BART is running in Berkeley again [Daily Planet]
Men’s basketball announces 2011-12 schedule
Berkeley lab-led team works on storing CO2 underground to extract electricity [Physorg]
Donkey & Goat tasting room now open Friday and Saturday [Local Wine Events]
Faithful observe Ramadan in Berkeley and East Bay [Patch]
Recent analysis finds City Council paid more than state guidelines suggest [Daily Cal]
Farmer specializes in vinegar at Berkeley Farmers’ Market [Teen Observer]

Photo: Berkeley Neon Jazz Aurora-3 by Ira Serkes/Berkeleyside Flickr pool

-By Robert Mills

Berkeleyside staff

Berkeleyside is Berkeley, California’s independently-owned local news site. Launched in 2009, Berkeleyside was founded by three veteran journalists: Lance Knobel, Tracey Taylor and Frances Dinkelspiel....

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  1. I agree with the comments about how being a City Council member in Berkeley has unfortunately become a full-time job, but if the salaries are too low you wouldn’t know if based on the volume of people that jockey for each seat.

    How much do Berkeley City Council members currently get paid?

    I think the bigger issues with the City Council elections are similar to the issues with national elections – he/she who has the largest campaign coffers and is friendliest with union/business groups usually wins.

  2. I agree with you that a Berkeley City Council member is paid too little. Given the number of hours that they are expected to be on duty in our very politically active city, very few people can afford to take the job. Think of all the meetings across the city every week that we expect them to attend.

    I think that we can raise the salary without a hit on the overall city budget by giving each member a total salary and benefits budget for their office. They would be allowed to divide their budget between themselves and their aides as they chose as long as the aides were paid a set hourly wage (and benefits). This would mean that some council members would take a greater salary and do more of the routine work themselves. Another representative might choose to forgo their salary and hire more staff. It would be up to them.

  3. The link for “Berkeley lab-led team works….” is broken. It leads to an unrelated topic on Berkeleyside. The headline sounds interesting and worth reading. Could the editors fix the link?

  4. The notion of a “citizen legislature” makes certain sense, but even in bygone eras it has had the effect of limiting the pool of qualified candidates.  In reality, a Councilperson in Berkeley must give over his or her life to the position.  As a result, it’s only feasible to serve on the Berkeley City Council if you are retired, independently wealthy, or resolved to building a career as a politician.  I would support an INCREASE in the salaries of Berkeley City Councilpersons so we could attract a broader pool of candidates.  In the context of our overall budget, paying our leaders a decent full-time salary would probably pay dividends and, besides, attract candidates who more accurately reflect the values or our citizenry.