The Weekly Roundup
Friday, August 9, 2019 | What’s Doing in Lafayette?
Niroop Srivatsa To Be Our Next City Manager
You probably saw the big news this week that Lafayette will have a new City Manager. That’s right, it is expected that at Monday’s City Council meeting, the councilmembers will approve the appointment of Niroop Srivatsa to lead the City of Lafayette. Many Roundup readers know Niroop, who has more than 30 years of experience in local government, the majority of which was right here in Lafayette. But, if you haven’t already, you can read all the details about her expected appointment in the City’s Official Press Release. With a contract for Niroop set to be approved at Monday night's City Council meeting, we will celebrating with cake after the meeting. Please join us. Congratulations Niroop!
Lafayette Prepares for PG&E’s Public Safety Power Shutoff
It’s going to be a busy meeting on Monday! In addition to a decision on Lafayette’s next City Manager, and a host of agenda items (see below), Lafayette Police Chief will be presenting a report to the Council and the Community on how the City is preparing for a possible PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event, which could occur this summer, with outages lasting up to five days. In June, PG&E began publicly warning of the possibility of planned outages, should conditions warrant it, to help stem the risk of wildfire event conditions warranted it.
In his report, the Chief will outline steps Lafayette has taken and wishes to take to address conditions that could result from prolonged power blackouts. The Chief has included continuity of government and ability to respond to a critical incident during a PSPS, the City’s current capabilities during a prolonged power outage, and recommendations to help better prepare for a PSPS event. Read the Chief’s City of Lafayette PSPS Preparedness Standings Report and also visit the City’s PSPS Webpage for an overview of PG&E’s plan and resources you will need to prepare for expected power outages this fire season.
First Responders, Elected Officials, Commissioners Join Residents for National Night Out
Tuesday, August 6 was National Night Out all across America. We’ve written about how the evening provides a time for neighbors to get to know each other and meet their first responders. And Lafayette met the challenge with five events all across town. In total, some 90 people attended NNO gatherings on Mt. Diablo Blvd., South Silver Springs Road, Solana Court, Black Forest Court, and at Lafayette Pointe. Joining community members were Lafayette Police
Chief Ben Alldritt, who was seen handing out the Lamorinda Residents Guide to Wildfire Preparedness & Evacuation and talking about the Community Awareness System (CWS), PD Administrative Analyst Cathy Surges-Moscato, Officer Chris Drolette, Sergeant Tom Rossberg, Parking Officer Sharon Lloyd, and Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Assistant Fire Chief Will Pigeon. In addition to the first-responders, City Council Member Cameron Burks, Interim City Manager Niroop Srivatsa, Crime Commissioner Larry Bellusa, and Emergency Preparedness Commissioners Carol Yates and Michael Melewicz attended some of the community events. Also, Parks, Trails and Recreation Director Jonathan Katayanagi was invited to the Carlyle Terrace gathering and spoke with the neighborhood about the 19-acre nature park that is to be developed at 3333 Hamlin Road. All in all, it was a good Night Out in Lafayette this week. If you’re interested in hosting an event next year, please contact Cathy Surges-Moscato at (925) 299-3220, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Preparedness Tips and Tasks and a Lamorinda CERT Meeting
Keeping with the public safety theme – which seems to be on everyone’s mind this summer –the Lafayette Emergency Preparedness Commission is charged with preparing the city and residents for all hazards. Each week they present a tip or a task that can make you more prepared for a wildfire, an earthquake, or other disaster. This week’s Task: Prepare to evacuate. Get your Go-bag ready with medications, glasses, a few clothes, shoes, spare keys, and, importantly, copies of documents. Get your home documents such as title, mortgage, insurance, plus your car’s paper, and your medical papers together. Photograph them and store the photos together on your phone, on a thumb drive, and in the cloud. If your home gets destroyed by wildfire or earthquake, you can recover if you have all of your paperwork. If you have any comments or suggestions, please send them to email@example.com.
Also, Lamorinda CERT’s monthly meeting for August will feature a panel discussing suburban search and rescue techniques. Once a disaster happens, rescuers need to account for everyone and report damage. The panel will review procedures for safely searching an area, rescuing victims trapped in debris, doing a Rapid Needs Assessment, and reporting out findings. Join them on Monday, August 12, at 7:00 pm, in the Garden Room of the Orinda Library. Please RSVP by clicking here.
Expect Delays: BART’s Weekend Work August–October
BART has informed the City that its crews will be making extensive improvements and upgrades to the track between the Orinda and Walnut Creek stations from August through October, including six weekend closures with no train service between Orinda and Walnut Creek. This work will replace nearly 50-year old track infrastructure and is made possible by utilizing voter-authorized, Measure RR funds.
On the following dates, passengers traveling through Orinda, Lafayette or Walnut Creek stations will be required to leave their train and take a free bus provided by County Connection and AC Transit to the next station in their direction of travel. The bus bridge dates are August 17-18, August 31-September 2, September 14-15, September 28-29, October 12-13, and October 26-27. Buses will be providing direct service between Orinda and Walnut Creek, and service between the Orinda, Lafayette, and Walnut Creek stations. On these dates, BART passengers should expect delays of 40 minutes or more. Passengers traveling toward San Francisco, who typically park at Walnut Creek, Lafayette, or Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre, may choose to drive to the Orinda Station and park for free to avoid the bus bridge.
In addition, two eastbound lanes on Highway 24 will be closed on select weekends to allow equipment and material to be placed near and in our trackway. Automobile drivers headed eastbound, can expect delays of up to 20 minutes on Highway 24. Neighbors can expect lights at night, sounds of construction vehicles, and the operation of heavy equipment during this maintenance period. Once the work is complete, BART passengers should experience a smoother, safer, and more reliable ride. If you have any questions about this project, you may contact BART’s Ariel Mercado at (510) 287-4939 or email him at AMercad@bart.gov.
(News Flash, this just in from BART: This weekend (August 10-11), Caltrans will close the two far-left, eastbound lanes of Highway 24 near the Lafayette Station and Oak Hill Road to allow BART crews to stage a large crane to move new rail and other equipment/materials placed near and in the trackway. The two lanes will be closed from 11pm Friday until 7am Saturday. The same lanes will also be closed from 11pm Saturday until 9am Sunday. The work this weekend will not impact BART service.)
And Summer Roadwork Continues in Town
The summer’s Road Rehabilitation Projects continue. We are working as fast as we can and trying our best to limit delays to bring you upgraded roads through Lafayette. Roadway reconstruction and paving work will start Monday, August 12, on Barott Road. During this phase of work the street will be closed between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, and parking on the shoulder of the road will be prohibited from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. You may park outside the closure on surrounding streets in any legal parking space to have access to your vehicle during the road closure hours. Emergency vehicles will be provided access at all times. The contractor’s schedule calls for road closures from Monday, August 12 – Wednesday, August 14, to pulverize, grade, and treat the roadway; and on Friday, August 16, for paving. During the construction, questions regarding the work may be directed to Chris Jordan, Project Manager, Grade Tech, Inc., at (925) 890-2560. You can also keep up-to-date on the City’s Construction Projects Webpage.
Glenside Bridge & Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail: It’s Open Ahead of Schedule!
This is great news: The East Bay Regional Park District’s Glenside Bridge Replacement and Safety Improvement Project is substantially complete, allowing for the immediate reopening of the Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail. The Park District was able to reopen the trail ahead of schedule before the start of school. The project was planned during the summer to minimize the impacts to the community, especially students who use the trail to get to and from school. The Park District – and the City – appreciates the community’s patience during the temporary closure and is proud to provide yet another public access improvement to Lafayette residents.
Are You Ready for School? The Lamorinda School Bus Program Is
Bus Passes for the Lamorinda School Bus were mailed this week. If you don't receive your pass by Monday, please let them know. Drivers will have rosters with all the students’ names, and they will be able to get on the bus without their passes for the first two weeks. For those of you who have signed up for one-way service, it's easy to upgrade to round-trip, it's an additional $310. Please feel free to shoot Whitney Simon, our School Bus Program Manager, an email at firstname.lastname@example.org It's not too late register for school bus, so please get your child registered today www.lamorindaschoolbus.org. Give Whitney a call at (925) 299-3216, should you have any questions. Thanks for riding the bus!
The Roundup on the Roundup
We’ve all heard the rumors. Jay Lifson, Executive Director of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, has investigated the rumblings about what is or is not happening with the Roundup Saloon, our fabled – and favorite – watering hole. Here’s his report:
What I wanted to share with you is the story behind the Roundup Saloon. Has it been sold? Will condos be built in its place? What about Farmyard Darlings and the beautiful oak tree that grows between the two buildings? The short answer is nothing!
The property has been owned by the Hunt Family for generations. And it still is. Both Karen and Mike Johnson (owners of the Roundup) and Bruce Whitten (who holds the lease for Farmyard Darlings) signed new, multi-year leases. They are not going anywhere. Harold Hunt recently passed away and the ownership of the parcels was altered to include some new relatives. (By the way, in the near future you may see signs of a change of ownership again. That is because they are becoming a Limited Liability Corporation.)
In fact, look for the two businesses to have an event in the near future to recognize the history behind these two buildings and the charm they add to our semi-rural town. Stop in and have a beer, play some shuffle board at the Roundup and then do a little “End of Summer” shopping at Farmyard Darlings. After all the rumors, they would certainly welcome some visitors. Rumors can really stir things up. But they can also be harmful when the livelihood of people count on their good reputations. Pay them a visit and celebrate a Lafayette tradition.
Editor’s Note: Did you know that this humble publication, the Weekly Roundup, was aptly named after the Roundup Saloon? The Roundup, of course, predated by decades the City’s newsletter as the place where the community heard all about the goings on around town. Unfortunately, we don’t serve beer.
Also From the Chamber: Social Media for Business
Coming at you this Tuesday, August 13, from noon to 1:00 pm, at the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, 251 Lafayette Circle, Suite 150, is an hour-long workshop that will show you how to make social media easy, consistent, and work for you even while you're on vacation! You will learn how to use Hootsuite to schedule your social media across platforms, how to put together a monthly social media plan, and gain some quick tips on how to spend two hours or less on your social media plan per month. This is must-do stuff, so plan on attending. Questions? Contact Holly Jackson at email@example.com or visit healingwithholly.org. Space is limited, so register here now.
Read All About It: Events at the Library
It’s the Romantic Masters Series, Tableaux a la Russe edition at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center. On Thursday, August 22, from 6:30 - 7:30 pm, in Don Tatzin Community Hall, you are invited to join acclaimed pianist Robyn Carmichael for another exciting and engaging show! Explore three Great Russian composers and the surprising forces that shaped them: Borodin, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff. Click here for more information and to register. And remember: "Support your Library...Shop at Friends Corner Book Shop!"
This Week’s Public Meetings
Monday is public meeting night in Lafayette, but there are also meetings throughout the week. Unless otherwise noted, public meetings are held at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center, 3491 Mount Diablo Boulevard, Lafayette. To view all of this week’s public meetings please visit our full calendar.
City Council, Monday, August 12, at 7:00 pm, in the Lafayette Library & Learning Center, Don Tatzin Community Hall, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. Agenda items include:
6:00 pm-Closed Session
Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation Significant exposure to Litigation pursuant to Gov. Code 54956.9(d)(2) – 1 case
7:00 pm-Open Session
Tracy Robinson, Administrative Services Director Introduction of new employee: Justin Horng, Transportation Planner
Townsend and Associates Legislative Updates
Creeks Committee Annual Update
Debora Allen, Board District 1 Director: BART's Plan to Replace 3,200 Feet of Third Rail Between Orinda and Walnut Creek Stations from August until October
Authorization for the City Manager to sign grant applications and funding agreements for the Lamorinda Spirit Van Senior Transportation Program and for Program Coordinator to sign reports and invoices for payment.
Response to Grand Jury Report No. 1907 “Stormwater Trash Reduction”
Completion of Subdivision MS 502-15: 4, 5, 8 and 9 Townsend Place
Recommendation: Authorize staff to file a Notice of Completion for Subdivision MS 502-15 and retain and then release bonds in accordance with Contra Costa County Code Sections 94-4-406 and 94-4-408.
Tract 9440, Woodbury Highlands Project, Approval of Subdivision and Authorization to Record Subdivision Map
Lt. Ben Alldritt, Police Services Manager: PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoffs – City Preparedness Standings
Mike Anderson, Mayor, Susan Candell, Vice Mayor and Mala Subramanian, City Attorney: City Manager Employment Agreement with Niroop K. Srivatsa
Councilmembers report on activities and consideration of matters a Councilmember wishes to initiate for placement on a future agenda.
City Manager’s Update
Councilmember Cameron Burks Invitation to Orinda City Council Member Worth (CCC Mayor’s Conference Rep to MTC) and Clayton City Council Member Pierce (CCC Mayor’s Conference Rep to ABAG) to explain to the Lafayette Council and public their methodology, factors of qualification and ultimate vote on provisions and language - and how it best serves the people of our County at this point in time - for inclusion into Asm. Chiu’s AB1487.
Councilmembers Gerringer and Burks Resolution 2019-42 Appointing one member to the Creeks Committee
Councilmembers Burks and Candell Resolution 2019-43 Appointing one member to the Crime Prevention Commission
You can find the full meeting agenda and staff reports here.
Design Review Commission, Monday, July 15, at 7:00 pm, at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center, Arts & Science Discovery Room, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. Read the agenda here.
Photo for the Week
As we wrote above, many folks around town know about Niroop’s background and long history in Lafayette. What some might not know is that Niroop is an active member of Lafayette Rotary. Her fellow Rotarians reacted with much joy and admiration when Niroop’s expected appointment was announced – and rightly so. In this photo, she’s joined by Lafayette Rotary President Terry Ring.
Quote for the Week
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
The Roundup is prepared each week for the Lafayette Community, City Council, and Staff. If you have thoughts about this week’s Roundup or a contribution for next week’s edition, please email the City of Lafayette's Communications Analyst, Jeff Heyman. Subscribe to the Weekly Roundup and learn more about Lafayette’s publications and social media sites here.