The Piedmont City Council on Monday will consider whether to join a new joint powers authority for Alameda County called the "Energy Council."
A staff report from Assistant Planner Kevin Jackson recommends that the city join the multi-agency group, even though it does not include Piedmont's request for a voting structure of one vote for each city.
The proposal for the new Energy Council comes from the Alameda County Waste Management Authority, also known as StopWaste.Org, a joint powers agency that is operated by the participating local governments and that guides joint policies on handling solid waste and hazardous materials. Its mandate includes reducing the waste stream through recycling programs and public education.
The Waste Management Authority decided that the local governments would have a better chance of winning grants for energy-related initiatives if they banded together to pool resources and meet minimum requirements for the size of population to be served. So its board voted to invite the county's 14 cities and the county government to join a separate joint powers authority to be called the Energy Council.
But the voting structure of the new entity proved to be controversial.
The Waste Management Authority's board – made up of representatives of the cities and county – voted in September to give each city one vote on the new agency's board. Oakland, which was absent at the September meeting, objected.
So a weighted voting structure was proposed:
- Oakland – 3 votes
- Fremont – 2 votes
- Hayward – 2 votes
- County of Alameda – 2 votes
- All other cities – 1 vote each
The Piedmont City Council voted in January against the weighted structure and asked Waste Management Authority to keep the one vote, one city formula. However, the authority board on Feb. 27 voted to adopt the weighted voting structure for the new Energy Council plan that is being presented to Piedmont Monday night.
At the same time, the authority also agreed to two other changes that Piedmont requested. One is shorten the notification period for withdrawing from the council from one year to six months. And the other is added liability protection for participating cities if the council suffers unforseen financial obligations.
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