May 2 2014

At the Council’s annual sit-down with City staff, Saturday, May 10,  9 a.m., the Council will review the City Administrator’s proposed 2014-15 Budget.  It has been the practice for the Council to hold the Budget Session in the Emergency Operation Center in the Police Department on Highland Avenue. The location provides a “round table” casual atmosphere leading to budget adoption. Nevertheless, these proceedings will not be recorded or broadcast for offsite viewing.

Those interested in hearing and learning first hand discussions and presentations on where City money might be spent, should attend the meeting.  There will be opportunities for the public to speak and ask questions.  In the past, coffee and donuts have been made available to attendees.

This year some of the items likely to be considered by the Council are:

  • Hampton Field and tennis court reconstruction
  • Roadway pavement, sidewalk and gutter improvements
  • Employee benefits and salaries
  • Staffing levels
  • Piedmont pool maintenance and improvements
  • Pedestrian and Bike Plan implementation
  • Facility repair and maintenance
  • Additional license plate readers
  • Use of sewer fund monies and alternatives
  • Reserve Funds
  • Capital improvements
  • Retirement costs
  • Blair Park regular maintenance and improvements

Prior to adoption of the FY 2014-15 Budget, there will be two City Council public hearings.

 

Dec 29 2013
Oakland’s City Administrator Deanna Santa has appointed Gerry Garzon as the new Director of Oakland Libraries effective December 19. Piedmont has had a long term contract with the City of Oakland to provide library services to Piedmonters.                                                 

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Gerry Garzón as Director of Library Services for the City of Oakland, effective immediately. Mr. Garzón has been serving as the City’s Interim Library Director since December 2012. In his role as Interim Library Director, he worked with Library staff and the City Administration in developing the Library’s FY 2013-15 Budget. During this time, Mr. Garzón distinguished himself as holding a solid policy background with a strong vision for the future of library services for Oakland residents that strengthens valued, relevant services while leveraging technological innovations.

Over the next year, Mr. Garzón will be working with Library staff and the community in looking at new models of service online, and both inside and outside the Library; further integrating into the Library’s services and programs Oakland Reads 2020, an initiative of the Oakland Literacy Coalition; and, working with the Mayor to recruit more young, Oakland students for Library jobs.

Prior to serving as Interim Library Director, Mr. Garzón served as the Associate Director for the Library and has been with Oakland since 2000.  He has worked in libraries in Colorado, California, and has been the administrator of a 16-state government agency working with governors and federal agencies on energy policy issues.

Mr. Garzón holds a Master of Library & Information Science degree from the University of Denver and a Bachelor’s Degree in Hispanic Literature from the University of California Santa Barbara. He is a member of the American and California Library Associations and serves on the Steering Committee of Oakland Reads 2020.  In November, the California Public Library Advocates, a statewide organization, presented him with an award for outstanding service to the Oakland Public Library.

Please join me in congratulating Gerry on his appointment.

Respectfully submitted,

DEANNA J. SANTANA, Oakland City Administrator

Sep 4 2013

– Saturday, September 7 is the final Saturday –

Beginning Saturday, September 14, the Piedmont Avenue Branch Library at 80 Echo Avenue will no longer be open on weekends. Changing from a Tuesday through Saturday schedule to a Monday through Friday schedule will maximize use by the adjacent school. The same schedule change is occurring at three other branch libraries – Brookfield, Eastmont and Golden Gate. Interim Library Director Gerry Garzon promised to assess the public reaction to the new schedule in six to nine months.

Piedmont Avenue Branch Library hours beginning September 14:

Mondays  12:30 pm – 8 pm

Tuesdays through Thursdays  10 am – 5:30 pm

Fridays   noon – 5:30 pm

Closed Saturday and Sunday

Hours Until September 14:

Monday:  Closed
Tuesday:  12:30 pm – 8:00 pm
Wednesday:  10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Thursday:   10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Friday:  12:00 pm – 5:30 pm
Saturday:  10:00 am – 5:30 pm
Sunday:  Closed
Branch Phone (510) 597-5011

On March 2, 2004, 77.2% of Oakland voters voted in favor of Measure Q for the purpose of “maintaining and expanding neighborhood branch library services, days and hours…”  In 2009 branch library services were reduced from six to five days per week.  This month four libraries eliminate weekend access.  Oakland property owners will continue to pay the Measure Q library parcel tax through June 30, 2024.

Jul 21 2013

Tired of paying for E-books?  The Oakland  Public Library offers those with a library card on-line download of books from their E-library.  The library purchases a limited number of the E-books.  A person might have to wait their turn to borrow an ebook and adhere to the seven day time limit on each use. The City of Piedmont annually pays the City of Oakland $350,471, which allows Piedmonters access to all services provided by the Oakland Public Library.  

To find out more about E-books go to……http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/online-resources/e-books-and-downloadable-audiobooks

To learn more about the many other services offered by the Oakland Public Library go to: http://www.oaklandlibrary.org/online-resources/e-books-and-downloadable-audiobooks

Piedmonters can return borrowed books by placing them in the library drop box outside of Wells Fargo Bank next to the mail boxes.

Dec 18 2012

photo-5

. . .  switched to a more expensive portable.

balloons lined the new access ramp

balloons lined the new access ramp

Nov 12 2012

November 10 was the final day the Piedmont Avenue Branch Library operated in the library building on 41st Street at Piedmont Avenue.

The branch library will reopen on Tuesday, November 27, at 80 Echo Avenue, behind the Piedmont Avenue Elementary School.  The City of Oakland leased the modular unit (with Measure Q funds) from the school for five years as the temporary home for the library.  In preparation for the library, the modular unit was painted white, and a new access ramp and stairway were constructed, also using Measure Q funds, the parcel tax that supports extended branch library hours.  (Read More about the Piedmont Avenue Branch Library move.)

Oct 19 2012

ramp awaits handrail

handrail and stairs

 Construction of the new access ramp and stair improvements to the temporary Piedmont Avenue Library, on the grounds of the Piedmont Avenue Elementary School, is progressing.

The September opening was delayed, and the library is now scheduled to close its current location on 41st Street on Saturday, October 27, and transfer the books and other collections over the following weeks to the new site on the school playground.

Since the construction of necessary access was not completed in September, the official opening on the school playground will be November 27.

Saturday, October 27th is also the date of the Piedmont Avenue Halloween Parade.  The Friends of the Piedmont Avenue Library plan to dress as books and lead the parade from the 41st Street library building to the modular units on Echo Avenue that will serve as the temporary library.

Sep 23 2012

Construction of an access ramp to the future temporary home of the Piedmont Avenue Branch Library has begun.

The ramp, leading from Echo Avenue,  will take patrons to the side of an old school trailer, the library’s new home.  The library move was planned to be completed by the end of September.  To meet that schedule, will require all renovations and improvements to be completed promptly.

Meanwhile, the Piedmont Avenue Branch Library is still open on 41stStreet.  A “For Lease” sign was installed after the 30-day notice of intent to vacate.  The advertised rental rate returns the property to a market rate of $6,250 per month after three years of subsidized rent for the library, courtesy of the private owner.  > Click to read more…

Aug 2 2012

A Temporary Replacement Library that’s Smaller, Less Eco-friendly, More Expensive, Less Convenient, Less Accessible, with Fewer Books-

Beginning sometime in September, the Piedmont Avenue Branch Library will temporarily move into an old modular unit surrounded by high chain link fencing on an obscure side street.  The current location of the library at 160 41st Street with a convenient parking lot across the street was considered an asset by the proprietors of shops and services surrounding it in the heart of Piedmont Avenue. > Click to read more…

Jul 8 2012

Echo Avenue view of future library

playground view of future library

On Tuesday, July 3, the Oakland City Council (OCC) approved a five-year $150,000 lease and $200,000 for moving costs and tenant improvements to relocate the Piedmont Avenue Branch of the Oakland Public Library to a modular unit on Echo Avenue.

The Oakland Public Library (OPL) administrators have been in negotiation with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) for several years about moving the library to the grounds of the Piedmont Avenue Elementary School at 4314 Piedmont Avenue.   The used modular unit has been an OUSD classroom for some years and, according to the contract, is leased to the City in “as-is condition.  …City acknowledges that neither District nor District’s agents have made any representation or warranty as to the suitability of the Modular Building…”  The modular unit is approximately 1600 square feet (compared with the current 1700 square foot library building) and is located four and a half blocks from the current library location.

The modular unit will be rented for $2500 per month or $30,000 per year –  $150,000 for the term of the five-year lease agreement.  According to the lease contract, it commences as of “February 1, 2012 or when the modular has been delivered to the City.”  Utility expenses will be estimated by the OUSD and paid by the City of Oakland.  The terms of this agreement with the OUSD were recommended for approval by OPL staff.  On June 26, the Life Enrichment Committee of the OCC also recommended the proposed agreement and tenant improvements funding.

The rent will be paid from Measure Q fund 2241, the Oakland library parcel tax approved by 77.2% of voters in Oakland.  The $200,000 for the cost of the move and tenant improvements to the modular unit will come from Library Trust Fund 7540. 

The Piedmont Avenue branch library has been the original and only tenant in the architect-designed library building since 1932.  When Citibank offered to sell the library building to the City of Oakland in 2008 and 2009, Oakland declined.  Citibank then required the private purchaser of the adjacent bank building to buy the library building and library building lot as a condition of the purchase of the bank building and its lot.  For an entire year the new owner privately subsidized the library by providing it with free rent.  When the City remained uninterested in buying the library building, the new owner offered a 10-year lease at $4250 per month.  The City declined this offer as well, but in the fall of 2010 entered into a one-year lease with a one-year optional extension.  When the first year of the lease expired, the City declined to exercise the extension.  In order to have more flexibility, the City preferred a month-to-month tenancy with a 30-day intention to vacate notice provision and a monthly rent of $4900.  It is expected that the 30-day notice will be given by the City Administrator this summer.

Three libraries in the OPL System are not City-owned: the Cesar Chavez Branch Library in the Fruitvale BART transit village, the Eastmont Branch Library in Eastmont Mall, and the Piedmont Avenue Branch Library at 160 41st Street with convenient parking across the street in the Key Route Parking Lot.  The move into the modular unit is viewed as a temporary situation, lasting at most five years, until a permanent library facility can be planned and financed.