Jul 16 2019

PG&E Warns EBMUD and Piedmont Customers of Planned Power Outages of 2 to 5 days –

PG&E may turn off electricity in designated areas when extreme fire danger conditions are forecasted (such as Red Flag Warnings, low humidity, high winds, and dry conditions). The specific areas and number of affected customers will depend on weather conditions and which circuits PG&E turns off for public safety. These precautions are called Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS).

EBMUD has an action plan should we lose power. While PSPS is focused on high fire-threat areas, outages may affect any of our water facilities. Outages are expected to last up to two days; depending on weather conditions and power restoration efforts, however, some outages may last longer.

A PSPS event could force EBMUD to switch to backup generators and pumps to power pumping plants, water treatment plants and other key facilities to keep water flowing, maintain storage and fire flow, and keep water distribution lines pressurized. 

What can you do?

Before a PSPS event:

  1. Make sure your contact information is updated with EBMUD a1nd your local energy company.
  2. Store a minimum of two gallons of water per person per day, enough to last three to seven days, and don’t forget your pets. The more water you can store, the better.
  3.  Identify your unique/critical water needs and plan ahead.
  4. Clear property of excess, dead and highly flammable vegetation. Trim grass and vegetation at least 30 feet around your home.
  5.  If you have a backup generator, test it and ensure it’s ready to operate safely.

If you are affected by a PSPS event:

  1. Minimize water use during an event to leave as much water in the reservoirs as possible for firefighting.
  2. Shut off irrigation.
  3. Reduce indoor water use.
  4. Stay tuned; there will be ongoing updates available through social media, news media and on EBMUD’s website.After a PSPS event:
    1. Restock your water supplies
    2. Prepare for the next PSPS event
    3. Reset your irrigation controller while resetting other electronics to prevent overwatering
    4. Check regularly for updates from EBMUD and PG&E
Jul 7 2019

Community Band comes into view

Strike up the Band!

 

Piedmont celebrated Independence Day  with its traditional parade on Highland Avenue ending at Piedmont Park for a community picnic with musical entertainment.  The community participated with the Community Band, various community organizations, and a bagpipe band echoing the city’s Scottish traditions. Many, many, many, many antique and classic cars participated in the parade.

Parade viewers were entertained by their elected officials, parading dogs, UC Aggies’ large alumnae marching band, the balloon platoon, local musical groups, a steam engine, AC Transit’s miniature bus, scouts, candy throwers, Uncle Sam, and  others.

The weather was pleasant – not too hot or cold – just right. The parade and park activities were another successful July 4th celebration for Piedmont and the community at large.

Jul 7 2019

City Commissions Will Not Meet in July

There will be a lull in City Commission meetings throughout the month of July with no meetings of the Park, Planning or Recreation Commissions.  In addition, the standard July 15, 2019, City Council meeting will not be held.

Scheduled July meetings of the Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee and the Police and Fire Pension Board have not been cancelled.

The City Charter revision (Charter Amendment Measure BB) approved by Piedmont voters at the November 2018 election eliminated the requirement that the City Council meet twice a month.

Jun 25 2019

Measure A = $2,763 Uniform per year tax for all parcels

Measure B = Adds an additional tax based on building Square Footage for up to $3,192 more per year. 

To view the actual proposed tax on your home or property go to the staff report and read the chart seen below.

The Piedmont School Board will act on June 26, 2019 to place on the November Ballot two new school parcel taxes. Measure A will be a uniform parcel cost of $2,763 per parcel.  Measure B is based on square footage of building space.  If both measures pass, the smallest square foot building homeowner would pay $2,763 per year, and the largest square foot of building would pay $6,675 per year.

The staff recommendation is for 2 Measures on the November 2019 Ballot.  Given the recent poll results and Piedmont’s current educational needs, District staff recommends that the Board of Education consider asking voters to support the renewal of its existing parcel tax to maintain current programs at the $2,763 flat rate (“Measure A”) and in a separate measure (“Measure B”) asking voters for an additional amount ($0.25 per building square foot) to ensure that Piedmont schools will be better able to attract and retain highly qualified teachers and educational support staff.

Renewing the existing parcel tax (“Measure A”) would secure $10.8 million in revenues. Measure A is a continuation, no tax increase measure. We [District Staff] would also recommend an 8-year “duration” of the tax to provide a stable ongoing source of revenue to the District and fulfill the description as a pure continuation of what is in place today.

To view what you would pay if Measure A and/or B pass, see below:

# of parcels

Square Feet of improved property

% of parcels

Measure A $2,763

Measure B @ 0.25 per sq/ft

A+B (total tax)

104

0/vacant

2.6%

$2,763

$0

$2,763

25

557-1,000

0.6%

$2,763

$139 – $250

$2,902 – $3,013

1098

1,001-2,000

27.9%

$2,763

$250 – $500

$3,013 – $3,263

1528

2,001-3,000

38.8%

$2,763

$500 – $750

$3,263 – $3,874

707

3,001-4,000

17.9%

$2,763

$750 – $1,000

$3,874 – $3,763

267

4,001-5,000

6.7%

$2,763

$1,000 – $1,250

$3,763 – $4,013

99

5,001-6,000

2.5%

$2,763

$1,250 – $1,500

$4,013 – $4,263

38

6,001-7,000

1.0%

$2,763

$1,500 – $1,750

$4,263 – $4,513

19

7,001-8,000

0.5%

$2,763

$1,750 – $2,000

$4,513 – $4,763

19

8,001-9,000

0.5%

$2,763

$2,000 – $2,250

$4,763 – $5,013

8

9,001-10,000

0.2%

$2,763

$2,250 – $2,500

$5,013 – $5,263

21

10,001-15,650

0.3%

$2,763

$2,500 – $3,912

$5,263 – $6,675

1

25,635 (apartment)

<0.1%

$2,763

$6,409

$9,172

VI_F_UpdatedBackgroundSchoolSupportTax_0 with chart

Additionally, we [District Staff] recommend that a second measure (“Measure B”) be placed on the ballot. [See above chart.] This second measure would be set at $0.25 per building square foot and would also have an 8-year duration. Passage of Measure B would result in an additional $2.6 million to the Piedmont schools. Importantly, the entire community would share the burden of an increased tax (although larger properties would pay more and smaller properties less – $139 per year for the smallest residential parcel). An added benefit is that if this tax were challenged from a legal standpoint, only the supplemental tax would be at legal risk.

If both measures pass, the smallest square foot homeowner would pay $2,763 per year, and the largest square foot building owner would pay $9,172 per year.

Together [Measure A and B], both measures would raise $13.4 million.

II. RECOMMENDATION: REVIEW AND ACTION After convening the second of two (2) public hearings—June 12, 2019 and June 26, 2019, District staff recommends that the Board adopt the two subsequent Board Resolutions (Measure A & B) that authorize both the renewal of a qualified special tax and a second qualified special tax for voter approval on November 5, 2019.

VI.F. Approve Resolution 19-2018-19 “Proposing a Qualified Special Tax and Establishing Specification of the Election Order Measure A”

At 8:40 p.m. the Board is requested to approve the attached Resolution 19-2018-19 “Proposing a Qualified Special Tax and Establishing Specifications of the Election Order Measure A”.

The Resolution calls for an election on November 5, 2019 to extend the authorization of the Board to levy the current School Support Tax as permitted in Measure A for eight years starting on July 1, 2020.  The new Measure “A” is a renewal of the current School Support Tax—a uniform flat tax on all parcels.  The new Measure “A” will continue to provide an exemption for churches, public utilities, and those eligible for Social Security Supplemental Income.  The new Measure “A” also continues to permit an inflation growth rate of up to two (2) percent per year.

Attachments:

VI_F_UpdatedBackgroundSchoolSupportTax_0

VI_F_UpdatedResolution19201819MeasureA_0

 At 9:00 p.m. ~

VI.G. Approve Resolution 20-2018-19 “Proposing a Qualified Special Tax and Establishing Specification of the Election Order Measure B” 

The Board is requested to approve the attached Resolution 20-2018-19 “Proposing a Qualified Special Tax and Establishing Specifications of the Election Order Measure B”.

The Resolution calls for an election on November 5, 2019 to authorize the Board to levy a new School Support Tax as permitted in Measure “B”  for eight years starting on July 1, 2020.  The new Measure “B” is a uniform tax applied at $0.25 per square foot of building improvements.  The new Measure “B” will continue to provide an exemption for churches, public utilities, and those eligible for Social Security Supplemental Income.  The new Measure “B” does not include an inflation growth rate.

VI_G_Resolution20201819MeasureBParcelTax_0

READ the above linked reports for further details.

The meeting will be held in Piedmont City Hall, broadcast on Cable Channel 27 and the Piedmont website under School Board. 

 

Jun 25 2019

WARNING ABOUT FIREWORKS!

As we approach the Fourth of July, it is tempting use fireworks. If you hadn’t heard, all forms of fireworks are prohibited in Piedmont. An average of seven people are killed in firework-related accidents every year in California– don’t let this terrible tragedy happen in your neighborhood.

The Piedmont Fire and Police Departments wish to reiterate that ALL fireworks are illegal in the City of Piedmont. “Safe and Sane” are also prohibited and pose a dangerous fire hazard.

Modifying or launching fireworks into the air can be enforced as misdemeanors or even felonies. Those caught with fireworks can be fined from $1,000 to $10,000 and in certain cases, face imprisonment.

You can help keep our community safe by:
• Not using any type of fireworks
• Calling the police to report use of fireworks by others
• Reducing fuel sources – keep grass and vegetation maintained at your home

Piedmont Police and Fire Departments will have officers working on the 4th of July, dedicated to enforcement. Please report illegal fireworks by calling (510)420-3000

All residents are encouraged to surrender fireworks. If you have fireworks, please come to the fire station and turn them in to the firefighters. You will be reprieved from citation for fireworks surrendered at the fire station.

There are free fireworks displays at both the Berkeley Marina and the San Francisco Wharf on July 4th at 9:00pm!

Jun 21 2019

June 22nd Dial  1 + 510 + phone number…

Beginning on June 22nd, Piedmonters will be required to change their dialing habits, both on landline and mobile phones, when making a phone call. This is the result of the new 341 area code being overlaid on to the 510 area code, which is running out of numbers for assignment.

  • Calls to 911 will not be affected in any way. Both landline and mobile phones will still be able to call 911 without having to dial any additional digits.
  • Landline users will have to dial eleven digits to make a local call. For example, to reach City Hall, a resident will need to dial – 1 (510) 420-3040. 
  • Mobile phone users will have to dial either eleven digits, similar to a landline, or ten digits, (510) 420-3040 to reach City Hall.

With the proliferation of mobile computing and telephony devices, each requiring its own telephone number, the 510 area code is projected to shortly run out of numbers. Rather than geographically separating area codes, the current practice is to overlay a new area code over an existing one. The overlay of one area code onto another allows existing numbers to remain the same, while providing additional numbers for future assignment.

Residents with devices that are preprogrammed to call a telephone number, such as medical and security monitoring systems, gates, call forwarding services, and or voicemail services should contact their provider to ensure that their systems have been updated before the mandatory ten or eleven digit dialing comes in to effect.

The introduction of the 341 area code will not change the cost of calls, or what is considered a local call.

Jun 21 2019

Fencing in Lower Dracena Park Quarry will be increased.

DRACENA PARK QUARRY FENCING PROJECT June 25th to June 28th

The grassy circle in Lower Dracena Park, site of the old Dracena rock quarry, has had an ongoing issue with rocks sliding off the walls of the former quarry onto the encircling walkway. Although potentially dangerous, children frequently find climbing on the unstable rock sides adventurous. 

The potential for rock slides has been known since Dracena Park was originally developed decades ago from a pond, old quarry, and City storage facility. 

Park goers have long noticed strong fencing intermittently  installed around the quarry sides placed to keep rocks from falling on those enjoying the park.  Existing fencing has proven to be insufficient, as rocks often cascade below onto the perimeter walkway.

The new fencing is being installed in rock slide areas to  further protect park visitors and prevent children from climbing on the dangerous rock sides.

The City of Piedmont will install safety fencing within certain areas of the Dracena Park quarry area between Tuesday, June 25th and Friday, June 28th. During this work, the quarry area will be closed for public use between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and barricades and signage will be in place during this time. The Tot Lot and all other areas of the park will remain open to all users while the quarry area is closed.

As with all construction projects, there may be periods of time when there will be noise and dust created. Best management practices will be in place to minimize impacts to nearby residents and park users. The City will be reserving the needed parking spaces for the contractor at the end of Artuna Ave.

If you have questions regarding this project or have special circumstances that the City should be aware of, please contact Director of Public Works Chester Nakahara at (510) 420-3061 or via email at cnakahara@piedmont.ca.gov. Thank you for your cooperation.

Chester G. Nakahara Director of Public Works

Posted: June 21, 2019

Jun 21 2019

The Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee will meet in the Emergency Operations Center, Police Department, 403 Highland Avenue at 7 pm on  Tuesday, June 25.  The meeting is open to the public. The meeting will not be broadcast or visually recorded. Minutes of the meetings are not kept.

Background, backup agenda information has not been made available to this media outlet or the public in general. Results of the Committee’s recommendations are transmitted to the City Council via a letter from the Committee Chair.  

No minutes have been on the Committee agendas verifying Committee approval. The City website states: “Meetings of the Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee are recorded for the purposes of creating minutes. Audio files for meetings are available from the City Clerk’s office at (510) 420-3040.”

Agenda June 25, 2019

  1. Update on the Committee’s Review of the Parcel Tax Pursuant to Resolution 120-14.
  2. Consideration of Scheduling Future Meetings

The Budget Advisory Committee reviews and provides comment and recommendations on Capital Projects over $250,000, annual budget, five year projections of the City’s annual budget proposal, parcel taxes, proposed funding and expenditures from several long term funds, and the proposed mid-year budget.

The committee members per Council policy are exempted from and thus not required to provide conflict of interest statements to the City, hence public review is not available.

Committee member names as listed on the City 6/21/19 website are provided below.  Contact numbers for the Committee members are not publicly listed.

Roster 

Council Liaison: Robert McBain – rmcbain@piedmont.ca.gov – (VM) 420-3048
Staff Liaison: Michael Szczech – mszczech@piedmont.ca.gov – (W) 420-3045

Cathie Geddeis

Bill Hosler

Deborah Leland

Christina Paul

Maya Rath

Michael Reese

Frank Ryan

Chris Kwei (Alternate)

For further information, contact Staff Liaison and Finance Director: Michael Szczech – mszczech@piedmont.ca.gov – (W) 420-3045

Jun 18 2019

Based on a plan developed by Piedmont residents William Blackwell and Chuck Oraftik in 2009-2010, the City has been pursuing enlargement of Coaches Field on Moraga Avenue across from Blair Park that will allow use by baseball, soccer, and other field sports. 

To enlarge the playing surface the new plan calls for cutting into the hillside located adjacent to the Corporation Yard at Red Rock Road and Moraga Avenue, adding night lighting, and increasing the number of available parking spaces.

To view the staff report and the concept plan for Coaches Field produced by Callander & Associates, click below:

06/17/19 – Receipt of a Report Regarding the Concept Plan for the Coaches Field Expansion by Callander & Associates

With the acceptance of the design concept by the City Council, environmental work is being sought.  Click below to read the Request for Proposals.

06/17/19 – Consideration of the Issuance of a Request for Proposals for CEQA Services for the Coaches Field Renovation Project

Jun 18 2019

The City of Piedmont will celebrate its 54th annual Independence Day Parade this year on Thursday, July 4, starting at 11 a.m. at the corner of Highland Avenue and Park Way ending at Piedmont Main Park.

Each year the community is invited to participate at no cost with neighborhood floats and entries from various community organizations. The Piedmont parade is unique for the appearance of several bagpipe bands in keeping with the city’s Scottish traditions, and with a rich array of dozens of antique and classic cars.

A Grand Marshal historically leads the parade, which is less than eight blocks, ending just past Piedmont Park. A festive community picnic is held in Piedmont Park following the parade, with music provided by Pride and Joy on the main stage.

________________________________________

Preceding the parade, a Piedmont tradition, the Pancake Breakfast will be held from 8:30 AM to 10:30 AM in the Veterans’ Hall. Join your friends and neighbors for a hearty breakfast before the parade begins! Tickets are available at the door or can be purchased in advance. 

________________________________________

If your neighborhood is planning on holding an Independence Day block party, click to download the 4th of July Street Closure Request Form, which is due to the City Clerk’s Office no later than 5:00PM on Friday, June 28th.

________________________________________

Please Be Considerate with Parade Chairs!

As the 4th of July Parade is nearing and residents are beginning to scout out the best viewing spots for the parade, residents are asked to be considerate of each other when placing chairs for parade viewing on Highland Avenue.

Specifically, be considerate when placing chairs in front of homes and businesses. Don’t block access from the street to the sidewalk, so people getting out of cars to visit their neighbors and local businesses can do so without fear of falling. Keep people in mind who have mobility issues when deciding where to place chairs.

Placing chairs on the sidewalk next to Bus Stops is not allowed. It will block people who are trying to use AC Transit to get around and could block the handicapped lift.

~~~~~~~

All are invited to the pancake breakfast, 54th Annual July 4th Parade, and the party in Piedmont Main Park!

Questions? Contact Piedmont Recreation Department at:

Cora Wood, Administrative Assistant

prd@piedmont.ca.gov

(510) 420-3070