The Weekly Roundup
June 1, 2018 | What’s Doing in Lafayette?
Richard Whitmore in as Superintendent: Lafayette Unified Taps Longtime Lafayette Resident To Guide Our Schools
Earlier this week, the Lafayette School District Governing Board appointed Richard Whitmore as its next Superintendent, effective August 6, 2018. What a great choice! Not only is Richard a long-time resident of the city, but he’s been deeply involved in the Lafayette education community for over twenty years, having served as President of the Lafayette Arts & Science Foundation (now Lafayette Partners In Education) and on the Acalanes Union High School District’s Governing Board. He currently serves as the Chief Administrative Officer at WestEd, an education research, development and service organization, and prior to that was the Superintendent of the Los Gatos Union School District. The process of selecting the next superintendent for Lafayette was a community effort. “The Board conducted a very thorough search, and based on the leadership characteristics identified, Richard rose to the top of an impressive field of candidates.” Board President Teresa Gerringer said, “Richard brings a passion for providing the highest quality education for all students and extensive experience in instruction, policy, finance, and the advocacy necessary to lead the District at this critical juncture. As a bonus, he is a long-time resident of Lafayette, and active volunteer in our schools.” Mr. Whitmore’s education experience includes service at the California Department of Education, where he oversaw school finance, technology, and special education services. He served as superintendent of three school districts, most recently in Los Gatos. He was an active classroom volunteer when his children were in the Lafayette schools, and has also been active as a coach and volunteer administrator in local youth athletics organizations. Superintendent Rachel Zinn, who is retiring after 12 years of service to the Lafayette School District and 38 years as an educator, looks forward to working with Mr. Whitmore to ensure a smooth transition.
Youth Commission Graduating Seniors Recognized at City Council
It was a night of mixed feelings at the City Council Meeting on Tuesday as the Graduating Youth Commissioners were recognized for their service. It is always sad to see them go, but exciting to know what bright futures they have ahead. Both Marianna Florine (who was not able to attend) and Joshua Galla (front left in red) were recognized for their years of service on the Youth Commission. Joshua Galla, Youth Commissioner since 2014 and current Treasurer, spoke about how thankful he was for being appointed to the Youth Commission and how much of an impact it has had on his life. Joshua Galla will be taking the “long” trip to St. Mary’s College and majoring in Allied Health Science. Marianna Florine will be attending Sacramento State and majoring in Biology. Thank you both for serving and making a difference for youth in our community. We will miss you, but we are excited to see all that you do ahead.
Lafayette City Council Appoints Anna Radonich to the Planning Commission
The Lafayette City Council, by a unanimous vote at its May 29, 2018 meeting, appointed Anna Radonich, a 31-year resident of the Lafayette, to the City’s Planning Commission. Anna Radonich, an Environmental Planner with Stantec Consulting Services, has 15 years of experience in environmental remediation, land use planning and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). In addition, Radonich, who has coordinated regulatory reviews and compliance strategies for land use and local development projects in both the public and private sectors, has been active with various Burton Valley and Stanley Middle School events and served on a bench rehabilitation project for the East Bay Regional Park District. Her term ends June 2019. Also serving on the City of Lafayette’s Planning Commission are Gary Huisingh (Vice Chair), Steven Bliss, Gregory Mason and Kristina Sturm. The Planning Commission is charged with the development of Lafayette’s General Plan, implementation of the City’s Zoning Ordinance and review of development applications.
May 30 Was Amy Parlett Day in Lafayette: Amy Honored For Her LPIE Work by City Council
The City Council honored Amy Parlett this week for her work on behalf of Lafayette Partners in Education. Mayor Don Tatzin noted during the ceremony that Amy brought in $6.2 million during her tenure as President of LPIE, which is almost $8,500 per day for each of the 730 days she was President. Here are the Mayor’s remarks honoring Amy:
Amy is competent in so many areas - creative, organized, great communication skills. She is always thoughtful and calm, providing a leadership style that encourages others to forge ahead to resolve problems, work hard, and keep the big picture in focus. Someone once said she would vote for Amy when she ran for President of the US. No one that has worked with Amy would disagree. Amy is the perfect example of an LPIE involved parent. She is hard working and no job is too big or too small. She is just as likely to lead an LPIE board meeting as she is to work at the schools getting her hands dirty with papier-mâché. She volunteers for the Art & Wine Festival, Res Run, LPIE events and more. We can always count on Amy to represent LPIE in the Lafayette community. Amy's leadership has brought LPIE to new levels - raising nearly $3 million last year and over $3.2 this year. She is a driving force in simplifying our fundraising message and working with the other parent groups and districts, leading us to an increased goal next year of over $4 million. She has provided leadership for new programs, new support levels, events, and more. Amy has been President of LPIE for two years, preceded by a year as Vice President. In both positions, Amy has proven to be an asset to the organization and an inspiration to all.
There was lots of talk in town this week about mysterious explosions going off in the wee hours of Memorial Day weekend and the attempted theft of a laptop from a customer at The Coffee Shop on Lafayette Circle on Memorial Day. Our police officers are investigating both instances and would like your help. If you heard the explosion or if you know the attempted theft victim (who left the scene before police could speak with them), please contact Sergeant Tom Rossberg at 925-299-3234 or 925-284-5010. You can also send completely anonymous tips to our special police tip email at email@example.com.
Nixle Alerts: Want to know when key safety, traffic and law enforcement events are happening in real time? Nixle is the way to stay informed. Residents who have not yet subscribed are urged to subscribe to our Nixle alert system. For significant incidents and disasters affecting the community, this is the primary system that will be used to provide Lafayette’s residents with information. You can subscribe to Nixle alerts by visiting the Nixle Website here. Best of all, this is a free service for Lafayette residents.
Rock the Plaza Series Starts Tonight, Runs through June
The Lafayette Chamber’s 13th Annual Rock the Plaza Series takes stage tonight, and every Friday night in June, at Lafayette’s Plaza Park at the corner of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Moraga Road. This is your chance to get out and shake your booty with all those funky Rotary Club members who will be serving hotdogs and potato chips! Here are the details:
June 1, dr D Band (Rock, Funk, Blues)
June 8, SONA (Rock)
June 15, The Big Jangle (Tom Petty Tribute)
June 29, Lamorinda Idol Finalists
Attention Coffee Fans!
If you are a fan of caffeine you’ll be happy to note that the City recently signed off on tenant improvements for Philz Coffee to fill the vacant storefront at the Lafayette Mercantile where the former Homegrown was located. While you sip your “cup of love” as they call their hand-crafted drinks, you can feel good about the brew too as the coffee beans are roasted locally in Oakland and they are responsibly sourced. Keep your eyes peeled for an opening date. Learn more here.
Orange Vest (Mini) Report
The City will have a contractor performing some pathway paving along Reliez Station Road between Olympic and Dianne. No roadway paving will occur, but please drive cautiously and watch for workers and equipment in the vicinity.
It is Happening: St. Mary’s Road to Close Starting June 7 for PG&E Project
As many of you know, beginning next week, PG&E will be undertaking the installation of 6,035 feet of new gas pipeline to replace the aging existing pipe along St. Mary’s Road in both Lafayette and Moraga. You can read the latest information that the City has received from PG&E on the project here.
Meet Matt Luttropp
Matt Luttropp was recently promoted to Engineering Services Manager in the City’s Engineering Services Division. Matt, who has worked for the City of Lafayette for more than 20 years, grew up in Colorado and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Colorado. Matt says that he enjoys working for the City as there is always a new challenge to keep the job interesting. Being out on site visits and taking calls from residents about their projects keeps Matt busy. One has to also mention that he makes a great pot of coffee too!
Batch & Brine’s Gala Ribbon Cutting
We wrote about the soft opening of Batch & Brine, the newest restaurant to come to Lafayette, a couple of weeks ago. Well, last night was the ribbon cutting and what an evening it was. Mayor Don Tatzin joined the owners in cutting the ribbon and, despite the Warriors-Cavaliers game, the place was packed. The media covered it too, and a great time was had by all. Oh, did we mention the food was fantastic? Look for more news about Batch & Brine here and you can see more photos and videos of the gala ribbon cutting party here.
Tomorrow Night is Lafayette’s Annual Night at the Library Fundraiser
You absolutely can’t miss this event on Saturday June 2nd. Enjoy the best Lafayette has to offer and at the same time discover all the ways our extraordinary Library can move your heart, mind and body. The progressive party starts in the Community Hall with music, hors-d’oeuvres, cocktails and wine, and a live auction to support enhanced Library space for our children to learn and grow. Then, there is music in the main Library, delicious restaurant sponsored dining, specialty cocktails, and a silent auction full of delightful surprises. And don’t forget the post-party surprises, adult coffee bar and dessert under the stars in our beautiful Library amphitheater. Get tickets now and learn more here.
Lafayette Listens Topic of the Week: Assembly Bill 2923
Lafayette Listens is the City's forum for civic engagement. Read what others are saying about important Lafayette topics and post your own views. This week's topic concerns AB 2923, a transit-oriented development bill that would give BART land use and zoning controls.
Assembly Bill 2923, sponsored by Assembly Members Chiu and Grayson, will remove a city’s zoning and land use authority on BART-owned land within ½ mile of a transit station and hand it over to the BART Board. The bill requires BART to adopt transit-oriented development (TOD) standards that establish minimum development regulations for the land that it currently owns – or may own in the future. In Lafayette, BART currently owns the commuter parking lots on the north side of Highway 24. BART’s current TOD standards for the Lafayette station are a minimum height of five stories and a minimum density of 75 housing units per acre. Compare that with Lafayette’s maximum height of three stories and maximum density of 35 housing units per acre and you can understand why the City Council has sent a letter of objection to Sacramento.
The City of Lafayette would like to hear your views on Assembly Bill 2923. Should BART decide local land use and development issues or should these decisions be made by city governments through their local zoning processes? To weigh in on this week's topic - or any of the other open topics - simply log into Lafayette Listens here. We want to hear from you!
This Week’s Public Meetings
Monday is public meeting night in Lafayette. Most of the City’s open meetings are held on Mondays at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center, 3491 Mount Diablo Boulevard, Lafayette, California 94549. The Monday, June 4, 2018, public meetings are:
Planning Commission: 7:00 p.m., Lafayette Library & Learning Center, Community Hall. You can read the agenda and staff reports here.
Circulation Commission: 7:00 p.m., Lafayette Library & Learning Center, Arts & Science Discovery Room. You can read the agenda here.
Photo of the Week
In recent weeks and months, we have all expressed a range of views on various topics affecting our City. While we don’t always agree on the issues, one thing we can all agree on is that we LOVE LAFAYETTE. Pick up a Love Lafayette bumper sticker at the City offices, Lafayette Community Center or the Chamber of Commerce and show your (green) Lafayette pride!
Poem of the Week
Democracy will not come
Today, this year
Through compromise and fear.
I have as much right
As the other fellow has
On my two feet
And own the land.
I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I'm dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow's bread.
Is a strong seed
In a great need.
I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.
- Langston Hughes
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! You can subscribe to The Roundup here.