Dec 1 2020

– Piedmont Public Safety Committee Meeting – 5:30 PM, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020 –

Piedmonters now have a greater opportunity to learn more about public safety in Piedmont.

For years, Piedmonters could not observe from their homes and computers the Piedmont Public Safety Committee, however because of COVID-19 restrictions and the implementation of virtual meetings, anyone can observe and participate in the important discussions held by the committee.  According to a City source, the meetings are not recorded, because “they have never been recorded or broadcast.”

For information on observing and participating in the Dec. 3rd meeting, click the agenda link below:

PSC Agenda 2020-12-03

Zoom link – https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82492285610

1. Introduction of Interim Fire Chief Michael Despain

2. Approval of Public Safety Committee Meeting Minutes for 9/24/2020

Public Safety 2020-09-24 DRAFT MINUTES 

3. Update on Police Department Strategic Plan

4. Update on Police Department Mental Health Call Response

5. Update on Public Safety Cameras

6. Introduction to Inside PPD

7. Report on COPS Funding

8. Update on COVID 19 & Health Order Compliance

9. Update on Get Ready Piedmont/Map Your Neighborhood

10. Consideration of 2021 Meeting Schedule

Editors Note: Written back-up information for the agenda items was not provided. 
Nov 23 2020

Covid-19 Spreading at a Faster Pace in Piedmont

Thanksgiving Week in Piedmont began with more new Covid-19 positive cases reported, for a total of 59 Piedmont cases as the region spirals upward.  (UPDATE 66 total Piedmont positive tests reported on November 24,  corrected to 65 on November 28.)  Due to a rapid rise in Covid-19 cases, the State of California moved Alameda County – along with 40 other counties –  to the Purple Tier, the most restrictive level on November 16, 2020.

At the end of October, Piedmont had reached a total of 42 cases since testing began.  There were five new cases by November 4 and seven in the most recent week of November 16 to 23.   In the first three weeks of November, a total of 17 Piedmonters tested positive.  That is more than the total cases in March, April, May and June combined.  Piedmont did not reach a total of 17 Covid-19 cases until July 14, 2020.

Celebrate Thanksgiving Safely!

Nov 1 2020

In these crazy times, we can’t host a coffee or ring doorbells, so I’m writing to let you know that I’ve endorsed Veronica Anderson Thigpen for the PUSD School Board, and I heartily recommend voting for her.

I have known Veronica since she moved here in 2018, and joined the Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee. Right away, Veronica added a clear, articulate voice on important issues, like the proposal to have an armed police officer stationed at PHS/MHS.

Soon after, Veronica took responsibility for managing MLK Day, which showcased her great skills as an organizer and leader. The day went perfectly, a real achievement with so many moving pieces. She impressed other Committee members so much that in only her second year Veronica became PADC’s co-President. She has demonstrated excellent people skills, good judgment and a willingness to dig into complex issues in search of practical solutions.

Veronica’s background as an education and business journalist for 18 years has given her a broad perspective on education. She works now as an advisor to school systems and educational non-profits looking to build equitable, inclusive and effective organizations. She is knowledgeable, smart, energetic, and community-minded.

Veronica also has a daughter who is a junior at PHS, where she has helped to launch a revitalized Black Student Union. Her husband, David Thigpen, heads the undergraduate Journalism Department at UC Berkeley.

I hope that you’ll join me in supporting Veronica, and talking her up with your friends. When door-to-door campaigning is out, we need to find other ways to connect!

Maude Pervere, Piedmont Resident

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Sep 16 2020

Voters will select two from four Piedmont City Council candidates.

City Council candidates were asked to respond to the following questions in 60 words or less by September 15. 

1. Which issue listed below is your highest priority and why? Services,  Recreation,   Transparency,   Planning, Equality, Infrastructure,  Administration, Environment,  Safety,  Funding,   Community Involvement

2. What are the most successful areas of Piedmont governance? 

3. What would you endeavor to improve if elected to the City Council?

Responses are listed in the order received.  Responses were not edited.

Connie Herrick –  City Council Candidate

(1.) Safety is always the highest priority for our citizens. Every City decision always factors in the safety of our person, homes, streets and schools. Our City is chartered to ensure our emergency preparedness and provide critical support services. Safety has to come first for the other listed priorities to function. We decide the ranking of other priorities through our vote.

(2.) It is impressive what we accomplish with a volunteer City Council and a small City staff. We are proactive, strategic in our vision and able to execute on complex issues. Our citizens receive a good return on their tax dollars and enjoy a high quality of life due to excellent City services. And we interface well with our neighboring cities. 

(3.) I would like to see more visually based ways of communicating to support public outreach about our City issues. An easy-to-understand chart with pros and cons or short 2 minute videos are more effective than reading through voluminous reports and meeting minutes. Offering our citizens interesting, visually based, executive level summaries will get them more engaged and better informed.     Connie Herrick

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Conna McCarthy – City Council Candidate

(1.) Public Safety services, including evaluation of existing infrastructure and emergency preparedness, are a primary concern. We rely on first responders to arrive quickly when we need them. Our emergency communications technology must meet new state and federal standards. In the event of an emergency, we need safe operating facilities. When a major seismic event occurs, we want to be ready.

(2.) Piedmont residents value Piedmont’s strong fiscal management. We must continue to exercise fiscal responsibility to maintain high quality services. We must continue long term financial planning that ensures current services are being paid for in the current year, and that funds for known future obligations, including retirement commitments and facilities maintenance are set aside on a current basis.

(3.) We are a built-out city. Space will always be a premium. City-school collaborations are necessary. For a community with limited recreational facilities, parks and open spaces we are at our best when we collaborate to bring services and programs to our residents. I favor city-school partnerships where feasible and when the partnership improves the quality of life for Piedmont residents.    Conna McCarthy 

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Jennifer Cavenaugh – City Council Candidate

(1.) As a City Council Member for the last four years, I have made it my priority to balance fiscal responsibility with a commitment to improving Piedmont’s aging infrastructure and enhancing public services.  We are a small city with limited resources and staff, and it is essential that we budget conservatively and address past unfunded liabilities, including our streets and sidewalks, parks, and recreation facilities. Essential long-term investments will ensure a beautiful, sustainable city for our kids and grandkids.

(2.) The Budget Advisory and Financial Planning Committee has been a tremendous asset. I found my colleagues on the committee to be smart, hard-working, dedicated financial professionals who offer comprehensive, detailed analysis and recommendations. The work of this committee has provided independent budget oversight, transparency and in-depth understanding of city finances; by implementing recommendations of this committee the city consistently strengthens its financial position.

(3.) As a Council Member, I intend to leverage my deep community connections to engage and promote diverse perspectives, develop mutually beneficial solutions, and increase equity and inclusiveness. I am actively involved with many community organizations to hear their perspectives and support their efforts including Piedmont Racial Equity Campaign, PUSD School Board, Piedmont Connect, League of Women Voters, Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee, Piedmont Community Service Crew, Appreciating Diversity Film Series, and many others.      Jennifer Cavenaugh

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Sep 16 2020

Reopening of Witter Field September 16, 2020 –

Consistent with public health orders issued by Alameda County that are intended to slow the spread of Covid-19, the Piedmont Unified School District has reopened Witter Field for community use.

Individuals can access Witter Field from the Wildwood Avenue steps, Piedmont Middle School’s “PE Hill,” or the El Cerrito pedestrian gate. The Windsor Avenue gate, Wildwood Elementary School playground, baseball and softball fields, batting cages, and Witter Field House restrooms will remain closed.

Individuals must wear face coverings, maintain at least six-foot social distancing from others who are not part of the same household or living unit, and avoid all social interaction when sick with a fever, cough, or other COVID-19 symptoms.

The District previously closed Witter Field due to widespread and persistent lack of compliance with the Alameda County order at the Field, and similar issues led the City of Piedmont to close the Linda Beach Playfield, as noncompliance poses a serious public health risk.

Witter Field is an important community resource and the decision to reopen the facility was made based on supportive public input. The Field will remain open as long as users comply with the public health orders issued by Alameda County.

Questions or comments? Please contact Director of Facilities Pete Palmer at ppalmer@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Sep 13 2020

We have known Cory since our kids began kindergarten at Wildwood over a dozen years ago. From the start it was obvious that she would do great things for our schools and our community.  Since then, she has done nearly every volunteer job in town: President of the Wildwood Parents Club, Chair of the Giving Campaign, softball coach, Scout leader, just to name a few.

Watching her serve as School Board vice-president, it is clear that Cory’s continued leadership is of great value to our town. She has been a consistent advocate for improved communication, for the mental health and well being of our students, and for the financial health of our public schools.

Cory has worked hard to improve communications in her role as the Board liaison.  She responded promptly and thoughtfully to hundreds of emails that were sent to the Board during this difficult time.  She answered numerous and emotional emails from us with understanding, grace, honesty and integrity. On Zoom and KCOM, we have watched Cory stand out as a critical thinker and clear communicator. She does her research, and she asks direct and transparent questions that are informed by science and best practices.

Cory has been steadfast in her efforts to help our students. She has advocated to bring students back to the classroom as soon as safely possible. She has also been working with students to create ways for them to make meaningful connections, even in a COVID-restricted world.

Cory has an MBA and her financial literacy is essential in times of increased budget challenges.  After four years of Board leadership, she also has a deep understanding of the District’s financials. Cory helped organize the Red for Ed Campaign and led efforts to lobby for increased education funding from the State so that our School District could give raises to our employees.

We are incredibly fortunate that Cory is running for a second term. Quite honestly, it’s hard to imagine the School Board without her!  Please join us in voting to re-elect Cory to the Piedmont School Board.

Pam Schwartz & Eric Wolfers

Sep 9 2020

We understand that now more than ever we all need to get out and be active in our parks.

That is why the City has decided to reopen Linda Beach Playfield to the public starting Monday, September 14. We are asking you for your help in keeping this neighborhood park open and safe for all users by wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, and not sharing sports equipment with members outside your household. Only one entrance, located on Linda Avenue under the Oakland Avenue Bridge, will be opened for park access.

During public use hours, a Park Ambassador will be at the entrance and will remind users of and enforce COVID-19 safety requirements.

Linda Beach Playfield will be open for public use beginning on Monday, September 14th during these times:

Monday-Friday: 10:30 am3 pm

Saturday: 3:00 pmDusk

Sunday: 9:0011:30 am

Linda Beach Playfield will also be used by Recreation Department and youth sports organizations at times other than the above times, by permit only. No public use is allowed outside of the times above.

Please contact the Piedmont Recreation Department at (510) 420-3070 or prd@piedmont.ca.gov with questions.

Announcement: Piedmont Recreation Department
Sep 5 2020

On Tuesday, September 8, 2020, following the Labor Day weekend, the City Council will be updated by the staff on keeping the pool  closed at this time.  A staff report informs the public and Council that the condition of the Piedmont Municipal Pool is in disrepair, including a broken heater and other factors, making it inappropriate for the pool to be reopened at this time.  The City Council will consider the matter at the September 8 meeting. 

Read the staff report for the September 8th meeting:  >Pool 92020 Update

Piedmont Municipal Pool

Council Meeting, September 8, 6:00 PM,  Read how to watch and participate in the meeting by clicking the link below:

https://piedmont.ca.gov/UserFiles/Servers/Server_13659739/File/Government/City%20Council/Agenda/council-current-agenda.pdf

Aug 22 2020

Alameda County Issued Revised Shelter in Place Order – 

Piedmont to Consider Whether Pool Reopening is Practicable  – 

On Friday evening, August 21st, the Alameda County Health Official issued a revised Shelter in Place order, which, effective August 28th, allows the reopening of outdoor pools, permission for outdoor personal care services, and permission for outdoor tasting at wineries. A summary of the order is available on the County’s web site.

As this is the first guidance issued by Alameda County for the reopening of pools, the City will spend the next two weeks determining whether the conditions imposed by the order can be applied in a way that makes sense to reopen the Piedmont Community Pool. Staff had previously developed reopening frameworks based upon guidance from other health jurisdictions. The City understands the importance of the pool to the community and will examine whether reopening under the requirements imposed by the order is practicable. It is likely that a decision on whether to reopen the Piedmont Community Pool will be considered by the City Council at its meeting of September 8th. –

August 22, 2020 – Press Release

Contact: John O. Tulloch     (510) 420-3041     jtulloch@piedmont.ca.gov

Aug 14 2020

Confirmed Covid-19 Positive Test Results Stand at 27* for Piedmont as of August 13, 2020 –  

*Updated to 29 positive results – August 19, 2020 – 

While the current figure appears to reflect a sudden August surge, that may not be the case.  In a Zoom presentation to supporters of San Francisco Opera on Wednesday evening, August 12, Piedmont Epidemiologist George Rutherford pointed out that the virus tracker system had broken and the data was being corrected.  Catching up with the figures can create the appearance of a surge that is actually a correction covering longer periods. Rutherford indicated there were surges in April and again in June.