Feb 23 2018

Proposed Changes to Piedmont Governance Are Missing  Community Input – 

The February 5, 2018 Staff Report has the proposed revised  City Charter. There are single lines added that are fundamental changes to the way Piedmont operates and has operated for many, many years. Example: p19 Sec. 3.01 “All other officers shall be appointed and directed by the City Administrator.” Only the City Administrator and Attorney would be appointed by the Council under the new charter.

Under the current City Charter the City Council is the final authority. Under the proposed new Charter the Chiefs of Police and Fire, City Clerk, Director of Finance, Director of Public Works, City Engineer, Planning Director, Director of Recreation and such other subordinate officers, assistants, deputies and employees would be appointed by the City Administrator. This is a fundamental change in Piedmont governance. Much more community input is required for this and other fundamental changes.

The essential character of government in Piedmont is civic involvement and public discourse. The City Charter is the central document and rushing this to a vote without more public input and a committee report seems unwise.

Recently the Planning Commission approved a recommendation that Staff have more input on window reveals. If the distance a window is set back from the horizontal exterior wall plane is worthy of committee review, surely changing the City Charter also deserves a thoughtful committee investigation and report.

As public discourse is at the heart of Piedmont governance, an Open Government Ordinance is needed and should be made part of any new charter. This would extend the Brown Act three day notice requirement to a longer period such as eleven days so that during holidays, summer vacations and other demanding family times there would be more notice and adequate time for residents to digest and involve themselves in important changes in town.

Rick Schiller, Piedmont Resident

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Feb 21 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Importance of the Piedmont City Charter 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Deadlines for June 2018 Election Ballot:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

___________________________________________

I. SUPPORT INFORMATION

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

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

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

Article II – City Council
Section 2.03 Term of Office

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

Board Bylaw 9110

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

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

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

II. RECOMMENDATION: REVIEW AND ACTION

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

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

Feb 12 2018

Piedmont League of Women Voters has sent the following letter to the Piedmont City Council urging adequate community input prior to placing proposed Piedmont City Charter changes on the June or November ballot. 

February 9, 2018

Mayor Bob McBain

City of Piedmont

120 Vista Avenue Piedmont, CA 94611

Dear Mayor McBain,

The issue of revisions to the Piedmont City Charter and the governing of our city are of considerable concern to the Piedmont League of Women Voters (LWVP) and equally, I am sure, to all the residents of Piedmont. In fact, recently our League conducted an in-depth study and developed a position on local elections which, among other things, included criteria for selecting our mayor.

After viewing the City Council meeting of February 5th our board met and discussed the implications of the Council’s action regarding revisions to three items of the City Charter: term limits for the City Council and PUSD School Board, provisions for filling a vacant seat and general fund reserves. The quick timing of this action is of great concern because it does not allow for adequate community input and discourse between the Council and residents prior to adopting and placing these items on the June ballot.

The League of Women Voters has a position that “believes that democratic government depends upon informed and active participation at all levels of government. The League further believes that governmental bodies must protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings and making public records accessible.”

Therefore, LWVP urges a public meeting for a two-way discussion on these proposed charter changes so that the public has sufficient opportunity to share its input with the Council and for the Council to consider any revisions to the three proposals. If there is insufficient time for a two-way discussion with the public, we then urge the Council to reconsider its decision to put these charter changes on the June ballot.

In addition, with respect to those City Charter amendments proposed for the November ballot, we respectfully request that the City Council engage in a meaningful and adequate dialogue, as noted above, before any amendments are placed on the November ballot.

Regards,

Katy Foulkes
President, League of Women Voters Piedmont

cc All City Council members

Paul Benoit, City Administrator

John Tulloch, City Clerk

PUSD School Board

LWVPiedmont,  325 Ramona Avenue, Piedmont, CA 94610 lwvpiedmont@gmail.com

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the authors.
Dec 9 2017

“Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.”  Mark Twain

On Monday, December 11 at 6ish p.m. in City Hall and broadcast live, the Piedmont Planning Commission will consider an application for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application for The Piedmont Post to relocate their offices to the City owned property at  801 Magnolia Avenue.

According to the application, the hours of operation of the office in the residential neighborhood will extend to midnight on several nights weekly and the workday will last as long as 12 hours, adding a considerable amount of activity on already busy Magnolia Avenue considering the coming and going of Middle School, high schools, Piedmont Adult School, the Recreation Center, the Aquatic Center as well as the many special events.

An independent free press should not be a creature of the government it is meant to cover, that would make it a government public relations entity.  If subsidized office space is offered to one commercial news business, it should be available to all news organizations as is the dedicated White House shared press workspace.

If the Post wanted to rent office space on Grand Avenue in Piedmont or in the Wells Fargo Building, there would be no conflict of interest and no citizen objections. The Post has never operated in commercial space in Piedmont, although its business address is a home in Piedmont on Oakland Avenue.

The City provides the building at 801 Magnolia Avenue on a subsidized basis at $1/year lease for the public benefit as an Arts Center.

The Council has the ultimate responsibility to determine what is appropriate for the use of public, taxpayer-supported property.  The Piedmont Center for the Arts was approved by the Council and pays $1 per year for their space at 801 Magnolia Avenue across from Piedmont High School.

According to information pertaining to the development of a space for The Piedmont Post, it appears there was no public advertisement of the space availability in the Piedmont Center and no other media entity was offered the subsidized office space.

The Piedmont Post started in the building at 801 Magnolia Avenue approximately 20 years ago when the building was owned and operated as the First Church of Christ Scientist.  A newspaper business in the church was not legally allowed by the City and the Post was forced to move out of the building.

Subsequently, the Church dissolved and the City of Piedmont purchased the 801 Magnolia property for just under $700,000.  The building was seldom used for years except for city storage.  A plan for an aquatics facility at the site delayed changes to the building.

Founders of the Art Center, Gray Cathrall (Editor, Publisher, and Owner of The Piedmont Post), Nancy Lehrkind (Current Vice President for the Piedmont Center for the Arts), and others saw potential in using the property as the location of cultural activities and the arts.  Beginning in 2011 the City of Piedmont granted a lease of part of the building, now the Piedmont Center for the Arts, for $1 per year for 10 years on the basis it would be exclusively used for non-profit purposes and the building would be improved – painting, heating, roofing, etc.  The City, however, has maintained the grounds and landscaping.

In the six plus years of the 10 year lease, the Arts Center has become a shining star of culture, music, drama, and graphic arts.  Interest and participation in the Arts Center has spread far beyond Piedmont borders.

In the summer of 2016, the Arts Center applied for and was granted by the City Council a change in the terms of their lease allowing the Center to engage in uses allowed in it’s zone, the Public Zone.  This lease change was evidently unnoticed by most Piedmonters.

Then in 2016, the Council approved significant changes to the zoning laws of Piedmont including allowing for-profit businesses on City property under a conditional use permit process.  The change of use without voter approval as prescribed in the City Charter, again drew little public notice and the Council changed the zoning without voter approval.

The justification for the zoning change from nonprofit to for-profit uses in the public zone was focused on allowing the Aquatic Facility to sell goggles, food, or beverages.   However, that would not have violated the zoning as it stood as long as the sales were by the Facility for the financial benefit of the Facility.  Now, the actual result allows a commercial business to profit financially with the taxpayer subsidy.

The Conditional Use Permit is on the Monday, December 11 Planning Commission agenda.  The Commission will make a recommendation  to the City Council.

It was long rumored that the goal of the Post was to move back into the 801 Magnolia building. Although the Post owner, Cathrall has been announced as termed out from the Arts Center Board, his newspaper, The Post, continues to foster and advertise the activities at the Center. Nancy Lehrkind, also a founder and Vice President of the Center Board, continues on the Board and has signed the CUP application documents.

Conflicts of interest are inherent in the leasing of public space to a single, local media outlet.

Having an office in the center of Piedmont in a public building leased for $1 a year would be beneficial to all media outlets.

There are a number of news media outlets covering Piedmont: The Piedmonter, The Piedmont Post, The Piedmont Civic Association, Piedmont Patch, East Bay News, Piedmont Portal, and others.

Piedmont residents, as with any group of people, have differing points of view on numerous subjects.  Coverage by the various media outlets often reveals these differences.

The Piedmont Post has long been viewed as the Piedmont City Administration news outlet. 

If the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application for The Piedmont Post to relocate their offices in the City owned property at  801 Magnolia Avenue (Piedmont Center for the Arts) is approved, the relationship between City Hall and The Post will become even closer and raise new questions.  The Post and the City will have a financial relationship based on a lease and a Conditional Use Permit to use City property for a newspaper business.

Residents have raised issues in the past regarding City buildings not being appropriate for political activities nor for allowing businesses with potential conflicts of interests.

The Piedmont Post is an independently owned private newspaper supported by donors, advertisers, official City notices, and subscribers.  The for-profit business entity is currently located in Oakland on Boulevard Way. The Post, contrary to City laws, uses a Piedmont residential address on Oakland Avenue as the business address.

There is no information available as to a business license in Oakland, Piedmont, or a Piedmont Home Occupation Permit as a business location on Oakland Avenue.  There are no published documents available indicating the financial status of the newspaper. The application states a gross income of $380,000 per year.

The application indicates a need for more Art Center income to support the activities of the Center, however no documentation or audit has been publicly released to show the financial status of the Art Center.

The Commission meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 11 starting at 5 p.m. in City Hall’s Council Chambers. The Planning Commission’s Conditional Use Permit consideration will follow a number of other applications on the agenda and will likely be considered after the Commission breaks for a half hour dinner around 6:30 p.m.

Those interested can attempt to attend or observe the meeting on Monday, December 11, at 5:oo p.m.  The meeting will be broadcast live on Channel 27 and from the City website under videos.

Comments may be made to the Planning Commission:

Staff Liaison: Planning Director Kevin Jackson – kjackson@ci.piedmont.ca.us – (W) 420-3050
Council Liaison: Jennifer Cavenaugh – (510) 428-1442
Commissioner Eric Behrens  
Commissioner Aradhana Jajodia  
Commissioner Jonathan Levine  
Commissioner Susan Ode  
Commissioner Tom Ramsey  
Commissioner Clark Thiel (Alternate)

Commenters should send their correspondence to the Commission and Council via   kjackson@ci.piedmont.ca.us

Oct 3 2017

“Betsy” Smegal Andersen grew up in Piedmont and attended Piedmont schools.   Betsy followed her mother, Sue Smegal,  in becoming active in Piedmont community issues. Her mother, served on the Piedmont School Board and is well known for civic participation.  Sister-in-law, Cory Smegal is the newest member of the Piedmont School Board.

Image result for Elizabeth Smegal Andersen

After graduating from Piedmont High School, Betsy attended Duke University and went on to UCLA School of Law.  She practices law in San Francisco.  Read about her law practice HERE.

Betsy and her husband, Robert, have two children in the Piedmont schools.

With Betsy’s appointment to the unexpired term of former councilmember Jeff Wieler, the Council will add a third woman to the five member Council.  Betsy’s long time involvement in Piedmont governmental processes and public policy decision-making will add another experienced member to the Piedmont City Council.

_____________________

City Press Release: At a special meeting held on October 2, 2017, Elizabeth Smegal Andersen was unanimously appointed to fill a vacancy on the Piedmont City Council.

After conducting interviews with twelve candidates, the Council chose Ms. Andersen to fill a term that will end when the results of the General Municipal Election of November 6, 2018 are certified, which likely will take place at the first Council meeting in December, 2018.

Prior to her appointment, Councilmember Andersen served on the Recreation Commission, beginning in 2014 and was the body’s Chair from 2016 until she was appointed to the Council. She has been an active volunteer for many years, also having served on the Aquatics Steering Committee and Public Safety Committee as well as several other community organizations, including the League of Women Voters and Piedmont Recreational Facilities Organization, among others.

The vacancy on the Council was created by the resignation of Councilmember Jeffrey Wieler on September 5, 2017.

Sep 29 2017

The recent resignation of former City Council member Jeff Wieler vacancy is to be filled by a Council appointment.  

To familiarize themselves with the 12 candidates noted below, the Council will conduct required interviews starting at 2:00 p.m., Monday, October 2, 2017 in the Emergency Operations Center of the Piedmont Police Department at 403 Highland Avenue. The agenda states that following the interviews, the Council may act to appoint the new Councilmember at the same meeting. 

In the past, the interviews have not been recorded or broadcast, ostensibly to give no candidate an advantage in hearing prior candidate’s questions or answers.

Council interviews, discussions, and any actions are open to all members of the public.

 Piedmont volunteerism is a traditional route to the Council.

Many of the applicants have served one or more times on city commissions or committees.  City Council members are not compensated monetarily for their service.  The  appointee will be eligible to seek election to a full term at the November 2018 General Election, as the seat will become open.

The candidates are:

Betsy Smegal Andersen

Shanti Brien

Brian Cain

John DeSerio

Kobi Eshun

Nancy Lehrkind

Johnathan Levine

Conna McCarthy

Gary Rinehart

Gina Scialabba

Susy Struble

Jamie Totsub

Information and comments on the various candidates can be submitted to the City Council members.

Council contact information:

Robert McBain, Mayor rmcbain@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 547-0597 2nd Term Exp. 11/20
Teddy Gray King, Vice Mayor tking@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 450-0890 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Jennifer Cavenaugh jcavenaugh@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 428-1442 1st Term Exp. 11/20
Tim Rood trood@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 239-7663 1st Term Exp. 11/18

 

All information submitted to the Council by the applicants is public information.

For further information, contact City Clerk John Tulloch at (510)420-3040.

Sep 12 2017

On Monday, September 11, 2017, the four Piedmont City Councilmembers met and decided what the procedure would be to fill the Sept.5 vacancy resulting from Jeff Wieler’s resignation. As prescribed in the Piedmont City Charter, there are 24 days left until October 5, when the appointment is to be made by the Council. The schedule has now been set for filling the vacancy: applications, Council interviews of the applicants, consideration, and appointment by the Council.

The selection process is open to the public including Council interview sessions and meetings when candidates are considered by the Council. The Brown Act is in effect during the selection process meaning serial meetings between Councilmembers or a potential point person are not allowed.

 —–City Announcement dated 9/12/17 ——

City Soliciting Applications to Fill Council Vacancy – Deadline Wed. 9/27 at 5:00PM to submit an application.

Applications are available from the City Clerk’s Office and on the City website at http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us

Application Period: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 through Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

Applications must be returned to: City Clerk’s Office 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, California

Application Deadline: Wednesday, September 27, 2017 at 5:00 p.m.

~~~~~~~~

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City of Piedmont will accept applications from qualified [Piedmont] voters for appointment to the City Council to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Councilmember Jeffrey Wieler, effective at 12:01 a.m. on September 5, 2017.

To be eligible to serve on the City Council, a person must meet three requirements. First, the person must be a qualified voter in the City [Piedmont]. Second, the person must not hold any other office or employment with the City. Third, due to the City Charter’s term limits provision, the person must not be a former Councilmember who served two successive full terms and left office in either 2014 or 2016.

The term of this Council seat is from the date of appointment until the results of the General Municipal Election of November 8, 2018 are certified, which likely will take place at the first Council meeting in December, 2018.

Original applications must be delivered to the City Clerk’s Office [120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont] by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 27, 2017. Postmarks will not be accepted.

The City Council will interview candidates separately and each applicant will have the opportunity to present their qualifications and discuss their candidacy with the City Council.

At a Special Meeting of the City Council on October 2, 2017 and/or October 4, 2017 in the afternoon/evening, each applicant will be asked to make a brief presentation to the City Council.

The applicants may then be asked to respond to questions the City Council may have regarding their presentation or application. Applicants are requested to hold these dates available for interview.[October 2 and/or October 4]

An appointment will not be made without a Council interview.

The City Council may make an appointment at the special meeting or may direct staff to place the matter on a future agenda for action.

Upon appointment, the successful candidate will be required to complete and file a Form 700 Statement of Economic Interests [Financial Statement]. For more information on this requirement, please contact the City Clerk.  [420-3040 or 420-3041]

A fillable PDF version of the application is available at: http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/html/city_clerk/2017_council_application.pdf

Residents using the electronic version are requested to fill out the application on their computer, print the completed application, sign it, and deliver it to the City Clerk’s Office. [120 Vista Avenue] Hard copies of the application are available from the City Clerk’s Office.

For more information on the application process, please contact City Clerk John O. Tulloch at (510) 420-3041 or jtulloch@piedmont.ca.gov

Being an unexpired term, qualified individuals can seek election to a full term position on the Council at the November 2018 General Election.  Additional information for applicants and interested individuals can be found in the > Piedmont City Charter.

~~~~~~~~

Those wanting to communicate with Councilmembers about desirable qualities in applicants can reach Councilmembers at the following contact numbers.

Robert McBain, Mayor rmcbain@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 547-0597 2nd Term Exp. 11/20
Teddy Gray King, Vice Mayor tking@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 450-0890 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Jennifer Cavenaugh jcavenaugh@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 428-1442 1st Term Exp. 11/20
Tim Rood trood@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 239-7663 1st Term Exp. 11/18

 

Sep 12 2017

The Los Angeles Times article on former mayor and councilmember Jeff Wieler interview.

Read the article > HERE.

Sep 8 2017

What will the process be to fill the vacancy resulting from Jeff Wieler’s Piedmont City Council resignation ?

Wieler resigned effective September 5, 2017.  The Council must make an appointment within 30 days from the vacancy, which is October 5, 2017.

CITY CHARTER : (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 thirty (30) days after the same occurs, then such vacancy shall be filled by the Mayor.

The City Administrator and Mayor changed their minds on when to meet to discuss how to fill the vacant council seat.

At the Sept. 5, 2017 Council meeting the City Administrator, Paul Benoit, stated the Council would undertake consideration of the process for the vacancy appointment on September 18 leaving only a little over 2 weeks (16 days) for the process of advertisement/notification, application, interviews, consideration, and appointment within the Charter limit of 30 days.

Some in the community speculated that the shortened time frame, two weeks rather than 4 weeks or 30 days, to make the appointment was a result of there being a favored candidate.  No candidate has been noticed as a preferred candidate.

The process being currently suggested by staff condenses the time allowed for applicants and their consideration. 

Update ( 9/10/17): The Special Council Meeting date of September 11 to determine the appointment selection process was set to accommodate the staffs’ ability to prepare a recommended selection process.  The Special Meeting date has been stated as not intended to favor any candidate. 

Staff report and recommendation is linked below:    http://www.ci.piedmont.ca.us/html/govern/staffreports/2017-09-11/citycouncilvacancy.pdf

The process selected for a prior vacancy appointment can be read HERE.

The Special Meeting is open to the public for public participation.  Interested candidates should find the meeting informative.  There will be no broadcast of the meeting. 

The agenda states:

City of Piedmont
Special City Council Agenda
Monday, September 11, 2017

7:30 p.m.

Emergency Operations Center

403 Highland Avenue, Piedmont [This venue does not lend itself to broadcasting.]

Call to Order Pledge of Allegiance
Special Session
1. Consideration of the Process for Filling the Council Seat Vacated by the Resignation of Councilmember Jeffrey Wieler

For further information, contact the City Clerk at 510/42o-3040.

Those wanting to comment on the process may send an email or emails to the Council as follows:

Robert McBain, Mayor rmcbain@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 547-0597 2nd Term Exp. 11/20
Teddy Gray King, Vice Mayor tking@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 450-0890 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Jennifer Cavenaugh jcavenaugh@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 428-1442 1st Term Exp. 11/20
Tim Rood trood@piedmont.ca.gov (510) 239-7663 1st Term Exp. 11/18
Sep 6 2017

Because of the vacancy created by Jeff Wieler’s resignation as mayor, the City Council meeting of September 5, 2017 called for the election of a new mayor and vice mayor to be selected by the Council from amongst themselves.

The Piedmont League of Women Voters asked that some description be made about each nominee and their qualifications.  This request was honored by Councilmember Teddy King who nominated Bob McBain for Mayor, and then by Councilmember Tim Rood in nominating King for Vice Mayor.

McBain and King have long histories of volunteerism in Piedmont having served on numerous commissions and committees. Bob McBain was elected Mayor of Piedmont and  Teddy King was elected Vice Mayor.  Both were elected unanimously, as the selection process followed a tradition of choosing the most tenured Council members and the individuals with the most votes in their election cycle.