Sep 17 2019

Click below to read the full Street Sweeping schedule.

>2019_2020 Street Sweeping

Jun 1 2019

The Piedmont Budget Hearings usually produce few comments on the tax levies or allocation of funds.

On Monday, June 3, at the  7:30 p.m. City Council meeting in City Hall, a Public Hearing will be held on the FY 2019-20 Budget.  The meeting will be broadcast live on Cable Channel 27 and from the City website under videos. 

Below are the staff reports, recommended tax levies, and report from the Piedmont Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee.

06/03/19 – PUBLIC HEARING Regarding the Proposed Budget and Fee Schedule for FY 19-20 and the Levy of the Municipal Services Special Tax and the Special Municipal Sewer Tax, Receipt of a Report from the Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee, and Consideration of the Following:

Report from the Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee

a. Adoption of the FY 19-20 Operating Budget

b. Adoption of the FY 19-20 Other Funds Budget

c. Approval of the FY 19-20 Schedule of Fees and Charges

d. Confirmation of the City’s Annual Appropriation (Gann) Limit

e. Approval of the Levy of the FY 19-20 Municipal Services Special Tax

f. Approval of the Levy of the FY 19-20 Special Municipal Sewer Tax

Comments to the City Council >

citycouncil@ci.piedmont.ca.us.

 

 

May 18 2019

ECONOMIC FACTORS AND NEXT BUDGET 

General Fund

Over 60 percent of the City’s general revenue sources are property related. One of the critical sources of General Fund revenue is the voter approved parcel tax which represents approximately 7% of the General Fund revenues and provides discretionary funding to maintain essential services.

In November 2016, Piedmont voters approved a four year extension and increase of the parcel tax, which will run from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2021. The additional funds will assist with facilities maintenance and the modernization of information technology systems.

Another critical source of General Fund revenue is the real property transfer tax, which is realized when homes are sold. During this fiscal year, real property transfer tax represents approximately 12% of General Fund revenues, the same as compared to last fiscal year. Real property transfer tax is an area to be monitored as tax receipts will fluctuate as they are dependent on the strength of the real estate market in Piedmont.

In FY 2017-18, revenues in excess of the budgeted amount was transferred to the Facilities Maintenance and the Pension Rate Stabilization Funds.

The City’s salary and benefit costs represent approximately 69% of the General Fund and the employee agreements from 2017 provided for salary increases, but required employees to continue contribution to pension and medical costs.

Sewer Fund

On August 4, 2014, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issuing a negotiated Consent Decree (CD). The CD is intended to provide an expanded period of time (21 years) to allow the City to rehabilitate the sewer systems in order to substantially reduce the amount of infiltration and inflow (I&I) in the EBMUD system.

The City restarted Phase V preliminary work and has completed the 100% design documents and has submitted State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) loan documents since the State provides funding with low interest rates. The SWRCB granted the loan and construction began in the summer of 2017 and was completed in the fall of 2018.

READ the entire Audit by clicking below:

05/20/19 – Receipt of the FY 2017-2018 Audited Financial Statements

READ the May 20, 2019 agenda by clicking below:

http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/html/govern/agendas/2019-05-20.pdf

May 18 2019

General Fund and Sewer Taxes along with fees proposed to move upward.

The City Charter requires that a public hearing be held prior to adoption of the budget, the levy of the Municipal Services Special Tax, and the proposed levy for the Special Municipal Sewer Tax. This is the first of two scheduled public hearings, with the second hearing to be held on June 3, 2019. Following the June 3, 2019 public hearing, staff is recommending that the City Council consider adoption of the budget and levying the taxes.

READ the entire budget proposal for the May 20, 2019 FY 2019-20 and view proposed taxes and fees by clicking below:

05/20/19 – PUBLIC HEARING Regarding the Proposed Budget and Fee Proposals for FY 19-20 and the Levy of the Municipal Services Tax and Sewer Tax

READ the agenda for the May 20, 2019 Council meeting by clicking below:

http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/html/govern/agendas/2019-05-20.pdf

May 10 2019

CIP Recommendations: Yes to improvements for Piedmont Middle School courts for pickleball usage, license plate readers at all Piedmont entrances, drinking fountain in Piedmont Main Park for dogs and people – No to Blair Park and Witter Field improvements. 

The CIP Review Committee recommendations will be discussed as part of the Piedmont Proposed FY 19-20 Budget Presentation and Workshop Saturday, May 11,  9 am Piedmont Police Department Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

CIP Review Committee recommendations with respect to the 9 new 2019-20 resident proposals can be summarized as follows:

The following 3 proposals can move forward with City Council support:

-Renovation of PMS Hard-courts
-Installation of ALPRs at Piedmont Entrances
-Installation of a drinking fountain (for humans and dogs) in Piedmont Park

The following 3 proposals are recommended as meritorious but requiring additional study from public safety and/or public works:

-Two related Wildwood Gardens proposals
-Development of a landscape triangle at Blair and Calvert Court

The following 3 proposals are determined to need direction from City Council:

 – Blair Park proposals for donated fencing and parking improvements

 – Two related Witter Field proposals

READ the agenda below for the Council Budget Work Session when the Council will consider all CIP proposals and department budgets:

http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/html/govern/agendas/2019-05-11_special.pdf

READ the full CIP Review Report for 2019 below:

CIPreviewreport 2019

Minutes, broadcasts, and recordings were not made of any of the CIP Review meetings.  Staff reports were not publicized. 

Recordings and broadcast will not be made of the Saturday, May 11, 2019 Council Budget Workshop held at 403 Highland Avenue in the Emergency Operations Center of the Piedmont Police Department.  The public is welcome to attend and participate.

 

READ the full staff 2019-20 Budget recommendations including fees, permits, salaries, benefits, use of City property, tax rates, personnel, etc. – http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/finance/budget/19-20/19-20_budget.shtml

Apr 19 2019

On the Morning of Thursday, April 18th, a small sinkhole was reported at the intersection of Hampton Road and LaSalle Avenue. The City barricaded the area and started investigating the cause of the sinkhole.

Crews determined that a twelve inch storm sewer pipe, running from a catch basin to the storm drain main in the middle of the street, made of corrugated metal, had rusted out. The deterioration of this pipe allowed water to flow beneath the pavement and undermine the roadway.

The intersection of Hampton Rd. and La Salle Ave. has many underground utilities, including electric, gas, water, telephone, cable, storm sewer, and sanitary sewer. We worked with our utility partners to locate and mark the location of their underground facilities.

Beginning Friday morning, City contracted crews began excavating the site. Due to the number of utilities in the area, a great deal of hand excavation was required. The deteriorated pipe, which is approximately fifty years old, was fully excavated and replaced with plastic pipe, which is the standard today.

Though the City is 80% complete in modernizing its sanitary sewer system, this incident shows the next underground challenge which will be faced upon completion of that project. The condition of this pipe is indicative of the work the City will need to undertake with its storm sewer system.

Steel plates will be placed over the section to accommodate weekend traffic. Work will continue into the week of April 22nd. Traffic should be able to flow through the intersection around the work, but residents traveling through the area are asked to proceed with caution and exercise care.

Residents with questions can call the Public Works Department at (510) 420-3050 during normal business hours.

 

Mar 15 2019

 – Consideration of Temporary Designation of Parking Spaces on Bonita and Highland Avenues as Permit A (School District Employee) Parking Spaces

Approval of the temporary use of designated public parking spaces by PUSD staff holding valid Permit A parking permits during the H-1 Bond related high school construction at one or more of the following locations:

  1. 9 new parallel parking spaces along the Highland Avenue curve at the intersection of Highland and Sheridan Avenues.
  2.  A new designation of the 11 existing unregulated diagonal parking spaces (and one (1) new diagonal parking space) on the west side of Bonita Avenue between Magnolia Avenue and Vista Avenue to include the following:

a)  Five (5) Permit A parking spaces for temporary use by PUSD staff.      b)  Three (3) City of Piedmont Employee parking spaces.  c)  Four (4) 2-hour parking spaces for general use by the public.

(Read the report > here.)

– Receipt of a Report on the 2017 Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and Implementation Status of the Climate Action Plan

This report provides information on the 2017 Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions inventory, including estimates for both community and municipal emissions. Piedmont staff completed the 2017 Municipal GHG Emissions Inventory in January of 2019.

(Read the 26-page report > here.)

The biggest sectors contributing to total municipal emissions (as opposed to private residential emissions) were transportation (48% of the total) and buildings and facilities (33% of the total).

The 2017 GHG emissions inventory reveals that Piedmont, in total, experienced a 2.9% increase in emissions from 2016. This increase applies to all sectors within the community and municipal functions, except for the community transportation sector, municipal vehicle fleet, City employee commute, and municipal street lights and traffic signals. The community decrease in transportation generated emissions may be a result of people consciously using alternative fuel vehicles, using more public transportation, and/or walking or biking more often.

– Consideration of a Project Specific Supplemental Agreement with Coastland Civil Engineers for Mapping of the City’s Storm Sewer System

Approval of the Project Supplemental Agreement with Coastland Engineers to provide professional engineering services for Phase One of the City-Wide Storm Sewer Mapping Project in an amount not- to-exceed $85,920.

(Read the staff report here.)

The Council meeting will be in City Hall starting at 7:30 p.m., open to the public, and viewable live on Cable Channel 27 and on the City website under City Council videos.

(Read the full agenda here.)

Dec 12 2018

Chester Nakahara, Director of Piedmont Public Works wrote to:

Bruce [Joffe],

On September 6, 2016, the City Council approved a new street sweeping schedule after operating for years under the former schedule. The former schedule was complicated and was loosely based on specific tree leaf drop cycles, impacted streets, and driver efficiency. It was Council’s goal to make the schedule easier to remember and therefore promote more cooperation.

Moving of the cars was still voluntary, but it was our hope that the online neighborhood groups would establish their own regular notifications for each sweeping day in each neighborhood.  I know this voluntary cooperation can be frustrating, but on the whole, it works well for Piedmont as our streets are clean for an urban setting. We know this through our annual reports for the Alameda County Clean Water Program. In addition, this new schedule helps the City achieve approximately 20 – 25% more scheduled sweeping compared to the old schedule. This does not include any “supplemental or emergency sweeping” that usually occurs on the off-weeks and during storms. I’m not sure the system you suggest would significantly impact what our peers already consider a pretty clean city. I agree that it might affect how it looks in front of your house, but we have to look at street sweeping with a bigger lens over the whole city.  Also, remember that you can call Public Works for supplemental sweeping

Creating a system as you suggest would have significant impacts. These include:

  • Increase Police personnel and costs for daily enforcement of parking restrictions, towing, impounding vehicles, and administering enforcement.
  • Increased costs and aesthetic impacts for a massive signage program throughout the City, which is largely residential in character.

Chester Nakahara, Director of Public Works
City of Piedmont
(510) 420-3061

~~~~~~~~

Hi Chester [Nakahara],

     Thanks for your responsive reply.

     I am glad to know that Piedmont now has a standard, regular street sweeping schedule.  I didn’t know what the schedule was for Rose Avenue this year.  How will the City notify us about the schedule when next year’s sweeping season starts?

     I am also glad to know that the volunteer notification process – neighbors posting signs four days in advance, calling the Public Works office, and calling the Police Dept when cars have parked in violation – works in some neighborhoods.  It does not work in the Lower Piedmont neighborhoods.

     You sited increased cost for not having a professional procedure of permanently posted signs (“no parking during these street sweeping days”), but what about the cost of the expensive machine NOT sweeping curbs because cars are parked on sweeping days?  As I said in my previous letter, taxpayers paid a lot of money for the street sweeping machine, and that money is wasted if the machine can’t clean the gutters because cars are parked on sweeping days.  And what about the cost of having to clean out storm drains because they are filled with unswept leaves?

     I suspect those costs would be reduced if the City conducted street sweeping more professionally, without depending on volunteers to keep cars off the street on sweeping days.  The benefits of cleaner leaf removal could be greater than the cost of posting signs (a on-time expense) and the cost of increased enforcement (paid for substantially by the fines imposed on violators).

Please reconsider your response of continuing to conduct street sweeping as a volunteer-assisted operation.

Sincerely,

Bruce Joffe, Piedmont Resident

Dec 4 2018

12-4-18

Dear City Administrator, City Council, and Public Works Director,

While street sweeping is conducted by a Public Works Department professional driving a very expensive street sweeping machine, our city’s street sweeping program is run like an amateur volunteer activity.  Effective street sweeping requires that the machine sweeps up fallen leaves in the gutters, otherwise those leaves wash down into our storm drains and clog them.  Yet, cars routinely park on streets scheduled for sweeping, so the machine just sweeps around them, missing most of the gutter leaves.  Why do cars remain on streets during sweeping days?

The answer is because clearing the streets depends upon an intensive and frustrating volunteer effort.  Local residents have to find out and remember when their street is scheduled for sweeping (there is no fixed day or time).  Then, volunteer residents have to tie or tape floppy cardboard “no parking” signs to trees or poles in front of their houses.  Then, they have to call the Public Works Department to report and register that they have mounted the temporary signs.  Oh, and the report must be made four days before the scheduled street sweeping day.  Then, on street sweeping day, the volunteer has to check to see if any cars are parked where the signs were posted, and if so, call the Piedmont Police to report a violation.  Then, this is the frustrating part, they have to wait to see if a cop will come out to ticket the violating parker.  Sometimes a parker has moved his car before a cop comes out.  Often, someone will park in the empty space after the cop has left, causing the volunteer to call the Police Department again to request street sweeping enforcement.

Whew!  It has taken a lot of time just to describe the process.  Most of our neighbors don’t have time to actually go through this process.  My wife, Karen, followed the city protocol – to the letter – because a lot of leaves have been accumulating.  She even raked the leaves away from the gutter into the street to help the machine collect them.  In spite of her efforts, four cars parked on the street, ignoring the signs she posted.  This is not the way to run a professional city service, and, the lack of adequate sweeping costs our city extra expense to clean out clogged storm drains.

The solution is not rocket science; it just requires looking at what most other cities do.

(1)    Establish a regular schedule for sweeping each street.

(2)   Post permanent signs saying “No Parking” on those specific dates and times.

(3)   Deploy police to enforce the regularly scheduled “no parking” rules.

This is how Oakland conducts its street sweeping parking restrictions on Linda, Kingston, and other nearby streets in that city.

My wife and I are not going to continue performing this tedious volunteer work to aid the city’s street sweeping.  Many of our neighbors don’t do so either, because they are not home during sweeping times or because it is too much of a burden.  It is long past time for Piedmont to run its street sweeping operation professionally.

Taxpayers paid a lot of money for the street sweeping machine, and that money is wasted if the machine can’t clean the gutters because cars are parked on sweeping days.

Sincerely,

Bruce Joffe, Piedmont Resident

Sep 29 2018

Monday, October 1 Council meeting will begin with a Closed Session for conferences with Legal Counsel regarding litigation.  The existing litigation is Jordan Thobe vs City of Piedmont et al.  In addition, there are two anticipated litigation cases – Initiation of litigation pursuant to Government Code §54956.9(d)(4): (Two Cases)

The regular agenda includes the Consent Calendar starting at 7:30 p.m :

10/01/18 – Approval of the Biennial Update of the City’s Conflict of Interest Code (City Council Policy #24)  

This item includes statements required by the Piedmont Planning Commissioners, Police and Fire Pension Board members , but without explanation does not include the Piedmont Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee members.

10/01/18 -Authorization for the City Administrator to Sign Three Documents Related to the East Bay Sewer Collection Systems Agencies 

Regular Agenda:

10/01/18 – Consideration of a Resolution in Support of East Bay Regional Parks District Measure FF 

10/01/18 -Consideration of a Report on Traffic and Safety Conditions on Oakland Avenue 

Consideration of directing Staff and Coastland Engineers to prepare a proposal for professional engineering services to develop the required designs and construction documents for the crosswalk enhancements at Oakland Ave. & El Cerrito Ave, and Oakland Ave & Jerome Ave.

10/01/18 – Consideration of the Award of the 2018 Street Traffic Striping Project to Chrisp & Company in the Amount of $276,414.95, Determining the Project to be Exempt from CEQA, and Setting an Overall Project Budget of $336,386.40

READ FULL AGENDA  here
The Council meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, City Hall. The meeting will be broadcast live on Cable Channel 27, and from the City website under videos.  For additional information contact the City at 510/420-3040.