The Weekly Roundup
The Weekly Roundup
March 30, 2018 | What’s Doing in Lafayette?
Goodbye Chief Eric, Hello Chief Ben
Some 300 people gathered at the Veterans Memorial Building last night to pay tribute to Eric Christensen and his six years of service to the community, and to introduce themselves to Ben Alldritt, who has just arrived and is fired up and ready to go. The evening was punctuated by sweet tributes to Chief Christensen from Mayor Tatzin, Chamber Executive Jay Lifson, Assemblyperson Catherine Baker, and more. Several local restaurants donated platters of food, and all in all it was a lovely way for the community to be together and celebrate the good work of the Lafayette Police Department.
Council Adopts New Conflict of Interest Policy; Five Planning Commissioners Immediately Resign
Last Monday night, after months of consideration and debate, the Lafayette City Council on a 3-2 vote adopted a revised conflict of interest policy for Planning Commissioners and Design Review Commissioners. Whereas the old policy allowed commissioners with professional conflicts of interest to recuse themselves from certain policy discussions and decisions, the new policy demands that, in many situations, they resign permanently from the commission. For full details, click item 9A here. The fallout has been swift. At publication the Weekly Roundup, five planning commissioners (Ateljevich, Chastain, Curtin, Gutzwiller, and Lovitt) had resigned; their resignation letters are here. With five of seven commission positions vacant, it is now impossible to achieve a quorum, so the City of Lafayette is effectively without a Planning Commission. The City therefore canceled the April 2nd meeting of the Lafayette Planning Commission, and in its place has scheduled a special City Council meeting to discuss how to move forward. Three obvious options for doing so include:
- Appoint the City Council to sit as both the City Council and the Planning Commission until new planning commissioners are appointed. The group would convene as the Planning Commission on the first and third Mondays of each month, and as the City Council on the second and fourth Mondays.
- Appoint the five existing Design Review Commissioners to fill the empty Planning Commission seats until new planning commissioners are appointed. The group could convene separate meetings for each purpose, or in joint meetings for both purposes.
- Temporarily reduce the size of the Planning Commission from seven to five commissioners. By doing so, the quick appointment of a single new member would allow the Planning Commission to achieve a quorum and conduct business while the City Council considers options for filling the remaining positions.
There may be other options available to the Council that are not yet apparent. Any of the three options noted above, or others that may arise, would likely require further Council action at a subsequent meeting. Any option that requires an urgency ordinance will may become effective immediately following adoption by the City Council. If you’re interested or are just curious to see how the Council’s going to manage this issue, join us for the public meeting this Monday night a 7P at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center.
Fire Station 16 Groundbreaking Ceremony
The entire Lafayette community is invited to attend a groundbreaking ceremony hosted by the Contra Costa Fire Protection District to learn about the District’s newest station that soon will serve Lafayette and the surrounding community. Please join local leaders and the construction team as we commence construction at the future site of Station 16. 4P on Wednesday, April 11th. 4007 Los Arabis Drive. Please RSVP to email@example.com.
Rotary Candy Scramble
The kids will be all over Lafayette Plaza tomorrow for the Rotary Club’s Annual Candy Scramble. This event is open to all children ages 2-through 2rd grade and takes place at the corner of Mt. Diablo Blvd. and Moraga Rd. The lawn will be covered with candy for the kids to put in their baskets. The youngest are always given extra time to get their fair share! The Bunny along with the Police and Fire Departments will be there to take pictures with the kids. Please arrive on time. We start promptly at 10:00am. Join us for the fun. And don’t miss the Johny’s Donut Dive (for adults only). 10A tomorrow!
Join the 50th Anniversary Community Green Gift to Lafayette.
We're delighted that a dozen community organizations have launched an innovative "gift" idea in honor of our 50th Anniversary. The goal is to have 1000 homes and businesses give the gift of clean, green energy to our City and ourselves by Opting Up to MCE Deep Green 100% renewable electricity service this year. If we reach the goal, the gift will propel Lafayette to being recognized as the #1 Deep Green community in all of MCE's Contra Costa and Marin service area. It’s simple to convert to Deep Green, and costs just 1¢ more per kWh (about $5/mo. for an average household). Enroll now and get recognized as part of the 50th Anniversary Gift Campaign. Go to www.LoveLafayette.org/50.
Council Adopts Downtown Congestion Reduction Plan
Last Monday night, the City Council unanimously adopted the Downtown Congestion Reduction Plan. The Plan includes twelve traffic congestion reduction strategies, including one that will first be tested and evaluated on a trial basis at the intersection of Mt Diablo Blvd/Moraga Rd. The approved Plan groups respective strategies into Short-Term and Long-Term scenarios, according to estimated Downtown traffic and development growth patterns through Year 2040. Adoption of this Plan concludes a nearly three year planning endeavor led by a dedicated, volunteer Steering Committee which met publicly on a dozen occasions to guide traffic congestion analysis and strategy development. Additionally, hundreds of residents provided invaluable feedback on traffic congestion issues and strategy preferences throughout the course of the study phase. The final staff report and Plan can be viewed by clicking here. The next step is implementation. As previously alluded, this will involve testing a 2nd northbound right-turn lane at the intersection of Mt. Diablo Blvd./Moraga Rd. The Council will consider the timeframe for this particular pilot project at a future meeting. In the meantime, City staff will also seek grant funding to design and construct other short-term strategies approved in the Plan.
Musicians in Concert Benefit on May 5
What if a bunch of musicians got together to play jazz, with the proceeds going to help underprivileged kids? What if it was an amazing funk band playing a 90 minute tribute to Tower of Power trumpeter Mic Gillette (who coached so many Lafayette students)? Sounds good to us! Tickets for the inaugural MIC benefit fundraising show, taking place on May 5 at the Veterans Memorial Building, are now on sale at www.MusiciansInConcert.org. MIC is a new 501(c)3 public charity whose goal is to raise money for educational scholarships to help needy and underfunded Bay Area school music programs and individual music students with limited resources. Go to www.MusiciansInConcert.org to purchase tickets for the May 5 benefit. A no host bar will be provided and the food truck "Taste of Cali" will have some great food available as well.
Donate Your Books Here
The Friends Corner Book Shop is once again accepting donations -- but they must be placed inside grey cabinets in garage. Look for them, please! The stacks and stacks of books left out in the garage were deemed to be a fire hazard.
This Week at the Library
To see what’s happening at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center this week, click http://www.lllcf.org/program-calendar/. Support your Library - Shop at Friends Corner Book Shop, corner of 1st St. & Golden Gate Way!
Poetry for the Week
Those Winter Sundays
Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,
Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?
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This weekly summary is prepared by City Manager Steven Falk for the Lafayette City Council, staff, and the Lafayette community. Do you have thoughts about this week’s Summary or a contribution for next week’s message? Forward it to him now! Do you have opinions about Lafayette? Share them at Lafayette Listens!