The Weekly Roundup
Friday, December 7, 2018 | What’s Doing in Lafayette?
Superior Court Rules: City Cleared of Claims it Violated Constitution
Yesterday, the City of Lafayette won a trial court victory in a case filed by a small group of Lafayette residents alleging that the City Council held improper closed session meetings and violated the California Constitution. Specifically, the group of residents alleged that the City had used a biased process in reaching a land use decision in 2016. The Contra Costa Superior Court vindicated the City, rejecting all of the group’s claims.
The Court found that the Council’s closed sessions were justified and proper, that the Council’s decision was based on a fair, thorough process, and that there was no evidence that anyone at the City – the Council, Staff, or the City Attorney – was biased. It should be also noted that legal fees to defend against the lawsuit have cost City of Lafayette taxpayers $683,692 to date.
You can read the Court's decision here.
Happening Monday: Swearing-in of New Council Members
It’s going to be a big night this Monday at the City Council meeting (see details below). Two new Council Members, Teresa Gerringer and Susan Candell, are going to be sworn-in. There will also be a new mayor elected by the Council to preside over the proceedings throughout next year. Come down to the newly-named Don Tatzin Community Hall on Monday and witness history being made. And, there will be refreshments served. Don’t miss it!
Filling Mark Mitchell’s Vacant Council Seat
The Council on Monday will also discuss the process for filling the seat left vacant by Council Member Mark Mitchell’s untimely death in November. It is unknown if the newly-constituted council will take action at Monday’s meeting to fill Mark’s seat, but chances are there will be a detailed discussion by the Council and a range of comments from the public on how the process should unfold – another reason to attend Monday’s meeting and participate in the local governance process.
But, Wait, There’s More: Three Pre-Council Performances
Yes, you read that right. There will be three, let us repeat, three pre-council meeting performances on Monday, beginning at 6pm. To lead off the showcase of local arts, there will be a reading by our Poet Laureate Amy Glynn. Following her moving words, will be a performance by Lafayette’s very own Performing Academy. And, then, to top everything offer, a special holiday recital by the Julia Burke Flute Choir of Stanley Middle School. And none of this would be possible without Dick Holt. Thank you, Dick!
Co-Founded by Renee DeWeese and Rena Wilson, the Performing Academy (formerly Lamorinda Theatre Academy) is celebrating 6 years in downtown Lafayette. Performing Academy cultivates confidence through technique based training in acting, singing and dancing for ages 2 through adults. PA offers year-round classes and camps in their downtown Lafayette and new Pleasant Hill studio as well as after-school plays and musicals in more than 15 schools throughout the Bay Area. Their Performing Ensemble is an elite audition-only program comprised of students age 8- 14. Students rehearse once a week in order to take their show on the road. Monday’s show is guaranteed to get you in the holiday spirit.
The particular Flute Choir at Monday’s meeting is the adult players who play with the Stanley students plus a few other adult flutists from Lafayette, eight in total. They will be playing Christmas carols, and, rumor has it, "America the Beautiful" might just be on the program as well. It’s truly a night you don’t want to miss.
Master Plans Galore
Did you know that the City of Lafayette has its various master plans online? Public Art, Parks & Rec Facilities, Trails Trees, Walkways, they are all there for all to see. And, we have recently added the Open Space Plan developed some years ago to the mix. Anyone can choose to view all of the plans at any time by following this link. If you have questions about the City’s master plans, please contact our Communications Analyst, Jeff Heyman, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Honoring Our Local Officials: Photos and Video
Those of you who were there know it was quite a night on Thursday, Nov. 28, when we honored our local officials, at the Veterans Memorial. With Jay Lifson, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, as Master of Ceremonies, those honored were Steven Falk, Teresa Gerringer, David Gerson, Don Tatzin, Richard Whitmore, and Rachel Zinn. For those of you asking, you can (finally) see photos from the evening on the City’s Photo Gallery here. You can also watch a video of Jay doing his thing and all of the introductions of the honorees and their speeches here.
Connect With Us: The City’s Photo Gallery
Speaking of the photos, you can view pictures of important events around the City on our photo gallery any time you want. The gallery contains a range of pictures, from City Council meetings and special events to street fairs and celebrations. There are also photographs that can be used for publication (Please credit: City of Lafayette). Check out our Photo Gallery here and feel free to share or download the photos. Also, don’t forget to “Connect With Us” and read about all the publications and products the City has to offer right here: https://www.lovelafayette.org/connect
Transportation Planner James Hinkamp Moving to Contra Costa Transportation Authority
We are both sad and happy to report that Transportation Planner James Hinkamp has accepted a new position with the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. Sad because James has been an outstanding employee here for the last three years, and he will be very difficult to replace. James is hard working, bright, articulate, forward-thinking, and just an all-around lovely person who gets along with everybody. And happy because his move to CCTA will be great for James in the long-run. He’ll flourish there, and it will be to Lafayette’s benefit to have him working on the inside at CCTA. Congratulations, James, and thanks for everything you’ve done over the years for the City of Lafayette.
This Sunday: Lafayette Historical Society Breakfast with Santa
Have breakfast with Santa this Sunday, Dec. 9, and help the Lafayette Historical Society. Enjoy a private meet and greet with Father Christmas as you savor off-the-menu pancakes, and a choice of freshly squeezed orange juice or pour over coffee courtesy of Sideboard, the site of Lafayette’s original Pioneer Store. At your table, learn more about Lafayette’s past through historical photos, bring to life a special kids’ coloring sheet and bid on a variety of silent auction items with all proceeds going to the Lafayette Historical Society. For all the information, and to get your tickets, go to Breakfast with Santa - Local Food Adventures
Lafayette Garden Club Supports Miramonte High School Horticulture Program with Dollars and Muscle
The Lafayette Garden Club has been a strong supporter of the Miramonte Horticulture Program and this summer donated $2,000 to the horticulture program for the creation of their contemplative garden. The donation came from proceeds of the Garden Club's May garden tour, titled 'Artful Gardens'. On Saturday, May 12, five gardens in Lafayette and Orinda were open to the public for viewing. Over 500 residents visited the gardens on that Saturday On Saturday, October 13, Lafayette Garden Club members again supported the school and worked with the horticultural program instructor, Chrissy Orangio to build their new 6x12' greenhouse on Miramonte High School property. The greenhouse will be used by students of the horticulture program to propagate plants for planting this spring and throughout the school year. According to Ms. Orangio, the students started right away with their propagation efforts the Monday morning following the installation!
Lafayette Garden Club members Laurie Callaway, Linda Mizes and Linda On along with Greg Ow and Joe Dylewski, and contractor Omar Rodriquez, joined Chrissy Orangio and Mike Davis from Miramonte to complete the installation in 6 hours! Ms. Orangio states that, “The green house will go a long way in the years to come to support our student's Horticultural efforts! We are very grateful to the Lafayette Garden Club for their support.”
Read All About It: Programs at the Library
Diablo Ballet Nutcracker Storytime Tuesday, December 11, 4:30-5:30pm, Don Tatzin Community Hall: Children of all ages are invited to join Clara on her magical adventure through the Land of the Sweets in this beloved holiday tale with Diablo Ballet performers in costume.
Winter Delight Night Wednesday, December 19, 5-7pm, Don Tatzin Community Hall:
The feature performance will come from the Fratello Marionettes. Back by popular demand, this musical extravaganza will showcase the graceful ice skater Crystal Chandelier, the high-kicking antics of the Russian Trepak Dancers, and a trio of dazzling acrobatic penguins.
Learn more about both these events here.
Book Shop Sale at the Friends Corner
Friends Corner Book Shop, located at the corner of First Street and Golden Gate Way in Lafayette, is having a half-price sale on Saturday, December 15, from 9am to 5pm. They are currently featuring holiday books in addition to their regular inventory. Don’t forget: "Support your Library...Shop at Friends Corner Book Shop!"
The Chamber Gets Around During the Holidays
Ribbon Cutting at the New Philz Coffee in Lafayette: Be there for a ribbon cutting at this new Lafayette location on Saturday, December 8, at 9am. Philz Coffee will have giveaways, a photo booth and more! Their Lafayette location is at 3597 Mt Diablo Blvd. We can already smell the coffee brewing.
Holiday Mixer at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center: Wednesday, December 12, 5:30-7:30pm, Lafayette Library and Learning Center, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. It's the Chamber’s favorite mixer of the year, they say, so please join them for this special event. Bring a canned food donation of three cans and admission is free! Chamber members, $10, non-chamber members $20. Cash only at the door, please.
Monday’s Public Meetings
Monday is public meeting night in Lafayette. The City’s open meetings are held, unless noted, at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center, 3491 Mount Diablo Boulevard, Lafayette, California 94549. This Monday’s public meetings are:
- The City Council, in the Don Tatzin Community Hall, beginning with performances at 6pm (see above) and the public meeting at 7pm. You can find the meeting agenda and staff reports here.
- The Design Review Commission, beginning at 7:00 p.m., in the Arts & Science Discovery Center. You can find the meeting agenda and staff reports here.
- The Youth Commission, from 6 -7pm, at the Lafayette Community Center, Sequoia Room, 500 Saint Mary's Road, Lafayette, California 94549. You can read the agenda here.
Comment on Monday’s City Council Agenda
The best way to let your views be known on issues facing the City is through Lafayette Listens, our online public engagement site. Comment on any agenda item using Lafayette Listens and others can see and support your stance on key issues. View the entire agenda and comment here. Please comment by noon on Monday, Dec. 10, so that we can provide your views to the Council for consideration at their meeting. Thank you for your participation in Lafayette’s public meetings!
Photo for the Week
Lafayette Staff Add Sparkle, Joy to Holiday Season of Fellow Citizens in Need: City Staff went all out this holiday season to get gifts for families in our community that needs a helping hand. Over the years, dozens of families have been adopted. This year the annual program was coordinated by Planning Department Assistant Lisa Martin, and folks went out and got gifts for nine people in three families. Starting tomorrow, a volunteer or two from the City will begin to deliver the holidays gifts – and bring smiles to the faces of our fellow citizens in need.
Quote for the Week
When Giving Is All We Have
We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.
We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.
We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it—
Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.
Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:
Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.
You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me
What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give—together, we made
Something greater from the difference.
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.