PIEDMONT -- Capt. Warren "Bud" McLaren -- a 25-year veteran with Piedmont Fire Department -- will serve as interim fire chief, the City Council announced at its Monday night meeting.
McLaren has been serving as the department's operations and training manager. He will now work a Monday-through-Friday shift in his new post, effective June 1.
He replaces Edward Tubbs, who is retiring May 31, after serving about two years as Piedmont's fire chief. McLaren will receive a 12 percent pay raise as interim chief, earning $12,566 per month, up from $11,220 per month.
The city is interviewing for a new fire chief, but will not have completed the process in time for Tubbs' retirement, City Administrator Geoff Grote said.
Mayor John Chiang proclaimed May 31 as "Edward Tubbs Day," in recognition of his service.
"To come here was a great honor," Tubbs told the council. "It was a pleasure to deal with both councils, I could not ask for better."
Tubbs was also serving as Albany's fire chief in a job-sharing arrangement that is now terminated. The new chief will only serve Piedmont.
Residents were pleased to learn of the final approval and financing of the longstanding Ramona and Ronada avenues "triangle" project to alleviate traffic and pedestrian problems as well as beautify the corner.
Cleary Brothers Landscaping was awarded the bid and work will begin this summer. Overall project cost is $138,554, which includes a 10 percent contingency. The project is a private/public partnership. Piedmont Beautification Foundation donated $30,000; neighbors donated $1,200 from a block sale. Piedmont's capital improvement funds will make up the difference.
The triangle will be planted with drought-tolerant plants. Irrigation and landscaping will be completed by September.
Neighbors Kimberly Moses and Ann Marshall welcomed the improvements.
"There has been daily chaos with cars and kids, pretty crazy," Marshall said.
"This has been a long time coming, since 2008," Moses said. "How dangerous that corner was."
The council also mulled over possible fee increases for the Household Hazardous Waste centers, where Alameda County residents can dispose of batteries, pesticides, paints and other toxic waste. Piedmont residents currently pay $8 per year through their garbage company. The facilities are operating at a deficit. A slight fee increase would increase service levels and hours of operation of the facilities, a hazardous waste official said.
The council will take up the matter again in June or later.