Feb 21 2018

Piedmont League of Women Voters Joins Individual Citizens Expressing Great Concern About the Lack of Citizen Participation and Quick Timing of Proposed Revisions to the City Charter – 

Councilmember Jen Cavenaugh suggested the newly proposed office holder limits appeared to be a solution looking for a problem.

As Piedmonters find out about proposed Piedmont City Charter changes, concern has grown.  In years past when important City Charter changes were proposed, community involvement was primary.  The majority of the City Council at their February 5, 2018 meeting made no attempt to require outreach to Piedmonters.  Only Councilmember Jen Cavenaugh desired more civic engagement prior to placement on the June ballot, which would postpone the Charter ballot to November, 2018.

The City Charter requires all proposed Charter changes be placed on a Piedmont ballot and approved by Piedmont voters prior to becoming law.

The Charter changes were agendized by Mayor Bob McBain and the City Administrator with little time for general public input.  After the February 5 introduction of Charter changes, the next Council meeting for consideration has been scheduled for March 5, 2018.  A Council meeting typically would have been held on February 20, following President’s Day of February 19, however that meeting was cancelled making the Monday, March 5, 2018 the next and last regularly scheduled Council meeting to take action on the ballot measure for it to qualify for the special election in June.

City Attorney Michelle Kenyon told the City Council the numerous changes to the Charter came from the City Administrator, the City Clerk and the Council members. The public was not involved or informed of Charter changes until release of the staff report for the February 5 Council meeting.

Mayor Bob McBain immediately suggested that the June 2018 ballot measure only offer two proposed Charter changes, which evolved to: 1. Exclude former two term officials from seeking public office until an eight-year waiting period has elapsed.  2. Remove from the Charter the budget limitation of 25% in Piedmont General Fund reserves. 

 The Council has shown interest in changing the limit on General Fund reserves from the current 25% limit. To avoid the accumulation of reserves in the General Fund, the Council has recently established various reserve funds where excess money has been placed in an effort to avoid exceeding the 25% limit. 

Cost to the City of up to $55,000 to vote on the Charter changes in June instead of November 2018.

The unexpected urgent placement of the ballot measure requires Council action within weeks of their first public introduction.  The incomplete and unavailable form of the possible ballot language must receive Council action by March 8 if it is to be on the June 2018 ballot.  (See Alameda County election deadlines below).  The expedited timing eliminates the opportunity for broad citizen participation prior to a ballot measure and would cost Piedmonters up to $55,000 than  waiting for the November election when there would be one ballot measure at a reduced cost. 

Some Council members suddenly want Charter changes for Special June Ballot, rather than waiting for November Election.

City Clerk John Tulloch told the Council that City Administrator Paul Benoit had informed the Superintendent of Education Randall Booker the Council wanted to place further limitations on out-of-office former officials seeking election to the Board of Education.   Benoit’s conversation took place prior to public information or Council consideration.

City Attorney Michelle Kenyon explained that the City Council and ultimately the voters rather than the School Board would make the decision on term limit requirements.  Kenyon acknowledged that this was an “important change” to the Charter.  

Importance of the Piedmont City Charter 

The Piedmont City Charter is the underlying legal basis of Piedmont governance.  Previously when significant changes to the City Charter were considered, a Charter Review Committee was appointed by the Council to review, carefully consider issues in open meetings, and then make recommendations to the Council.

The proposed Charter change limiting former office holders’ return to the City Council or School Board originated with Mayor Bob McBain.  McBain explained to the Council he had been approached about office holder term restrictions and had decided it would be beneficial to end prior officer holders ability to ever serve again.

McBain stated he felt it was unfair, and created an uneven election if past officeholders, who he referred to as “incumbents,” sought election after an absence of only 4 years.  He noted that many people want to serve and there are many volunteers.  This City Council has had the practice of recycling prior commissioners and committee members between the various boards, raising a question of the appointments excluding new willing volunteers. Though he had suggested a permanent exclusion, McBain was later convinced during the meeting that an eight year absence from  service was an acceptable time limit for an individual to once more seek election.

Council member Jen Cavenaugh stated that only one person in recent years had wanted to come back and returning past office holders were able to hit the ground running.  She was repeatedly interrupted by other Council members during the meeting when she attempted to speak. 

City Clerk John Tulloch had initiated outreach to other cities to see what exclusions on past officials they included  in their Charters.  He spoke of no outreach within Piedmont. 

On February 13, Mayor McBain and City Clerk Tulloch made a presentation to the School Board.   Following McBain and Tulloch’s presentation, the School Board was not prepared to take a position on the Charter changes.  See Superintendent’s report below.

The City Council has not taken final action to place the term limit issue on the June 2018 ballot and despite the School Board’s inaction, Mayor McBain preemptively proclaimed to the School Board that the service limits impacting the Board members would be on the June 2018 ballot and he hoped that the School Board would vote for the new limits on public service. 

McBain’s proclamation was on a split Council vote with Council member Cavenaugh seeking further information and citizen involvement prior to expending money for the ballot measure in June. 

Given the few past office holders out of office for only four years, the limitation and barring of candidates appeared to be targeting specific individuals.

Deadlines for June 2018 Election Ballot:

Close of Nomination Period for the June 5, 2018 Direct Primary Election –  March 09, 2018

Deadline to file Arguments In Favor/Against a Measure on the June 5, 2018 Direct Primary Election – March 14, 2018

Deadline to file Rebuttals to Arguments In Favor/Against a Measure on the June 5, 2018 Direct Primary Election – March 19, 2018

Ballot arguments are filed with the Alameda County Registrar of Voters.

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The Board of Education current Policy 9110 states in regard to terms of office:

“BB 9110 Board Bylaws Terms Of Office:  The Piedmont City Charter contains the following provisions relative to the Board of Education: 1. The Board shall consist of five members elected from the city at large for a term of four years. Board members shall be elected at the times and in the same manner provided for members of the city council. Only qualified voters of the city shall be eligible to hold the office of Board member. No person who has served two full consecutive terms as a members of the Board shall be eligible to hold office until one full intervening term of four years has elapsed. Any person who serves as a member of the Board for more than eighteen months of an unexpired term shall be considered to have served a full term.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

TO: Board of Education   FROM: Randall Booker, Superintendent  DATE: February 13, 2018   RE: POSSIBLE AMENDMENTS TO THE PIEDMONT CITY CHARTER

___________________________________________

I. SUPPORT INFORMATION

At its June 19. 2017 meeting, the Piedmont City Council directed staff to review the city charter and point out provisions that may be outdated. Subsequent to that meeting, Councilmembers also reviewed the charter and made suggestions regarding provisions they thought might need amendment.

At the February 5, 2018 City Council Meeting, City staff presented on the culmination of this review. As part of the discussion, a Councilmember suggested a possible revision of term limits (which in turn, could affect the [Piedmont Unified School District] PUSD School Board). City staff then requested direction from the City Council on further proposed Charter amendments and the possible placement on a ballot for consideration by Piedmont voters.

The following are the proposed changes that could specifically affect PUSD:

Article II – City Council
Section 2.03 Term of Office

Article VII – Public Schools
Section 7.02 Membership, Term of Office

Board Bylaw 9110

A question was raised as to whether Piedmont should amend the existing term limits provided for in the Charter. Currently, the Charter (and Board Bylaws) limits Councilmembers (and by extension Board of Education Members) to serving two consecutive terms. The current provision, however, does not prohibit a Councilmember (or Board Member) who has served two consecutive terms from running again after a full term (four years) has elapsed. The question for Council (and Board) consideration is whether there is a desire to impose stricter term limits than currently exist.

If there were such a desire, an option described for Council (and Board) consideration would be to limit Councilmembers (and Board Members) to serving two full terms in office. Should the Board wish to consider this option, both Section 2.03 and Board Bylaw 9110 would need to be revised as follows:

No person who has served two (2) full consecutive terms as member of the Board shall be eligible to hold such office again. until one full intervening term of four (4) years has elapsed. [Editors Note:  This appears to have been an error.]

II. RECOMMENDATION: REVIEW AND ACTION

Review the City’s proposed changes to the City Charter and, by extension, Board Bylaw 9110 and provide direction to the Superintendent.

Read the Piedmont League of Women Voters letter to the City Council HERE.

Feb 20 2018

March 2 is the deadline for public comment on draft Climate Action Plan 2.0 –  Survey is > HERE.

BE A PART OF THE CONVERSATION!

Open House is scheduled for February 29, 2018

Read the Agenda for the Open House HERE.

Piedmont’s Draft Climate Action Plan 2.0 is Ready for Review A CAP 2.0

The OPEN HOUSE will take place on Monday, February 26, 2018, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m., at the Piedmont Community Hall, 711 Highland Avenue.

In addition to the CAP 2.0 being available on the City’s website, the City of Piedmont Planning Department and the Climate Action Plan Task Force will host a community open house on February 26th in order to provide the public another forum in which to learn about the Climate Action Plan 2.0. In addition to providing a presentation on the plan, staff and Task Force members will be available to answer questions from attendees.

The CAP 2.0 is available for review at: http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/climateaction-plan-2-0/. For more information about the Climate Action Planning process, please visit http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/committees/captf.shtml.

The City of Piedmont is asking its residents, families, business owners and people who work in Piedmont to review the City’s draft Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2.0 and provide comments on the Plan.

The CAP is available on the City’s website during a 45-day comment period from January 16, 2018 through March 2, 2018. Written comments can be submitted during this period. In addition, and in order to facilitate public comment, an electronic survey will be made available online at the end of January.

Climate change poses a real and significant threat to human health and the environment both globally and locally.

The Task Force is an advisory body composed of Piedmont residents appointed by the City Council.

While under the advisement of the Piedmont Climate Action Plan Task Force during the past 10 months, City staff has developed an updated proposed Climate Action Plan (CAP) for Piedmont.

The CAP 2.0 includes and expands on the measures and goals introduced in the current 2010 Climate Action Plan, defines climate change and its potential effects, outlines the actions the State and City are taking to address climate change, describes how residents, business owners, and the City can participate in greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction efforts, and presents new GHG reduction targets of 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 and 80% below 2005 levels by 2050.

During the plan’s development, the public was able to provide comment on the plan during a Community Forum held in November 7, 2017, at hearings of the Climate Action Plan Task Force, and by writing staff. Now that the final draft has been completed and the Task Force has recommended its approval, it is being made available for a 45-day public review period prior to its consideration for adoption by the City Council, which is expected to occur during their regularly scheduled hearing on March 19, 2018.

“From the preliminary analysis to the measures and concrete actions proposed, this new version of the CAP is unique to all sectors of Piedmont, and has been developed in collaboration between City Staff and residents of Piedmont, making it a true community plan,” said Tracey Woodruff, Chair of the Piedmont’s Climate Action Task Force. “In order to continue working with the same spirit of heightened community engagement to address the very real threats of climate change, it is crucial that all members of our community get involved by familiarizing themselves with the Climate Action Plan, sending their comments, and working together to keep reducing our individual and collective environmental footprint on the region and the planet.”

Please submit your comments in writing to Assistant Planner Mira Hahn at mhahn@piedmont.ca.gov or at 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont CA 94611.

For those without a computer, a limited number of paper copies of the CAP 2.0 are available for review at the Public Works counter in City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.

The development of Piedmont’s Climate Action Plan is funded in part by grants received by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District and StopWaste.Org, as well as by CivicSpark which in turn gets funds from both the Corporation for National and Community Service, East Bay Energy Watch, and the City of Piedmont.

Contact: Mira Hahn, Assistant Planner, (510) 420-3054

Feb 12 2018

OAKLAND AVENUE REPAIR WORK EXPECTED TO BE COMPLETED ON FRIDAY FEBRUARY 16 – 

The Piedmont Public Works Department, aided by Pacific General Engineering, has completed a portion of the emergency road work on Oakland Avenue between Bonita and Hillside Avenues. The City anticipates that normal traffic will be able to flow on this block until Friday morning (2/16). Motorists are advised to travel this block with care.

The City anticipates traffic control to be implemented on Friday morning to inspect the recently poured concrete. If it has sufficiently cured, the plates will be removed. If it has not sufficiently cured, the plates will be replaced and additional work will be necessary next week. Should additional work to ensure safety be necessary before Friday, traffic control will be implemented.

The section of concrete that appeared to be undermined has been removed, the surface under the roadway has been compacted, and a new portion of concrete roadway has been poured. Crews will place steel plates over the newly poured concrete, and the plates will be left in place until Friday morning (2/16) to allow the concrete to cure.

The City will provide an additional update on Friday to advise residents of the status of the work.

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

Feb 10 2018

Review period of 45 days ends on March 2, 2018 –

>>>> online survey <<<<

The City of Piedmont invites residents, families, business owners, and people who work in Piedmont to review and comment on the Climate Action Plan 2.0 and CEQA Negative Declaration during a 45-day review period from January 16, 2018 to March 2, 2018. In order to facilitate public comment on the draft Climate Action Plan 2.0, an >  online survey is now available. Both the current draft Climate Action Plan 2.0, with amendments, and the CEQA Negative Declaration are available on the Climate Action Program page. For those without a computer, a limited number of paper copies of the CAP and CEQA Negative Declaration are available for review at the Public Works counter in City Hall at 120 Vista Avenue.

The Climate Action Plan Task Force is a group of residents with expertise in various aspects of climate solutions who were appointed by the City Council in March of 2017 to assist with this process. The task force has held ten public meetings over the past year to discuss the proposed updates, including a community workshop on November 7th. At its meeting on January 10, 2018, the Task Force discussed the latest draft of the Climate Action Plan and voted to recommend that the City Council approve it, with minor amendments.

 

Feb 10 2018

Application Deadline Fri. Mar. 9th – 5:00 p.m.

The City of Piedmont is looking for a few talented volunteers for vacancies on commissions and committees. Interested residents may > apply online or download the > Application for Appointive Vacancy. Applications are due to City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue, on or before the deadline of Friday, March 9, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.

Commission/Committee No. of Vacancies No. of Incumbents Eligible for Reappointment
Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee 2 2
CIP Review Committee 1 1
Civil Service Commission 2 2
Park Commission 2 1
Parking Hearing Officer 1 0
Planning Commission 1 0
Police & Fire Pension Board 1 0
Public Safety Committee 2 2
Recreation Commission 1 1

Interviews with the City Council for these positions will be scheduled for the evening of Thursday, March 15, 2018. No appointments will be made without a Council interview.

You can read about the duties of the commissions and committees by clicking here.

Residents with questions are encouraged to call the City Clerk’s office at (510) 420-3040.

Feb 10 2018

How many Tennis Courts do we need?!

Who doesn’t love free pizza and talking about parks of your childhood? That’s just what I did January 18th, 2018 in the Piedmont Community Hall. This was the second meeting of the Groundworks Architecture and Landscape Firm with the Piedmont Community, hosted by the Piedmont Recreation Department, to discuss the redesign of the Linda Beach Playfield.

    At the previous meeting, the Groundworks team gathered ideas from about forty attendees about what the community wanted and valued. They put this information  into a list of guidelines. They then used guidelines to come up with designs.

    We were presented with three options: sports, nature, and hybrid.

    The sports option focused on expanding the tennis courts to fit two regulation size courts with colorful mural like retaining walls as well as a skatepark for teens under the bridge.

    The Nature design gave a serene and peaceful vibe, bringing a sculpture garden/public art space under the bridge, a terraced amphitheater/event space at the north end of the field.

    The Hybrid design was a perfect combination of both. Hybrid updates the tennis court to regulation size, while adding an event space with outdoor classrooms and a green space at the north end. The Tot Lot was moved in this design to the south end of the park featuring a slide into the park from Howard Street.

    After the presentation of the three designs, the audience was split into five table groups to discuss the options. Most of the people at the meeting were advocates for having as many tennis courts and sports areas as possible. On the other hand, many others were excited about having a green area to relax and hang out as a community. The skatepark was a big topic, but we students at the table were insistent on not including the area. Ryan Stokes, a Piedmont resident, was an advocate for the skatepark.

I spoke to Lorri Arazi, a listing agent for the newly built townhomes on Linda Avenue, about the plans. “I initially came on a fact-finding mission, I thought I’d be a listener and less of a participant. But I felt strongly, I had a strong gut reaction when I saw the skatepark next to the bridge,” Arazi told me, “I think that’d be really noisy for the people buying the condos.”

    More issues were brought up about the bathrooms, flex space for group activities, noise complaints, and wasting the space by planting more trees everywhere. Many younger people showed up to voice their opinions as well as the adults. “It was really really wonderful to see people of all ages here and involved and interested,” Arazi commented. Everyone had a positive reaction to the plans, were excited to voice their opinions and see this area remodeled.

    Arazi told me that, “I’ll definitely come to the March 21st meeting. If [the skatepark] shows up on the next iteration, then I’m going to want to voice my concern.” She also explained that by then she will hopefully have a few units sold, and can bring those families to voice their input as part of the community. The city will be having an online survey about this topic, in addition to a City Council Meeting being held on March 21st to talk about the final design. I look forward to seeing the final design, and the community support around the area.

by Maeve Andrews, Piedmont High School Senior

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Courts or no Courts?

    As the Piedmont Community Hall began to fill up with intrigued families, city officials, community members and Civics students, I could tell that I was in for an interesting evening. The debate over what to include in the new Linda Beach Playfield design had just begun.

    On Thursday, January 18th, at 5:45 p.m., I attended the Linda Beach Master Plan meeting to learn more about the city’s project and to share my thoughts on the subject. The project, headed by Piedmont’s Parks and Recreation Director, Sara Lillevand, is intended to landscape, renovate, and redesign the land surrounding the Beach Playfield on Linda and Howard avenue. A similar meeting had convened on November 16 of 2017 to introduce the project and present the Groundworks Office firm which was chosen to landscape the park.

At the beginning of the Master Plan meeting, the project leaders reviewed the notes from the past meeting and revealed three detailed design concepts that the Groundworks team had put together. We then broke off into groups and worked to address the pros and cons of each of the three designs. Design one was labeled as the ‘sports’ design and consisted of two regulation size tennis courts, a skate park, a community activity space, and a boardwalk entrance to the park from Howard Avenue. The second design, known as the ‘nature’ design, featured several community flex spaces, lots of planted trees and seating areas, and no tennis courts. The third design was labeled as the ‘hybrid’ plan and consisted of one full size tennis court, an adult exercise area, a bocce ball court, and some community flex space.

As a tennis player, I advocated for a version of the sports oriented plan because it included two regulation size tennis courts. Other community members spoke up about how the tennis courts take up lots of area and that the land should be allocated to multipurpose or flex spaces that can be utilized by any and all community members at different times.

One community member spoke about how the tennis courts are a much desired aspect of the Beach Playfield and eliminating them would upset many residents. He also brought up the interesting prospect of installing night lights for the courts which would increase the hours of use. There was much debate over what to include and what to not include during the meeting but the council decided to take the copious amount of community member input and work to build at least one new plan which will then be reviewed at the next meeting.

After the meeting I spoke with the project leader and Recreation Director, Sara Lillevand, to discuss her opinion on the project and the project’s next steps. She explained to me how her main goal of the meeting was to bring as many community members together as possible to receive input on what should be included in the design. She said that the meeting exceeded her expectations primarily due to the fact that there were so many young community members present. Moving forward, Lillevand will collaborate with the Groundworks team to gather the community input from the meeting, work with the city contractors, and develop a final plan to present. This project is moving quickly and I am excited to follow it in the coming months and utilize the final project. Let’s hope for tennis courts!

by Andrew Pinkham, Piedmont High School Senior

Editors’ Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors.
Feb 4 2018

Big changes have been suggested for how Piedmont is administered. 

City Administrator form of government is evolving toward City Manager form of government, further limits on Council terms, increase in tax funds held in reserve, reduced meeting requirements, etc.

On the Monday, February 5, 2018 Council agenda is an item that potentially starts a change to long held principles within the Piedmont City Charter. The City Charter is in the domain of the voters of Piedmont, who must approve any changes to the City Charter..

When the Charter was updated and revised approximately 35 years ago, a citizen Charter Review Committee appointed by the City Council was established to develop recommendations for City Council consideration.  After review of the recommendations, the City Council placed the recommended revised Charter on a Piedmont ballot, and it was readily approved by Piedmont voters.

The Piedmont City Charter specifies expenditures, revenues, budgeting, decisions to be made by the Council, decisions to be made by voters, personnel roles, zoning, loan mechanisms, etc.

City staff actions are subject to Council direction and Council action in many instances is subject to citizen approval of major issues such as zoning, taxation, borrowing, and reserve fund limits.  Some staff members over the years have resisted  the requirement of gaining Council approval in a public forum before taking action on policy matters.  The result has led to some policy actions taken without Council authorization.

The City Council has exceeded its authority in some instances, supporting a reinterpretation of the City Charter diminishing voter controls.

Recent issues questionable under the City Charter reinterpretation have been:

  • Election process for selecting a mayor following a resignation
  • Loans taken out without voter approval
  • Refusal to allow a citizen vote prior to making zone use changes

City Administrator form of government evolving toward City Manager form of government –

Piedmont has for generations benefited from its City Administrator form of government, giving citizens and their elected representatives the primary authority and responsibility over numerous governmental actions.  The proposed Charter changes in a number of instances would alter this authority.

Unlike the proposed changes, the City Council, rather than the City Administrator, currently has the responsibility to appoint the top administrators of the City.  Some of these positions include:

  •  Police Chief
  •  Fire Chief
  •  Public Works Director
  •  City Clerk
  •  City Engineer
  •  Finance Director

The process for changing the Piedmont City Charter, foundation of Piedmont governance, will receive consideration by the City Council on Monday, February 5, 2018, on how to proceed with review and any updating of the Charter.

Residents interested in following this issue can attend the meeting, observe the Council live on Cable Channel 27 or from the City website under videos. This item is last on the agenda.

Read the staff report regarding Charter changes HERE.

Read the agenda HERE.

Feb 4 2018
Feb 3 2018
The following is a letter sent to the Piedmont City Council on February 2, 2018 regarding proposed changes to the Piedmont City Charter.
Councilmembers:
Several of the proposed changes to the City Charter seem to be a step back from the volunteer leadership that has served Piedmont well and reduce the ability for residents to observe and participate in their local governance.  Other than a logistical need to extend the period to allow for appointments, I don’t see how most of these recommended changes improve our local governance.  Specifically:
Section 2:03 Terms of Office:  No rationale for this change is provided in the staff report, so if the council member or members proposing this could elaborate, it would help Council and the community understand why this change is being considered.  Term limits offset entrenched politicians, and for better or worse do facilitate change.  But they dilute experience.  These limits are directed at political and entrenched interests, problems we do not face in Piedmont.  Our Council has always operated as non-partisan governance, based on volunteerism, which allows anyone to participate.  The current code acknowledges this with the 2-term limit and enhances that spirit by allowing experienced volunteers to run again. John Chiang, Michael Bruck, June Monarch, Chuck Chakratavula – Why would the city prevent these volunteers from serving again if they choose to?  There is no need to make this change and doing so sends the wrong message to the community.
Section 2.07 (A) Meetings:  from my experience the current schedule is essential to giving direction to and providing oversight of city staff.  Workshops could be conducted as regular meetings if the total workload is an issue. And a full August recess would be appropriate.  Recent events this past year –  the conduct of elected officials and school staff – have demonstrated a real value in holding regularly scheduled meetings – the ability for the public to attend and express opinions on rapid developments. This has been valuable to giving direction to Council and the implementation of swift action.
Section 2.12 – Ordinances in General: this is obviously needed.  I would advocate for more explicit notification of code changes that potentially have a material effect on someone’s property. For example, the set-back changes and right-of-way permissions adopted in the recent Chapter 17 revisions. These meetings were noticed, however the specific changes to set-back rules were not explicitly presented.  City notification should make these kinds of changes more apparent to residents.
Section 4.03  The Budget:  Examine the suggestion made in the staff report that the 25% CAP was historically intended to prevent wasteful spending. To the contrary, I’ve always heard it was intended to do just what it does now – be a reserve during downturns in revenue, which did happen in the past in Piedmont.  As transfer tax projections show, those downturns are becoming less and less likely and the current reserve level has more than adequately met such events.  With the downturn in 2008 the transfer tax was $1.7M and the city hardly skipped a beat.  No layoffs, no service reductions and within in 2 years the tax exceeded $3M.   Leave the reserve CAP as is and consider instead, mechanisms to forgo the municipal services tax in years of high transfer tax receipts – I recall we did this in 2012 when the transfer tax was $3.4M.  Consider the results of your recent community polling – 50% of respondents found housing costs to be problematic – should the city be stock-piling tax revenue when half of Piedmont households find housing costs too high? 
If you proceed with eliminating the CAP, consider a Charter change that would direct excess transfer tax revenue to the School District after a fixed level needed by the city has been achieved.  Unlike the city with it large reserves, the School District has little and is facing new mandates to set aside reserves that will drastically impact the service provided by the school district.  Ironically, it is the influx of new residents coming to Piedmont for the schools that are driving the windfall in municipal tax reserves.
Garrett Keating, Former Member of the City Council
Read the Council staff report HERE.
Editors’ Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Feb 1 2018

Recreation Supervisor Marissa Clavin Resigns  –   Michael Murphy Appointed Interim – 

Marissa Clavin has resigned her position as Recreation Supervisor for the City of Piedmont effective February 1, 2018. Her resignation comes on the heels of an extended medical leave.

“It is difficult to overstate the impact of the loss of Marissa Clavin on PRD,” said Recreation Director Sara Lillevand. “We are grateful for all she accomplished here in her relatively short tenure and wish her nothing but health and happiness in her future endeavors.”

Longtime Schoolmates Site Coordinator Michael Murphy has been appointed as Interim Recreation Supervisor to fill the newly vacant position. Mr. Murphy has served the City at Havens Schoolmates for more than 35 years and understands the inner workings of the Recreation Department as well as the Piedmont community. As a participant, coach, parent, and staff member, Mr. Murphy is well suited to oversee Piedmont Recreation Department (PRD) sports programs, which is one of the primary areas of responsibility of the position he is filling. He also has a thorough understanding of PRD Summer programming and will be able to provide solid leadership during the department’s busiest time of year.

“The Recreation Department is very fortunate that Michael Murphy will assume the role of Interim Recreation Supervisor,” Ms. Lillevand stated. “His knowledge of Recreation Department programs and the community make him a great fit for this position. I am grateful for his willingness to step up and in to the role of Recreation Supervisor.”

Longtime Wildwood Schoolmates Site Coordinator Sena Weidkamp will join David Hopkins to lead Havens Schoolmates for the remainder of the school year.

The search for a permanent Recreation Supervisor will be held off until decisions about future staffing models for the department are made.

Contact: Recreation Director Sara Lillevand – January 31, 2018 –     420-3070