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.
May 19 2018

Higher Parcel Taxes for Piedmont Services and Sewers –

The Piedmont City Council will meet at City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue, on Monday, May 21, 2018, 7:30 p.m. to consider the items on their AGENDA. The meeting will be broadcast live on Channel 27 and from the City website under online videos. 

05/21/18 – 2nd Reading of Ord. 744 N.S. Amending Chapter 9 (Garbage) of the City Code to Conform to the New Collection Services Agreement

05/21/18 – Presentation from Boy Scouts of America, Piedmont Council

05/21/18 – PUBLIC HEARING Regarding the Proposed Budget and Fee Proposals for FY 18-19 and the Levy of the Municipal Services Tax and Sewer Tax

Parcel taxes for City services and the Sewer Fund Tax are proposed to be increased. 

a. Presentation of Report from the Budget Advisory & Financial Planning Committee

b. Report on the FY 18-19 Budget Proposal

Majority of Piedmont’s costs are for personnel. Excerpt below:

“While continuing the cost-sharing agreements and significantly reducing our future obligations for retiree medical, the new contracts approved by the City Council include adjustments to base pay designed to bring employee compensation to within -3% of the median for comparable cities in our region.

In addition, employees will receive compensation adjustments in each of the next three years designed to result in a 3% annual net pay increase. These compensation changes, after almost 7 years of declining net pay, bring our employees closer to median a result in an overall 9% increase in salaries as compared to the prior year budget, which conservatively assumed a 2% salary increase. In addition, as compared to the prior year projection (2017-18), the most significant changes in personnel costs are as follows:

 Health Insurance – Increasing $266,400 over last year primarily due to an estimated 10% increase in medical premiums and the conversion of two positions from non-benefited to benefit eligible. Premiums are adjusted by health care providers on January 1, 2019 and any increase above the established baseline will be shared equally between the City and employees.

 Retirement – Employee retirement costs are increasing $248,900 over last year. After a 4- year phased approach to benefit cost sharing, all City employees have assumed the full cost of their “Employee Contribution” in 2017-18. In addition, employees will continue to contribute a portion of the Employer’s Contribution. In 2018-19, CalPERS will begin phasing in the lowering of the discount rate from 7.5% to 7.0%. As a result, the City expects its contribution and unfunded liability payments to increase by 10%. In total, the City expects to pay approximately 18.3% of salaries in 2018-19 compared to 17.0% in the prior year.”

05/21/18 – Consideration of the Default Electrical Service Option for East Bay Community Energy Residential Customers

Piedmont’s proposed environmentally focused electrical energy program will impact all Piedmont PG&E ratepayers. The City Council action being considered is an effort  to lessen the use of energy sources determined to harm the environment, such as gas, oil, and coal.

 READ the report above for an explanation. 

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To send comments to the City Council as a whole, and/or regarding a City Council agenda item, please email citycouncil@ci.piedmont.ca.us. <CLICK

To send via U.S. Mail, please use the following address:

City Council
City of Piedmont
120 Vista Avenue
Piedmont, CA 94611

Apr 26 2018

By accelerating its sanitary sewer replacement program, as recommended by the Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee on which I served, and by prioritizing the repair of the leakiest reaches of pipe, Piedmont has avoided incurring any fines, unlike many of our neighboring jurisdictions. I’m proud of the efforts of our staff to expedite this largely invisible but very important work. Councilmember Tim Rood

Note that Piedmont is one of a few Cities affected by the EPA Consent Decree to have no fines assessed. That is a direct credit to Public Works Director Chester Nakahara and our City Engineer’s diligence in making steady progress with our system upgrades and keeping us well ahead of schedule. City Administrator Paul Benoit

See below the press release regarding violations and fines assessed by the US EPA for sewage discharge violations by other cities.

Press Release USEPA fines

Mar 18 2018

City Council Agenda Monday, March 19, 2018 –  7:30 p.m. City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA

Cell Towers City Price & Terms of Payment

Closed Session:  The City Council will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall Conference Room a. CONFERENCE WITH REAL PROPERTY NEGOTIATORS (Govt. Code §54956.8) City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue; Negotiating Parties: City and Gulf South Towers Negotiators: City Admin. & Atty; Under Negotiation: Price & Terms of Payment

(Gulf South Towers is noted as in the business of cell towers.  Click links below for more information.)

http://gulfsouthtowers.com/about-us/

http://www.buzzfile.com/business/Gulf-South-Towers-318-302-4830

b. CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATORS (Govt. Code §54957.6)

Regular agenda:

03/19/18 – Receipt of the Annual Progress Report on the Implementation of the City’s Housing Element

03/19/18 – Consideration of the Climate Action Plan 2.0 as Recommended by the Climate Action Plan Task Force

03/19/18 – Approval of a Resolution Adopting East Bay Clean Energy’s Brilliant 100 Plan for City of Piedmont Municipal Electrical Accounts

03/19/18 – Receipt of a Report on Updates to the City’s Facilities Maintenance Program

03/19/18 – Consideration of Fixing the Employer Contribution at an Equal Amount for Employees and Annuitants Under the Public Employees’ Medical and Hospital Care Act; AND Electing to Rescind Health Benefit Vesting Under Section 22893 of the Public Employees’ Medical and Hospital Care Act

03/19/18 – Consideration of FY 16-17 Year-End Appropriations and Carryforwards

03/19/18 – Consideration of FY 16-17 Year End Fund Transfers

03/19/18 – Consideration of the FY 17-18 Mid-Year Financial Report

03/19/18 – Consideration of a Date for a Council Work Session to Discuss Possible Amendments to the City Charter

For copies of attachments, older reports or if you have questions about this material, call the City Clerk’s office at (510) 420-3040.

Mar 15 2018

Trees, Recreation Facilities, Water Fountain for Dogs in Dracena Park, Lights and Plantings at the Community Center, Art Center Landscaping, Street Sweeping, Arbor Day –

The Park Commission Meeting of March 7, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. was held in the Piedmont City Council Chambers, and covered several issues and updates with regards to the state of Piedmont’s community spaces, upcoming Arbor Day, monthly maintenance and park safety updates, and more.

The March meeting began with the regularly-scheduled 10-minute public forum. There was one speaker. Piedmont High School Senior Yasi Parsa thanked the hard work of the Park Commission and strongly encouraged a continuous implementation of drought-resistant plants in Piedmont, whenever possible, due to its resulting conservation of water and environmental benefits.

The first item on the regular meeting agenda was the Approval of Park Commission Minutes for February 7, 2018, and Park Commission Chairperson Jamie Totsubo confirmed that there were no corrections by the Park Commission members; all members accepted the minutes as presented.

The second item on the agenda was an update on Community Hall Lighting and Planting and Civic Projects Donation from the Piedmont Garden Club.  Nancy Kent, Parks and Facilities Manager, said that the existing light poles at Piedmont Community Hall were replaced by four Spring City Light poles with new LED fixtures. Kent said the lights are dimmable and that she is happy about their implementation.

In my opinion, the lights are important to improve because good lighting is so necessary in a communal and ceremonial space.

Kent also said that the Evergreen Hedge and declining cherry trees in the courtyard will be replaced by a new Laurel Hedge and White Flowering Dogwoods, in the week of March 19th. She said baskets will be hung at the community hall lights, and that the Piedmont Garden club will donate to the City to have the plants selected and the baskets hung.

Former Park Commission Chair and Park Commissioner and future Piedmont Beautification Foundation (PBF) president Patty Siskind donated money to the Park Commission for the Dracena Dog Park, in order to install what she said is a much-needed water fountain for dog owners and patrons. She also introduced a diagram with succulent plants that are drought-tolerant, and said the design of the baskets at the Community Center can embody “thrill, fill, and spill,” which, as Kent went on to clarify, means a possibility of minimal irrigation for the succulents.

Following this, an update was given by Kent on the city’s playgrounds. According to this report, the safety of the playgrounds at the Piedmont Park, Recreation Department, Hampton Field, Lower Dracena Park, and the climbing and swings at Beach Elementary school, were reviewed this year as part of the facilities maintenance program requirements. As a result, the Recreation Department’s equipment has been replaced, and four of the five play structures received the Gold-Edge Certificate of Compliance. There was also an adjustment that was carried out on the playground equipment at Hampton. Oak tree branches were pruned away from the Recreation Department and the Piedmont park climbing structure, and the gap between a slide structure was fixed as well. According to Kent, this year’s report was a good.

Subsequently, there was an update on the Linda Beach Master plan during the meeting. Kent said that currently, the Plan is in an interim stage, and an online survey of more than 240 responses was taken on the Park’s preliminary design options. Kent reported that there were a lot of different ideas, and no main consensus. She also said that there are three very similar design presentation meetings on the Park Masterplan; the first will be presented March 21st at the Recreation Commission, the second at the Park Commission on April 4th, and the third one at the City Council Meeting of May 7th. The staff will review the public input taken from the three meetings and make another presentation, Kent said.

Following this topic was an update on the Heritage Tree Policy. Totsubo said that at the last Park Commission meeting, a Heritage Tree Selection Sub-committee was chosen, which is permanent for as long as the Heritage Tree Policy exists. A motion was made during the March 7th meeting to approve this appointment of Commission volunteers Jim Horner, Patty Dunlap, and Robin Wu.

Park Commission member Jim Horner said that he encourages people to send in applications for the trees, and that the deadline is Friday, March 16. Kent confirmed that it was a fillable PDF available on the City website.

An update was also given on Arbor Day by Commissioner Brian Mahany, who discussed the Arbor Day poster. Arbor Day, he said, will be on April 19th at 5 p.m., inside the Piedmont Park Community Center, lasting most likely under an hour. The Piedmont Jazz Lab band and PHS jazz band combo will perform at the event. Keynote speakers will be Commissioner Jim Horner and Mayor Bob McBain. Mahany said that while a two-sided banner could cost more, some of the benefits include a relatively nicer view of the images on both sides, and an alleviation of the sun shining through. He said there are two bids of $950 dollars for the most likely one sided banner.

Lastly, a monthly maintenance report was given by Public Works Department Supervisor of Maintenance Dave Frankel. First, he said that weeding in Piedmont parks has been a focus in the past month, due to rainy weather. He said there was planting done at the Community Hall Circle, at the Bonita Avenue corner of 801 Magnolia Avenue, and at the Piedmont Center for the Arts, by Public Works Department staff.

Trees were removed from the Wildwood Avenue entry to Piedmont Main Park, and the staff has also cleared creeks, trash racks, and catch-basins, during rainstorms.

Frankel also said that California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) is back in town, and that they are working on the removal of Acacia trees and weeds in the Park courtyard and at Blair Park.

Frankel reported that Davey Tree Company is in town, working on PG&E line clearing work, and that the Public Works Department staff has been planting street trees such as some Southern Magnolias on the corner of Monticello Avenue. They also removed a Magnolia tree on Moraga Avenue, which was hit by a car, as well as some decaying American Elm trees on Highland Avenue.

Frankel noted that if anyone wants to have their street swept, they can currently contact the Public Works Department, as they are not servicing sewer lines.

Commissioner Horner said that he thinks that having succulents at the Piedmont Community Hall is a good move, because they are durable, long-lasting, freeze-resistant, and look good.

I agree that they have aesthetic value and can last, and I think that since these plants will also conserve water, it is a really good idea.

Nearing the end of the meeting, Mayor McBain thanked Chairperson Totsubo for her fine work on the Commission as both a member and chairperson, and said that it was a pleasure to work with her for many years. He said that there will be a ceremony in May for honoring Totsubo and other civic volunteers.

“Having been here so many nights and evenings, what a great job you’ve done,” McBain said. “I want to say thank you for all your work and help, and you have made things better, so thank you.”

Totsubo thanked McBain and reminded those interested to send in applications for a vacant spot on the Park Commission, saying they are due Friday, March 9, at 5 p.m.. She also thanked all of the staff, expressed her confidence in their work, and said it was a fun, seven-year learning experience.

“I know I’m leaving an amazing group of smart and talented commissioners, who can navigate complex issues,” Totsubo said. “And I’m confident and happy that Arbor Day will be in good hands for many, many years to come, so good luck, Robin and Jim, Patty, Betsy, Eileen, and Brian. Good luck, and have fun with your time.”

The meeting ended with Commissioner Betsy Goodman handing an orchid to Totsubo on her retirement, thanking her generosity towards serving as the Chair during a time when the Commission was young.

After the meeting, I interviewed Dave Frankel, and asked him why he attended the meeting, including any difficulties and problems that may have caused him to attend. He said that he gives monthly maintenance reports on the park staff’s activities to the Park Commission at their meetings, and that regarding his takeaway from the meeting, he was disappointed that Jamie Totsubo was leaving. He said she is a wonderful and outstanding Park Commission chairperson.

According to the Piedmont City website, the Commission meets on the first Wednesday of each month, making recommendations to the City Council about improvements to the public parks, and managing the street tree improvement program of the city.

by Yasi Parsa, Piedmont High School Senior

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.