2018 Community Meeting Minutes


Welcome by President Teresa Costantinidis (7:05pm)

  • Thank you all for attending with special thanks to City officials
  • Thank you to Troup 296 Webelos for greeting and assisting with seating
  • Thank you to generous sponsors for helping offset meeting expenses
  • Chabot Space and Science Center
  • Bay Alarm
  • Council Member Annie Campbell Washington
  • PG&E

Welcome by Caleb Cheung, Director of Education at Chabot Space and Science Center (CSSC)

Listed changes, enhancements at CSSC

  • Operating with renewed focus on better engaging with neighbors and larger community
  • Project Create features 12 new exhibits
  • Construction of new deck for outdoor science programs in partnership with Exploratorium
  • Summer camp featuring astronaut to Mars program
  • First Fridays evening events
  • Bay Area International Film Festival
  • Tinkerfest
  • Blue Moon telescope viewing

Announcement of programs and special events (visit www.chabotspace.org)

Mayor Libby Schaaf  Keynote address : the Good, the OK, the Ugly

The Good

  • 42% reduction in homicide rates (thank you OPD)
  • 50% reduction in assaults
  • 55% reduction in armed robbery
  • 61% reduction in home burglary

Sadly, the City has experienced an increase in car break-ins

  • We have a great City Council Member who is a great advocate for OPD staffing increase; goal is to fill OPD staff openings
  • Huge building boom in the works
    • 6700 housing units are under construction
    • 15,000 housing units are approved and in the pipeline
    • 2 million square feet of commercial/retail are under construction; 6 million more approved
  • $16.6 million trust established for unfunded liabilities
  • $11.5 million in rainy day fund

The OK

  • Fiscal Health- the City’s credit rating was upgraded 1/2017
  • Strong management and political will to make decisions for long term. City still recovering from 25% drop in staffing from recession
  • Road conditions bad ("Funky Bumpy City"), but will be improving with Measure KK Funds. Measure KK gives more flexibility than allowed with federal and state funding sources, which only focus on arterial streets. Oakland has purchased new equipment to speed up the process, allowing the previously approved 5- year paving plan to be accomplished in 2 years. This allows creation of a NEW 5-year plan sooner.
  • Daniel  Swafford  will represent District 4, including PPNA, on Measure KK oversight committee

The Ugly

  • Homelessness in Oakland is a painful social issue with many of our citizens needing our compassion
  • 6th and Brush has been transformed into a new site with resources to assist those citizens;  next site to be cleaned up will be at 27th  and Northgate, with compassion and support.
  • Both sites are stop-gap measures until permanent affordable housing can be built
  • Illegal dumping is a continual issue

Mayor Schaaf Q & A

Q:           Why does Desley Brooks still have a job?

A:           Only voters can remove an elected representative. If you want change, volunteer for her opponent.

Q:           Why is undergrounding taking so long (4 decades in the works)?

A:           The process is not just the City’s, it involves utilities and CPUC. The City is opening a private funded “Civic Design Lab” to help redesign the City’s processes to do more, better, faster. It launches 1/30/18. Undergrounding may be part of this process improvement.    

Q:           Why is Girvin not part of the undergrounding project? If one house goes, all can go in a fire.

A:           Limits are set by state law, not local law, which restricts undergrounding to main roads.

Q:           How do we get streets like those in the Laurel district?

A:           Laurel had Redevelopment Funds that are no longer available. But, the City is now promoting more  murals.  The City now has a Department of Transportation to help make our roads better.

Q:           Are taxpayer dollars received by the City commensurate with the services provided to the Oakland Hills?

A:           I haven’t run the numbers, but the City has spent a great deal of money in the hills recovering from last winter's large number of trees fallen, street collapses and mudslides.  Hopefully citizens can take a holistic view of the City.  We need to look at fire issues, water and runoff issues in the hills.

Mayor Schaaf closed by thanking the amazing Oakland City employees. She reported that the administrators of Bloomberg’s City Initiative recognized the City of Oakland as the city with the most talented and committed employees with the least resources.

Jay Ward spelled out the ground rules for the City Leader Forum and introduced each speaker.

  • Vice Mayor, District 4 City Council Member Annie Campbell Washington
  • Department of Transportation Assistant Director Wlad Wlassowsky
  • Oakland Fire Chief Darin White
  • Oakland Police Department Lt. Richard Vierra

Annie Campbell Washington : Oakland City Council


  • Repaving the streets
  • Improve community policing and improve response time to crimes
  • Improve wild fire protection

Annie announced upcoming events (visit her http://www2.oaklandnet.com/government/o/CityCouncil/o/District4/index.htm)

Wlad Wlassowsky: Department of Transportation

  • New Department of Transportation was formed 7/1/2017; new Director is Ryan Russo. Think of its mission as dealing with everything from the pavement up, including sidewalks, traffic signals, hillsides
  • Goal to improve streets and improving the livability of transportation in Oakland
  • Oakland currently in the bottom 5 of street condition
  • Staffing new DOT will take time. 20 new staff positions being filled for road maintenance

Darin White: Oakland Fire Department

  • He's an Oakland native who takes fires very seriously
  • With recent Snake Rd fire, the OFD team was ready to respond
  • Wild fire prevention and preparedness are year round, not just at inspection time
  • Department going through evaluation and realignment
  • OFD doing more outreach “OFD Cares”
  • If you are not CORE trained, please do it

Richard Vierra: Oakland Police Department

  • Born and raised in Oakland; 30 years on the force and will not retire until the job is done
  • Community relations/response need to be improved
  • Department working on being more innovative
  • Studying crime trends and responding appropriately

Panel Question and Answer

Q:   For Annie -  regarding Measure KK funds- is anything being planned for District 4 in the 5-year plan?

A:   The original 5-year plan put in place before Measure KK,  will be done in 2 years, but with no road repair in District 4. However, PPNA neighbors have the opportunity to influence the new 5 year plan by reporting bad roads to her office.  Please take the time to report poor roads!  Annie reported that she is against any Measure KK funds being used for Job Training as suggested by other Council members.

Q: for OFD - Vegetation/home inspections were not being done by trained staff, what are the plans going forward to ensure proper inspections?

A:  Prior to inspections, all staff is trained. Of 750 inspections re-inspected found 15-30 noncompliant. Managers will re-inspect samples for training, consistency. OFD is improving and computerizing database for better inspection management and history.

Q:  for DOT – What is being done about the mud slides in the hills?

A:  Emergency response is the priority. DOT will be working on the slides (Ascot and Shepherd Canyon) in the spring.  Storm drain (cause of slide) has been repaired. Geo-technical studies in progress with eye on repair in the fall.

Q:  for OFD - The Wildfire Assessment District lost by such a small margin, what will be done going forward and will it be re-funded?

A:  There is a vegetation management plan in the works. City Council will review and need to set up a new assessment district, within next 24 months. Meanwhile,  vegetation management funds are earmarked for hills.


Q: for OPD – What are the overall crime trends in Oakland?

A:  Violent crimes are down. Snatch and grab theft is up (laptops, phones). Burglaries are up throught the Bay Area,  mostly perpetrated by organized gangs.  Gangs are moving out of drugs and into burglary as there is less risk of jail time.  The gangs are focusing entertainment venues and theaters. Year to date: 65 auto burglaries, compared with 173 same period last year; 21 robberies, last year, 26.

Q: re Schools – How are District 4 schools doing?

A:  Annie answered stating that her family is personally blessed to be in District 4 schools. There are serious financial issues in OUSD and the District has to make drastic cuts and hard decisions. The new superintendent is very competent.  Mayor Schaaf responded that she also has confidence in the new Superintendent.  She recommended the audience visit credible sites for information, like GOPUBLICSCHOOLS.org.  She stated that we need to support the tough decisions that need to be made, like consolidating schools due to lower enrollment.

Q: for DOT – What is the timeframe for undergrounding completion?

A:  Allen Law was introduced to explain the timeframe: 2/13 the plan would go to committee, and then 3/20 to City Council. Construction slated to start  2019.

Q: for Annie – Oakland is becoming like Santa Monica where people are relocating here as homeless. Can we work with other communities where the homeless are from, and move them out of Oakland? 

A:   At last count, 87% of the homeless were from Alameda County. The county is responsible but the City has to find the solutions.

Q: for OFD – The alert announcement program did not work with the Snake fire, how will this be prevented in the future?

A:  There was not failure, it was calculated. Example of process was presented:  In an earthquake, the fire houses are assessed first, then a neighborhood drive through is done, then actionable, good information is gathered and actions put in place, coordinated with OPD, OFD and the Mayor’s office.

Q: for School – to Nina Senn who was brought in from the audience – With funding for OUSD in a fiscal crisis, what things can the City do to help?

A:  There is strong collaboration between OUSD and the City, which is critical, even though they're independent entities. The new Superintendent is very supported by the City Council.

Q: for OPD – What is community policing and how is it working in Piedmont Pines?

A:  We listen to neighbors concerns.  OPD is trying to work smarter and improving community outreach. OPD is trying to work smarter with less.  OPD is making it harder for criminals to feel it is easy in Oakland.

PPNA Business Briefs

2018 PPNA Goals presented by Teresa

  • Get Phase 2 Undergrounding approved and construction-ready
  • Support our MON Support—Leaders Forum on 2/8/18
  • Host CORE I and II  training at nearby venues
  • Get our hills stabilized
  • Make our streets safer through  enforcement of parking, speeding, emergency vehicle access
  • Improve fire prevention and advocate for efficiencies in the inspection process
  • Maintain safe and beautiful open spaces
  • Improve road conditions

WHY MONS? presented by Robbie

  • Deter crime
  • Respond to emergencies
  • Resolve neighborhood issues, problems
  • Support community spirit

               Please attend the upcoming MON meeting 2/8/18 at Joaquin Miller Community Center

Financial snapshot  (see website

Board terms extensions ratified (presented by Helen)

  • Elaine Geffen
  • Carl Holland
  • Stan Weisner
  • Angela Ofner

 New Board Elections ratified

  • Ron Wacker
  • Jean Hurricane

2 Bylaw changes ratified

  • Added 16 homes on Westover to PPNA map
  • Executive Director approved to be voting member of the Board

Golden Pinecones presented by Elaine Geffen and Ron Wacker

  • Paul Basting – former PPNA president, now active in working at Marj Saunders Park
  • Phase 2 Team honorable mention for superior efforts in obtaining 71% positive response for Phase 2 undergrounding with special thanks to Barbara Lee and Scott Fairbanks

Raffle results

  • Chabot Membership to Leslie Jones
  • Bay Alarm system to Ellen Daniels
  • Warrior tickets to Carl Holland    

Adjourned: 9:05