PIEDMONT -- The City Council at its Tuesday meeting grappled with what effects the new state pension reform legislation will have on its various employee groups.
City Administrator Geoff Grote hopes to present a more detailed analysis at the next council meeting. The complex, detailed document presented by the state is still being analyzed by the League of California Cities and by individual jurisdictions. As of Tuesday's meeting, the final passage of the bill had not taken place. The bill is also subject to amendments.
Piedmont is in the process of finishing negotiations with firefighters, the last group to settle. An announcement is expected at the next council meeting. The city has settled with nonpublic safety employees and police. Those groups have agreed to lower tier pension benefits for new employees, cost-sharing of both pension costs and retiree medical.
Some of the steps the city has taken align already with the new state legislation. But Grote noted, "There will be profound impacts of the new law. Impacts will be felt early on after Jan. 1. This is the shape of things to come."
By mid-October, the council will have a new way to review documents and staff reports to "go paperless." The city is poised to purchase iPads for the five council members, plus one for staff, at a cost of $6,500. City Clerk John Tulloch reviewed the new policy for such use, its benefits and prohibitions. Council members will be able to annotate
Public Works Director Chester Nakahara updated the council on the April 13 landslide at 3 Maxwelton Road which blocked Moraga Avenue for about two days. City workers and contractors worked overtime to clear the mess. Several trees fell on overhead wires cutting power. Costs to the city tally at $41,000 so far, but full payment is expected from the homeowner's insurance company.
Geotechnical engineer William Langbehn said new drainage systems and a small retaining wall will be built on the property to guard against further problems. Construction is expected to begin soon.
The council mulled over whether to grant a five-year or 10-year conditional use permit on a new primary care facility at 1345 Grand Ave. The plan, with a five-year CUP was approved by the planning commission, and reaffirmed by the council. The clinic will see patients six days a week, and has on-site parking.
During the speaker's forum, several residents registered objections to ballot language for the upcoming parcel tax election, saying the word "unanimous" support by the City Council was erroneous. Councilman Garrett Keating had noted that while he supported putting Measure Y on the ballot, that didn't mean he supported the measure.
"Saying unanimous is deliberately misleading the public," Ryan Gilbert said.
Grote said he would not file a writ to remove the incorrect ballot statement.
Councilman Jeff Wieler, who co-authored the ballot argument, apologized for the mistake.