teachers would have a raise for the first time in years.


Cortney Allen and Nicki Gilbert, parents of Piedmont students and the volunteer Co-Chairs of the 2018-19 Giving Campaign are exceptionally proud of the results. “Thank you to all the parents, grandparents, empty-nesters, Parent Club Presidents, and other community members for their support and generosity,” said Allen and Gilbert. “More than 50 parents volunteered to help with this year’s campaign – a true grassroots effort!”


The Piedmont Education Foundation invites all residents of Piedmont to join in a Giving Campaign Wrap-Up Celebration on Friday, January 25 at 3 p.m. at the Exedra Arch in Piedmont Park. Hot chocolate, courtesy of Mulberry’s Market, will be served. For more information on the Giving Campaign, go to www.piedmontedfoundation.org/donate/giving-campaign.


About PEF, Piedmont Education Foundation, is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing sustained financial support. Led by a 25-member volunteer board of directors and supported by a professional office staff, PEF oversees the Giving Campaign, Spring Fling, the Student Directory, and much more. Visit PiedmontEdFoundation.org to learn more.

Jan 19 2019

Paul Benoit, City Administrator, will leave Piedmont in June after securing a change to Piedmont’s governance through the City Charter.

In 2018 at Benoit’s urging, the Council approved and recommended to voters a unique untested system of governance, blending City Manager prerogatives with Piedmont’s City Administrator form of government that had previously put the City Council fully in control. Based on the November 2018 Charter revision, the Council selects the top City officers, the Police Chief, Fire Chief, etc., but only the City Administrator, rather than the Council, can terminate the selected officers. This change takes away much of the Council’s authority and bestows it upon one individual, the City Administrator.

Benoit has been well liked by the Council and according to public meetings, the Council rarely opposes his advice. The next City Administrator will gain the authority the Council relinquished under the voter approved Charter changes on the November 2018 ballot.

Paul Benoit will retire from his position as City Administrator having served the required amount of time, five years, to vest in Piedmont’s retirement system administered by the California Public Retirement System, CalPERS.

City Administrator Paul Benoit, in a letter to the City Council, announced his intent to retire from his position effective July 1, 2019.

“When he retires, Mr. Benoit will have spent five years as City Administrator of Piedmont and will conclude a 39 year career in local government, including service with the City of Astoria, Oregon as well as the City of Alameda. “

“I deeply appreciate the community of Piedmont. It is a special place with engaged residents and a supportive City Council. The staff are professional, dedicated, and caring; they respect each other and work as a team for the good of the community. You do not see that in very many places. It has been my honor and total pleasure to serve this city,” said Benoit. “I could easily see myself staying on as City Administrator for another five years, if it were not for the fact that, if I did so, I would be closing in on the age of 70! With nearly four decades in the profession, my inner voice is telling me that it is time to make room for others and time to see what else life has to offer.” Paul Benoit, City Administrator

“Piedmont has benefitted from Paul’s leadership since his appointment,” said Mayor Robert McBain. “Since coming to Piedmont, Paul has worked tirelessly to improve the financial stability of our City, worked to ensure the City’s infrastructure is well maintained now and into the future, and accomplished the renovation of Hampton Field in partnership with residents. His efforts to maintain high service levels, excellent public facilities, and make Piedmont a better place for its residents will not soon be forgotten. We will all miss his professional leadership and optimistic outlook and I will personally miss his guidance and friendship.” Mayor Robert McBain

“Mr. Benoit will remain with the City until June 30th and recruitment for a new City Administrator will commence immediately. “ January 18, 2019

Jan 17 2019

Get Ready, Piedmont – Disaster Preparedness Brochure & Checklist

With the two recent earthquakes near Piedmont measuring 3.4 and 3.5 on January 16 and 17, 2019, Piedmonters are reminded to get ready. Below is the link to a guide and additional information.

The Piedmont Public Safety Committee has prepared the Get Ready, Piedmont disaster preparedness guide. This document provides comprehensive information on preparation for and response to, earthquakes, fires, landslides, and other emergencies. The guide is 50 pages in length with checklists and illustrations on things like turning off utilities, food and water storage, first aid materials, seismic measures etc. This document is available by clicking here as well as on the Public Safety Committee and Fire Department pages of the site. Printed copies are available at the Fire Department.

Also available is the four page checklist which provides a ready reference on steps to take in the event of an earthquake or wildfire as well as general guidance on disaster preparedness and crime prevention. Printed copies are available at the Fire Department.

For additional information, please contact the Fire Department at (510) 420-3030.

Jan 17 2019

Council to Consider Adoption of Linda Beach Conceptual Master Plan

Tuesday, Jan. 22nd – 7:30 p.m.
City Council Chambers

The Piedmont City Council will consider adopting the Linda Beach Conceptual Master Plan at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday January 22 at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont.

Based on input from the many previous community meetings and two joint Park Commission and Recreation Commissions meetings, city staff and Groundworks Office, Landscape Architects have revised the proposed conceptual master plan, which will be presented to the City Council.

View the staff report and schematic plan HERE.

Public comment is invited and encouraged for this meeting. Written comments may be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office at cityclerk@piedmont.ca.gov or by US Mail to City Clerk, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA  94611. All comments submitted will become part of the public record.

You are invited to attend this meeting and express your opinion. The meeting will be televised live on KCOM-TV, Channel 27, the City’s government TV station and will be available through streaming video on the City’s web site www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/video

For further information, contact Recreation Director Sara Lillevand via email at slillevand@piedmont.ca.gov or via phone at 510-420-3070.

Jan 17 2019

Heritage Tree Nominations Sought

Deadline: Monday, March 11th

The City of Piedmont is soliciting nominations of noteworthy trees in our public open spaces for the City’s first Heritage Tree Designation. Individuals and groups can nominate trees based on their aesthetic, educational or historic value. If you believe a tree is worthy of recognition, the Park Commission would like to hear from you.

Please submit the Heritage Tree Application 2019 no later than Monday, March 11th at 5:00 p.m. Nominations for Heritage Trees will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the Park Commissioners and Public Works Staff.  The tree or group of trees selected for this year’s designation will be announced at the April 3, 2019 Park Commission meeting.

Click to read the policy regarding Designation of Heritage Trees on City Property.

Completed nomination forms should be returned to the Nancy Kent, Parks and Project Manager via email at nkent@piedmont.ca.gov or in hard copy to: 120 Vista Avenue. If you have questions regarding the process, please contact  Ms. Kent at (510) 420-3064.


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Jan 15 2019

Recreation Commission Agenda
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
7:30 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA


Regular Agenda

  1. Approval of Minutes
    a. Joint Park Commission and Recreation Commission Meeting – November 7, 2018
    b. Recreation Commission Meeting – December 19, 2018
  2. Chair’s Report
  3. Consideration of a Report from the Subcommittee on Tennis Court Use and Pickleball Regarding
    a Pickleball Trial at Hampton and Linda Beach Tennis Courts
  4. Presentation of a Conceptual Master Plan for Improvements at Coaches Field by Callander
    Associates
Jan 14 2019

MLK Jr Celebration 12 – 2:30 p.m. at the Piedmont Veterans Hall

The 22nd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration will feature speakers U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, U.S. Congresswoman, State Representative Buffy Wicks, and Piedmont Mayor Bob McBain. The celebration is a free and open to the public.

Music will be provided by the Oakland Jazz Workshops and the Oakland Interfaith Youth Choir. Poetry will be presented by the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Leila Mottley, the Black Sheroes of Young, Gifted and Black, and Together We Slam from Piedmont High School.

This event is jointly sponsored by the PADC (Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee) and the City of Piedmont. More information can be found at http://www.padc.info/home/22nd-annual-20…. Please bring your friends and family to enjoy this day.

Monday, January 21st, 2019, from 12 – 2:30 p.m. at the Piedmont Veterans Hall, 401 Highland Avenue, Piedmont

Jan 11 2019

PRESS RELEASE   Piedmont Police Department

Over the last two weeks several home invasion robbery cases, which occurred in the City of Piedmont over the course of the last two years, have concluded and the suspects involved in the incidents have been brought to justice. These cases were successfully investigated by Piedmont Police officers and detectives and prosecuted by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. The Piedmont Police Department was aided greatly by the several law enforcement agencies in the area. The collaborative networking of these agencies resulted in several dangerous felons being apprehended and prosecuted.

Piedmont Police Officer David Cutler located and arrested two of three suspects immediately after they committed a home invasion robbery on the 500 block of Scenic Avenue. Further investigation by Piedmont Police Detectives Wright, Coffey, Spranza and coordination with San Francisco Police, Emeryville Police, and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the identification and arrest of the third outstanding suspect. On January 10, 2019, representatives from the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office notified our detectives that the involved suspects, Dimitri Johnson (21 years, Oakland), Terrace Fears (21 years old, Emeryville) and Sidney Davis 23 years old, Oakland) plead guilty to the home invasion robbery and will also serve lengthy prison terms for their crimes.

On 10/10/ 2017, a home invasion robbery occurred at a residence on the 1300 block of Oakland Avenue. This incident was particular in the method used by the suspects where they lured the victims out of the home by turning off the power from the outside electrical panel. The initial responding officer and detective conducted thorough investigations and were aided by the outstanding work of the Alameda County Sherriff’s Department, who provided Crime Scene Technicians to process the scene of the robbery. Because of this work, Dante Brown was identified and charged for the home invasion robbery. On January 8, 2019, representatives from the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office notified our detectives that the suspect plead “no contest” for the felony residential robbery with the use of a firearm. He is to be sentenced in the near future to a lengthy prison sentence.

On 1/24/18, a home invasion robbery occurred at a residence on Lorita Avenue. In this event, three armed suspects approached the victims, forced them into the residence and ransacked the home. The initial responding officers were able to locate video from a neighbor’s surveillance system. The video led PPD detectives to a possible vehicle. Piedmont Automated License Plate Reading (ALPR) cameras provided additional links to the suspected vehicle. Those links were further investigated and led to a positive match of the suspect vehicle. An alert OPD officer located the vehicle in question and additional information that led to the suspects. Ultimately, with help from the Stockton Police Department, San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, the suspects were positively identified and arrested. S1 Michael Austin (33, Oakland), S2 Brandon Johnson (30, Stockton), S3 William Edwards (22, Oakland). Each suspect has been arraigned in Superior Court.

If anyone has any additional information related to any of these events, please call Detective Jeff Spranza at (510) 420-3013. If you wish to remain anonymous you may call the Piedmont Police Department Tip Line at (510) 420-3055. For press inquiries, please contact Captain Chris Monahan at (510) 420-3012 or CMonahan@piedmont.ca.gov.

Jan 9 2019

The Recreation Commission will hold their public meeting scheduled on

Wednesday, January 16, 2019, 7:30 p.m., City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue,

at which time the Commission will consider two items for recommendations to the City Council.  See the attachments linked below.

Numerous meetings have been held to discuss and consider ways to provide facilities for the ever growing popularity of Pickleball.  The game has been well received by seniors in Piedmont. Long term future plans for Pickleball were mentioned by a recent speaker as a possibility for Dracena Park or Blair Park.

Plans to improve Coaches Field are proposed to make the recreation space more useful.  The proposal includes the installation of night lighting, pedestrian access, and parking.

Within each public notice below are City contact addresses.

Agenda:

–          Recreation Commission to consider Pickleball Trial at Linda Beach and Hampton Tennis Courts –

1-16-19 RC Public Notice Pickelball Trial

–          Recreation Commission to discuss Conceptual Plan for Improvements at Coaches Field

1-16-19 RC Public Notice Coaches Field Improvements

The City will also host a meeting for Coaches Field neighbors on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 7:00 p.m. in the Police Department Emergency Operations Center to display and explain the proposals.

Jan 9 2019

The City Council at their January 7, 2019 meeting discussed at length a proposal by Piedmont Police Chief Jeremy Bowers and School Superintendent Randall Booker to use grant funding for three years to install a sworn and armed police officer in the Piedmont Unified School District, who would be assigned to the Piedmont High School and Middle School.

Praise was given to Bowers for seeking grant funding.  The Council had not previously been involved in seeking the grant and wondered if the money could be used for other than a Sworn Police Officer (SRO) in reaching community and school goals.  The answer was no.

After taking community input, a target of bringing the matter back to the Council in March was suggested.

Some notions expressed were:

  • Armed officer in the schools – good or bad
  • Ability to afford an SRO following the grant appeared difficult
  • Need to learn more about SRO effectiveness from other schools
  • Potential for allinating minority individuals
  • Having a snitch on school property
  • Downside risks
  • Other methods of achieving goals
  • Current experiences within the Piedmont schools
  • Training necessary to achieve expansive job description

The Piedmont School Board and City Council must both agree on a SRO.

There were requests for greater outreach to the community prior to making the decision, which is targeted in the next few months in hopes of having a SRO for fall 2019.