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 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 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.

Jan 5 2019

The sole new item on the City Council agenda for Monday, January 7 is the possibility of a School Resource Police Officer (SRO).  (Read the agenda  here.)  A number of communities have considered the SRO program and some have implemented SROs. There is a national organization of School Resource Police Officers –read NASRO explanation of the program here.

The New York Times Sunday, January 6 Magazine cover article focuses on the reporting by SROs to various law enforcement entities, including reporting students to ICE.  ” Schools with large populations of black and Latino students are more likely to have a resource officer than schools that are majority white.  … President Trump called for police officers on every campus. …In January 2018 in Houston, ICE detained a high schooler with a 3.4 G.P.A. after a school resource officer wrote him up for fighting with another student.

Advocates suggest that School Resource Officers serve as counselors, role models, and advocates for students, families, faculty, and staff, while bringing security to school campuses. School Resource Officers are a recognized and approachable resource for students and faculty during and after school, at school events, and during investigations that have a tie to school campuses and activities.  In addition to being available on campus to quickly respond to emergency situations, SROs can be a valuable resource for students, parents, teachers and administration regarding law enforcement related issues. Enforcement is not the expectation of the School Resource Officers, in fact the main objective is to help the student avoid the criminal justice system by employing the principles of restorative justice. School Resource Officers heavily focus in the area of prevention. The officers give presentations in classrooms, talk with students in the hallways, building relationships and alert to problems.  These relationships establish important lines of communication that help to prevent crime and school violence.

PUSD Superintendent Randall Booker and Piedmont Police Chief Jeremy Bowers have been discussing a dedicated police position assigned to SRO duty as part of the implementation of the “Safe School Plan.”  On Wednesday, November 14, 2018 the Piedmont Unified School District Board of Education (PUSD) discussed the proposed Police SRO.  This specially trained police officer would combine a unique combination and unusual set of skills: counselor, teacher, social worker, and law enforcement professional. As a counselor, this police officer would support students and staff. As a teacher, the officer would give classroom presentations and educate students on the police. As a social worker, the officer would help resolve conflicts within the school community. Furthermore, the ultimate goal of this position would be to  improve the overall safety of our schools.  (Read the staff report complete with statement of duties and skills here.)

Council meeting Monday,  January 7, 2019, 7:30  p.m. City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.  The meeting will be broadcast live on Cable Channel 27 and on the City website under videos. 

Dec 13 2018

 Council meeting Monday, December 17, 2018, 7:30  p.m. City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.  The meeting will be broadcast live on Cable Channel 27 and on the City website under videos. 

Agenda 

READ the full staff report and recommendations for approval by clicking below.

http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/html/govern/staffreports/2018-12-17/crowncastlesettlement.pdf

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

Nov 28 2018

November 19, 2018 City Council Meeting

On November 19, 2018, I attended the Piedmont City Council meeting in the Piedmont City Council Chambers, which meet on the first and third Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. After the Public Forum, Mayor Mcbain led a moment of silence for the victims of the California fires, and was followed up with an update by Piedmont’s Fire Chief. At the time of the meeting, 75 were confirmed dead with over 1000 missing. Next came, the introduction of a new employee, and the council members’ donations for the Toys for Tots drive.

First on the regular agenda was the Approval of Council Special Meeting Minutes for 10/15/18, which was passed very quickly. This then led into the second item on the agenda, the Approval of Agreements Related to the Repair of Cavendish Lane.

Cavendish Lane is owned and maintained by the City of Oakland, but serves four homes located within Piedmont. Around February 2017, a road failure resulted in the loss of access to vehicles to the homes located in Piedmont, with none of the Oakland homes being negatively affected.

Piedmont, with the permission of Oakland, paid for a temporary fix of the road, which was finished in early April of 2017. Although this temporary repair made access to the Piedmont homes with personal vehicles possible, this section of the road is still weight sensitive, and does not make the entry of delivery trucks, or moving vans possible.

Oakland has expressed no interest in making permanent repairs, so together Piedmont and Oakland are working on an agreement that would allow Piedmont to take on the repairs of this road, and force Oakland to reimburse Piedmont for the cost of the project. Oakland would use the money gained from a lawsuit to reimburse Piedmont. The estimations for this repair are between $400,000 and $600,000.

As part of the Alameda Transportation Committee, Vice Mayor Teddy King expressed her positive feelings towards this issue, as both Piedmont and Oakland are working hard to reach a deal. A woman with both her senior parents then expressed gratitude towards the council for their efforts in helping her parents once again gain easy access to their vehicles.

Next on the agenda was the Consideration of the Rejection of All Proposals for the Corporation Yard Solar Photovoltaic System Project. The City of Piedmont received two proposals for the installation of a solar photovoltaic system on the roof of the rear storage building at the Corporation Yard. Albion Power Company’s offer was $118,631, while Sunlogic, Inc., dba Solar Technologies’ offer was $70,012. Vice Mayor Teddy Gray King spoke on this issue, as one of her areas of expertise is environmental sustainability. Solar Technologies later submitted an updated proposal with a 15% discount on the original.

The new proposal is for $59,510, and has a payback period of nearly 11 years. In the span of 25 years this would wind up saving Piedmont a total of around $169,000. However, roofing material was not stated in the quote, and could wind up costing another $60,000.

The next two items on the agenda were the Consideration of FY 2017-18 Year-End Appropriations and Carry forwards and the Consideration of FY 2017-18 Year End Fund Transfers. Both of these passed very quickly, and with little question.

Next was the Consideration of the Issuance of Bid Documents for the Recreation Center Tennis Court Resurfacing Project and Direction to Staff Regarding Fundraising. The tennis courts in Piedmont receive high use from kids, adults, and members of the Piedmont High School tennis teams. Not only were there to be renovations to the tennis courts, but also the renaming of the Recreation Department tennis courts to be named after Coach Corey Reich. PHS tennis coaches and PFRO members both gave their support to this idea.

I also stood up and spoke and gave my support to the idea of fixing the courts while also renaming them after Coach Corey Reich, as I know many people who use these courts, and the inspirational story of Corey Reich.

The Rec. Dept. courts are to receive new nets and posts, are to be resurfaced, new fencing will be installed, with also the installation of a new drainage system. PFRO and tennis community will need to raise money in order for this to happen though.

After the meeting was over, I interviewed Council Member Jen Cavanaugh. When asked what steps she would take to improve the community she said that “there are a lot of facilities that require maintenance, and a ton of investment that’s required, and the tennis courts are only a small piece of that.” She later went on to say “I was not lying when I said I would write a check, because we need everyone on board, including tennis players, private citizens, and people who love outdoor recreation alike to get behind these things. After the tennis courts, we have probably six other recreation and park facility projects that we are trying to bring to the community, and need to get funding for it.”

by Nick Parker, Piedmont High School Senior

Editors’ note:  Cavendish Lane is located immediately south of Trestle Glen Road. It and its right-of-way are located within, owned, and maintained by the City of Oakland. The cul-de-sac is located at the extreme west end of the street and serves four homes located within the city of Piedmont. The only access to these four Piedmont homes is via  Cavendish Lane.

Nov 27 2018

Public Safety Committee  Meeting – This meeting is not recorded or broadcast.  The public is welcome to attend. 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

5:30 p.m.

City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA

Agenda

Public Forum      This is an opportunity for members of the audience to speak on an item not on the agenda.  The 10 minute period will be divided evenly between those wishing to address the Committee.

Regular Agenda – 

  1. Introduction of New Committee Member
  2. Update on Get Ready, Piedmont Guides and Checklist
  3. Update on School Liaison Activities and Campus Safety Preparedness  – This may include discussion of hiring a Police Officer for the School District.
  4. Update on Crime Prevention/Community Outreach – This is likely a discussion of the expenditure of over $500,000 in COPS funding to be used by the City of Piedmont. 
  5. Update on Neighborhood Meetings
  6. Update on Public Safety Camera Subcommittee

Materials related to an item on this agenda submitted to the Public Safety Committee are available for public inspection in the Police Department during normal business hours.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, if you need special assistance to participate in this meeting, please contact the City Clerk at (510) 420-3040.  Notification at least two business days preceding the meeting will enable the City to make reasonable arrangements to ensure accessibility to this meeting. [28 CFR 35.102-35.104 ADA Title II].  In accordance with G.C. Sec. 54954.2(a) this notice and agenda were posted on the City Hall bulletin board and also in the Piedmont Police Department on November 26, 2018.