Piedmont Neighborhood News

What's happening in Piedmont, CA

Undergrounding, tell it like it is

Posted by Len Gilbert on December 10, 2009

The city is having another special city council meeting to discuss a $1 million dollar bailout for the Piedmont Hills Underground District. The meeting is Saturday, December 12th at 2:00pm. There is only one agenda item and it’s a whopper.

Consideration of an appropriation of $1,004,832 from the General Fund for projected construction costs to complete the Piedmont Hills Underground Utility District

At least one member of the district seems upset the public found out about the “emergency” meeting on Monday and that a call for public participation, review, and oversight was made. Fortunately, word about this ill-advised use of our general fund got out, and an outpouring of opposition has been communicated to the council and city administrator. The taxpayers are rightly suspicious of a plan to spend 1/3 of the general fund on 3-days notice, so the decision was postponed to Saturday. Why was minimum notice given since it is clear the PHUD and city staff knew about the issue a month earlier?

Please add your voice. This project must be paid by the 144 households in the PHUD who directly benefit from undergrounding. As much as they claim the benefit is for the entire town, this claim is an overstatement. If undergrounding is a major safety improvement, the city should spend the money to underground on Highland, Oakland, and Grand Avenues—all major transportation routes for public safety vehicles—before undergrounding a residential corner of upper Piedmont. 

You can watch the replay on KCOM at http://piedmont.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=300 Then click on the item 7 link.

Abe Friedman, Mayor afriedman@ci.piedmont.ca.us (510) 654-0409 Term Exp. 3/10
Dean Barbieri, Vice Mayor dbarbieri@ci.piedmont.ca.us (510) 655-6802 Term Exp. 3/12
John Chiang jchiang@ci.piedmont.ca.us (510) 655-2959 Term Exp. 3/10
Garrett Keating gkeating@ci.piedmont.ca.us (510) 566-1481 Term Exp. 3/10
Margaret Fujioka mfujioka@ci.piedmont.ca.us (510) 463-7821 Term Exp. 3/12

Watch the last meeting, then make your opinion heard before the council decides on this very important issue.

Len Gilbert

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