Tonight’s city council meeting has both substantive and symbolic items on the agenda. The council meeting is webcast from 7pm.

There will be a first reading of an ordinance requiring employers with 10 or more employees to offer a pre-tax payroll deduction for commuter benefits. As part of the economic stimulus legislation passed in February, the potential benefit to employees increased dramatically. Although Berkeley currently has no laws on the pre-tax payroll deduction, some of the city’s major employers do offer it as an option. San Francisco and Richmond have passed similar ordinances.

On the symbolic part of the agenda, the council is considering a resolution “advocating the withdrawal of United States Armed Forces and private mercenary contractors from Afghanistan and the cessation of United States military drone attacks on Afghanistan and Pakistan”.

Lance Knobel

Lance Knobel (co-founder) has been a journalist for nearly 40 years. Much of his career was in business journalism. He was editor-in-chief of both Management Today, the leading business magazine in Britain,...

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  1. This gets me thinking of better things that City Council could be working on aside from mis-representing the population with ineffectual statements about world affairs.

    And that brings to mind an issue that maybe some other reader has experience with:

    There are a heck of a lot of unoccupied, neglected properties around my neighborhood in West Berkeley. Some are empty, forclosed places. One is an 8(?) unit condo that was never even completed – just boarded up after most but not all construction was completed.

    One of the foreclosure homes recently had a tree fall down in its back yard. The tree is diseased and so the crown, which is now on the ground, contains a lot of dry wood – a bonfire waiting to go off.

    I’ve called the City a few times about this and have yet to get more than a promise someone will call me back in a few days (which doesn’t happen).

    Who can I get in touch with to see to it that the City ensures the hazard is removed and dings the bank which owns yet neglects the place?

    (Or, should I fix it myself and in exchange take adverse possession of the house in question? Has any reader ever obtained ownership of a Berkeley property by that means?)