Mar 10 2020

Below is a letter sent to all Piedmont Unified School District Families:

March 6, 2020

Dear PUSD Families,

Everyday we continue to learn more about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and I am writing to share our efforts to address student/staff and visitors’ hygiene and respiratory etiquette on our campuses, as well as planning for possible school closures.  This past week, I’ve been in informational and planning meetings with county, city, and district leadership, including the Director of Alameda County Public Health, the county superintendent, superintendents from across Alameda County, Piedmont school board members, and Piedmont’s mayor, vice-mayor, city administrator, and fire chief.

Guidance from the Center of Disease Control (CDC)
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s most recent  Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), “schools should continue to collaborate, share information, and review plans with local health officials to help protect the whole school community, including those with special health needs.”

In our case, we have been coordinating with the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACDPH) and the Alameda County Office of Education.

Additionally, the CDC recommends that “school plans should be designed to minimize disruption to teaching and learning and protect students and staff from social stigma and discrimination. Plans can build on everyday practices (e.g., encouraging hand hygiene, monitoring absenteeism, communicating routinely) that include strategies for before, during, and after a possible outbreak.”

Health Etiquette

I want to continue to provide and emphasize common-sense preventive actions for students and staff. For example, all staff and students should stay home when sick; appropriately cover coughs and sneezes; clean frequently touched surfaces; and wash your hands often.

  • CDC has workplace resources such as posters with messages for staff about staying home when sick and how to avoid spreading germs at work.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics provides information on germ prevention strategies and reducing the spread of illness in childcare settings.
  • Handwashing strategies are vital and include washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Staff and students should remain at home if they show signs of fever or respiratory illness.  The Alameda County Public Health Department has developed an extremely informative flyer that provides families with guidance on when to keep children home from school.  Some of the highlights are the following:
    • A fever of 100.4 degrees (38 Celsius) or above. Keep your child home for 24 hours after a fever is below 100.4 without the aid of medication (such as Tylenol or Advil)
      • Nausea or vomiting (if your child has vomited within 24 hours of the start of school, DO NOT send your child to school)
      • Signs or symptoms of a new cough or cold and does not feel well enough to fully participate in school activities.
  • PUSD staff members do not screen students or other staff to identify cases of COVID-19. The majority of respiratory illnesses are not COVID-19. If we have cases of COVID-19, Alameda County Public Health Department (ACDPH) officials will help identify those individuals and will follow up on next steps.

School(s) Closure Planning
The CDC and the California Department of Education (CDE) are recommending that all Districts across the state of California consider educational planning for students if a mandatory 14-day quarantine is instituted (either partially for only those students who become infected) or more drastically if CDE, CA Department of Public Health, Alameda County Office of Education, or the Superintendent decides to close schools for an extended period of time.

The CDC has indicated that local health officials may recommend temporary school closures if a student or staff member attended school prior to being confirmed as a COVID-19 case. We would coordinate with the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACDPH) and the Alameda County Office of Education for the scope (e.g., a single school, a full district) and duration of school dismissals will be made on a case-by-case basis based on the most up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the specific cases in the impacted community.

Large event cancellations or school closures may be recommended for 14 days, or possibly longer if advised by the Alameda County Public Health Department (ACDPH). The nature of these actions (e.g., geographic scope, duration) may change as the local outbreak situation evolves.

The rationale for a school(s) closure is to limit the possibility of transmission among staff, students, and families, and to provide time for cleaning and the likelihood that the virus expires over several days throughout the site.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “it is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces, but it seems to behave like other coronaviruses. Studies suggest that coronaviruses (including preliminary information on the COVID-19 virus) may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).”

The CDC has also recommended that if schools are closed due to a student or staff member diagnosed with COVID-19, schools should consider the following steps:

  • Temporarily cancel extracurricular group activities and large events.
  • Cancel or postpone events such as after-school assemblies and pep rallies, field trips, and sporting events.
  • Discourage students and staff from gathering or socializing anywhere.
  • Discourage gatherings at places like a friend’s house, a favorite restaurant, or the local shopping mall.
  • Ensure continuity of education.
    • Review continuity plans, including plans for the continuity of teaching and learning. Implement e-learning plans, including digital and distance learning options as feasible and appropriate.

I’ve recently met with the administrative team and both Gabe Kessler, APT President and Terra Salazar, CSEA President regarding the development of continuity plans.  We have outlined draft protocols and structures to provide a continuity of education in the event of a school(s) closure. Principals will share these draft protocols and structures at upcoming staff/site leadership team meetings for input and discussion.

We are currently investigating options for distance-teaching/learning with the use of Independent Study models (e.g. lessons/activities delivered electronically via email and/or Schoology).

New developments (and guidance) arrive daily.  I will continue to provide staff, families, and students with regular updates as we learn more.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Randall Booker, Superintendent

Mar 10 2020

 The City of Piedmont is continuing to monitor the public health risk related to the Covid19 virus, sharing messaging and planning in conjunction with Alameda County.

Contact: Fire Chief Bret Black March 10, 2020 (510) 420-3030

For additional information click the link below:

2020-03-10 Covid-19 Mass Gatherings

Mar 8 2020

CIP (Capital Improvement Projects) Review Committee –

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 – 7:00 p.m.

Emergency Operations Center, 403 Highland Avenue, Piedmont

Open to public participation.

— Agenda for March 10 Meeting —

Public Forum: This is an opportunity for members of the audience to speak on an item not on the agenda. The 10 minute period will be divided evenly between those wishing to address the Committee.

Regular Agenda

1. Review of Work Schedule for the CIP Review Committee for Fiscal Year 2020-2021

2. Presentation on Public Safety Facilities by the Fire Chief and Police Chief

3. Tour of Police Department and Fire Department Facilities 

Announcements, old business and consideration of future agenda item

______________

CIP Review Committee

The CIP Review Committee makes recommendations to the City Council regarding the expenditure of the capital budget (construction, repair, or rehabilitation of city facilities).

Roster

  • Michael Henn
  • Susan Herrick
  • John Lenahan
  • Bobbe Stehr
  • Patty Siskind | Piedmont Beautification Foundation Representative
  • Jim Horner | Park Commission Representative
  • Conna McCarthy | Recreation Commission Representative

Council Liaison: Robert McBain | rmcbain@piedmont.ca.gov | (510) 420-3048

Staff Liaisons:

Chester Nakahara | cnakahara@piedmont.ca.gov | (510) 420-3061
Nancy Kent | nkent@piedmont.ca.gov | (510) 420-3064

Mar 8 2020

EVENT CANCELLED BECAUSE OF VIRUS CONCERNS!

The event will be rescheduled in the future!

Sunday, March 22, 2020 – 4:00 pm

Piedmont Veterans’ Memorial Building

401 Highland Avenue, Piedmont California 94611

Join the Piedmont League of Women Voters for the March Speaker Event, where the featured speaker will be:

Nancy O’Malley, Alameda County District Attorney.

  • 4 pm – 5:30 pm: Speaker Presentation and Q & A
  • 5:30 pm – 6 pm: Wine and Sweet & Savory Bites

DA O’Malley is a nationally recognized expert in issues involving violence against women, violence against persons with disabilities, and interpersonal violence including sexual assault, domestic violence, elder abuse, child abuse, stalking, and human exploitation and trafficking. She is the first woman to serve as Alameda County’s elected District Attorney, and is a leader known throughout California and the country for her innovation and vision.

Please RSVP below by March 19th. Tickets are $35.

RSVP now

Editors Note:  PCA and the League of Women Voters Piedmont are separate organizations.
Mar 5 2020

The City of Piedmont is monitoring the Public Health risk related to the Covid-19 virus.

Alameda County has declared a public health emergency and Piedmont is sharing in their messaging, planning and monitoring.

The City is also engaged with the Piedmont Unified School District in preparing safety messaging and contingency plans as needed.

For more information on Covid-19, please see: https://www.cdc.gov/covid19

and http://www.acphd.org/2019-ncov.aspx

Please take precautions as directed by Alameda County Public Health Department.

Mar 2 2020

“The City is monitoring the Coronavirus situation closely. We are working with the Alameda County Department of Public Health and the Piedmont Unified School District to ensure the safety of Piedmonters. We suggest that all community members take the precautions recommended by the CDC to stop the spread of germs. Below is a PDF from the CDC with precautions to stop the spread of germs.  When the situation warrants, we will put additional information out via all channels.”  John O. Tulloch, Assistant City Administrator/City Clerk  3/2/2020

Stop the spread of Covid-19 > CDC-stop-the-spread-of-germs

Feb 28 2020

City / School Liaison Committee Agenda
Wednesday, March 4, 2020,  5:30 p.m.

The meeting will be held in the Piedmont Unified School District Administration Office, 760 Magnolia Avenue, Piedmont, CA

The public is welcome to attend and participate.  The meeting will not be broadcast. 

Agenda:

Call to Order

Public Forum: This is an opportunity for members of the audience to speak on an item not on the agenda. The 10 minute period will be divided evenly between those wishing to address the Committee.

Regular Agenda
1. Update on Covid-19 Communications
2. Update on H1 Construction

Feb 28 2020

CIP Review Committee Seeks Resident Proposals

The Capital Improvement Projects Review Committee (CIP) is soliciting proposals for new city projects which would enhance our community. Ideas submitted by individuals, community organizations and City Staff are all considered. If you have a great idea, the committee would like to hear from you.

Download the > Proposal Form & Instructions

Proposals are due no later than March 23th at 5:00 p.m.

All applicants/residents that have submitted proposals will be personally invited to attend the committee meeting to be scheduled in March/April.  At this meeting, applicants will be asked to briefly describe their projects to the CIP Review Committee. The CIP Review Committee will then determine which projects will require a site visit.

Completed forms should be returned to the Department of Public Works, 120 Vista Avenue.

If you have questions regarding the CIP process, please contact Nancy Kent Parks & Project Manager, via email at nkent@piedmont.ca.gov or phone at (510) 420-3064.

 

Feb 23 2020

Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The City Council of Piedmont is looking for talented Piedmont volunteers for vacancies on Piedmont commissions, committees, and appointed positions.

Interested Piedmonters may view the positions and Description of Duties, download the Application for Appointive Vacancy, and/or apply online on the City’s web site at https://piedmont.ca.gov.

Links to information and forms are below:

Notice of Appointive Vacancies 2020

Commission Description of Duties 2020-02-14

Commission Application 2020 (Fillable)

2020-02-14 Volunteers for Commissions

Applications are due to City Hall on or before the deadline of Wednesday, March 25th.

Interviews with the City Council for the volunteer positions will be scheduled for the evening of Monday, March 30, 2020 (CANCELLED). No appointments will be made without a Council interview.

Piedmonters with questions are invited to contact the City Clerk’s office at (510) 420-3040.

Feb 20 2020

On Feb. 18, 2020 a three to one vote with Councilmember Jennifer Cavenaugh voting no, the new  (Accessory Dwelling Unit) ADU design rules were approved by the City Council. The Council discussion lacked clarity on many issues.  Landscaping in front of garage conversions, translucent windows, fencing, parking, and notice to neighbors were discussed.  Fire safety, driveway access for emergency vehicles, street impacts, enforcement of required landscaping, etc. were not discussed.

Knowledgeable Piedmonters repeatedly asked the Council to require ADU applicants to notify neighbors even with staff having sole authority to make the determination on approval or disapproval.  Required notice of an ADU applicant was rejected by City Attorney Michelle Kenyon as potentially troublesome and a questionable practice while she acknowledged State laws do not prohibit notice to neighbors by ADU applicants.

Some Piedmonters had desired notification to encourage cooperation between applicants and their neighbors, thus allowing opportunities to work out concerns.

The Council majority of McBain, Andersen, and Rood did not require notice.  Cavenaugh voted no.

Importance of adopting appropriate ordinances and requirements

State laws require applications to be acted upon by staff ministerially within 60 days from the date of a completed application.  Ministerially means there will be no public participation and only city staff can make the decision, which spotlights the need to have appropriate objective criteria for ADUs.

City Attorney Michelle Kenyon presented different information. 

Reversing the Planning Director’s no appeal admonition to the Planning Commission, Kenyon stated that although neighbors cannot appeal a Planning staff decisions,  the applicant could appeal a denied application to the City Council thereby opening up an entirely new avenue of consideration previously denied by the Planning Director.

There were numerous areas of  concern not reviewed.  The Council majority ultimately supported having the new ADU Design Guidelines approved rather than having none in place.  It is expected changes and additions will be made in the future. The issue of irreversible legal matters incurred from the time of new rule adoption and subsequent ADU approvals was not discussed.

According to Planning Director Kevin Jackson numerous ADU inquiries have been made since the beginning of the year.

Comments:

  1. My recommendation for story poles was somewhat facetious but given that the city won’t alert neighbors with a simple 3 x 5 postcard, what’s a neighborhood to do?

    This requirement to not notify neighbors of ADU applications comes from City Attorney Kenyon and not planning staff. Kenyon said there is no legal prohibition to notify neighbors but in her opinion it would be “Draconian” to do so. Instead she implied the community would be better served through direct neighbor to neighbor communication. That position is logically flawed – such dialogue is best established through notification and without that requirement many of these neighbor to neighbor exchanges won’t happen and if they do, it will be after the fact.

    More likely her position is self-serving – City Hall doesn’t want to take the phone calls from neighbors about these projects. Recall Maxwellton. No doubt it will be frustrating to have to deal with irate neighbors who aren’t aware of the ministerial ADU process, but that comes with the job. City Hall prides itself on customer service, but maybe it should think more about public service when it comes to ADUs.

    Thanks to Councilwoman Cavenaugh and Planning Commissioner Levine for pushing for public notice.

  2. A thanks to both Councilmember Jen Cavanaugh and Planning Commission Chair Jonathan Levine for their efforts to bring a wider community involvement to this important issue and resident notification.

    My takeaway is based on the comment by City Attorney Kenyon near the end of the ADU Council discussion last night when Jen’s request for minimal resident notification was shot down. City Attorney Kenyon replied that the City is now in compliance. Is Piedmont the last out of compliance City? Highly doubtful. The State ADU Housing Guidelines, assuming the recently passed series of ADU legislations, is only a month away. (City Planner Mike Henn presented this information to Council last night.) Being out of compliance might bring a State letter, but Piedmont is far away from being sued by the State and would have everything in place to immediately pass ordinances to be in compliance once the compliance criteria are known.

    I would like to have more resident notification and involvement with a Town Hall type meeting for the new ADU ordinances and guidelines. Council indicated they will treat the new Chapter 17 modifications and ADU Design Guidelines as living documents that can be amended as needed. Hopefully this will be done with the same swiftness as the very recent ADU implementations have been.