May 13 2018
I don’t normally do this, but I’m writing to urge you this week to help support my friend Jeff Bleich, who is running for Lt. Governor in California.
I have known Jeff for two decades and he’s the real deal in every respect. After serving President Obama as Special Counsel in the White House, U.S. Ambassador to Australia, and Chair of the Fulbright Board, and also serving as Chair of the Cal State system, President of the State Bar, leading a major firm, and fighting Ted Cruz and the NRA in Court, he’s taking all of that experience and running for Lt. Governor.
Jeff takes no special interest or SuperPAC support and is running for the right reasons and in the right way. He’s been endorsed by every paper that has weighed in. The Sierra Club calls him “hands down, the best candidate for Lt. Governor of California,” and next generation leaders like Adam Schiff, Ro Khanna, and Ted Lieu have all lined up behind Jeff.
This week is the key week for him to raise money to get his message out before election day. If we want a government with these sorts of leaders, we need to support them when they come along. So please vote for him AND to help ensure his victory, please consider donating to his campaign at: www.jeffbleich.com/donate  You can give up to $7,300.
I can assure you he’s worth investing in. This is how we make democracy work again. Please consider donating today.
                                   Julie Reichle, Piedmont Resident
Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author. 
May 5 2018

2018-19 School Support Tax Hearing May 9, 7:25 PM

On Wednesday, May 9 following a 6 p.m. Closed Session, the School Board’s Regular Session will begin at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, City Hall 120 Vista Avenue. The public is invited to attend.  The meeting will be broadcast live on Channel 27 and from the City website under videos.   AGENDA

At approximately 7:25 pm the School Board will conduct a Public Hearing on the proposed levy of the School Support Tax, Measure A for 2018-19.

The Board will discuss and receive public input regarding the proposed levy of the school support tax for 2018-19. This is the first of two public hearings. The Board will take action on any levy after the second public hearing. The public is invited to provide comment at the Board meeting or prior to the meeting by email to the Board of Education at spearson@piedmont.k12.ca.us

A. Support Tax Subcommittee Report
B. MYP General Fund

 – The Board is requested to approve the following revised Board Policies and Administrative Regulations: 

Attachments:

A.BP-AR 1312.3 – Uniform Complaint Procedure

B.BP 1313 – Civility and Protections from Inappropriate Behavior

C.BP-AR 3515 School Safety – Campus Security

D.BP-AR 4030 – Non Discrimination in Employment

E.BP-AR 4119.11 – Sexual Harassment – Employee Version

F.BP -E 4119.21 Professional Standards

G.BP 4158 – Employee Security

H.BP 5131 – Conduct

I.BP 5131.2 – Bullying

J.BP-AR 5141.4 – Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Procedures

K.BP-AR 5144.l – Suspension and Expulsion Due Process

L.AR 5144.2 Suspension and Expulsion Due Process – Students with Disabilities

M.BP-AR 5145.3 – Non-Discrimination -Harassment

N.BP-AR 5145.7 – Sexual Harassment

O.BP 5145.9 – Hate Motivated Behavior

P.BP-AR 6142.12 Healthy Relationships/Sexual Violence Prevention

  VIII.A. District Reorganization

Background – District Reorganization

 

Superintendent Booker:
With the 2017-18 school year coming to a close, PUSD is losing three incredible administrators who have served students, teachers and staff, and families for many years. The contributions of these fine administrators are far-reaching.

 Mr. Michael Brady will enjoy a well-deserved retirement. He has served the District for the past 15 years in a variety of roles: MHS Principal, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, Director of Facilities, Adult Education Director, Director of Alternative Education (including oversight of the Wellness Center), H1 Bond Program Manager, and most recently supporting Special Education. He will be dearly missed. His focus on students and the overall operations of the district is unparalleled.

 Ms. Julie Valdez will take a yearlong leave of absence. She has served the District for the past 11 years as both the Beach Elementary School Principal and the Director of Special Education. She has been an integral member of the administrative team, providing extensive insight into the needs of elementary students and leading a complex and demanding SPED program. Her compassion and empathy for students will be hard to replace for 2018-2019.

 Ms. Song Chin-Bendib will begin the 2018-19 school year as the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services in the Pacific Grove Unified School District. She has served the District for the past 4 years as both the Chief Business Official and the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services. She has been incredible in keeping our finances in order during a tumultuous time in state funding. I’m appreciative of the systems she introduced and the keen oversight of our budget and operations.

Following any staff change there is a period of transition and, given the depth of experience and range of responsibilities of these three individuals, this transition will be especially challenging. Nonetheless, the District is working to ensure that these changes are facilitated as smoothly as possible.

See entire agenda  HERE.

Editors Note: The Piedmont Unified School District’s  online agenda format requires readers to download staff reports prior to reading them, which is different from PCA’s usual method of providing staff reports to readers. 

Any concerns or questions about the agenda can be sent to the Piedmont Board of Education at spearson@piedmont.k12.ca.us.

Apr 27 2018

What Charter revisions might the Council decide should be considered for the November ballot ?

PIEDMONT CITY CHARTER: COMPLEX AND IMPORTANT TO PIEDMONT GOVERNANCE

The Piedmont City Charter, essentially Piedmont’s Constitution, determines Council and School Board terms, qualifications for office, budgets, authority of the Council, selection of City officers, bonding requirements, and more.  The City Charter is a large and comprehensive law governing Piedmont. 

One proposed revision to be considered would reduce Council authority and transform Piedmont’s long held City Administrator form of government into an approximation of a City Manager form of government.

A change for taxpayers could be the elimination of any limit on the excess funds the City holds in its coffers while continuing to gather taxes.

Consideration of City Charter changes appears to limit public discussion and comment at the Monday, April 30, 6:30 p.m. Special Council meeting.  The Agenda item states:

Consideration of Possible Direction to Staff Regarding Amendments to the City Charter – Provide direction to staff on which, if any, of the proposed Charter amendments merit placement on a ballot for consideration by Piedmont voters. 

There will be some opportunity for speakers at the April 30 meeting.  Written comments can also be submitted to the City Council.   The manner in which the City Council plans to deliberate and engage Piedmont citizens in the process for potential changes has not been announced. The Council may plan future study sessions with the public and School Board prior to making a decision on what Charter changes, if any, should be on the November 2018 General Election ballot.

VOTERS MUST APPROVE ANY CHANGES TO THE PIEDMONT CITY CHARTER.

CITY  ADMINISTRATOR FORM OF GOVERNMENT: In largely changing Piedmont’s long held City Administrator form of government to be similar to a City Manager form of government forfeits the Council’s right to select and terminate executive level officers: the Police Chief, Fire Chief, City Engineer, Finance Director, Recreation Director, Public Works Director,  City Clerk, etc. 

The Council’s selection and termination authority would be limited the City Administrator and City Attorney. Other cities, might have a “strong” directly elected mayor, as in Oakland, who has broad authority to select the Police Chief, Fire Chief, City Manager, etc. The Piedmont City Council has always chosen and appointed Piedmont’s Police Chief, Fire Chief and other City other officers as prescribed in the City Charter. 

Some have suggested relinquishing key hiring decisions solely to one person, the City Administrator, removes too much authority from the Council and could present new issues.

In recent years, City observers have noticed an erosion of Council control, participation, and authority.  Examples include: no Councilmembers on interview committees for their appointments, expenditures of funds unauthorized by the Council, endorsement letters produced without Council action, support or co-sponsoring of events without Council action, leasing of public property without due diligence and information provided to the Council, and selection of meetings to be broadcast to the public.

At the April 30th special meeting, the Council will review the possible amendments listed in the February 5, 2018 staff report  available on the city’s website.  The staff report is linked below. 

http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/html/govern/staffreports/2018-02-05/charteramendment.pdf)

The Council at the April 30 meeting will discuss whether any Charter changes should move forward and determine the process for further consideration.

Pursuant to section 9.07 of the Charter, any proposed amendments must be presented to the qualified voters of the City for approval.

Citizens are invited to attend this meeting and express their opinions. 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/.

Public comment is invited and encouraged at 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.

For further information, contact City Clerk John O. Tulloch via email at jtulloch@piedmont.ca.gov or via phone at (510) 420-3040.

City produced BACKGROUND statement below;

At its meeting of June 19, 2017 the Council discussed the City Charter provision limiting the General Fund Reserve to no more than 25% of the budget and directed staff to return to Council with a report reviewing the rationale and possible options for amending the Charter to modify the 25% limit. As part of that discussion, the Council agreed that each individual member would examine all Charter provisions for clarity and relevance and that each would submit any suggestions for Charter amendments to the City Administrator.

In addition to review by Councilmembers, the City Clerk, City Attorney and City Administrator also conducted their own independent review. All of the suggestions were compiled and used to create the attached “Track Changes” document for consideration by the City Council.

Note that per section 9.07 of the Charter, all proposed amendments must be presented to the qualified voters of the City at a general or special election. State law (Elections Code § 1415) further clarifies that if the proposed changes to a Charter “alter any procedural or substantive protection, right, benefit or employment status of any local government employee,” then the amendment must be presented at a statewide general election. This means that the amendments proposed to Article III would require consideration at a statewide general election. The following is a briefing of the suggested Charter revisions, grouped by article and section. Section numbers listed are as they currently exist in the Charter.

Some of the Charter sections proposed for consideration have yet to be fully described or are in a format not easily displayed for readers.

Staff information:

Article II – City Council
SECTION 2.03 TERM OF OFFICE

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

An option for Council consideration would be to limit Councilmembers to serving two full terms in office. Should Council wish to consider this option, Section 2.03 would need to be revised as follows:

No person who has served two (2) full consecutive terms as a Councilmember shall thereafter be eligible to hold such office again. until one full intervening term of four (4) years has elapsed. For the purposes hereof, any person who serves as a Councilmember for more than eighteen (18) months of an unexpired term shall be considered to have served a full term.

Should the Council wish to pursue this option, it is recommended that a revision to the term limits of the Board of Education be changed as well, for reasons expressed in the discussion of proposed revisions to Article VII, below.

  •  SECTION 2.05 (C) FILIING OF VACANCIES
    This subsection dictates how vacancies on the City Council are to be filled. Currently, this subsection provides that the Council shall fill a vacancy by appointment within thirty days of a vacancy occurring. If the Council doesn’t act within those thirty days the vacancy shall be filled by the Mayor. As the Council has experienced in each of the previous two years, the thirty day window is very tight and the possibility of a Mayor being forced to make a unilateral appointment without Council input is a strong possibility. In addition, as currently written, this subsection precludes the possibility of a special election to fill an empty Council seat which may be a possibility that the Council does not want to preclude.To address the above noted issues, it has been suggested that the timeframe for Council appointment be extended to sixty days and, should the Council not fill a vacancy within the allotted period, the vacancy shall be filled by special election. This would more closely mirror existing State law Election Code regulations
  •  SECTION 2.07(A) – MEETINGS
    This subsection requires that the Council meet twice in every month. The suggested revision would delete the requirement that two meetings per month occur, while retaining a requirement that it meet regularly. As currently provided in this subsection, it would be the Council’s prerogative to set its regular meeting schedule by resolution or ordinance.
  •  SECTION 2.07(C) – VOTING
    A provision of this subsection as written allows fewer than a quorum of Councilmembers to “compel the attendance of absent members in the manner prescribed by the rules of the Council”. This portion of the subsection is viewed as archaic, unnecessary, and difficult to implement. Accordingly, it is proposed to be deleted.
  • SECTION 2.08 MAYOR
    This section currently does several things, including requiring that a Mayor and Vice- Mayor be elected by the Council after each general municipal election as well as noting that the Mayor and Vice-Mayor serve at the pleasure of the Council.Questions were raised as to whether it would be beneficial to clarify the process. The provision, as currently worded, provides significant flexibility to the Council. The City Attorney pointed out that this section does not prohibit the Council from electing officers annually or, for that matter, removing officers at will. The requirement that the Council appoint members following each general municipal election simply requires that election of officers happen at a minimum after each general election. This would not preclude the Council from electing officers annually but if Council would like to impose this requirement, this provision should be clarified. The Council should give direction to staff as to whether it feels that amendments to this section are warranted.
  •  SECTION 2.12 – ORDINANCES IN GENERAL
    A technical revision is proposed to subsection A to conform the enacting clause of ordinances to modern practice.

    A revision is proposed to subsection (D) to change the location of posting of ordinances from the official city bulletin board to the City’s web site. This proposed revision reflects modern practice and would provide for broader and more convenient access to the public.

  •  SECTION 2.15(A) AUTHENTICATION AND RECORDING; CODIFICATION; PRINTING
  •  This subsection requires that all ordinances and resolutions be recorded in an indexed book kept for this purpose. Modern technology has removed the need for this archaic requirement, as all ordinances and resolutions are indexed in the City’s records management system.
  • Article III – Administration Many comments and question were raised regarding various provisions and inconsistencies inherent in Article III. The general nature of most comments focused on the responsibility for appointment of “Officers (Department Heads, City Attorney and City Administrator) and Employees” of the City, and on responsibilities for directing their day-to-day activities. It should be noted that as these proposed revisions would impact employment status of several employees, these Charter amendments would need to be approved at a statewide general election. (Elections Code Section 1415.) These proposed revisions as well as the others listed below are consistent with current best practices in government and with the Council-Administrator form of government followed by the City of Piedmont.
  • SECTION 3.01 OFFICERS OF THE CITY
    Currently, this section provides that officers of the City shall be appointed and directed by the Council. This is inconsistent with both practice and other provisions of Article III.The proposed amendments to this section provide that the City Council appoint the City Administrator and the City Attorney, and that all other officers of the City be appointed and directed by the City Administrator. An additional edit is made to this section to revise the title of Director of Parks and Recreation to Director of Recreation.
  •  SECTION 3.02 OFFICIAL BONDS
    This section was identified as archaic and is proposed for deletion in its entirety. The removal of this section requires the renumbering of each subsequent section in this article.
  •  SECTION 3.03 CITY ADMINISTRATOR
    Item 1 on the list of the City Administrator’s powers and duties is revised to clarify that the City Administrator has responsibility to appoint, discipline, suspend or remove “officers appointed by the City Administrator” as well as employees….”.
  •  SECTION 3.05 CITY CLERK
    This section is revised to make the City Administrator responsible for appointment of the City Clerk as well as to indicate that the City Clerk can be assigned other duties, by state law and the City Administrator.
  • SECTION 3.06 CITY ATTORNEY
    There is one non-substantive, editorial revision proposed to this section.  NOT DEFINED
  •  SECTION 3.07 DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE
    This section is revised to reflect actual practice and the reporting structure clarified in Section 3.01. In keeping with the Council-Administrator form of government, should Council wish to assign other duties to the Finance Director or other department heads, work assignments are made to and through the City Administrator.
  •  SECTION 3.08 POLICE DEPARTMENT
    This section is revised to reflect the reporting structure clarified in Section 3.01, as more fully explained in the under Section 3.07.
  •  SECTION 3.09 FIRE DEPARTMENT
    This section is revised to reflect the reporting structure clarified in Section 3.01, as more fully explained under Section 3.07.

In addition, language is added to expressly indicate that the Fire Department is responsible for the provision of emergency medical services.

  •  SECTION 3.10 DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
    This section is revised to reflect the reporting structure clarified in Section 3.01, as more fully explained in the under Section 3.07.In addition, language is added to give the department responsibility for maintenance of parks and public facilities, which conforms the Charter to long standing practice.
  •  SECTION 3.11 CITY ENGINEER
    This section is revised to reflect the reporting structure clarified in Section 3.01, as more fully explained in the under Section 3.07.
  •  SECTION 3.12 PLANNING DIRECTOR
    This section is revised to reflect the reporting structure clarified in Section 3.01, as more fully explained in the under Section 3.07.
  •  SECTION 3.13 DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION
    This section is revised to reflect the reporting structure clarified in Section 3.01, as more fully explained in the under Section 3.07.This section is also revised to remove the reference to Park in the Department name as well as to remove the responsibility for maintenance of the City’s park lands and recreation facilities from the list of responsibilities. These were added to the Public Works Department section above. Note that the responsibility for carrying out Council policies related to the use of park lands and recreation facilities remains with the Recreation Department, as is long standing practice.Article IV – Fiscal Matters

SECTION 4.03 THE BUDGET
Currently, the last two paragraphs of this section require that the City maintain a reserve of no more than 25% of the budget for the purpose of maintaining municipal services during periods of reduced revenues as well as meeting unforeseen contingencies and emergencies.

As detailed in a June 19, 2017 Council Agenda Report, the City Charter, from its original adoption in 1923 through 1980, placed no requirement for, or limit on, reserves of the General Fund. In 1980, the Charter was amended to require that a reserve be established for the purpose of meeting unforeseen contingencies and emergencies and specified that the reserve not exceed 10%. In a 1999, the Municipal Tax Review Committee, stated that “….caps on the General Fund Reserve were originally designed to prevent a spendthrift Council from taxing residents for the sake of piling up unnecessary reserves. We believe that history – and quadrennial parcel tax votes – show this fear to be unfounded”. Based on the Committee’s report, the Council proposed and the voters approved an amendment in 2000 that increased the maximum General Fund reserve to 25% and expanded the purpose to include “maintenance of municipal services during periods of reduced revenues to the City.

The provision for placing a percentage limitation on the size of the General Fund reserve seems to have been born out of a concern that the City would tax its residents beyond what is needed to support prudent operations and thus accumulate unnecessary reserves. In practice, this has never happened. Additionally, the City has no authority to impose taxes on residents. In the case of the parcel tax, continuation of the tax, and any increase which may be proposed, is subject to a vote of Piedmont residents every four years. This requirement for voter approval, in addition to annual public hearings on the budget, provides valuable opportunities for resident oversight of City budget practices, operations, and performance.

If the Charter were to include any provisions relating to the reserves of the General Fund, best practice and prudence would dictate speaking to the need to build and maintain reserves as opposed to placing artificial limits on the size of the reserve. For these reasons it is proposed that the section be amended to state that the City shall maintain a General Fund Reserve and that the Council shall strive to maintain the reserve in an amount not less than 15% of the General Fund operating budget. Note that the addition of “operating budget”, rather than simply referring to “the budget”, provides needed clarity as to exactly how to apply referenced percentages.

SECTION 4.11 CONTRACT WORK
This section currently requires that the City conform to state law regarding awarding of contracts to the lowest responsible bidder for any contract above the dollar threshold set by state law, currently $5,000. Among other requirements, it also allows the Council to contract for work on the open market, without using the bidding process, if it deems it more economical or beneficial to do so. Other provisions include the requirement that the City establish a competitive bidding system by ordinance.

The proposed revisions to this section eliminate the requirement that the City conform to the state dollar threshold regarding lowest responsible bidder. Removing this requirement maintains the necessity of bidding public projects to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent in a wise manner, however it lets the City set its own rules as to the dollar amount threshold for formal, informal, and open market purchases and projects. In 2017, the Council passed a revision to the City’s purchasing provisions, which set the limit for open market purchases at $5,000, the limit for informal bidding at $75,000, and required formal bidding above that amount.

Article V – Personnel

  •  SECTION 5.01 PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION
    This section specifies the personnel classification of the elective officers, officers, employees, and volunteers of the City, identifying whether they fall into the unclassified or classified services of the City for the purposes of Civil Service regulations.Subsection (A)(2) is revised to remove listings of specific positions in the unclassified service, rather referring to the “Officers of the City” as defined in Section 3.01 of the Charter. This amendment is largely editorial in nature and is proposed to better correspond to terminology and provisions of other sections of the Charter.
  •  SECTION 5.02 APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS
    This section currently requires that appointments and promotions be made based upon the selection of the best qualified individual for a job. It also prohibits discrimination against employees based upon sex, race, creed, color, or national or ethnic origin.The proposed amendment to this section modernizes the prohibition against employment discrimination to include all classes protected under U.S. and state law.
  • ARTICLE VII PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Though the Piedmont Unified School District is a separate entity from the City of Piedmont, its creation dates back to the passage of the original Piedmont City Charter in 1923. Since that time, though the PUSD operates separately from the City, provisions regarding the District’s elected governing board have, by necessity of its creation, resided in the City Charter. The provisions of the Charter related to the PUSD solely govern the election, membership requirements, compensation, and organization of the Board of Education. As the City Council and the Board of Education are the only elected bodies in Piedmont, these requirements closely mirror each other, though there are differences reflecting the body of law governing each organization.Should the Council decide to pursue suggested Charter amendments, any proposals relating to PUSD would be discussed with the Board and staff would seek their support prior to advancing revisions to this Article.

  •  SECTION 7.02 MEMBERSHIP, TERM OF OFFICE
    Currently the term limit provisions for the Board of Education match those for the City Council. Should the Council wish to make the term limits for the Council stricter, it should consider doing the same for the Board of Education.
  •  SECTION 7.04 VACANCIES
    Currently, the requirements for filling a vacancy on the Board of Education match those of the City Council in Section 2.05, above. The proposed amendment to this section mirror the changes proposed for the City Council in Section 2.05.
  •  SECTION 7.06 MEETINGS
    Currently, this section contains the same archaic provision regarding compelling attendance at meetings as are contained in Section 2.07(C) for the City Council.

The proposed amendment parallels the proposed amendment to Section 2.07(C) and deletes the provision allowing for a minority of members to compel attendance of absent members.

THE COMPLEXITY OF THE CHARTER REQUIRES COORDINATION FOR EACH SECTIONS TO WORK WITHIN THE WHOLE. 

Following are some of the changes proposed.  Refer to the City staff report for additional details by clicking HERE.

ARTICLE I.

Section 1.01 Section 1.02 Section 1.03 Section 1.04

ARTICLE II.

Section 2.01 Section 2.02 Section 2.03 Section 2.04 Section 2.05 Section 2.06 Section 2.07 Section 2.08 Section 2.09 Section 2.10 Section 2.11 Section 2.12 Section 2.13 Section 2.14 Section 2.15

ARTICLE III.

Section 3.01 Section 3.02 Section 3.03 Section 3.04 Section 3.05 Section 3.06 Section 3.07 Section 3.08 Section 3.09 Section 3.10 Section 3.11 Section 3.12 Section 3.13

Table of Contents
POWERS OF THE CITY Page Name 1 Boundaries 1 Powers of the City 1 Intergovernmental Relations 1

CITY COUNCIL

Composition, Eligibility and Election 1 Compensation 2 Term of Office 2 General Powers and Duties 2 Vacancies Forfeiture of Offices Filling of Vacancies 2 Judge of Qualifications 3 Council Meetings 3 Mayor 4 Investigations 4 Administrative Relations 4 Action Requiring an Ordinance 4 Ordinances in General 5 Emergency Ordinances 6 Codes of Technical Regulations 6 Authentication and Recording Codification Printing 7

ADMINISTRATION

Officers and Employees 7 Official Bonds 8 City Administrator 8 Acting City Administrator 9 City Clerk 9 City Attorney 10 Department of Finance 10 Police Department 11 Fire Department 11 Department of Public Works 11 City Engineer 11 Planning Director 11 Department of Parks and Recreation 12

FISCAL MANAGEMENT Page

Fiscal ear 12 Submission of Budget 12 The Budget 12 Action on Budget 13 Amendments After Adoption 14 Lapse of Appropriations 14 Tax System 14 Tax Rate Limitation 14 Independent Audit 14 Franchises 15 Contract Work 16 Purchasing 16 Temporary Loans 16 Bonded Debt Limit 16

PERSONNEL

Personnel Classification 17 Appointments and Promotions 17 Personnel Rules and Regulations 17 Suspension, Demotion and Dismissal 18 Retirement System 18 Authority to Join Other Systems 18

BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

Creation of Boards and Commissions 19 Membership, Term of Office 19 Compensation 19 Organization 19 Public Record 20

PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Governing Board 20 Membership, Term of Office 20

Compensation Vacancies Organization Meetings

ARTICLE VIII.

Section 8.01 Section 8.02 Section 8.03 Section 8.04

ARTICLE IX.

Section 9.01 Section 9.02 Section 9.03 Section 9.04 Section 9.05 Section 9.06 Section 9.07 Section 9.08

ELECTIONS Page

General Municipal Elections 21 Special Municipal Elections 21 Procedure for Holding Elections 21 Initiative, Referendum, and Recall 22

GENERAL PROVISIONS

General Plan 22 zoning System 22 Conflict of Interest 23 General Laws Applicable 23 Separability 23 Charter Enforcement 23 Charter Amendment 23

SECTION 1.01 NAME

ARTICLE I. Powers of the City

The municipal corporation now existing and known as the City of Piedmont shall remain and continue to be an entity as at present.

SECTION 1.02 BOUNDARIES

The boundaries of the City shall be the same as now established, with power and authority to change the same as provided by law.

SECTION 1.03 POWERS OF THE CITY

The City shall have all powers possible for a city to have under the Constitution and laws of the State of California as fully and completely as though they were specifically enumerated in this Charter.

The powers of the City under this Charter shall be construed liberally in favor of the City, and the specific mention of particular powers in the Charter shall not be construed as limiting in any way the general power stated in this Article.

SECTION 1.04 INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS

The City may exercise any of its powers or perform any of its functions and may participate in the financing thereof, jointly or in cooperation, by contract or otherwise, with any other public or private agency.

ARTICLE II City Council

SECTION 2.01 COMPOSITION, ELIGIBILITY AND ELECTION

  1. (A)  COMPOSITION. There shall be a City Council of five (5) members elected at large by the qualified voters of the City.
  2. (B)  ELIGIBILITY . Only qualified voters of the City shall be eligible to hold the office of Councilmember.

(C) HOLDING OTHER OFFICES. Except where authorized by law, no Councilmember shall hold any other office or employment with the City.

(D) ELECTION. The regular election of Councilmembers shall be held at the General Municipal Election as provided for in Section 8.01 of this Charter. The terms of elected Councilmembers shall begin upon certification of the election results by the City Council. They shall hold office for four (4) years. Elections shall be alternately for two (2) and three (3) Councilmembers, excluding elections to fill an unexpired term of office. (Charter Amendment 11 4 2014)

SECTION 2.02 COMPENSATION

The members of the City Council shall not receive any compensation for their service to the City. Councilmembers may receive actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties of office as determined by the Council.

SECTION 2.03 TERM OF OFFICE

No person who has served two (2) full consecutive terms as a Councilmember shall thereafter be eligible to hold such office until one full intervening term of four (4) years has elapsed. For the purposes hereof, any person who serves as a Councilmember for more than eighteen (18) months of an unexpired term shall be considered to have served a full term.

SECTION 2.04 GENERAL POWERS AND DUTIES

All powers of the City shall be vested in the City Council as the legislative body, except as otherwise provided by law or this Charter. The Council shall provide for the exercise of these powers and for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed on the City by law.

SECTION 2.05 VACANCIES; FORFEITURE OF OFFICE; FILLING OF VACANCIES

  1. (A)  VACANCIES. The office of a Councilmember shall become vacant upon his her death, resignation, removal from office in any manner authorized by law, or forfeiture of office.
  2. (B)  FORFEITURE OF OFFICE. A Councilmember shall forfeit office if the member:

(1) lacks at any time during the term of office any qualification for the office prescribed by this Charter or by State law(2)  violates any prohibition of this Charter or (3)  is convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude.

(C) FILLING OF VACANCIES. A vacancy on the City Council shall be filled by appointment by the Council, with said appointee to hold office until the next general municipal election, when a successor shall be chosen by the electors for the unexpired term. If the Council does not fill such vacancy within sixty (60) days after the same occurs, then such vacancy shall be filled by special election.

Notwithstanding the requirement of this Charter that a quorum of the Council consists of three members, if at any time the membership of the Council is reduced to two, the remaining members shall appoint one additional member to raise the membership to three (3), and then call a special municipal election to fill all vacancies, including the vacancy to which an appointment has just been made. If at any time there are four (4) or more vacancies, the City Clerk shall call a special election at once to fill the vacancies for the unexpired terms, with said election being conducted in accordance with the rules for a general municipal election.

SECTION 2.06 JUDGE OF QUALIFICATIONS

The City Council shall be the judge of the election and qualifications of its members and of the grounds for forfeiture of office, and for that purpose shall have power to subpoena witnesses, administer oaths and require the production of evidence. A member charged with conduct constituting grounds for forfeiture of office shall be entitled to a public hearing on demand, and notice of such hearing shall be published in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the City at least one week in advance of the hearing. Decisions made by the Council under this section shall be subject to review by the courts.

SECTION 2.07 COUNCIL MEETINGS

  1. (A)  MEETINGS. The City Council shall meet regularly at such times and places as the Council may prescribe by ordinance or resolution. Special meetings may be held on the call of the Mayor or of three (3) or more members and, whenever practicable, upon no less than twenty-four (24) hours notice to each member. All meetings shall be public except as otherwise provided by law.
  2. (B)  RULES AND MINUTES. The Council shall determine its own rules and order of business and shall provide for keeping minutes of its proceedings. These minutes shall be a permanent public record.
  3. (C)  VOTING. Voting, except on procedural motions, shall be by roll call and the ayes and nays shall be recorded in the minutes. Three (3) members of the Council shall constitute a quorum. No action of the Council, except as otherwise provided.

Deletions have been omitted here, as unclear.

 Deleted: but a smaller number may adjourn from time to time and may compel the attendance of absent members in the manner prescribed by the rules of the Council for in this Charter, shall be valid or binding unless adopted by the affirmative vote of three (3) or more members of the Council.

SECTION 2.08 MAYOR

Following each general municipal election, the City Council shall elect from among its member officers of the City who shall have the titles of Mayor and Vice-Mayor, each of whom shall serve at the pleasure of the Council. The Mayor shall preside at meetings of the Council, shall be recognized as head of the City government for all ceremonial purposes and by the Governor for the purposes of military law, but shall have no administrative duties. The Vice-Mayor shall act as mayor during the absence or disability of the Mayor. In case of the temporary absence or disability of both the Mayor and Vice-Mayor, the Council shall select one of its members to serve as Mayor Pro Tempore.

SECTION 2.09 INVESTIGATIONS

The City Council may make investigations into the affairs of the City and the conduct of any City department, office or agency, and for this purpose may subpoena witnesses, administer oaths, take testimony and require the production of evidence.

SECTION 2.10 ADMINISTRATIVE RELATIONS

Except for the purpose of inquiries and investigations, Councilmembers shall deal with the City officers and employees who are subject to the direction and supervision of the City Administrator through the City Administrator.

SECTION 2.11 ACTION REQUIRING AN ORDINANCE

In addition to other acts required by law or by specific provisions of this Charter to be done by ordinance, those acts of the City Council shall be by ordinance which:

  1. (1)  Adopt or amend an administrative code, or combine or abolish any City department, office, record or commission
  2. (2)  Provide for a fine or other penalty, or establish a rule or regulation for violation of which a fine or other penalty is imposed
  3. (3)  Levy taxes, except as otherwise provided in this Charter with respect to the property tax levied by adoption of the budget
  4. (4)  Grant, renew or extend a franchise
  5. (5) Authorize the borrowing of money
  6. (6) Convey or lease or authorize the conveyance or lease of any lands of the City
  7. (7) Adopt, with or without amendment, ordinances proposed under the initiative power and(8) Amend or repeal any ordinance previously adopted, except as otherwise provided in this Charter, with respect to repeal of ordinances reconsidered under the referendum power.

Acts other than those referred to in this section may be done either by ordinance or by resolution of the City Council. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, if an ordinance authorizes the council to establish rules and regulations on matters set forth in such ordinance, those rules and regulations adopted by resolution shall be valid and shall be subject to fine or penalty if the establishing ordinance so provides.

SECTION 2.12 ORDINANCES IN GENERAL

  1. (A)  FORM. Every proposed ordinance shall be introduced in writing, and the subject of the ordinance shall be clearly expressed in its title. The enacting clause shall be, “The City Council of the City of Piedmont hereby ordains…” Any proposed ordinance which repeals or amends an existing ordinance or part of the City Code shall distinctly set out the City Code sections or subsections to be repealed or amended, and those existing provisions shall be posted with said ordinance.
  2. (B)  PROCEDURE. An ordinance may be introduced by any Councilmember at any regular or special meeting of the City Council. Upon the first reading of any ordinance, the City Clerk shall distribute a copy to each Councilmember and to the City Administrator, shall make available a reasonable number of copies in the office of the City Clerk, and shall post the ordinance together with a notice setting out the time and place for a final reading by the Council. The adoption shall follow the first reading by at least five (5) days. A proposed ordinance may be amended or modified between the time of its first reading and the time of its final adoption, providing its general scope and original purpose are retained. As soon as practicable after adoption of any ordinance, the City Clerk shall post the final ordinance before its effective date. All ordinances shall be attested by the City Clerk or his her designee.
  3. (C)  EFFECTIVE DATE. Except as otherwise provided in this Charter or by State law, every adopted ordinance shall become effective at the expiration of thirty (30) days after adoption or at any later date specified therein.
  4. (D)  POSTING DEFINED. As used in this section, the term “posting” means to post the ordinance on the official city web site.5

Deleted: bulletin board

SECTION 2.13 EMERGENCY ORDINANCES

To meet a public emergency affecting life, health, property or the public peace, the City Council may adopt one or more emergency ordinances, but such ordinances may not levy taxes grant, renew or extend a franchise or authorize the borrowing of money in excess of twenty five percent (25%) of the tax receipts from the previous fiscal year. An emergency ordinance shall be introduced in the form and manner prescribed for ordinances generally, except that it shall be plainly designated as an emergency ordinance and shall contain, after the enacting clause, a declaration stating that an emergency exists and describing it in clear and specific terms. An emergency ordinance may be adopted with or without amendment or rejected at the meeting which it is introduced, but the affirmative vote of at least four (4) Councilmembers shall be required for adoption. After its adoption, the ordinance shall be posted as prescribed for other adopted ordinances. It shall become effective upon adoption or at such later time as it may specify. Every emergency ordinance, except an emergency appropriation, shall automatically stand repealed as of the 61st day following the date on which it was adopted, but this shall not prevent re-enactment of the ordinance in the manner specified in this section if the emergency still exists. An emergency ordinance may also be repealed by adoption of a repealing ordinance in the same manner specified in this section for adoption of emergency ordinances.

SECTION 2.14 CODES OF TECHNICAL REGULATIONS

The City Council may adopt any standard code of technical regulations by reference thereto in an adoption ordinance. The procedure and requirements governing such an adopting ordinance shall be as prescribed for ordinances generally, except that:

  1. (1)  One copy of each adopted code of technical regulations as well as of the adopting ordinances shall be authenticated and recorded by the City Clerk pursuant to this Charter.
  2. (2)  Copies of any adopted code of technical regulations shall be made available at the office of the City Clerk for free public reference, and made available for purchase by the public at a reasonable price fixed by the Council.

SECTION 2.15 AUTHENTICATION AND RECORDING; CODIFICATION; PRINTING

  1. (A)  AUTHENTICATION AND RECORDING. The City Clerk shall, when necessary, authenticate by signature all ordinances and resolutions adopted by the City Council.
  2. (B)  CODIFICATION. Within a time to be determined by the Council, a general codification of all City ordinances and resolutions having the force and effect of law shall be prepared and periodically revised. The general codification shall be printed, together with this Charter and any amendments thereto, and such codes or technical regulations and other rules and regulations as the Council may specify. This compilation shall be known and cited officially as the Piedmont City Code. Copies of the code shall be furnished to City officers, placed in the City Clerk’s office for free public reference, and made available for purchase by the public at a reasonable price fixed by the Council.
  3. (C)  PRINTING OF ORDINANCES AND RESOLUTIONS. The Council shall cause each ordinance and resolution having the force and effect of law and each amendment to this Charter to be printed following its adoption, and the printed ordinances, resolutions and charter amendments shall be distributed or sold to the public at reasonable prices to be fixed by the Council. All ordinances, resolutions and charter amendments shall be printed in substantially the same style as the Code currently in effect and shall be suitable in form for integration therein

 

.ARTICLE III. Administration

SECTION 3.01 OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES

The officers of the City of Piedmont shall consist of a City Administrator, a City Clerk, a City Attorney, a Director of Finance, a Chief of Police, a Fire Chief, a Director of Public Works, a City Engineer, a Planning Director, a Director of Recreation and such other subordinate officers, assistants, deputies and employees as the City Council may deem necessary to provide by ordinance or resolution. The City Administrator and City Attorney shall be appointed and directed by the Council, and shall hold office at the pleasure of the Council. All other officers shall be appointed and directed by the City Administrator.

The Council may by resolution reorganize, or by ordinance combine or consolidate or abolish any two or more offices or functions and require the duties of the same to be performed by one officer or department. The Council shall have the right of providing for such officers, departments and their functions in whole or in part through contract agreements.

Some deletions here.

Deleted: and shall record them in full in an indexed book kept for this purpose.

Deleted: administrative Deleted: Parks and Deleted: All officers

The Council may transfer or consolidate functions of the City government to or with appropriate functions of the State or County government, or any other public or private agency, or make use of such functions of said entities. In such case, the provisions of this Charter providing for the function of the City government so transferred or consolidated shall be deemed suspended during the continuance of such transfer or consolidation, to the extent that such suspension is made necessary or convenient and is set forth in the ordinance establishing such transfer or consolidation. Any such transfer or consolidation may be repealed in like manner.

SECTION 3.02 CITY ADMINISTRATOR

The City Council shall appoint a City Administrator for an indefinite term and fix his her compensation. The administrator shall be appointed on the basis of executive and administrative qualifications.

The City Administrator shall be the chief administrative officer of the city and shall be responsible to the City Council for the administration of all City affairs placed in his her charge by or under this charter.

The administrator shall have the following powers and duties:

  1. (1)  Shall appoint, discipline, and, when deemed necessary for the good of the City, suspend or remove City officers appointed by the City Administrator and employees except as otherwise provided by law, this Charter or personnel rules adopted pursuant to this Charter.
  2. (2)  Shall supervise the administration of all departments, offices and agencies of the City, except as otherwise provided by this Charter or by law and except further that the internal administration of each department shall remain with each department head.
  3. (3)  Shall attend Council meetings and shall have the right to take part in discussion, but may not vote.
  4. (4)  Shall see that all laws, provisions of this Charter and acts of the Council, subject to enforcement by him her or by officers subject to his her supervision, are faithfully executed.
  5. (5)  Shall prepare and submit the annual budget to the Council and shall supervise its administration after its adoption.
  6. (6)  Shall submit to the Council and make available to the public a report on the finances of the City each fiscal year.
  7. (7)  Shall make such other reports as the Council may require concerning the operations of City departments, offices and agencies

Deleted:
SECTION 3.02 OFFICIAL BONDS

The City Council shall determine which officers shall give bonds for the faithful performance of their official duties and fix the amount of said bonds. Such officers, before entering upon their official duties, shall execute a bond to the City in the sum legally required, which bond shall include any other offices they hold. The bonds shall be approved by the Council, paid for by the City and filed with the City Clerk except that the bonds of the City Administrator and the City Clerk shall be filed with the City Attorney.

  1. (8)  Shall keep the Council fully advised as to the financial condition and future needs of the City and make recommendations to the Council concerning the affairs of the City.
  2. (9)  Shall administer the personnel system of the City and, in particular, those matters involving the City’s personnel classification system and employee benefit and retirement plans.
  3. (10)  Shall maintain a system of City records.
  4. (11)  Shall perform such other duties as are specified in this charter or may be required by the Council.

SECTION 3.03 ACTING CITY ADMINISTRATOR

By letter filed with the City Clerk, the administrator shall designate a qualified City administrative officer to exercise the powers and perform the duties of administrator during temporary absence or disability. The City Council may by majority vote revoke such designation at any time and appoint another officer of the City to serve until the administrator shall return or the disability shall cease.

SECTION 3.04 CITY CLERK

The City Administrator shall appoint an officer of the City who shall have the title of City Clerk. The City Clerk shall give notice of Council meetings to its members and the public, keep the minutes of its proceedings and perform such other duties as are assigned by this Charter, State Law, the City Council, or the City Administrator.

SECTION 3.05 CITY ATTORNEY

The City Council shall appoint a City Attorney. That person shall be an attorney-at-law licensed as such under the laws of the State of California, and continue to be so licensed during the time of holding office, and shall have been engaged in the practice of law for at least five (5) years prior to appointment. The City Attorney shall, directly or through deputies, have power and be required to:

  1. (1)  Represent and advise the Council and all officers of the City in all matters of law pertaining to their offices
  2. (2)  Represent and appear for the City in any or all actions or proceedings in which the City is concerned or is a party, including the prosecution of violations of this Charter and ordinances enacted by the Council, and represent and appear for any

Deletions here are omitted, as unclear.

City officer or employee, or former City officer or employee, in any or all actions and proceedings in which any such officer or employee is concerned or is a party for any act arising out of his her employment or by reason of official capacity, provided the interest of the City in such action or proceeding is not adversely affected

  1. (3)  Attend all regular meetings of the Council and give advice or opinion in writing whenever requested to do so by the Council, by the City Administrator or by any of the boards or commissions of the City, subject to the approval of the Council or the City Administrator
  2. (4)  Approve the form of all contracts made by and all bonds given to the City, endorsing approval thereon in writing
  3. (5)  Prepare ordinances or resolutions for the City and amendments thereto
  4. (6)  Transfer forthwith to the appointed successor all books, papers, files and documents pertaining to the City, which he she has in their control.

The Council shall have control of all legal business and proceedings and may employ other attorneys to take charge of any litigation or matter or to assist the City Attorney therein.

SECTION 3.06 DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE

There shall be a Department of Finance headed by a Director of Finance who will have charge of the administration of the financial affairs of the City, and may be empowered to act as assessor, tax collector and or treasurer for the City, and perform such other duties as may be assigned.
The department shall be responsible for the collection of all taxes, assessments, license fees and other revenues of the City for whose collection the City is responsible and shall receive all taxes or other money receivable by the City from the County, State or Federal governments or from any office or department of the City.

SECTION 3.07 POLICE DEPARTMENT

There shall be a Police Department headed by a Chief of Police. This department shall have charge of the law enforcement function of the City, and such other public safety activities as may be assigned, with the duty of preserving the public peace and upholding the laws of the City and of the State of California. For the enforcement of said laws, the chief shall have all the powers that are now or may hereafter be conferred upon sheriffs and other peace officers by the laws of the State. Every citizen shall lend aid to the police when requested for the arrest of offenders, the maintenance of public order, or the protection of life and property.

SECTION 3.08 FIRE DEPARTMENT
Many deletions here were unclear.

There shall be a Fire Department headed by a Fire Chief. This department shall have charge of the prevention and extinguishing of fires, the provision of emergency medical services, and such other public safety activities as may be assigned. The chief shall also direct the department in protecting life and property in other natural and or man-made disasters. Every citizen shall lend aid to the fire department when requested for the protection of life and property.

SECTION 3.09 DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

There shall be a Department of Public Works headed by a Director of Public Works. This department shall have charge of the maintenance and repair of all City streets, sewers and storm sewers, parks, public facilities, and any other related activities as may be assigned.

SECTION 3.10 CITY ENGINEER

There shall be a City Engineer who shall have supervision over all matters of an engineering character as required by State law, or as may be assigned. At the time of appointment, this officer shall have been a practicing civil engineer for a period of at least five (5) years, and licensed in the State of California.

SECTION 3.11 PLANNING DIRECTOR

There shall be a Planning Director who shall be responsible for administering the City’s continuing planning activities as may be assigned, including, but not limited to, maintenance of the general plan, overseeing the zoning system and building regulations and codes.

SECTION 3.12 DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION

There shall be a Department of Recreation headed by a Director of Recreation. This department shall have charge of the organization and administration of the City’s public recreation programs and such other related activities as may be assigned. The director shall administer the operations and programs of the department and shall carry out policies established by the Council for the use of the City’s park lands and recreation facilities.

Many deletions here omitted for lack of clarity.

ARTICLE IV. Fiscal Management

SECTION 4.01 FISCAL YEAR

The fiscal year of the City shall begin on the first day of July and end on the thirtieth day of June of the following year.

SECTION 4.02 SUBMISSION OF BUDGET

On or before the fifteenth day of May of each year, the City Administrator shall submit to the City Council a budget for the ensuing fiscal year.

SECTION 4.03 THE BUDGET

The City Administrator shall submit the budget both in fiscal terms and in terms of the City’s programs. The administrator shall outline the proposed financial policies of the City for the fiscal year describe the important features of the budget indicate any major changes from the current year in financial policies, expenditures and revenues, together with reasons for such changes summarize the City’s debt position and include such other material as the administrator deems desirable or as the City Council designates.

The budget shall provide a complete financial plan of all City funds and activities for the ensuing fiscal year. In organizing the budget, the City Administrator shall utilize the most feasible combination of expenditure classification by fund, organization unit, program, purpose or activity, and object. It shall begin with a clear general summary of its contents shall show in detail all estimated income, indicating the proposed property tax levy, and all proposed expenditures, including debt service, for the fiscal year and shall be so arranged as to show comparative figures for income and expenditures of the current fiscal year and the preceding fiscal year. It shall indicate in separate sections:

  1. (1)  The proposed expenditures for current operations during the ensuing fiscal year, detailed by department in terms of their respective programs, and the method of financing such expenditures and
  2. (2)  The proposed capital expenditures during the ensuing fiscal year, detailed by department, and the proposed method of financing each such capital expenditure.

The Council shall maintain a General Fund Reserve for the purpose of maintaining municipal services during periods of reduced revenues to the City, as well as meeting unforeseen contingencies and emergencies of the City. The City Council shall strive to maintain the reserve in an amount not less than fifteen (15%) of the General Fund operating budget.

SECTION 4.04 ACTION ON BUDGET

  1. (A)  NOTICE AND HEARING. The City Council shall publish in one or more newspapers of general circulation in the City a notice stating:
    1. (1)  the times and places where copies of the budget are available for inspection by the public and
    2. (2)  the time and place, not less than ten (10) days nor more than thirty (30) days after such publications, for a public hearing on the budget.
  2. (B)  AMENDMENT BEFORE ADOPTION. After the public hearing, the Council may adopt the budget with or without amendment. In amending the budget, it may add or increase programs or amounts and may delete or decrease programs or amounts, except expenditures required by law or for debt service or for estimated cash deficit, provided that no amendment to the budget shall increase the authorized expenditures to an amount greater than the total estimated income.
  3. (C)  ADOPTION. The Council shall adopt the budget on or before the thirtieth day of June of the fiscal year currently ending. If the Council fails to adopt the budget by this date, the amounts appropriated for current operation for the current fiscal year shall be deemed adopted for the ensuing fiscal year on a month-by-month basis, with all items in it prorated accordingly, until such time as the Council adopts a budget for the ensuing fiscal year. Adoption of the budget shall constitute appropriation of the amounts specified therein for expenditure from the funds indicated.
  4. (D)  PUBLIC RECORD. The budget shall be printed and made available for public review.

SECTION 4.05 AMENDMENTS AFTER ADOPTION

The Council may during the course of the fiscal year amend the budget by reducing or increasing appropriations, transferring appropriations, and authorizing supplemental appropriations, and may authorize expenditures from the unappropriated reserve fund for the purpose of meeting unforeseen contingencies and emergencies of the City from funds so approved, transferred, or added thereto by the Council.

SECTION 4.06 LAPSE OF APPROPRIATIONS

Every appropriation, except an appropriation for a capital expenditure, shall lapse at the close of Deleted: in an amount not to exceed twenty-five (25%) of the budget for the purpose of maintaining municipal services during periods of reduced revenues to the City, as well as meeting unforeseen contingencies and emergencies of the City.

For each fiscal year, the proposed General Fund expenditures shall be no greater than the sum of estimated General Fund revenue plus the General Fund Reserve. (Amended 3 7 2000)

Deleted: the fiscal year to the extent that it has not been expended or encumbered. An appropriation for a capital expenditure shall continue in force until the purpose for which it was made has been accomplished or abandoned the purpose of any such appropriation shall be deemed abandoned if three (3) years pass without any disbursement from or encumbrance of the appropriation.

SECTION 4.07 TAX SYSTEM

Unless otherwise provided by ordinance, the City shall use, for the purpose of municipal property taxation, the County system of assessment and tax collection, as such system is now in effect or may hereafter be amended and insofar as such provisions are not in conflict with this Charter.

SECTION 4.08 TAX RATE LIMITATION

The City shall not levy a rate of taxation beyond that sufficient to raise the amounts required for the annual budget and as otherwise provided in this Charter or by State law, less the amounts estimated to be received from fines, licenses and other sources of revenues.

SECTION 4.09 INDEPENDENT AUDIT

The City Council shall provide for an independent annual audit of all City accounts and may provide for such more frequent audits as it deems necessary. Such audits shall be made by a certified public accountant or firm of such accountants with no personal interest, direct or indirect, in the fiscal affairs of the City government or any of its officers. The Council may, without requiring competitive bids, designate such accountant or firm, annually or for a period not exceeding three (3) years. The designation for any particular fiscal year shall be made no later than thirty (30) days after the beginning of the fiscal year.

SECTION 4.10 FRANCHISES

No person or corporation shall exercise any franchise right or privilege in the City except insofar as they may be entitled to do so by direct authority of the State Constitution, unless they shall have obtained grant therefor in accordance with the provisions of this Charter and in accordance with the procedure prescribed by ordinance.

(A) TERMS, CONDITIONS AND PROCEDURES. The City Council shall, by ordinance, prescribe the terms, conditions and procedures under which franchises will be granted, subject to the provisions of this Charter provided, however, that such procedural ordinance or ordinances shall make provisions for the giving of public notice for franchise applications, for protects against the granting of such franchises and for public hearings on such applications.

 

The Council, in granting franchises, shall prescribe the terms and conditions of such franchises in accordance with the applicable provisions of this Charter and any ordinance adopted thereto, and may in such franchise impose such other and additional terms and conditions not in conflict with said Charter or ordinances, whether governmental or contractual in character, as in the judgment of said Council are in the public interest or as the people, by initiative, indicate they desire to have imposed.

  1. (B)  METHOD OR GRANTING FRANCHISE. The Council may grant a franchise without calling for bids or may, in its discretion, advertise for bids for the sale of a franchise upon a basis not in conflict with the provisions of this Charter.
  2. (C)  TERM OF FRANCHISE. Every franchise shall be either a fixed term or for an indeterminate period. If for a fixed term, the franchise shall state the term for which it is granted if indeterminate, it shall set forth the terms and conditions under which it may be terminated.
  3. (D)  EMINENT DOMAIN. No franchise grant shall in any way, or to any extent, impair or affect the right of the City to acquire the property of the grantee thereof either by purchase or through the exercise of the right of eminent domain, and nothing therein contained shall be construed to contract away or to modify or to abridge, either for a term or in perpetuity, the City’s right of eminent domain with respect to any public utility.
  4. (E)  ADEQUATE COMPENSATION. No new franchise or renewal of an existing franchise shall be granted without reserving to the City just and adequate compensation.

SECTION 4.11 CONTRACT WORK

All contracts shall be drawn under the supervision of the City Attorney. All contracts must be in writing and executed in the name of the City by an officer or officers authorized to sign the same.

The City Council shall establish, by ordinance, the rules and regulations for the City’s competitive bidding system. The Council may reject any and all bids, and may call for new bids. The Council, without advertising for bids, may provide for such work to be procured in the open market if it deems it more beneficial or economical to do so.

SECTION 4.12 PURCHASING

A purchasing system shall be established for all City departments and offices. The City Council shall consider and adopt rules and regulations governing the contracting for purchasing, inspection, storing, distribution or disposal of all supplies, materials and equipment require by

 

Deleted: All expenditures for public projects above the limit from time to time set by State law shall be contracted for and let to the lowest responsible bidder after notice.any department or office of the City.

SECTION 4.13 TEMPORARY LOANS

Money may be borrowed in anticipation of the receipts from taxes during any fiscal year, by the issue of notes, certificates of indebtedness or revenue bonds but the aggregate amount of such loans at any time outstanding shall not exceed twenty-five (25) percent of the receipts from all taxes during the preceding fiscal year and all such loans shall be paid out of the receipts from taxes for the fiscal year in which they are issued.

SECTION 4.14 BONDED DEBT LIMIT

The City shall not incur an indebtedness evidenced by obligation bonds which shall in the aggregate exceed the sum of twenty (20) percent of total assessed valuation for purposes of City taxation, of all the real and personal property within the City, exclusive of any indebtedness that has been or may hereafter be incurred for the purposes of acquiring, constructing, extending or maintaining municipal utilities, for which purpose a further indebtedness may be incurred by the issuance of bonds, subject only to the provisions of the State Constitution and of this Charter.

No bonded indebtedness which shall constitute a general obligation of the City may be created unless authorized by the affirmative votes of a majority of the electors voting on such proposition at any election at which the question is submitted to the electors and unless in full compliance with the provisions of the State Constitution, other State laws and this Charter.

ARTICLE V. Personnel

SECTION 5.01 PERSONNEL CLASSIFICATION

The administrative service of the City shall be divided into unclassified and classified service: (A) The unclassified service shall comprise the following officers and positions:

  1. (1)  All elective officers
  2. (2)  The officers of the City, as defined in this charter
  3. (3)  All members of boards and commissions
  4. (4)  Positions in any class or grade created for a special or temporary purpose for a period of not longer than six months16

Deleted: CityAdministrator,CityAttorney,CityClerk, personnel officer, and the head of each department of the City

  1. (5)  Persons employed to render professional, scientific, technical or expert services of any occasional or exceptional character
  2. (6)  Part-time employees paid on an hourly or per diem basis.

(B) The classified service shall comprise all positions not specifically included by this section in the unclassified service.

SECTION 5.02 APPOINTMENTS AND PROMOTIONS

All appointments to and promotions within the classified service shall be based upon selection of the best qualified individual as determined by means of recognized personnel selection techniques. The City shall not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of sex, race, creed, color, ancestry, national origin, religion, disability, age, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, AIDS HIV status, medical condition, political activities or affiliations, military or veteran status, or status as a victim of domestic violence.

SECTION 5.03 PERSONNEL RULES AND REGULATIONS

The City Council shall implement the personnel system provided by this Charter by adopting rules and regulations governing the administration thereof. Such personnel rules and regulations shall provide, among other things, for:

  1. (1)  The preparation, installation, revision, and maintenance of a position classification plan covering all positions in the classified service, including minimum standards and qualifications for each class and
  2. (2)  The preparation, revision and administration of a plan of compensation directly correlated with the position classification plan, providing a range or maximum rate of pay for each class.

SECTION 5.04 SUSPENSION, DEMOTION AND DISMISSAL

An employee holding a position in the classified service may be suspended without pay, demoted, or removed from a position for malfeasance, misconduct, incompetency, inefficiency or for failure to perform the duties of the position or to observe the established rules and regulations in relation thereto, or to cooperate reasonably with superiors or fellow employees, but subject to the right to a hearing in the manner set forth by the City Council.

Any employee so suspended, demoted, or removed shall be given in writing the reasons for the suspension, demotion, or removal. Said employee shall be allowed a reasonable time for

17

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Deleted: or

Deleted: orethnicorigin.

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answering the same and may demand a public hearing upon the charges, with such hearing to be held in accordance with procedures established therefor. Hearings may be conducted informally, and the technical rules of evidence need not apply, but the employee whose suspension, demotion or removal is sought shall be heard in person, if he she requests, be permitted to be represented by counsel and to produce testimony in his her own behalf.

SECTION 5.05 RETIREMENT SYSTEM

The City Council shall have the power to provide for the creation, establishment and maintenance of a retirement or pension plan or plans for any or all officers and employees of the City. The pension system for members of the police and fire departments as set forth in Section 47 of the Charter in effect on January 1, 1979, shall be incorporated in the City Code, and any amendment thereto shall not be effective unless approved by a majority of the voters voting thereon at a general or special election.

SECTION 5.06 AUTHORITY TO JOIN OTHER SYSTEMS

The City of Piedmont, by and through its City Council, is hereby empowered to join in or continue as a contracting agency in any retirement or pension system or systems existing or hereafter created under the laws of the State of California, or the United States of America, to which municipalities and municipal officers and employees are eligible.

ARTICLE VI. Boards and Commissions

SECTION 6.01 CREATION OF BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

The City Council may create by ordinance such operational, advisory, appellate or rule-making boards and commissions as may be required for the proper operation of any function or department of the City. In doing so, the Council shall prescribe their function, duties, powers, jurisdiction and the number of board and commission members.

SECTION 6.02 MEMBERSHIP, TERM OF OFFICE

Members of boards and commissions shall be appointed by majority vote of the City Council to serve three (3) year terms, and until their respective successors are appointed, with no person serving more than two consecutive terms of office. Members may be removed after a hearing by the affirmative vote of four (4) members of the Council. If a member of a board or commission is absent from three (3) consecutive regular meetings of such board or commission, unless by permission of such body expressed in its official meeting record or by permission of the Council,

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that office shall become vacant and shall be so declared by the Council. Appointments to fill any vacant, unexpired term shall be made by majority vote of the Council in the same manner as regular appointments are made. The Council shall by Council Resolution adopt and maintain in effect written policies and procedures for City Commission appointments. Any person who serves as a member of a board or commission for more than eighteen (18) months of an unexpired term shall be considered to have served a full term of office. (Charter Amendment 1984)

SECTION 6.03 COMPENSATION

The members of boards and commissions shall serve without compensation for their services to the City, but may receive reimbursement for necessary traveling and other expenses incurred on official duty when such expenditures have received authorization by the City Council.

SECTION 6.04 ORGANIZATION

Each year on a date set by their respective rules, each board and commission shall meet to organize by electing one of its members to serve as presiding officer at the pleasure of such body. Each board and commission established by the City Council shall hold meetings at such regular intervals as the proper transaction of business shall require or as established by ordinance. All meetings shall be public except as otherwise provided by law.

SECTION 6.05 PUBLIC RECORD

Minutes for each of such boards and commissions shall be kept as a record of its proceedings and transactions. Each board or commission shall prescribe its own rules and regulations which shall be consistent with this Charter and with City Council ordinances and resolutions, and copies of which shall be kept on file with the City Clerk.

ARTICLE VII. Public Schools

SECTION 7.01 GOVERNING BOARD

The Board of Education shall have control and management of the public schools in the Piedmont Unified School District in accordance with the Constitution and general laws of the State, and is hereby vested with al powers and charged with all the duties provide by this Charter and all the general laws of the State for city boards of education.

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SECTION 7.02 MEMBERSHIP, TERM OF OFFICE

The Board of Education shall consist of five (5) members elected from the City at large for a term of four (4) years. Board members shall be elected at the times and in the same manner provided for members of the City Council and shall be required to meet the same eligibility qualifications. No person who has served two (2) full consecutive terms as a member of the Board of Education shall be eligible to hold office until one (1) full intervening term of four (4) years has elapsed. Any person who serves as a member of the Board for more than eighteen (18) months of an unexpired term shall be considered to have served a full term.

SECTION 7.03 COMPENSATION

The members of the Board of Education shall not receive any compensation for their service to the School District. Board members may receive actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties of office as determined by the Board.

SECTION 7.04 VACANCIES

The same rules governing the creation of vacancies or causing forfeiture of office from the City Council shall also apply to the members of the Board of Education. A vacancy on the Board shall be filled by appointment of a majority vote of said Board, with the appointee holding office for the remainder of the unexpired term or until the next general municipal election. If a vacancy on the Board of Education continues for sixty (60) days, the vacancy shall be filled by special election.

SECTION 7.05 ORGANIZATION

The Board of Education shall annually, pursuant to the requirements of the California Education Code, elect one of its own members to be President of the Board and another to serve as Vice- President. Either of these officers may be removed by the affirmative vote of four (4) members. (Charter Amendment 11 4 2014)

SECTION 7.06 MEETINGS

The Board of Education shall meet at such times and places as may be designated by resolution of said Board. Three (3) members of the Board shall constitute a quorum, except as otherwise provided by law. All meetings of the Board of Education shall be public, except as otherwise provided in the California Government and Education Codes. The Board shall determine the rules of its proceedings.

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Agenda Report Page 32

Deleted: thirty
Deleted: 3
Deleted: the President of the Board of Education.

Deleted: , but a less number than three (3) at a scheduled meeting may adjourn and compel the attendance of absent members in such manner as the Board may prescribe

ARTICLE VIII. Elections

SECTION 8.01 GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS

General Municipal elections for the election of officers and for such other purposes as the City Council may proscribe, shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday of November in even numbered years. (Charter Amendment 11 4 2014)

SECTION 8.02 SPECIAL MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS

All other municipal elections that may be held by authority of this Charter, or of general law, or by ordinance, shall be known as special municipal elections.

SECTION 8.03 PROCEDURE FOR HOLDING ELECTIONS

Unless otherwise provided by ordinances hereafter enacted, all elections shall be held in accordance with the provisions of the Elections Code of the State of California, as the same now exists or may hereafter be amended, for the holding of elections in general law cities so far as the same are not in conflict with the Charter.

SECTION 8.04 INITIATIVE, REFERENDUM, AND RECALL

There are hereby reserved to the electors of the City the powers of the initiative and referendum and recall of municipal elective officers. The provisions of the Elections Code of the State of California, as the same now exists or hereafter may be amended, governing the initiative and referendum and the recall of municipal officers, shall apply to the use thereof in the City so far as such provisions of the Elections Code are not in conflict with the provisions of this Charter.

ARTICLE IX. General Provisions

SECTION 9.01 GENERAL PLAN

The City Council shall adopt, and may from time to time, modify a general plan setting forth policies to govern the development of the City. Such plan may cover the entire City and all of its functions and services or may consist of a combination of plans governing specific functions and services or specific geographic areas which together cover the entire City and all of its functions and services. The plan shall also serve as a guide to Council action concerning such City

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Agenda Report Page 33

Agenda Report Page 34

planning matters as land use, development regulations and capital improvements.

SECTION 9.02 ZONING SYSTEM

The City of Piedmont is primarily a residential city, and the City Council shall have power to establish a zoning system within the City as may in its judgement be most beneficial. The Council may classify and reclassify the zones established, but no existing zones shall be reduced or enlarged with respect to size or area, and no zones shall be reclassified without submitting the question to a vote at a general or special election. No zone shall be reduced or enlarged and no zones reclassified unless a majority of the voters voting upon the same shall vote in favor thereof provided that any property which is zoned for uses other than or in addition to a single- family dwelling may be voluntarily rezoned by the owners thereof filing a written document executed by all of the owners thereof under penalty of perjury stating that the only use on such property shall be a single-family dwelling, and such rezoning shall not require a vote of the electors as set forth above.

SECTION 9.03 CONFLICT OF INTEREST

Subject to the provisions of State law, the City Council may adopt from time to time such ordinances, resolutions and regulations as the Council shall consider necessary and proper to prevent conflict of interest between the City and its officers, employees or members of boards, commissions or committees.

SECTION 9.04 GENERAL LAWS APPLICABLE

All general laws of the State applicable to municipal corporations, now or hereafter enacted, and which are not in conflict with the provisions of this Charter or with ordinances hereafter enacted, shall be applicable to the City. The City Council may adopt and enforce ordinances which, in relation to municipal affairs, shall control as against the general laws of the State.

SECTION 9.05 SEPARABILITY

If any provision of this Charter is held invalid, the other provisions of the Charter shall not be affected thereby. If the application of the Charter or any of its provisions to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the application of the Charter and its provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

SECTION 9.06 CHARTER ENFORCEMENT

The provisions of the Charter shall be enforced, with violations punishable in the manner provided by State law and by City ordinance.

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SECTION 9.07 CHARTER AMENDMENT

Amendments to this Charter may be proposed by the City Council or by the initiative process, as prescribed by this Charter and by State law.

All proposed Charter amendments shall be presented to the qualified voters of the City at a general or special election. If a majority of said voters voting upon a proposed amendment vote in favor of it, the amendment shall become effective at the time fixed in the amendment or, if no time is therein fixed, thirty (30) days after its adoption by the voters.

SECTION 9.08 EFFECTIVE DATE

This Charter shall take effect on March 31, 1980, and upon its filing with the California Secretary of State.

Agenda Report Page 35

23

RESIDENT

COMMENTS SUBMITTED ON CHARTER CHANGES

Item #7 – Discussion of Possible Amendments to the City Charter Correspondence received before 4:00 p.m. on Monday, February 5th 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 of members proposing this could elaborate, it would help Council and 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 opinion 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 is 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

++++++++++++++++++

Dear Mayor McBain and Council,

Changing the City Charter is a critical issue. In 1976 a Charter Committee of residents was formed, chaired by Steve Eigenberg. That committee worked almost four years before an amended Charter was brought before voters in 1980. Given the breadth of the report before you, I do not believe a burden of this importance and magnitude should be left for you to decipher. You need thoughtful resident input and I suggest a Charter Committee be formed and be comprised of a cross-section of the community.

An Open Government Ordinance is needed; such an ordinance sunshines the Brown Act and extends the minimum three day notice requirement. I think a seven day notice requirement is appropriate though some Cities use eleven days. This allows the community to weigh in on important issues and allow residents who are otherwise occupied, such as Christmas when the Piedmont Post CUP was heard or this item over Super Bowl weekend, to have ample time to comment.

Sincerely, Rick Schiller

Considerations proposed by staff and Council can be read HERE.

PUBLIC NOTICE

CITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS POSSIBLE AMENDMENTS TO CITY CHARTER

At a special meeting on Monday, April 30th at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, the City Council will discuss which, if any, possible amendments to the City Charter should be moved forward.

On June 17, 2017, the Council agreed that each individual member would examine all Charter provisions for clarity and relevance and that each would submit any suggestions for Charter amendments to the City Administrator. In addition to review by Councilmembers, the City Clerk, City Attorney, and City Administrator also conducted their own independent review. The results of these reviews were presented to the Council at its regular meeting of February 5, 2018.

At its regular meeting of March 5, 2018, the Council decided not to place any amendments before the voters at the June 2018 primary election, and directed that a special meeting be held to examine all of the possible amendments to the Charter and determine which, if any, should be placed before the voters at the City’s General Municipal Election scheduled for November 2018.

At this April 30th special meeting, Council will review the possible amendments listed in the February 5, 2018 staff report (which is available on the city’s web site at http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/html/govern/staffreports/2018-02-05/charteramendment.pdf) and discuss whether any should move forward.

Pursuant to section 9.07 of the Charter, any proposed amendments must be presented to the qualified voters of the City for approval.

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.

Public comment is invited and encouraged at 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.

For further information, contact City Clerk John O. Tulloch via email at jtulloch@piedmont.ca.gov or via phone at (510) 420-3040.

_________________

Editors Note: The changes to be considered by the Council as potential Charter revisions have been difficult to view in the City staff report. There are places in this article that omit deletions as unclear.  Readers are referred to the staff report for a complete list of deletions.  It is hoped that future staff reports will mark with a strikethrough all deletions and note all additions in a comprehensive form. 

Apr 20 2018

League of Women Voters of Piedmont
 Speaker Series
Surveillance, Public Safety, Privacy, and Civil Rights
with Catherine Crump

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Sunday, April 29, 2018
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Piedmont Community Hall
711 Highland Avenue, Piedmont

Catherine Crump is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the
Samuelson Law, Technology; Public Policy Clinic at U.C. Berkeley Law School.
She will speak about surveillance, public safety, privacy and civil rights. A former
staff attorney for the ACLU, Professor Crump has focused her career on free
speech, privacy and the impact of modern technology on the law.

This event is open to the public.

Apr 4 2018

Can you offer help?

The Alameda County Grand Jury is looking for citizens who are willing to give their time to help good government. Alameda County Civil Grand Jurors are needed for 2018-2019.   

Alameda County Grand Jury recruiting deadline April 15.

http://www.acgov.org/grandjury/documents/App.pdf

Alameda County residents can also fulfill a civic duty by submitting a complaint to a Grand Jury. All complaints are confidential.  See below.

“Civil grand juries have been instrumental in rooting out waste and investigating city leaders suspected of breaching the public trust. Unlike criminal juries, civil grand juries do not deliberate the outcome of criminal defendants or convene for judicial trials. Recent grand juries in Alameda County have conducted investigations into possible misconduct of public officials and the operation of government agencies within Alameda County.

For example,

• In 2016, a civil grand jury investigated Fremont’s email retention policy, which prompted the City of Fremont to preserve emails for a two-year period instead of purging emails after one month periods.

In 2016, the civil grand jury investigated complaints regarding the City of Oakland’s contracting process for awarding garbage collection contracts. The grand jury found that the city’s contracting process lacked transparency and that “franchise fees paid by the ratepayers were disproportionately higher than franchise fees paid to other Bay Area municipalities and special districts.”

• In 2014, the civil grand jury noted mismanagement of fire inspections in Oakland and recommended that the City of Oakland record liens against properties that fail to pay fire inspection fines.

California State Law requires that every county impanel a civil grand jury comprised of 19 residents to serve for one-year periods. Civil grand juries are responsible for examining county departments and public officials to determine whether improvements are needed.

The range of issues reviewed by grand juries include health care, education, pensions, and special districts. Civil grand juries also routinely inspect county jails and review issues pertaining to school districts.

Each year the grand jury reviews complaints from county residents to determine what to investigate. All complaints are maintained in confidence.

To serve on the Alameda County grand jury you must:

Reside in Alameda County for at least one year on July 1st;

• Be at least 18 years old;

• Be able to commit 8 -10 hours per week, and occasionally more time if needed;

• Have an ability to work well with others.

• Commit to keeping all grand jury deliberations secret.

Civil Grand Jury

The civil grand jury acts as a “watch-dog” by investigating the workings and efficiencies of county and local governments. Past investigations have highlighted the failings of local officials in adequately scrutinizing the deal that returned the Raiders football team to Oakland – a deal which currently costs Oakland and Alameda County taxpayers in excess of $20 million every year; the failure of local school boards and county education officials in adequately overseeing the financial affairs of bankrupt school districts in Oakland and Emeryville; and exposed the county welfare agency’s complete failure to investigate welfare fraud, resulting in the district attorney assuming responsibility for those investigations and prosecutions – now numbering over 800 felony prosecutions each year.

The civil grand jury is also authorized to:

  1. Inspect and audit books, records and financial expenditures to ensure the public that public funds are properly accounted for and spent.
  2. Inspect books and records of special districts in Alameda County.
  3. Examine books and records of non-profit agencies that have substantial contacts with county or local agencies.
  4. Inquire into and inspect conditions of local jails and detention facilities.
  5. Investigate charges of willful misconduct by public officials or employees.

The next grand jury term begins on July 1, 2018. In Alameda County, the deadline for applying for the 2018-2019 term is April 15, 2018. There is a particular need for applicants from Fremont, Hayward, Dublin, Livermore, Union City and Newark.

In addition to serving on the grand jury, you can fulfill your civic duty by submitting a complaint. All complaints are kept confidential.

Any person may complain to the Alameda County civil grand jury. The grand jury can only act on complaints dealing with a county department, any city within Alameda County, local agencies that operate within Alameda County (for example BART, EBMUD, AC Transit), and all school districts within Alameda County. The civil grand jury also considers complaints against public officials typically dealing with malfeasance in office. The civil grand jury cannot investigate complaints against state or federal agencies.

Since the activities of the civil grand jury are secret, complainants can be assured their identity will not be disclosed to anyone outside the grand jury.

Complaints made to the grand jury must be in writing and include the name, address and phone number of the complainant. The civil grand jury encourages people who wish to make a complaint to use the complaint form below.

To make your complaint:

  1. Download the complaint form. (7kb)**
  2. Complete the form.
  3. Mail the completed form to the address listed in the form

How Do I Become A Civil Grand Juror?
Prospective civil grand jurors are nominated by judges of the Alameda County Superior Court. To be eligible for nomination, a citizen must first submit an application that may be obtained from the Alameda County jury commissioner. The qualifications required are: U.S. citizenship, residence in Alameda County for at least one year, and be at least 18 years of age, and have a sufficient knowledge of the English language. Convicted felons and those who have been discharged from service on a grand jury within one year are ineligible for grand jury service. Judges from the Superior Court then review the applications and the applicants’ backgrounds before conducting personal interviews of the applicants. Civil grand jurors are expected to attend grand jury meetings on average two days each week.

Once a sufficient number of citizens have been nominated, 25-30 names are selected as nominees. The nominees must equally represent each of the five supervisorial districts in Alameda County. At an official ceremony, 19 jurors are selected to serve for a one year term. At the discretion of the presiding judge, up to ten members of the prior grand jury may be held over for an additional year of grand jury service.

How to Obtain an Application

Call, Email or Write:

Cassie Barner
Grand Jury Recruitment
1401 Lakeside Drive, Suite 1104
Oakland, CA 94612
cassie.barner@acgov.org
510-208-9855

You can print the application from the link below and mail it to the address listed above.
Grand Jury Application: App.pdf (PDF – 110kb) *

For further information, Alameda County residents may contact Cassie Barner (510) 208-9855 or visit www.acgov.org/grandjury/juror.htm.

Mar 26 2018

The Piedmont City Council will hold a Special Study Session, open to the public, concerning standards for wireless communication facilities on April 17, 2018, at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers, City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.

The information is intended to provide the City with a foundation on which development standards and regulations will be considered for future wireless communication facilities in the public right-of-way.

Residents are encouraged to submit questions related to the legal restrictions and the technology for wireless communication facilities in advance of the study session.

Due to the large amount of community interest in this topic, and the desire to provide the most complete and accurate information as possible, comments and questions are requested by April 9, 2018.

Residents can submit questions to cityclerk@piedmont.ca.gov. Written comments and questions will be accepted after this date, but staff may not be able to research and provide an answer by the time of the meeting.

Residents are also encouraged to share their comments at the meeting.

The April 17, 2018 study session 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 http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/video/

For more information, please visit the Wireless Communication Facilities page on the City of Piedmont’s web site at:   http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/publicworks/wireless.shtml

Residents with questions for staff are encouraged to contact Senior Planner Pierce MacdonaldPowell at (510) 420-3050 or via email at pmacdonald@piedmont.ca.gov.

Read the full City announcement> 2018-03-26 Council Study Session on Wireless

Mar 18 2018

Will public participants get to have more than 3 minutes to provide input and exchange ideas?

Will the meetings be broadcast?

Will minutes be kept of the meetings?

How will the public be involved?

After the City Council changed their minds on pushing rushed City Charter amendments on the June ballot, the prevailing direction to staff was to attempt a Measure for the November ballot.  A number of residents and the Piedmont League of Women Voters asked the Council to defer any action on the important City Charter until discussion and input had involved Piedmonters.

Paul Benoit, City Administrator wants the Council at their March 19, 2018 meeting to Consider a Date for a Council Work Session to Discuss Possible Amendments to the City Charter.  John Tulloch, Piedmont City Clerk, wrote the staff report noted below.

Questions immediately arose regarding how the public would be given an opportunity to participate in the significant proposals.  The “Work Session” format proposed by Benoit and Tulloch, if following prior meetings noted as “Work Sessions,” will not be broadcast and will be held away from the Council Chambers where cameras are a fixture.

Recent “Work Sessions” have primarily involved financial matters where few, if any, public members are present.

The League of Women Voters had proposed an opportunity for broad community involvement, which a work sessions typically does not provide.  A record of the “work sessions” substance and origination of discussion is usually missing.

It has also been pointed out that when the City Charter last had a major review, there was a committee appointed that was open to the public with records kept of recommendations and discussion.

The City Council will consider the matter as the last item on their March 19, 2018 meeting agenda.

The Staff report recommending a Council Work Session on possible City Charter amendments is below:

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

Mar 14 2018

March 11-17, 2018

Throughout the United States,  it is > Sunshine Week  – a national initiative spearheaded by the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) to educate the public about the importance of open government and the dangers of excessive and unnecessary secrecy. 

 > Sunshine Week –  It’s Your Right to Know. March 11-17, 2018. Join ASNE and the Reporters Committee in the annual nationwide celebration of access to public information and what it means for you and your community.

“The American Society of News Editors launched Sunshine Week in 2005 as a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information. The week-long celebration is held every March to coincide with the March 16 birthday of James Madison, the father of the U.S. Constitution.  …”

> Sunshine Week – ASNE

As part of continuing examination of threats to First Amendment freedoms and an extension of Sunshine Week 2017, The Associated Press, the American Society of News Editors and the Associated Press Media Editors have produced a package of stories focused on government attempts to promote secrecy or hinder access to information. …

> Sunshine Week – Society of Professional Journalists

The Piedmont Civic Association website provides free information online to those interested in Piedmont civic matters. There are no advertisements or subscription charges for updates. The PCA website is produced by Piedmont volunteers.

Join hundreds of Piedmonters and receive emailed updates from PCA by clicking > HERE.  

EMAIL ADDRESSES  AND NAMES ARE CONSIDERED CONFIDENTIAL AND NEVER RELEASED.

Mar 12 2018

The public will find the meeting an informative way to learn what the Piedmont City Council members are interested in pursuing.  

The Piedmont City Council will hold a Special Meeting on Thursday, March 15 at 5:30 p.m. to Interview Candidates for Commissions and Committees in the City Hall Conference Room at 120 Vista Avenue.  The meeting will not be broadcast or recorded.

The public is welcome to attend the entire meeting. 

Questions will be asked by Councilmembers of applicants who made timely application for appointment to a Commission or Committee.  The applicant pool names have not been released, but are available upon request. 

Inquiries may be made to the City Clerk at 510/420-3040. 

The Committee and Commission vacancies are noted below:

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

No appointments will be made without a Council interview.

Mar 4 2018

Piedmont’s Research Undercuts Proposed Charter Change –

City staff sought relevant data from dozens of cities on their statutes excluding former Councilmembers from becoming candidates for the Council in the future.  The results of the survey reveal Piedmont’s proposed Charter change is radically out of step.  In the summer of 2017, without direction by the City Council on a new exclusionary candidate proposal, Piedmont City Clerk John Tulloch began extensively researching and carefully detailing practices to further limit previously serving Councilmembers and possibly School Board Members from returning to office. Unbeknownst to the public and without any public involvement, Tulloch contacted 79 cities inquiring about their rules on  limits for their elected officials.  Survey is below.

Remarkably, the City Clerk’s 2017 summer research project showed that excluding candidates was the opposite of what other cities were doing. 

During the February 5, 2018 Council meeting, Tulloch verbalized  parts of the previously undisclosed and undocumented survey.  The Council majority disregarded the verbal survey information and decided to expeditiously, without community involvement or viewing the survey information, move ahead to put a Charter change on the June ballot to exclude former Council members from becoming candidates for Piedmont elected office until 8 years had elapsed since their prior service ended.

Public participants at the February 5 meeting did not comment on the the survey, for the survey information had not been made available.

SURVEY RESULTS –

Following a citizen’s > Public Records request to the City for a copy of the survey, the July research shows the Piedmont City Council’s proposed Charter change is not in keeping with other cities. 

The procured survey was sent to PCA and is being made available to the public on this site showing that only 19 of the 79 cities surveyed (25%) have any exclusion for returning council members to office.  Eleven exclude former council members for 2 years, 7 prohibit candidacy until 4 years have elapsed, which is what the Piedmont City Charter currently specifies, and only 1 city has an 8 year hiatus, Anaheim.

Survey > PCA Term Limit Questionnaire (Responses)(1)

Three Piedmont Councilmembers, likely to be seeking reelection in November 2018, could benefit from eliminating legally qualified individuals from seeking election to their positions.  Those Councilmembers are King, Rood, and Andersen.

The Council will consider controversial, proposed Charter changes at their meeting on Monday, March 5, 2018.  The meeting will be held at 120 Vista Avenue, starting at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be broadcast from the City website under videos and on Channel 27.

Contact numbers for the City Council members:

Robert McBain, Mayor rmcbain@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 420-3048 2nd Term Exp. 11/20
Teddy Gray King, Vice Mayor tking@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 420-3048 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Jennifer Cavenaugh jcavenaugh@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 420-3048 1st Term Exp. 11/20
Tim Rood trood@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 239-7663 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Betsy Smegal Andersen bandersen@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 420-3048 Unexpired Term Exp. 11/18