City of Lafayette, CA

02/14/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/14/2020 18:45

The Weekly Roundup, February 14, 2020

Friday, February 14, 2020 | What's Doing in Lafayette?

Meet Rocco, Lafayette Police Department's Newest 'Officer'

Rocco, LPD's dual-purpose explosives and firearms detection canine, made an appearance at Monday's City Council meeting. In fact, it was his introduction to the community. Lafayette Police Chief Ben Alldritt introduced Rocco, a two and a half-year old Belgian Malinois, and his handler, Officer Kevin White, to the community. Rocco responds to French commands (in keeping with the French tradition of our City!) and his early training was in French Ring Sport. Rocco lives full time with his handler Officer White and only works on-duty with him.

The purchase of Rocco was made possible with support from the City Council, and the Lafayette Police Foundation. The most important support was from our community who provided and continues to provide donations through the Foundation which assisted with funds to purchase Rocco. Donations can be made in two ways. Folks can walk into any Mechanics Bank branch and advise the teller that they would like to make a donation to the Lafayette Police Foundation or they can mail a check to the Lafayette Police Foundation at 3471 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette, CA 94549. Your contribution is tax-deductible.

Rocco was warmly greeted by members of the public, the City Council - and a large group of Boy Scouts. You can see photos from the meetinghere. You can watch Chief Alldritt's introduction of Rocco here.

City Council Endorses School's Measure L

Also at Monday's meeting, the City Council unanimously voted to endorse Measure L, Lafayette School District Parcel Tax, which will be on the March 3 ballot. The Council's endorsement follows a long tradition of the City supporting our schools. Read the Council's resolution on Measure L here.

City of Lafayette's Trial Court Victory Affirmed by Court of Appeals

California's First District Court of Appeal affirmed the City of Lafayette's trial court victory in a case filed by a small group of Lafayette residents alleging that the City Council improperly held closed session meetings and violated the California Constitution. The group of residents alleged that the City had used a biased process in reaching a land-use decision in 2016. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's findings that the City Council's closed sessions were justified and that the decision was based on a fair, thorough process.

The Court of Appeal found that the City committed a minor technical violation of the Brown Act but that no prejudice resulted from it and it had no impact on the City Council's decision. In its order, the Court found there was no evidence that anyone at the City of Lafayette - councilmembers, staff, or the City Attorney - was biased. 'We are very pleased that the Court of Appeal has affirmed the City of Lafayette's trial court victory in this matter,' said Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson. 'The City will continue to keep our focus on important issues facing Lafayette,' added Mayor Anderson.

It should be noted that legal fees to defend against this lawsuit have cost the City of Lafayette's taxpayers $832,023 to date. You can read the Appeal Court's order here and download a copy of the press release here.

Lafayette Featured in New York Times Magazine

An article featuring former Lafayette City Manager Steve Falk and the Terraces of Lafayette (Deer Hill) project will be published in The New York Times Magazine this Sunday. The article entitled Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build Build is an excerpt from an upcoming book, Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America by Conor Dougherty, an economics reporter at The Times.

Lafayette's Assistant Administrative Services Director Jennifer Wakeman is CSMFO's Volunteer of the Year

Last month at its annual convention, the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO) presented the City of Lafayette's very own Jennifer Wakeman with its Volunteer of the Year award. We couldn't be more proud of Jennifer, who, it just so happens, is also CSMFO's Board Member from Northern California. CSMFO's President, Steve Heide, in presenting the award said Jennifer has been instrumental in succession planning in the world of municipal finance, leading the Student Engagement Committee that reached out to students throughout the state resulting in 40 new CSMFO student members. Through her leadership, President Heide said, Jennifer has helped shine a light on the future of municipal finance. Way to go, Jennifer, and congratulations!

Hamlin Nature Park Subcommittee

In an effort to kick off the Hamlin Nature Park Master Planning process, the City is calling a meeting of the Hamlin Nature Park Subcommittee to discuss process and public outreach. The goal of this meeting will be for the group of four appointed Parks, Trails and Recreation Commissioners to come together to discuss the process they will use to develop the master plan and how they will reach out to the community and the neighborhood. This will not be a meeting for discussing specific features or trail locations. The group will take comments and feedback from the public, but there will be future meetings to discuss specific features, amenities, locations and more.

The Hamlin Nature Park Subcommittee will be the working group that will help develop a draft plan that will be submitted to the full Park, Trails & Recreation Commission for review before they send a recommendation to City Council. This is the first meeting in what will be an exciting public process to develop a community park. The Subcommittee wants to hear from the community and the neighbors to ensure that we develop a park that can be enjoyed and they hope to develop that process at the meeting that takes place Wednesday, February 19, at 7: p.m., in the Sequoia Room at the Lafayette Community Center, 500 St. Mary's Road.

Let the Chips Fall: It's Poker Night

Join Mayor Mike Anderson, forget Tahoe and Reno and don't worry about traffic or snow chains! Instead enjoy a relaxing and fun-filled evening-and do a good deed for the Community Center. Yes, Parks, Trails & Recreation is having a Poker Night Saturday, March 14, from 7 to 11:00 p.m., at the Lafayette Community Center. Don't know how to play poker? That's okay, just come at 6:00 p.m. for a lesson or two. The $70 Entry Fee includes beverages, snacks, and a light meal!! Never will a fundraiser for the Lafayette's playgrounds be so much fun! Blackjack is also included. Register now at

St. Mary's Arts Events

St. Mary's College has a few events coming up that you might just not want to miss.'Feminizing Permanence' features 40 historical and contemporary works of art by 40 women artists from its permanent collection. A wide range of themes are explored and the show also speaks to the under-representation of women artists in permanent museum collections across the country. Then, in 'Sign of The Times: The Great Political Poster, 1844 - 2012', American political posters and their attempt to catch our eye and capture our vote through the use of visual language is presented. The opening reception for these exhibits is February 20, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at the St. Mary's College Museum of Art, 1928, St. Mary's Road, in Moraga. You can enjoy refreshments and music while viewing artwork featured at two exhibits.

Following those exhibits is 'A Film Festival for College Students,' which takes place on February 28, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m., at the St. Mary's College Soda Activity Center, 1928 St. Mary's Road, in Moraga. This festival aims to support and connect aspiring student filmmakers in the local community, as well as to encourage interest in the art of film. More information regarding the event can be found at

Upcoming Reception to Celebrate the Work of Jared Young Chong

The Public Art Committee of Lafayette invites the community to an art reception at the gallery at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center on Monday, February 24, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Come enjoy light refreshments and view the current exhibit featuring the work of Jared Young Chong, (Point Arena, 1978, Oil, shown above.) A second generation, Chinese American, born in (the then U.S. Territory of) Hawaii in the early 1900s, Jared Young Chong (1904 - 1990) was raised in an artistic desert, but, against all odds, he departed for San Francisco in 1926 to study Fine Art at the University of California, Berkeley, and the San Francisco Art Institute.

His son, Lafayette resident Gordon Chong, curated the posthumous show 'Cultural Explorations: Modern Works by Hawaiian Artist' to honor his father's work. The show consists of collages and oils created over a lifetime. Viewers suggest seeing in his work the cultural influences of Diego Rivera, the Tahitian period of Gauguin, the colorful boldness of Hans Hoffman and the landscapes of Richard Diebenkorn, albeit expressed with a Polynesian orientation. In reality, his lack of exposure to the barrage of western influences resulted in a timeless, contemporary expression of his own making, perhaps an artistic integration of many that reflect his multi-cultural background of having been raised in Hawaii. Find out more about the PAC and the Exhibit here.

The Chamber's Citizens of the Year Selected

The Lafayette Chamber and the Lamorinda Weekly are proud to announce that this year's selection for the 2020 Citizens of the Year are Lafayette's longtime active residents Rick and Janet Cronk. For years they have supported not only local, regional and international philanthropies, but have also participated as volunteers and leaders in numerous local causes. The gala celebrating the couple contributions to the community is Friday, March 13, at the Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa, but it has already sold out! Congratulations to Janet & Rick, who are seen above with, from left, Niroop Srivatsa, Lafayette City Manager; Don Tatzin, 2019 Citizen of the Year, and John McCormick, Lafayette Chamber Board President.

The Wonderful World of Wastewater: Get a Behind-the-Scenes Look

Ever wonder what happens to water when it goes down the drain? Interested in what you can do to help the environment? Looking to meet other members of your community? Just looking to expand your knowledge? Your local wastewater treatment agency, Central San, is now accepting applications for the fifth session of its award-winning citizens' academy, the Central San Academy! The program is free and will be held Wednesdays at Central San's facilities in Walnut Creek and Martinez from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., March 11 to April 22 (except for the week of March 23, when a daytime facilities tour will replace the evening class). For more information and to apply online, visit:

Assistance League Thrift Shop's Asian Event Approaching

The indefatigable member volunteers at Assistance League Thrift Shop at the Way Side Inn, located at 3521 Golden Gate Way, in Lafayette, have scheduled the Asian Handcrafts Event for Tuesday, February 18, at 9:30 a.m. through Saturday, February 29. This two-week event will require replenishing the shelves on a daily basis; consequently, you might consider more than one visit to the thrift shop. As you enter the thrift shop and turn to your right, you will encounter numerous trays of jade and other precious stone and gold jewelry. Included in this promotion and nestled throughout the shop, will be figurines, vases, planters, wall art, garments, and parasols. You will find items that are rich in tradition, functional and inspirational. Infuse your living and work spaces with color; green to add healing and harmony, and yellow to ensure power and prosperity. Revitalize your living space by selecting a few exquisite pieces that ensure harmony and grace. To learn about the hands-on philanthropic programs primarily funded by the thrift shop, please visit the Assistance League's website.

Read All About It: Events at the Library

It is again time for the Friend of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Bookmark Contest to begin! Entry forms are available for students K-8 in each Lafayette School, the Lafayette Library, and Friends Corner Book Shop beginning February 14, when the contest officially begins. The contest will end on March 6. The entries will be judged and the winning bookmarks will be printed and ready to be enjoyed by all on April 23, when there will be an Award Ceremony for the winners. Each winner will receive gift certificates for local bookshops and their bookmark framed by Anthony's Custom Picture Framing. For more information, please contact Caz Cazanov by email at [email protected]. Remember: 'Support your Library...Shop at Friends Corner Book Shop!'

And Don't Forget…

  • Sustainable Lafayette is thrilled to present Motherload, an award-winning, crowdsourced documentary about a Bay Area mother's journey to regain the freedom of cycling with kids. March 10, 7:15 p.m., at Town Hall Theatre. Tickets online or at the door.
  • The Lafayette Community is invited to hear Saxophonist Geoff Countryman from the Saturday Night Live Band.He will be at Stanley on Wednesday, February 19, from 7:20 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. Geoff was in the Stanley and Campo Bands and Jazz Bands.He'll play with us and share his career story (?) and how he got to SNL. Yes, coffee and 14 kinds of tea will be served to the adults! Email Lindsay Rogers for more information at [email protected].

Design Review Commission Still Has a Vacancy

The Lafayette City Council is soliciting applicants to fill one vacancy on the Design Review Commission. The five-member body is responsible for matters relating to aesthetics and the physical appearance of the city. The commission advises the staff, planning commission, and city council and acts on applications for design review including residential and commercial development projects. Members of the design review commission are selected on the basis of education, training, and experience in the fields of architecture, landscape architecture, design, city planning or a related field. The council may appoint one or more nonresidents if, in its discretion, it considers it necessary to gain sufficient expertise. Individuals interested in this volunteer position may obtain a Commission/Committee Application Form from the City's web site or in person at City of Lafayette Offices, 3675 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Suite 210. You may also call the City Clerk's Office at (925) 284-1968 to request an application be mailed to you. Completed applications must be received by 5:00 p.m., February 20, 2020.

Next Week's Public Meetings

Monday is Presidents' Day and City Offices will be closed and no public meetings will be held. However, there are 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 next week's public meetings please visit our full calendar.

  • Planning Commission, Tuesday, February 18, at 7:00 p.m., in the Lafayette Library & Learning Center, Don Tatzin Community Hall, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette. Read the agenda and staff reports.

Photo for the Week

It may seem a Faustian bargain, at times, finding just the right flowers on Valentine's Day. How did you do?

Quote for the Week

Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth move. Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love.

-William Shakespeare


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.