Piedmont Neighborhood News

What's happening in Piedmont, CA

Archive for December, 2007

Its Time For The City Council To Decide The Fate Of The Pool

Posted by drewbendon on December 10, 2007

Over the past few years there has been considerable controversy over the future of swimming in Piedmont. Everyone agrees that the demand greatly exceeds the supply and that the community could benefit from an expanded aquatic facility. At the center of the Civic Center Master Plan (“CCMP”) is a proposal to build more pool space, but as yet there is no funding for such a facility (or even approval of the plan by the community).

Even if a donor were to give the City the many millions of dollars (at least $6,000,000.00, most likely more) to build the pool facility proposed in the CCMP it is virtually impossible that such a facility could be built in less than 3 years.

The Piedmont Swim Club’s (“PSC”) lease is set to expire on June 30, 2008. What will happen after that depends on whether the City Council agrees at its December 17, 2007 meeting to offer the PSC the lease extension requested in the last best & final offer that the PSC has been presented to the City Council.

In my view the only logical approach to take is to accept the PSC proposal and grant them a 3 year lease extension so that we as a community can decide: a) whether we want the City to take on the operation of the pool, b) if the pool proposal in the CCMP is the one we want and c) where we will find the funds to build such a facility.

There are only four reasonable outcomes of the hearing on December 17, 2007.

1. The city of Piedmont will take over the management of the pool. As stated in the Sports Management Group (“SMG”) report of October 2006, the city will be forced to operate at a loss, with estimates as high as $327,000 annually.

In his staff report to the City Council when the SMR report was presented, Geoff Grote stated that “The City Council should note that this table and the data it summarizes does not include a physical plant contingency, start up costs or staff costs likely to be required during the “conversion” to city operation. The probable operating cost shown in Table 3 on Page 10 shows a maintenance and repair budget of $41,500 to $51,600. These amounts appear to be low in the opinion of city staff.” Oh, and the City Council has never actually asked the voters if they want this expense in their budget.

2. The city closes the pool and it ceases to operate. Although I think that it is unlikely, it is a possibility.

3. The city extends the Piedmont Swim Club’s lease to operate the pool for an additional 3 years. This allows time for the City to determine if Piedmont wants the City to operate the pool and it allows time for the City to find funds for the proposed, elaborate new aquatic facility.

4. The city leases the pool to another entity. Though there are vocal opponents of the Piedmont Swim Club, it is not clear that there is any other organized entity that could operate the pool in a manner that is better for the community than the PSC. The SMG report of October 2006 indicated that the PSC was doing a good job of balancing the interests of the various user groups, given the space and the constraints placed on use by the community.

Please contact your City Council and offer your opinion on this subject.

Ann Swift, City clerk aswift@ci.piedmont.ca.us

Nancy McEnroe, Mayor nmcenroe@ci.piedmont.ca.us (510) 652-1058

Abe Friedman, Vice Mayor afriedman@ci.piedmont.ca.us (510) 654-0409

Dean Barbieri dbarbieri@ci.piedmont.ca.us (510) 655-6802

John Chiang jchiang@ci.piedmont.ca.us (510) 655-2959

Garrett Keating gkeating@ci.piedmont.ca.us (510) 566-1481

And, as always, we’d like to hear your thoughts here on PNN. Please send us a comment.

Posted in City News | 4 Comments »

Fighting the Flu

Posted by drewbendon on December 10, 2007

Heard an interesting bit on SF Forum this a.m.  A new study suggests that one of the reasons that there is “flu season” is that the flu virus survives best in cold, non-humid environments where it can remain both stable and airborne.  Here is a link to the NYT article on the subject:  http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/05/health/research/05flu.html?ref=science.  Because of the flu’s ability to remain airborne, it was suggested by the SF Forum guest, a pediatrician from Kaiser, that coughing and sneezing should be done into something (a tissue, your sleeve, etc.) that might contain the spread of the virus, rather than simply projecting it into the atmosphere.

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Mulberry’s Opening A Huge Success

Posted by drewbendon on December 9, 2007

Mulberry’s Market opened Saturday, December 8, 2007 to enormous crowds.  Despite the crush of people (most of whom clearly appeared to have walked, biked, skateboarded or scootered there) and slow credit card connections shoppers seemed overwhelmingly impressed with the space, the offerings and the service provided By Chad, Laura, David and the rest of the crew.   A new Piedmont institution has clearly been born.  I look forward to seeing you there.

I hope that the success of Mulberry’s, the true neighborhood character of the place and the fact that on a Saturday that included 4th grade basketball tryouts at PHS, ample parking was available within a block of the new store opens the door to other neighborhood businesses.  Pizza anyone?

Posted in City News | 1 Comment »

We may yet have contested elections!

Posted by drewbendon on December 6, 2007

Three have pulled papers for 2 seats on the City Council: Ryan Gilbert, Margaret Fujioka and incumbent Dean Barbieri. And five have pulled papers for 3 seats on the School Board: Sarah Pearson, Richard Raushenbush, Nancy McHugh, Martha Jones and incumbent June Monach. (I apologize if I’ve misspelled any names)

Lets hope they all run. If they ask, please sign their petitions, though I am told that you can only sign a petition for 1 candidate for the School Board and 1 for City Council. Somebody let me know if that is false.

For anyone else considering throwing their hat in the ring, the deadline to file is December 7, 2007 for City Council and December 12, 2007 for the School Board. There are papers to fill out and signatures to obtain, so now’s the time! Details and forms can be obtained by calling the City Clerk (Ann Swift) at 510-420-3040 or by visiting City Hall.

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Hearing on Beach Use Restrictions Postponed

Posted by drewbendon on December 3, 2007

The following note was sent to the members of the Recreation Commission at 2:38 this afternoon.

Please be informed that the Linda Beach Use Restrictions report from the Recreation Commission scheduled for City Council consideration this evening, Monday, December 3 has been pulled from the agenda.

The material that was presented to the council was somewhat inconsistent with what the Commission had approved.

The matter will be brought back for Commission review on January 16.

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