PIEDMONT -- The City Council on Monday formally approved the appointment of the city's new police chief, Richelle "Rikki" Goede, effective Jan. 22.

Goede, who previously served as assistant chief of police in San Jose, will earn the same salary as her predecessor John Hunt, who retired last July. She will earn $14,391 per month, with a total annual salary and benefit package of $172,692.

Goede was chosen after an intensive search for a new chief. She and Piedmont's interim police Chief Scott Wyatt were two of the three finalists for the job. The finalists were interviewed by a panel of residents, then by the full City Council in closed session. There were 51 applicants for the job.

Goede is subject to the city's new two-tier retirement, which is 2 percent at 50, compared to the 3 percent-at-50 benefit current employees have. The new chief will be advanced seven days of vacation at the beginning of employment, with the rest of the accrual per the city's usual practice, City Administrator Geoff Grote said.

Goede was subjected to comprehensive personal, criminal and professional background checks, physical and psychological exams and other screening to determine her suitability.

"We look forward to a long and happy relationship," Grote said.

Vice Mayor Margaret Fujioka, who served on a subcommittee related to the search said, "She will be a great fit for our town with her experience in community policing and crime solving."


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Councilman Jeff Wieler made a point of thanking Wyatt for his outstanding job as interim chief, which was echoed by the rest of the council.

POOL DEAL: The council also approved a use extension for the Piedmont Swim Club for the community pool. The agreement will run through Aug. 17, for a total fee of $14,248 for eight months use.

"We've freed up a few more non-summer hours for them that will not significantly impact pass holders," Recreation Director Mark Delventhal said.

They acquired another practice hour two days a week and some time on Saturday mornings. A longer-term agreement will be considered by the team and the city when there is more financial certainty and information on the pool's usage, Delventhal said.

Team coaches told the council they supported the new agreement and looked forward to a good relationship in the future. A new "bridge" program in which advanced child swimmers can rotate into a beginning swim club team will bolster membership and be beneficial to all, Delventhal said.

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