Jan 5 2021

Fire Chief, City of Piedmont, California

Announcement:

Piedmont is a city of approximately 11,000 nestled in the beautiful East Bay Hills, overlooking San Francisco.  Within Piedmont’s 1.8 square-mile area that is almost entirely zoned for single-family residential use, you will find five city parks and numerous landscaped areas which offer wooded paths, tennis courts, children’s playgrounds and picnic facilities.  Piedmont is known for its urban forests of redwood groves and small town charm where it’s citizens treat city employees as valued members of the community.

Piedmont residents hold the all risk ALS Fire Department in high regard, and firefighters go the extra mile by providing concierge service to the residents.  The Department has provided ambulance services for nearly 90 years and is one of only four cities in Alameda County that provide paramedic transport services.

The Fire Chief oversees one part-time finance assistant and 24 line staff.  The projected fiscal year 2020/21 departmental budget is $6.9 million.

This position requires the equivalent to graduation from a four-year college or university with major course work in fire science, fire administration, or a related field and three years of command or supervisory experience in the fire service.  A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree is desired.

The current salary is $204,936 with excellent benefits ((CalPERS 2% @ 50, three-year average benefit calculation (Classic) with only a 9% employee contribution rate; and 2.7% @ 57) and for new employees)) and an annual uniform allowance of $1,200.

Also, children of full-time employees are eligible to attend the Skipping Stones program (toddler age) and Schoolmates (K-5) program at no charge as well as the Piedmont Unified School District where 95% of high school graduates move on to College.

To apply for this exciting career opportunity, please visit our website at:

Peckham & McKenney

www.peckhamandmckenney.com

Salary Top: $204,936

Negotiable/DOQ: Yes

Phone: 866-912-1919

Apply By: Jan 19, 2021

Please do not hesitate to contact Phil McKenney toll-free at (866) 912-1919 if you have any questions regarding this position or recruitment process.  Resumes will be acknowledged within 2 business days.

Dec 6 2020
To make our streets safer for everyone, the City is preparing the Piedmont Safer Streets Plan. This new plan will update the City’s original Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan (2014), while including an additional focus on broader traffic safety.

This month and next, there are three special opportunities to give us your input on needs and concerns regarding walking, biking and traffic safety:

  • Community workshop (on Zoom), on Wednesday, December 9, 2020, at 6 pm. Save the date for a lively discussion. The details will be posted on the link as the date approaches.  Zoom link –
  • https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81375581911
  • Online survey. Anyone who responds will be eligible to win one of three $50 gift cards for Mulberry’s Market. The survey will close on Sunday, December 20, 2020.
  • Pinnable map. Pin your comments on our map–and get another chance to win a Mulberry’s Market gift card. The map will also close on Sunday, December 20, 2020.

2014 Plan > http://piedmont.hosted.civiclive.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_13659739/File/Government/Projects/Pedestrian%20and%20Bicycle%20Master%20Plan/final_PBMP_2014-11-03.pdf

For questions about Piedmont Safer Streets, contact Gopika Nair (City staff liaison), at SaferStreets@Piedmont.ca.gov or at (510) 420-3054.

1292020Community Workshop Invite

Dec 1 2020

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

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

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

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

PSC Agenda 2020-12-03

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

1. Introduction of Interim Fire Chief Michael Despain

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

Public Safety 2020-09-24 DRAFT MINUTES 

3. Update on Police Department Strategic Plan

4. Update on Police Department Mental Health Call Response

5. Update on Public Safety Cameras

6. Introduction to Inside PPD

7. Report on COPS Funding

8. Update on COVID 19 & Health Order Compliance

9. Update on Get Ready Piedmont/Map Your Neighborhood

10. Consideration of 2021 Meeting Schedule

Editors Note: Written back-up information for the agenda items was not provided. 
Nov 10 2020

Piedmont pedestrians raise safety issues when walking for exercise and recreation.

Sidewalk blocked by vehicle parking violation.

 

Walking is a simple healthful exercise especially recommended during the COVID – 19 pandemic.  Not only medically beneficial, but a stress reliever for those reacting to cabin fever.  Regrettably, in Piedmont there are safety challenges to pedestrians.  While the City has prohibited parking vehicles on sidewalks, the police rarely enforce the prohibition.  Seniors, toddlers, baby carriages, wheelchair bound, all are too often forced into competition with vehicular traffic in the streets.  As rainy season approaches, this will be an increasingly dangerous situation for the many health walkers trying to use Piedmont sidewalks on a daily basis.

Attractive crosswalk painted patterns (see illustration below) improve street appearance while providing additional protection to pedestrians crossing busy intersections.

Piedmont women in particular choose walking as their daily exercise under the current constrained conditions since bicycling and swimming do not build bone density, a prime consideration.

Cyclists are prone to weak bones. Read more here.

“A cohort of female Olympic swimmers had lower bone mineral density measurements at all sites when compared with non-aquatic elite athletes, suggesting that weight-bearing or strength activities out of water could be incorporated into training to improve bone health, according to findings published in Bone.”   Healio News July 09, 2019  Read more here   Bone Journal articles here

Piedmont walkers are also keenly aware of hazardous sidewalks with cracks and upliftings.  It has been noted that in certain areas of Piedmont sidewalk corrections have never occurred.  Walkers are often forced into the street to find a level walking surface creating a danger for vehicles and themselves.  Piedmont streets are on a comprehensive pavement management schedule.  No such program is known for Piedmont sidewalks.

It has been suggested that vehicles should be allowed to park on only one side of narrow streets to allow pedestrians, vehicles, and bicycles safe passage.

Photos showing common vehicle violations.

Attractive pedestrian crosswalk pattern more visible to cars.

Nov 9 2020

Meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 12, 2020

Regular Agenda:

1. Presentation of Planning Context Report for Piedmont Safer Streets (PSS) Project

2. Discussion of Community Engagement Workshop Format and Content

3. Discussion of Publicizing the Public Engagement Activities for PSS Project

4. Presentation of Proposed Improvements to the Intersection of Grand Avenue and Lower Grand Avenue and Installation of Other Bicycle Features on Grand Avenue

Prior minutes are not on the agenda.

For instructions on how to participate in this remote teleconferenced meeting, click the link below.

PBAC Agenda 2020-11-12

Documents to be considered:

#1 – PSS_planning context report_admin draft

#4 – Grand Lower Grand Striping Exhibit

Oct 26 2020

– Fire Chief Bret Black Announced His Departure from Piedmont Fire Department –

Chief Bret Black intends to leave his position with the City of Piedmont in late November after just over two years as Piedmont’s Fire Chief. He will become Chief of East Jefferson Fire and Rescue in Port Townsend, Washington.

“I have valued my time in Piedmont as part of this team,” said Black. “My fondest memories will be from the relationships and friendships among fellow employees and the community. I feel privileged to have served the residents of Piedmont.”

“The Piedmont community has benefitted from Chief Black’s time in Piedmont,” said City Administrator Sara Lillevand. “His knowledge of the fire service, particularly in the area of wildland fire has helped focus the Fire Department and organization as a whole on this important topic. We will miss his team spirit, sense of humor, and dedication to his profession.”

Chief Black’s professional firefighting career began with Skywalker Ranch Fire Department in 1997. A few years later he relocated to the Clovis Fire Department in the Central Valley. Mr. Black rose through the ranks from firefighter, engineer, captain, training officer, to battalion chief. He began work as Piedmont’s Fire Chief on October 1, 2018.

Chief Black will remain with the City until November 30th and a nationwide recruitment process for a new Fire Chief will commence immediately.

Press Release – Oct. 26, 2020
Oct 25 2020

The City Council Is Not Being Open And Transparent About Measure UU. If They Were, Residents Would Have Received This Measure UU Letter.

Dear Piedmonters,

Before you vote on Measure UU, we thought there were a few things we needed to tell you. We did tell you that the City has no outstanding General Obligation Bonds, but we didn’t mention that we have LOTS of debts – $7 million in sewer loans, $13 million in Post Employment Benefits Payable, and $26 million in Pension Benefits Payable.

Oh, and if our pension portfolio returns only 6.15% instead of the estimated 7.15% (you can get 7.15% on your investments in today’s crazy market with bonds yielding close to zero, can’t you?), our Pension Benefit Liability alone increases to over $43 million.

Speaking of deficits, did we mention that our General Fund – that is, unrestricted money that the City can spend on anything – has a deficit of about $9 million?

We also glossed over the fact that the ordinance we passed estimates that the total cost of the “improvements” is $23 million, but that it allows us to issue $19.5 million in bonds. Guess who is paying for the difference?

We also haven’t mentioned it, but by reading the City Council minutes for the last six months, you can see that we know about the major deficiencies in our ability to deliver essential public services – the Police Chief, Fire Chief, and City Administrator are all on the record as saying that we do not comply with the Essential Services Act, that the fire station may sustain major damage in an earthquake, and that it may cost up to $51 million to fix these problems. That’s why we are looking at creating a Community Facilities District (aka Mello-Roos) to make it easier to issue bonds backed by another special tax on Piedmont homeowners in the near future. And because we generally ask for the maximum amount, it will probably be for the full $51 million.

Finally, we haven’t mentioned that 100% of Piedmont citizens rely on our Police and Fire Departments, while an estimated 25% of citizens use the pool.

So, if we had placed two bond measures on the November ballot – $50 million for Police and Fire, and $20 million for a new pool, we knew what would happen. Citizens would vote to maintain essential services, but they would turn down the pool.

After spending $56 million in 2006 and another $66 million in 2016 on School District Bonds (all that money is gone, and they still haven’t finished their projects), $10 million per year on Measure G, $2.6 million per year on Measure H, and $2.4 million per year on Measure T, citizens are getting a little tax weary. After all, aren’t our property tax rates some of the highest in California?

So, think carefully before you vote on measure UU. We’ll see you soon with our new $51 million bond request. You will HAVE to vote yes to maintain city services, but you can vote NO on Measure UU.

Andy Wasserman, Piedmont Resident

Editors Note: Opinions expressed are those of the author.
Oct 25 2020

High Fire Danger Remains

Pacific Gas and Electric Company has reduced the number of homes in Piedmont which are slated to be affected by the Public Safety Power Shutoff scheduled to begin on Sunday evening, October 25th.

The PSPS will be focused on the eastern portion of Piedmont. Residents can look their address up on PG&E’s web site to see whether they are slated to be affected by the planned outage. Extreme fire danger remains for the entire City.

The National Weather Service has predicted sustained winds of 25-40 MPH and gusts to 60MPH for the hills. These high winds, combined with predicted low humidity are causing the extreme fire danger.

All Piedmonters are advised to be prepared for wildfire and power outages during this wind event.

The East Bay hills will be under a Red Flag Warning issued by the National Weather Service from 11:00 a.m. Sunday, October 25th through 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday October 27th.

During this time of high fire danger:

• Do not use power tools such as mowers and weed trimmers in a way that can easily ignite dried vegetation. Have a fire extinguisher nearby if you must use these tools.

• Ensure clear access for Fire Engine on your street and driveway. Fire engines need at least 12 feet of clearance and more on tight turns.

• Do not use outdoor flames of any kind, including barbeques. Piedmonters are urged to be Ready for Wildfire and prepare themselves for wildfire.

Community members can:

• Get Ready by creating defensible space around their home, hardening their homes against fire, and by installing fire resistant landscaping.

• Get Set by creating a wildfire action plan and preparing family emergency kits

• Be Ready to GO! if an evacuation is ordered.

The Piedmont Fire Department is adding additional staffing due to this predicted wind event.

Additional information on how to be prepared for emergencies can be found in the Public Safety Committee’s Get Ready, Piedmont brochure.

During a Public Safety Power Shutoff, please call 911 to report any emergencies which occur. Please hold non-emergency calls until after the PSPS event has concluded. Residents can call Alameda County 211 for resource referrals.

PRESS RELEASE LINKED BELOW:

PSPS 10252020

Oct 25 2020

Power Shutoff Expected to Affect EBMUD Critical Facilities

Sunday – Tuesday, October 25 – 27

Regardless of whether your house loses power, your use of water affects available water in case of East Bay Hills fire during this PSPS. Residents are advised to store two gallons of water for each member of their household. 

EBMUD has topped off reservoirs and has backup generators in place to provide power to critical facilities in the event of a PG&E power shutoff. EBMUD asks that customers in areas served by affected reservoirs reduce water use indoors and turn off outdoor irrigation to conserve water in our local reservoir tanks to leave as much water in the reservoirs as possible for firefighting.

  • Minimize water use during a PG&E Power event to leave as much water in the reservoirs as possible for firefighting.
  • Shut off irrigation.
  • Reduce indoor water use.

EBMUD will make information available as the situation develops.

For updates follow EBMUD @ebmud on Twitter, Nextdoor, and Facebook

For PG&E PSPS check pge.com/psps

PG&E shutoffs begin Sunday 10am with the majority between 3 and 9pm as conditions are monitored.

Power should be restored Monday night through Tuesday night.

~~~~~~~

East Bay Regional Parks closed all Sunday and Monday: Anthony Chabot Regional Park, Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve, Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve, Kennedy Grove Regional Recreation Area, Lake Chabot Regional Park, Leona Canyon Open Space Regional Preserve, Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, Roberts Regional Recreation Area, Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, Tilden Regional Park and Wildcat Canyon Regional Park.

Oct 23 2020

– PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs Possible for Portions of Piedmont –  Street Names – Emergency Instructions – 

As Early As 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 25th Pacific Gas and Electric Company has announced their intent to conduct a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) which will include portions of Piedmont as early as Sunday, October 25th at 8:00 p.m. They estimate that power will be restored no later than Tuesday, October 27th at Noon. Other power outages may occur as a result of this wind event.

All Piedmonters are advised to be prepared for power outages during this wind event, which may or may not be proactive Public Safety Power Shutoffs.

Click below to read the full announcement, including street names and emergency instructions:

 Public Safety Power Shutoff 2020-10-25