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Letter to the Editor: Fujioka a 'Voice of Reason'

Piedmont resident Melissa Batavia writes in support of Margaret Fujioka's candidacy for reelection to the Piedmont City Council

My agenda is the Piedmont Community Pool, and I believe, without hesitation, that Margaret Fujioka's presence on the Piedmont City Council is the reason an amicable resolution to the Pool's status was reached. For all the reasons stated by her many supporters, Margaret must be given a chance to continue her consensus-building voice of reason on the City Council. Please join me in voting for Margaret!

Melissa Batavia
Piedmont

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Denise Bostrom January 26, 2012 at 10:39 PM
I agree with Melissa Batavia that Council member, Margaret Fujioka, played a key role in negotiating with the Swim Club, as did Tim Rood, also running for Piedmont City Council and President of the Swim Club at the time of dissolution. A professional architect and city planner, Tim has honed his managerial and diplomacy chops in successfully developing and overseeing municipal revitalization projects and neighborhood planning with respect to safety, environmental, aesthetic and historical considerations. Tim has listened to and collaborated with diverse personalities, attitudes, and cultures that make up city councils and neighborhood coalitions around the Bay Area, including San Rafael, Healdsburg, Oakland and Martinez, as well as cities from Oregon to Minnesota. Often bridging the needs of differing and, at times, contentious positions, Tim’s work day includes considering a host of conflicting, urgent and unattainable needs and then forging a workable solution. Like most municipalities in California, Piedmont faces some hard challenges and choices these next years with respect to a loss of revenue, increased financial obligations and an aging infrastructure. We need a candidate with Tim Rood’s professional experience to complement the areas of expertise of our current Council members. I invite you to support Tim Rood for Piedmont City Council. Denise Bostrom Piedmont
garrett Keating January 27, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Melissa, Consensus is always good but in my experience is usually the norm at City Council. Less that 5% of City Council votes are 3-2 and those votes mostly come on Planning Commission appeals. I think oversight is a more appropriate quality for voters to look for in this election given the undergrounding bail-out and the run up in employee salary and benefits. Likewise, the term "negativity" has been raised in this election. Given the undergrounding bailout, legal challenges with Blair Park and the Municipal Tax Review Committee call for significant financial and management reforms, one would have to be in denial to ignore the challenges facing the next Council. Candidates who address these issues during the campaign are not being "negative" but are expressing their convictions to solutions for which they can be held accountable. That is leadership. Learn more about the candidates at http://www.smartvoter.org/2012/02/07/ca/alm/race/2/questions.html And I wouldn't characterize the pool's status as "resolved" - the $400,000 annual subsidy of the pool is unsustainable.
Rick Schiller January 27, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Given the presentation by Staff at the time, Council appeared to have little choice other than to take back the pool. One option not explored was to have the City pay the insurance of the new liability requirements imposed by City Attorney and allow the Swim Club to retain the pool. I understand this was under $12k annually. The City chose to take the pool back with its minimal $400k annual subsidy (I suspect the real number will be significantly higher given the reduced use of the pool currently). That $400k+ would more than pay the $378K debt service for 2 of the 3 remaining sewer mainline replacement phases if the current draft plan for 100% sewer mainline replacement is put in on the required July 15, 2012 date to the EPA and made enforceable. In his statements, Tim has comprehensively addressed the demand side of the financial equation in Piedmont, rather than seek an ever increasing taxpayer funded supply of funds. Tim’s comprehensive professional skill set is specific to what is needed on Council going forward and makes him unique amongst Council candidates.

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