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Check out some recent Registered Statements from forum participants
Heidi Doggett inside City Boundary April 7, 2019, 8:58 AM
We leave the city pretty much any time we want to do something together as a family. We had loved going to Color Me Mine, but...that's closed now, along with the bead store, the ice cream store, and the yarn shop we had enjoyed frequenting. The city does not have a whole lot for families or youth to do. It seems the only thing the older kids can do is go out to eat or wander around downtown. Especially the middle schoolers, who can't drive. Many of the shops that have closed down provided something valuable to our community, but are being replaced by high-end stores that have little to offer families who live in the area. Personally, I'd love to have some of these empty stores become community owned so that we can put in things that we actually really need, even if they can't generate the same revenue as diamonds or custom window coverings. I look at empty store fronts and see small children's museums, a community kitchen for rent, a community boutique, and lots and lots of potential for more green space, even for growing food. Especially during the rainy season, we are in need of indoor places where people can gather and kids can get the wiggles out.
michael dawson inside City Boundary March 25, 2019, 11:58 AM
I am unfortunately unable to attend tonight's City Council meeting. In the event that Item 8C, "Production of Almost Daily Briefing", is pulled from the Consent Calendar, will you please accept my comments for your consideration?
I would like to refer back to my Feb 24th comment on Lafayette Listens about this matter. On Feb 21, 2019, the top story for the Almost Daily Briefing was titled “Court grants PG&E’s reconsideration and denies Save Lafayette Trees protected tree petition” and linked to a story about from a website called "Northern California Record". As stated before, this headline grossly misrepresented the status of the SLT/City lawsuit as no new ruling had been issued that day. The Northern California Record is not a local website; it is produced out of Rolling Meadows by a tort-reform advocacy group called the Institute of Legal Reform, an arm of the conservative US Chamber of Commerce. The search in Google Street view shows their address is postal box out of UPS Store in a small strip mall. When I asked four experienced and/or retired Lafayette attorneys their impression of the Northern California Record, each person stated that was the first time they had heard of that "journal".
I see two issues:
1. Why did the City Attorney approve the accuracy of this article when the City Communications Analyst asked prior to distributing this "top story"? Surely she must have been aware this biased headline would confuse Lafayette readers, including members of the City Council. Perhaps the Communications Analyst was also under the misunderstanding of the court ruling based on this article given the reaction by the City Attorney?
2. Has the Almost Daily Digest ran out of its useful function? The Staff Report for this agenda item describes a daily process of reviewing over 75 news alerts generated by over 50 terms every morning. How much time is being devoted to the production of this email, and is it necessary? In the past 10 years since the ADB was started, news aggregation sites like Apple News and Google News are common place, and they offer the functionality of anyone setting up their own Lafayette news alerts. Should the City feel it necessary to give it the "personal touch" by selecting only the most relevant and pressing news search results, then why did the City publish the Northern California Record which was clearly not locally produced, nor from a reputable journal, nor accurately headlined?
I respectfully ask that corrections be issued in event of such errors of judgement. My comments are not reflective of any single person, and I especially appreciate the job of the City Communication's Analyst in improving City transparency with other projects.
Arthur Ungar inside City Boundary March 10, 2019, 9:52 PM
I support a broad ban on flavored tobacco products. They lead to addiction and have no benefit except a profit to the sellers.
Dennis Kuzak inside City Boundary March 9, 2019, 12:04 PM
Item 10 c- Lafayette City Council Meeting March 11, 2019
I wish to convey to the City Council my support for the establishment of the Natural Gas Pipeline Safety task force. Staff has recommended that the task force not be established raising issues of, costs, scope overlap and liability.
While the staff has raised these issues, one major aspect has not been addressed. And that has to do with the responsibility of the City to assure that its citizens are not harmed in any way thru natural gas (or electric for that matter) operations. Mayor Burk said at the last City Council meeting “I have made it clear over and over that my main concern is for the safety of our community”. We are well aware of PG&E’s extensive safety lapses, a felony conviction, Federal government oversight, fraudulent records, responsibility for starting 17 wildfires in 2017 resulting in 22 deaths and of course the tragic 2018 Camp Fire (PG&E admitted that its equipment failures likely initiated the fire) which killed 85 people and burned 18,000 structures. This was the event that precipitated the utility to file for Bankruptcy. And just last month it took PG&E 2 hours to shut in a natural gas leak on a four-inch line in San Francisco. During that time, flames erupted burning multiple structures. The media nor PG&E never mentioned the fact that if strong winds were blowing, the fire could have rapidly spread, burning hundreds or even thousands of structures and likely resulting in loss of life. The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and the resulting fire occurred during a period of high temperatures and abnormal dry strong winds from the Northeast, which fueled the conflagration. How can PG&E assure Lafayette residents that a gas-leak-initiated fire during the autumn Diablo Winds season would not result in a major conflagration in our city?
Besides operational safety problems, I also examined a CPUC report dated 30 march 2018 [CPUC Investigation # 17-11-003- PG&E RAMP report reviewing PG&E’s risk assessment model] for both gas and electric operations. The PG&E risk model ranked the top 22 risks covering both electrical and gas operations. What was most surprising was that Wildfire risk to electrical operations was ranked only 5th highest on severity. This is hard to accept since recent PG&E wildfire caused events resulted in their bankruptcy filing. The PUC admitted that some of the PG&E analysis was done prior to the 2017 fire experience, but that is no excuse for understating the risk in their analysis. Ten years earlier, in October 2007, San Diego Gas and Electric transmission lines malfunctioned starting 3 fires resulting in two deaths, 40 injured firefighters, destruction of 1,300 homes and over $3 billion in property damage and other costs. Santa Ana wind conditions were similar to the 2017-2018 fires in Northern California. Why didn’t PG&E reflect that loss as a minimum risk for their own system, which is much larger than the SDG&E transmission system?
A basic requirement of predictive risk models is that they are consistent with historical experience and should include events that have not yet occurred but could in the future. This model does not meet that test and is thus not trustworthy!
In conclusion, both PG&E’s safety operating history and their risk assessment model are not trustworthy. President Ronald Reagan is remembered for his quote “Trust but verify” when he was negotiating with the Soviet Union in the nuclear disarmament talks. What he really meant was that he did not trust the Soviet’s promises and that independent verification would be required. I think we have a very analogous situation.
Managing the City’s gas pipeline risk via the Pipeline Alliance is a good vehicle for communicating with and exchanging information amongst PG&E, CPUC, the City ( staff) and the public. This is not an appropriate forum for the city to independently verify what PG&E says and promises. And it was not created to do that. Politics and history between PG&E and the CPUC will try to obfuscate any deep down drilling of the risks, regardless of what is said at these meetings. Thus it is incumbent for the City to perform their due diligence, in this case via the Gas Pipeline Task Force.
Response to Staff’s objections to this Task Force are :
Costs- City staff time will be spent at the Alliance Meeting. This is one two hour meeting every quarter. Additional staff time would be spent interacting with the Task Force and liaising with City Council, perhaps a couple of hours each week.
And finally, Task Force members are volunteers, no cost to the City!
Overlap- The task force will report solely to the City Council. It will rely on the Alliance meetings for information and understanding of PG&E’s safety culture and plans and commitments to the City. The CPUC will be a key source for regulatory concerns over safety and influence the direction of the Task Force. The Alliance is a essential vehicle to interact with the relevant parties. The Task Force works for the City, using the Alliance relationships.
Legal Liability- The Task Group has no regulatory oversight, nor decision-making authority. The City Council can adopt or not adopt any Task Force recommendation.
Thus there is no additional liability to the City. However, failure for the City to perform its due diligence could result in the City being a party to the lawsuit in which PG&E’s actions resulted in third party damages because the city failed to do its own due diligence. Even if the City prevailed in such a lawsuit (but not PG&E), we forget the moral and ethical issues the Council will face by asking the question to themselves- “Could we have done more than we did to prevent this loss”
In summary, it is up to the City Council to take leadership in dealing with pipeline gas risk. Participating in Alliance meetings is not leadership.
Peter Drucker said it best: Management (in this case Alliance meetings) means “doing things right”. Leadership (Task Force due diligence) “means doing the right things”
March 9, 2019
James Martin inside City Boundary March 8, 2019, 6:40 PM
10a - Flavored tobacco: I support a ban on these toxic and dangerous products. This action would greatly help prevent them getting into the hands of kids. Adults could easily get elsewhere.
12a2 - 3 story townhomes on Mt Diablo: once again the the city seems determined to destroy what makes our city great by a thousand cuts. Having grown up here, we always preserved the views of our hillsides. 3 stories with extreme density and no setbacks has no place here. Please change the developer influenced downtown general plan back to the height limits , density limits & setbacks we had previously
Name not shown inside City Boundary March 5, 2019, 6:32 PM
I understand the need for additional housing in the Bay Area, but I reject yet another parcel tax on homeowners. We are going to see another parcel tax in our future to support the schools in our community which I understand due to the inadequate funding from the State. Californians are already taxed enough and it makes it difficult for existing homeowners to stay in their homes especially those who have recently purchased homes in the last few years. The proposal is to add an additional 1/4 cent sales tax. I would rather see a 1 cent sales tax so the burden is shared by all and not just by homeowners. Furthermore, control needs to stay local. Every community cannot be treated the same in regard to zoning and development. We live in an area with distinct and different communities and that is what we all love about the Bay Area.
Name not available inside City Boundary March 5, 2019, 6:09 PM
As a long time Lafayette resident, I believe joining the CASA Compact will help this community continue to grow and accommodate its current residents in a positive way. Incentivizing the construction of affordable housing in Lafayette will ensure nobody currently living in the city will be priced out by the rapid rise in demand to live here. Furthermore, the CASA Compact will ensure the few members of vulnerable populations that live here do not suffer from housing insecurity.
Benji Levine inside City Boundary March 5, 2019, 4:37 PM
This time next year I will be far away in college, but I know I will return. I love this town, It is where my parents and friends live. When I am finished with my degree I plan to settle down in the town where I grew up. The problem is that there is no affordable housing for me. Even if I get a fantastic job out of college I will not be able to afford to live in my town.
I see a beautiful culturaly vibrant future for downtown Lafayette, where the vast deserts of parking lots are turned into oasis of comfort where people of all social creeds can rest. I see a town where my teachers can be my neighbors instead of living in different towns. I see a town where vibrant social lives are played out on the sidewalks, without fear of the everpresent, loud and polluting cars that dominate the streets.
To create this town Lafayette will need to end the height limits and allow for greater density in the city center. Lafayette will need to replace lanes of roads with bike lanes. We need to end zoning laws that infringe on private property rights, and allow for the building of middle density housing throughout the city. I want Lafayette to be a clean beautiful place for people to live, so that I will be able to live here.
Nancy Mills inside City Boundary March 5, 2019, 11:36 AM
CASA is NOT for Lafayette. Our city has done a remarkable job of gradually introducing apartment/condo dwellings to our environment but enough already! Local control is too important to lose, and I’m not surprised to see that ABAG is behind this whole ugly thing.
Name not shown inside City Boundary March 5, 2019, 11:16 AM
I also am against the CASA compact and prefer that communities keep local control of development within their boundaries.