Jan 17 2019

Heritage Tree Nominations Sought

Deadline: Monday, March 11th

The City of Piedmont is soliciting nominations of noteworthy trees in our public open spaces for the City’s first Heritage Tree Designation. Individuals and groups can nominate trees based on their aesthetic, educational or historic value. If you believe a tree is worthy of recognition, the Park Commission would like to hear from you.

Please submit the Heritage Tree Application 2019 no later than Monday, March 11th at 5:00 p.m. Nominations for Heritage Trees will be reviewed by a subcommittee of the Park Commissioners and Public Works Staff.  The tree or group of trees selected for this year’s designation will be announced at the April 3, 2019 Park Commission meeting.

Click to read the policy regarding Designation of Heritage Trees on City Property.

Completed nomination forms should be returned to the Nancy Kent, Parks and Project Manager via email at nkent@piedmont.ca.gov or in hard copy to: 120 Vista Avenue. If you have questions regarding the process, please contact  Ms. Kent at (510) 420-3064.


Jan 15 2019

Recreation Commission Agenda
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
7:30 p.m.
City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont, CA

Regular Agenda

  1. Approval of Minutes
    a. Joint Park Commission and Recreation Commission Meeting – November 7, 2018
    b. Recreation Commission Meeting – December 19, 2018
  2. Chair’s Report
  3. Consideration of a Report from the Subcommittee on Tennis Court Use and Pickleball Regarding
    a Pickleball Trial at Hampton and Linda Beach Tennis Courts
  4. Presentation of a Conceptual Master Plan for Improvements at Coaches Field by Callander
Jan 14 2019

MLK Jr Celebration 12 – 2:30 p.m. at the Piedmont Veterans Hall

The 22nd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration will feature speakers U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Lee, U.S. Congresswoman, State Representative Buffy Wicks, and Piedmont Mayor Bob McBain. The celebration is a free and open to the public.

Music will be provided by the Oakland Jazz Workshops and the Oakland Interfaith Youth Choir. Poetry will be presented by the Oakland Youth Poet Laureate Leila Mottley, the Black Sheroes of Young, Gifted and Black, and Together We Slam from Piedmont High School.

This event is jointly sponsored by the PADC (Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee) and the City of Piedmont. More information can be found at http://www.padc.info/home/22nd-annual-20…. Please bring your friends and family to enjoy this day.

Monday, January 21st, 2019, from 12 – 2:30 p.m. at the Piedmont Veterans Hall, 401 Highland Avenue, Piedmont

Jan 11 2019

PRESS RELEASE   Piedmont Police Department

Over the last two weeks several home invasion robbery cases, which occurred in the City of Piedmont over the course of the last two years, have concluded and the suspects involved in the incidents have been brought to justice. These cases were successfully investigated by Piedmont Police officers and detectives and prosecuted by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. The Piedmont Police Department was aided greatly by the several law enforcement agencies in the area. The collaborative networking of these agencies resulted in several dangerous felons being apprehended and prosecuted.

Piedmont Police Officer David Cutler located and arrested two of three suspects immediately after they committed a home invasion robbery on the 500 block of Scenic Avenue. Further investigation by Piedmont Police Detectives Wright, Coffey, Spranza and coordination with San Francisco Police, Emeryville Police, and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the identification and arrest of the third outstanding suspect. On January 10, 2019, representatives from the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office notified our detectives that the involved suspects, Dimitri Johnson (21 years, Oakland), Terrace Fears (21 years old, Emeryville) and Sidney Davis 23 years old, Oakland) plead guilty to the home invasion robbery and will also serve lengthy prison terms for their crimes.

On 10/10/ 2017, a home invasion robbery occurred at a residence on the 1300 block of Oakland Avenue. This incident was particular in the method used by the suspects where they lured the victims out of the home by turning off the power from the outside electrical panel. The initial responding officer and detective conducted thorough investigations and were aided by the outstanding work of the Alameda County Sherriff’s Department, who provided Crime Scene Technicians to process the scene of the robbery. Because of this work, Dante Brown was identified and charged for the home invasion robbery. On January 8, 2019, representatives from the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office notified our detectives that the suspect plead “no contest” for the felony residential robbery with the use of a firearm. He is to be sentenced in the near future to a lengthy prison sentence.

On 1/24/18, a home invasion robbery occurred at a residence on Lorita Avenue. In this event, three armed suspects approached the victims, forced them into the residence and ransacked the home. The initial responding officers were able to locate video from a neighbor’s surveillance system. The video led PPD detectives to a possible vehicle. Piedmont Automated License Plate Reading (ALPR) cameras provided additional links to the suspected vehicle. Those links were further investigated and led to a positive match of the suspect vehicle. An alert OPD officer located the vehicle in question and additional information that led to the suspects. Ultimately, with help from the Stockton Police Department, San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office and the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, the suspects were positively identified and arrested. S1 Michael Austin (33, Oakland), S2 Brandon Johnson (30, Stockton), S3 William Edwards (22, Oakland). Each suspect has been arraigned in Superior Court.

If anyone has any additional information related to any of these events, please call Detective Jeff Spranza at (510) 420-3013. If you wish to remain anonymous you may call the Piedmont Police Department Tip Line at (510) 420-3055. For press inquiries, please contact Captain Chris Monahan at (510) 420-3012 or CMonahan@piedmont.ca.gov.

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Jan 9 2019

The Recreation Commission will hold their public meeting scheduled on

Wednesday, January 16, 2019, 7:30 p.m., City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue,

at which time the Commission will consider two items for recommendations to the City Council.  See the attachments linked below.

Numerous meetings have been held to discuss and consider ways to provide facilities for the ever growing popularity of Pickleball.  The game has been well received by seniors in Piedmont. Long term future plans for Pickleball were mentioned by a recent speaker as a possibility for Dracena Park or Blair Park.

Plans to improve Coaches Field are proposed to make the recreation space more useful.  The proposal includes the installation of night lighting, pedestrian access, and parking.

Within each public notice below are City contact addresses.


–          Recreation Commission to consider Pickleball Trial at Linda Beach and Hampton Tennis Courts –

1-16-19 RC Public Notice Pickelball Trial

–          Recreation Commission to discuss Conceptual Plan for Improvements at Coaches Field

1-16-19 RC Public Notice Coaches Field Improvements

The City will also host a meeting for Coaches Field neighbors on Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 7:00 p.m. in the Police Department Emergency Operations Center to display and explain the proposals.

Jan 9 2019

The City Council at their January 7, 2019 meeting discussed at length a proposal by Piedmont Police Chief Jeremy Bowers and School Superintendent Randall Booker to use grant funding for three years to install a sworn and armed police officer in the Piedmont Unified School District, who would be assigned to the Piedmont High School and Middle School.

Praise was given to Bowers for seeking grant funding.  The Council had not previously been involved in seeking the grant and wondered if the money could be used for other than a Sworn Police Officer (SRO) in reaching community and school goals.  The answer was no.

After taking community input, a target of bringing the matter back to the Council in March was suggested.

Some notions expressed were:

  • Armed officer in the schools – good or bad
  • Ability to afford an SRO following the grant appeared difficult
  • Need to learn more about SRO effectiveness from other schools
  • Potential for allinating minority individuals
  • Having a snitch on school property
  • Downside risks
  • Other methods of achieving goals
  • Current experiences within the Piedmont schools
  • Training necessary to achieve expansive job description

The Piedmont School Board and City Council must both agree on a SRO.

There were requests for greater outreach to the community prior to making the decision, which is targeted in the next few months in hopes of having a SRO for fall 2019.

Jan 9 2019

Jan 9, 2019

In 2012 the current School tax was formulated because of the Boricas v Alameda USD (“AUSD”) Appeal’s Court decision. At that time Piedmont Unified School District (“PUSD”) declared the only possible tax methodology was to tax every parcel at the same rate because Boricas had rendered Piedmont’s previous attempt at a progressive tax by parcel size legally invalid.

PUSD’s hurried decision was not the only option and certainly not the best option as compared to the previous five tier parcel system, the current flat rate tax raised the rate of 75% of those in smaller homes by about $300 while lowering the rate by over $1000 for the largest estates.

I. A progressive tax based on a per square foot (“sf”) of building space has been and is currently used by AUSD. The current AUSD tax Measure B1, passed by 74% in 2016, was challenged by the 2011 Boricas Plaintiffs and in 2018 AUSD prevailed. PUSD cannot in good faith claim per square foot of building tax levy is invalid. < https://tinyurl.com/yb8g4f92 >

A progressive tax is essential for Piedmont’s expensive school support tax. No other School Tax comes close in cost to taxpayers. While Piedmont had previously embraced a partially progressive tax, PUSD now has a progressive tax option that is far more equitable using building square footage.

Commonly accepted is the direct correlation of the quality of Piedmont Schools and ever increasing real estate values in town. Values are also a function of home size: the larger home in a given neighborhood will proportionally increase in value more than a similar smaller home. Ask any Real Estate professional.

Additionally, the larger Piedmont home generally accommodates more children; the large homeowner again economically benefits proportionately more from the school tax than the small or average size homeowner. Incorporating a square foot of building tax will be both more equitable and palatable to a large majority of taxpayers and an easier sell for the Tax Campaign Committee.

The Piedmont tax currently provides about $10,400,000. There are about 10,340,000 square feet of residential buildings so about $1 a foot is needed. The average home size is about 2,430 sf so essentially many homeowners will pay close to the current amount. Median size of 2,710 sf indicates that those with larger homes will proportionately pay their fair share.

II. Piedmont taxpayers voted on a tax that stated every parcel will be taxed but every parcel with a unique Assessor Parcel Number (APN) is not taxed. Examples include several parcels over 20,000 sf that are not taxed yet other large vacant parcels are taxed. An eight sf parcel at the edge of town is taxed yet the adjacent 144 sf parcel is not taxed. The hodge-podge system must end. A tax based on square foot of building and flat rate for vacant parcels, as AUSD uses, will take care of these inequities. A contiguous parcel exemption may be appropriate.

III. From high to low most California school taxes include a senior exemption.
San Marino USD with its $1,215 parcel tax has a senior exemption and West Contra Costa County with its 7.2 cents per sf of building has a senior exemption.
Among California’s top ten school districts Piedmont alone does not include a senior exemption.

According to the US Census about 20% of Piedmonters are over 65 and a straight senior exemption may unfairly tax young families given the very high Piedmont school tax. An income based Senior Exemption is needed; one or two per cent of seniors would qualify.

In 2012 the Board informed the public an income based Senior Exemption is not allowed by State Law yet the income based senior exemption was then and is now commonly used elsewhere. Locally income based senior exemptions are used in Oakland, Berkeley, Orinda and Moraga. State law applies equally to all school districts.

The current SSI based tax exemption is meaningless and an income based senior exemption will include any SSI recipients.


Rick Schiller, Piedmont Resident

Att: May 4, 2018 AUSD Press Release

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Jan 9 2019

On Sunday, January 6th despite the rain, the backstop at Hampton Field was dedicated to Piedmont native and Oakland Police Officer John Hege, who was killed in the line of duty in March of 2009.

Present at the dedication was Hege’s mother, Tam Hege, who spoke at the occasion to the throng of police officers from Oakland and Piedmont the well over 100 participants gathered to honor Hege.

Prior to his 10-year law enforcement career, John served as a teacher, an umpire, and a coach. In addition to coaching football at Piedmont High School, John umpired hundreds of baseball games at Hampton Field. Raised and educated in the East Bay, Hege earned the distinction of Eagle Scout with Troop 15 in Piedmont. Hege’s mother Tam was actively involved in Piedmont with many volunteer roles including School Board member, Planning Commissioner, and President of the Piedmont League of Women Voters. Hege graduated from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California.

After college, Hege worked as a teacher in Hayward. In 1993, he joined the Oakland Police Department as a volunteer reserve police officer. OPD hired Hege as a full-time police officer in 1999, assigning him to the Bureau of Field Operations. After patrolling Oakland neighborhoods for 10 years, Hege fulfilled a lifelong dream with a transfer to the Traffic Operations Section and an assignment as motorcycle officer.

John loved both his career and his hometown Raiders. Friends and family were also important, and Hege was famous for planning parties, organizing trips and gathering people together. Selfless to the end, Officer Hege’s organ donations saved the lives of four people and his tissue donation improved the lives of as many as fifty others. Hege will be remembered as a caring friend, a devoted son, and a role model for his fellow officers.

Residents with questions are encouraged to contact Recreation Director Sara Lillevand at (510) 420-3040 or slillevand@piedmont.ca.gov

Jan 5 2019

The sole new item on the City Council agenda for Monday, January 7 is the possibility of a School Resource Police Officer (SRO).  (Read the agenda  here.)  A number of communities have considered the SRO program and some have implemented SROs. There is a national organization of School Resource Police Officers –read NASRO explanation of the program here.

The New York Times Sunday, January 6 Magazine cover article focuses on the reporting by SROs to various law enforcement entities, including reporting students to ICE.  ” Schools with large populations of black and Latino students are more likely to have a resource officer than schools that are majority white.  … President Trump called for police officers on every campus. …In January 2018 in Houston, ICE detained a high schooler with a 3.4 G.P.A. after a school resource officer wrote him up for fighting with another student.

Advocates suggest that School Resource Officers serve as counselors, role models, and advocates for students, families, faculty, and staff, while bringing security to school campuses. School Resource Officers are a recognized and approachable resource for students and faculty during and after school, at school events, and during investigations that have a tie to school campuses and activities.  In addition to being available on campus to quickly respond to emergency situations, SROs can be a valuable resource for students, parents, teachers and administration regarding law enforcement related issues. Enforcement is not the expectation of the School Resource Officers, in fact the main objective is to help the student avoid the criminal justice system by employing the principles of restorative justice. School Resource Officers heavily focus in the area of prevention. The officers give presentations in classrooms, talk with students in the hallways, building relationships and alert to problems.  These relationships establish important lines of communication that help to prevent crime and school violence.

PUSD Superintendent Randall Booker and Piedmont Police Chief Jeremy Bowers have been discussing a dedicated police position assigned to SRO duty as part of the implementation of the “Safe School Plan.”  On Wednesday, November 14, 2018 the Piedmont Unified School District Board of Education (PUSD) discussed the proposed Police SRO.  This specially trained police officer would combine a unique combination and unusual set of skills: counselor, teacher, social worker, and law enforcement professional. As a counselor, this police officer would support students and staff. As a teacher, the officer would give classroom presentations and educate students on the police. As a social worker, the officer would help resolve conflicts within the school community. Furthermore, the ultimate goal of this position would be to  improve the overall safety of our schools.  (Read the staff report complete with statement of duties and skills here.)

Council meeting Monday,  January 7, 2019, 7:30  p.m. City Hall, 120 Vista Avenue.  The meeting will be broadcast live on Cable Channel 27 and on the City website under videos. 

Dec 23 2018

Republic Service reminds customers to manage their extra packages and materials during the holidays, by putting the right things in your recycling container.


  • Paper & Flattened Cardboard
  • Metal Cans
  • Plastic Jugs & Bottles
  • Plain Wrapping Paper


  • Padded Envelopes
  • Ribbons & Bows
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Packing Peanuts
  • Foil or Glittery Wrapping Paper

Once cardboard or paper comes into contact with food or liquid, it can no longer be recycled. Make sure to keep your outdoor recycling lid tightly closed during wet winter weather and don’t use your recycling container as an overflow trash can.

While hard plastic containers like water bottles, milk jugs and detergent containers can go in your container, their lids, however, are too small to recycle by themselves, so either put them back on the containers or throw them away.

See more Republic recommendations here



from the 


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