Setting the record straight
Editor's note: The Piedmont City Council declined to adopt the ordinance mentioned below at its meeting this week.
A recent editorial on the Piedmont Civic Association website claimed that Piedmont's local control is threatened by a StopWaste. Org ordinance. This claim is false.
First, the only ordinance being discussed is a city of Piedmont ordinance.
Second, although the first draft of the ordinance involved future changes in guidelines that were semi-automatic (designed to keep practices current over time), once the issue was raised, the council directed city staff to revise the draft ordinance to require council or Piedmont staff approval of any future updates.
As a public agency serving all of Alameda County, StopWaste. Org supports its member agencies, including Piedmont, with technical assistance on waste reduction programs.
The ordinance under consideration involves adopting the Bay-Friendly Basics for private projects. These are well-established landscaping practices that provide significant benefits by saving water, reducing waste and minimizing environmentally harmful rainfall runoff.
In 2009, all 14 Alameda County cities and the county itself adopted the Bay-Friendly Basics for civic projects.
If the council chooses to adopt the ordinance currently under consideration, Piedmont will join eight other cities in the
Piedmont is not threatened with a loss of control. It has a public policy decision before it that some oppose.
The Piedmont City Council will ultimately decide, but that decision should be based on understanding, not misinformation.
Gary Wolff, Executive Director
Wrong decision on Peralta chancellor
I realize that the deal is already done, but I must object to the decision to hire Dr. Jose Ortiz at this salary and with these benefits. With continuing funding challenges requiring furloughs of faculty and staff, higher tuition fees and cutbacks on class offerings, it is hard to fathom how someone could be hired at such a high salary.
Yes, skilled administrators are needed to lead the colleges through these difficult times. I have heard the argument before when the UC Regents voted to increase salaries of attorneys and other high-powered employees because it was supposedly the only way to attract quality people.
But what message does this send to faculty staff and students: it is OK for all of you to struggle while the big bosses continue to get paid the big bucks?
I wish I could say I am surprised. But in these days when everyone in authority is mainly only looking out for themselves, this is really pretty predictable. What great role models the trustees are for the students, eh?
What does surprise me, however, is the fact that the president of the district's faculty union approved of the deal. How can he claim to represent his members when they are not getting such fair deals?
Is it for pay raises like these that citizens voted in favor of the recent parcel tax to boost funding for the Peralta Colleges?
If I had known that this is what the money was going to be used for, I would not have voted in favor of boosting my property taxes.
City's voters should elect police chief
A recently issued independent report cites several deficiencies in the Oakland Police Department's response to recent violent and illegal Occupy protests.
Is it any wonder? We have a mayor and at least one council person who, irresponsibly and in defiance of lawful police orders designed to quell violence and protect citizens, were photographed linked arm-in-arm with protesters while obstructing the city's police officers.
What a message to send to the thugs who otherwise marred what may have been a peaceful protest. Why weren't they arrested and held accountable when at least one of them was photographed physically obstructing (assaulting) a police officer?
It's time for Oakland's residents to elect their own police chief who will be accountable only to the voters and not have to serve at the political whim of a mayor who clearly does not understand policing, or apparently common sense, when it comes to mob mentality.