Aug 29 2020

Covid- 19 has brought a change to the usual Piedmont Harvest Festival, but there are many ways to have fun and participate in this years festival.  Click below for full details.

2020-08-24 Virtual Harvest Festival to Replace In Person Event for 2020

Aug 24 2020

Piedmont voters will decide on November 3 two ballot measures taxing Piedmont properties.  Both measures were approved for the ballot and are supported by the Piedmont City Council.  There is official opposition to both ballot measures. The two measures will be located near the end of Piedmont ballots.

The arguments for and against the measures are linked below.

Each measure has an analysis by Piedmont’s attorney linked below.

Measure TT  increases the Real Property Transfer Tax (RPTT) on the sale of Piedmont residences to fund general City purposes.

Measure UU is a bond to fund the reconstruction of the Piedmont Municipal Pool and build new associated facilities.

Questions on the ballot >  Notice of Election – Measures

Measure TT – Transfer Tax Increase on Real Property Sales

Measure UU – Pool Construction Bonds 

Jul 31 2020

The Piedmont Unified School District will close the Witter Athletic Complex at 6:00 am on Monday, August 3rd until further notice. The Complex includes Witter Field, the baseball and softball fields, the batting cages, and the Witter Field House restrooms.

This closure is due to persistent lack of compliance with the Alameda County Public Health Department’s Shelter in Place orders. Despite repeated warnings from District staff, users of the Witter Complex have continued to play group sports in violation of COVID-19 health orders.

Similar issues led the City of Piedmont to close the Linda Beach Playfield last week. The District regrets having to take this action and the inconvenience this may cause the community. Nonetheless, continued lack of compliance on both City and District fields poses a serious public health risk, necessitating these closures. The District will work with the City and County to determine when it is safe and appropriate to reopen the Witter Complex.

Questions or comments? Please contact Director of Facilities Pete Palmer at ppalmer@piedmont.k12.ca.us

Jul 31 2020
Do not play if you have any symptoms of Covid-19, have been around anyone with symptoms, or played at another Pickleball venue where someone has contracted covid.   
– NEW PROTOCOL: Singles only.  No doubles, no family doubles.   
– Maintain minimal six feet at all times. Move away from the paddles and the sanitizer; do not congregate. Stay away from the net as much as possible while playing.
– Play only with balls and paddles you bring. It is suggested that you mark and play with your own ball. Kick or hit your opponent’s ball back to them.
– Lined up paddles on the fence determine order of play. Both players come off if others are waiting. If you come with a partner or family to play, limit your play to 15 minutes or one game if others are waiting.
– Masks are required while playing and waiting.
– Leave your bag in one spot for the duration of your play and six feet away from other bags.
– Sanitize after each game, sanitizer is provided.
– Bring water as the water fountains are close. The bathrooms are closed.
– No basketball or other use of the courts. Inform other users that City and School District policy is no other activity.
– The gates will be opened by designated players only. If you leave the courts and no one else is playing, be absolutely sure that all gates are locked. Put the jug of hand sanitizer back in the metal box, lock the box, remove the key ring and put the keys in the small combination box hanging on the right. Close it and spin the dials.
– Both follow and enforce the protocols.

Play is at the Piedmont Middle School (“PMS”) courts only:
9am – 1pm Mon Wed Fri Sat Sun
4pm – 6pm Tue Thur

PMS is located at 742 Magnolia Ave, Piedmont. Take the steps down to the right of the gym and the courts are down the hill behind the school. Because of major school construction parking on Magnolia will be congested.
Jul 26 2020

Interested in running for the School Board or the City Council?

It’s Time to File!

On November 3, 2020 Piedmont voters will support or reject the $19 million Municipal Pool Bond Measure, increase the Real Property Transfer Tax when selling their homes,  and choose the future City Council and School Board.

Piedmont voters who are interested in seeking election or reelection to public office on the City Council or School Board must file their candidacy documents by August 7.  City Clerk John Tulloch must be contacted to learn specifically what documents must be completed.  Contact # 510/420-3040

 Nomination Filing Period ends August 7, 2020

___________

Real Property Transfer Tax Increase and Pool Bond Measure for New Aquatics Center

Piedmonters wanting to file an argument for or against the Real Property Transfer Tax Increase or the Municipal Aquatics Center bond measure must meet the deadlines by contacting the City Clerk. 

Contact City Clerk John O. Tulloch at 510/420-3040 for updated information, dates, and specific qualifications to file an argument for or against the ballot measures.

Deadline for Direct Arguments on Measures – August 14, 2020 ?

 Deadline for Rebuttal Arguments on Measures – August 21, 2020 ?

Two seats on the City Council  will be elected on November 3.   Mayor Robert McBain having served two 4 year terms is not eligible to seek re-election.   Council member Jen Cavenaugh has taken out papers for another 4 year term.  Conna McCarthy has filed her City Council candidacy papers. Connie Herrick and  N.”Sunny” Rhodes Bostrom-Fleming have taken out candidate papers.

Three positions on the School Board will be chosen. Two School Board members, Andrea Swenson and Sarah Pearson, will  have served two 4 year terms and are not eligible to seek re-election. A third School Board member, Cory Smegal, is eligible to be re-elected to another 4 year term.  Those who have taken out papers as of this date for the School Board are: Veronica Anderson, Hilary Cooper, Jason Kelley, Hari Titan, Dr. James Crawford-Jakubiak, and N. “Sunny” Rhodes Bostrom-Fleming.

Sunny Bostrom-Fleming, who has taken out papers for both the School Board and the City Council, will only be allowed to file papers for one of the positions.

For the most updated information on candidates, click below:

https://piedmont.ca.gov/cms/one.aspx?portalId=13659823&pageId=16885057

_________

Staff report: Approval of a Resolution Setting Procedural Details for the General Municipal Election of November 3, 2020

SECTION 7. There shall be no filing fee for candidates for office in the General Municipal Election.

SECTION 8. The candidates’ statements shall be limited to a maximum of 200 words.

SECTION 10. The nominations for the General Municipal Election are open and close no later than 5:00 pm on August 7, 2020, unless extended pursuant to Elections Code Section 10225.

For all election related questions, contact City Clerk John O. Tulloch at 510/420-3040. 

Jul 26 2020

Due to Lack of Compliance with County Health Orders

The City of Piedmont will close Linda Beach Playfield at 4:00PM on Friday, July 24th until
further notice, due to lack of compliance with the Alameda County Public Health Department’s
Shelter in Place orders. Despite repeated warnings from city staff, users of this facility have
continued to play group sports in violation of COVID-19 health orders. We regret having to take this action, but the actions of field users have necessitated it. The City will examine when the best time to reopen the field is and announce it at a later date. We understand the inconvenience this will cause to residents, but the continued lack of compliance poses a public health risk and must be addressed.

The City strongly advises residents to comply with the Health Officer’s Shelter in Place orders as well as the Health Officer’s face covering order. The City is considering additional enforcement measures regarding compliance with these vital orders.

Press Release July 24, 2020       Contact:  City Clerk John Tulloch at 510/547-5886
Jun 30 2020

At a Special City Council meeting on June 29, the Council listened intently for hours to staff reports and numerous swimmers about the closed Pool operation and maintenance needs. Opinions varied: close the pool and let Piedmonters know how important an updated pool is, close the pool and put in commercial businesses to increase sales tax, repair the pool and let swimmers continue to use the pool, etc.

COVID-19 has made pool use complicated, but the Recreation Staff has devised ways to make limited use of the pool if allowed to reopened under County approvals.

An ongoing long term issue has been water leaking from the pool.  The solution was indicated as a new pool.

The Council by consensus directed the City Staff to return, as soon as possible, with further information on costs and options for reopening the pool, even if on an interim basis.

Jun 30 2020

Council Seeks Ways for Both Real Property Transfer Tax and General Obligation Bond on November Ballot.

At the Special Council meeting on June 29, 2020, the Council met a complicated set of financing options to deliberate.   After several hours of considering the pool closure and alternatives, a lawyer, financial advisor, Director of Finance, City Administrator and the Council attempted to provide a way of financing improvements to City facilities.

The Community Pool was considered primarily for a bond measure, however many roadblocks arose on the timing and advisability.  The cost for a new Aquatic Center has been roughly estimated up to twenty million dollars.

Some wanted public safety needs to be on the ballot separately from the recreation facility improvements, while others wanted all desirables together on the ballot.

Complex financing mechanisms were suggested from Certificates of Participation to lease back of City facilities. Problems with a bond measure preparation and timing appeared to be disappointing news for the Council, most of whom seemed unfamiliar with the various financing mechanisms.

It was noted that Piedmont would receive a AA+ rating for bonds, as “the City does not hold any debt.”  No mention was made of the money currently borrowed from the State to finance Piedmont’s sewer rehabilitation projects.

The Real Property Transfer Tax (RPTT) increase was discussed and is likely to be approved for the ballot.  Council members noted the RPTT  is levied only at the time a property is sold bringing them to believe the one time expense would be acceptable to voters.

A poll was professionally conducted to determine if voters would likely approve the taxes, and the poll showed passage would be difficult to pass at the 66 2/3 rds level.

Facing a tight August deadline for putting any tax measures on the November ballot, the Council will consider the measures at upcoming meetings.

Jun 27 2020

The Community Pool was operated for decades at no cost to the City by the Piedmont Swim Club, a non-profit organization.  It was used by the community, Swim  Club members, the Piedmont Recreation Department, Piedmont schools, and the Piedmont Swim Team.  The Piedmont Unified School District teams were incorporated into the lease of  the pool starting in 1998.  The Piedmont Swim Team, (separate from the School District), submitted a letter supporting continued operation and funding by the Piedmont Swim Club.

In 2010, the Piedmont Swim Club wanted to continue to operate and pay the expenses for the pool; however, in a closed, private meeting, the City Council decided not to renew the $1 lease with the Club and the City assumed the full expense of operating and maintaining the pool.

At the June 29, 2020 Special Meeting, the Piedmont City Council will consider ceasing the pool operation. Discontinued pool operations will likely be coupled with any tax increases on a November 2020 ballot measure.  The cost of a new “Aquatic Center” has been roughly estimated to cost $15,000,000. 

The following article was published on this site by the Piedmont Civic Association on Aug 14, 2010. _____________

Piedmont Swim Club Pools Open but Lease Still in Limbo

Aug 14, 2010

The Swim Club’s lease expires on June 30, 2011.  At that time, unless a new lease has been signed, the facility will revert to the City.   It would then be up to the City to either shutter it or find the funds to operate it.  Without a lease, the Swim Club would be forced to dissolve.  The Swim Club Board is actively negotiating with the City for a new long-term lease.   According to Tim Rood,  Swim Club President:

“In 2008, we successfully negotiated a 3-year extension that removed the requirement for the Swim Club to pay a minimum cash rent, saving the members $114,000 over the three years.   Following a meeting to discuss lease terms with the City Manager and City Attorney, on March 30, 2010, we sent the City a proposal for a 15-year lease, offering to continue to maintain the facility and provide the same, mostly unpaid use by the Piedmont Swim Team, the schools and the Recreation Department – estimated at over $70,000 at prevailing facility rental rates.”

After working on it in closed session, the City returned a mark-up of the lease proposal on May 7.  Rood reports the City indicated that it wants to require the

Swim Club:
– to pay rent, but not how much;
– to contribute to a capital improvement fund, but not in what amount;
– to turn over any funds remaining upon expiration of the lease to the City (which conflicts with Club by-laws);
– to submit to periodic review and arbitration of the longstanding use arrangements during the term of the lease;
– to purchase additional liability coverage and earthquake insurance at considerable expense and questionable benefit.

The City Council further stated that “there are some other items that the Council may want to propose changes on, but they want to think them over further.”

The Council also asked the Recreation Commission to review the use arrangements that have been in effect since 1998.  The Commission recommended to keep school use more or less at current levels and not to add the additional school aquatic programs that the School District had requested.  The Piedmont Swim Team has previously submitted a letter of support for a new Swim Club lease.

In response, the Swim Club Board began preparing long-term financial projections and estimates of the value of the community use provided, obtaining quotes on the additional insurance coverage the City requested, and researching facility rental costs and recreational/lap swimming costs at competing facilities.

In 2006, a consultant studied the option of converting to a City operated pool and determined it would have required annual subsidies from the City’s general fund of $127,000 to $327,000 in excess of revenues from pool operation.  Considering the City’s recent budget deficit situation, the Swim Club Board expects to resolve the contract, avoiding this new expense to the City. Source: October 3, 2006 City Minutes, Consultant’s Report, and Staff Report)  [2020 NOTE: City reports no longer available.]

A significant change from previous leases is found in 9(c) of the Swim Club’s proposed lease, which opens the Swim Club to 130 non-Piedmont residents, expanding possible membership total to 650 from the current approximate 500.

The recent closure required by Alameda County Department of Environmental Health for non-compliance with California State Law AB1020 at the height of summer added to the ongoing stress on the Swim Club membership and the City. Read more about closures.

For additional information on this issue, Mr. Rood recommends a recent article by Linda Davis of the Piedmonter summarizing the complexities of the pool closure and lease negotiations.”

City Administrator Sara Lillevand states in her 2020-2021 Budget overview:

“We are nearing a decision point regarding the future of the Community Pool. The present facility is more than 50 years old and no longer meets the needs of the community. Given its age and the lack of substantial investment over its life, the pool has become increasingly costly to maintain. We completed a comprehensive condition assessment of the entire facility and associated operating systems in 2018. The report indicated an investment of approximately $350,000 will be required to keep the aquatic facility safe and operational in its current form for the next 3-5 years, and an additional minimum investment of approximately $1.5 million to extend its life up to ten years. These renovation and repair costs are in addition to the rising subsidy required to operate the pool. For 2020-21 we are budgeting a decrease in revenue due to poor trends and an increase in operating costs of $120,000. Overall, we are projecting an operating loss of $368,000. In order to maintain a reasonable reserve of approximately $66,000 in the Aquatics Fund, we propose a subsidy transfer from the “General Fund of $300,000, which is $50,000 higher than last year.” May 6, 2020

On Monday, June 29, 2020, 7:30 p.m., at a Special Meeting of the Piedmont City Council, the Council will consider whether or not to discontinue use of the Community Pool because of ongoing maintenance and expense issues.

Links for participation and information are below: 

PCA council-current-agenda (1) 6292020 < Agenda

PCA Continued Operation of the Piedmont Community Pool < Staff Report

Budget Overview – 

Jun 26 2020

At a Special Piedmont City Council meeting on Monday, June 29, 7:30 p.m., the Council will consider placing tax measures on the November 2020 ballot.  Also, the Council will give direction to staff on continued operation of the Community Pool.

Agenda and instructions on participation: council-current-agenda (1) 6292020

  Continued Operation of the Piedmont Community Pool

“Two years have passed since it was acknowledged that the city had “reached the point in the life of the pool where strong consideration should be given to constructing a new facility that would better serve the community needs and require little to no annual subsidy. Alternatively, consideration should be given to transitioning out of aquatics programming as a City service.” In the intervening time, the facility, as well as its ability to recover costs, have further deteriorated. Given the hard financial realities both of the City’s aged aquatics facility and for overall Recreation Department revenues, it falls on this Council to determine whether it has become cost-prohibitive to continue to operate this aquatics facility.”

Consideration of tax measures for November ballot:Provide Direction to Staff on the Preparation of Ballot Measures for the November 2020 Ballot Regarding Financing of Facilities Maintenance, and Renovation_Replacement Needs