There will be eight Berkeley measures on the Nov. 3 ballot. Photo: Joe Parks

There will be eight Berkeley measures on the Nov. 3 ballot, ranging from increasing pay for the mayor and city council members, establishing a new, independent police board, rescinding residency requirements for firefighters, placing a 50-cent surcharge on Uber and Lyft rides originating in Berkeley and raising other taxes to create a climate action fund and to increase funding for firefighting, emergency medical response, 911 communications services and wildfire prevention.

The City Council voted to put the last of measures on the ballot last week after two back-to-back meetings before its summer recess. The last day to add measures to the ballot is Friday.

Here’s what Berkeley voters will see on their ballots:

Increased pay for mayor and city council members

Currently, by convention, city council members and the mayor are considered part-time workers, even though many of them work more than that. Their salaries, set in 1998, reflect that. Currently, the mayor is paid $61,304 a year and council members are paid $38,695. The proposal to make the change pointed out that the mayor’s salary approximates that “of a very low income households of three persons.” Council salaries approximate those of  “extremely low-income households.”

The ballot measure states, “Shall compensation for the offices of Mayor be set at Alameda County’s median three-person household income from the California Department of Housing and Community Development and that of Councilmembers maintained at 63% of the Mayor’s compensation?”

If adopted, the mayor would be paid $107,300 and council members would be paid $67,599. Their salaries would be adjusted based on changes in area media income.

Establish independent police accountability board and director of police accountability

Berkeley voters established the Police Review Commission in 1973 to “participate in setting Police Department policies, practices, and procedures and to provide a means for the investigation of complaints against sworn employees of the Police Department,” according to a staff report. Commissioners over the years have complained about the commission’s limited powers to investigate incidents regarding the conduct of officers, among other concerns.

The ballot measure would replace the PRC with a new independent board that has defined roles in hiring any new police chief, and to provide oversight of the department’s policies, procedures and practices. The new board would be able to do deeper investigations of officers, according to a city staff report.

The proposed ballot measure would also redefine the standard of proof needed in deciding whether an officer can be charged with misconduct. Currently, “clear and convincing” evidence is needed. If changed, the less stringent “preponderance of the evidence” standard will be applied.

The new director of police accountability and the new police board will also be able to recommend whether or not an officer should be disciplined. The proposed charter amendment will allow the board access to police personnel records and will allow it to “issue subpoenas to compel the production of records and testimony,” according to a staff report.

The current nine-member board has three staff members assigned to it and has an annual budget of $778,000. The costs for the changes proposed in the ballot measure would add $300,000 to $500,000 annually to that, according to a city staff report.

Super Tuesday 2020 voting. Photo: Kelly Sullivan

Require partially exempt rental units to register with the Rent Board; limit rent control exemptions to certain ADUs

This proposed measure would bring the ordinance in compliance with new laws, extend rent control to certain ADUs and require houses and units that are rented out but not subject to rent control to register and to pay fees.

The changes would prohibit the eviction of tenants for not paying their rent during state or local emergencies, such as the current one in effect because of the coronavirus. Berkeley has already passed this law so the changes would update the rent control ordinance. Two years ago, Berkeley voters decided to exempt permitted accessary dwelling units, ADUs, from rent control. The state of California passed a law, however, that says whenever an ADU is built on a property with multiple units, like an apartment complex, all the units on that property would no longer be covered by rent control. This proposed change to the ordinance would limit that exemption to “owner-occupied properties with a single-family home and one accessory unit.’

Currently, apartments in the new complexes that have sprung up in Berkeley in recent years are not subject to rent control. Tenants living there are covered by just-cause eviction laws. The proposed changes in the ordinance would require owners to register those properties and pay an annual fee to the Rent Board. This would allow the rent board to develop a better inventory of rental properties in Berkeley. People renting out single family homes would also have to register. Exceptions would be made for people going on sabbatical or an extended vacation for a year.

Establish a transportation surcharge lasting 20 years for rides originating in Berkeley

This ballot measure would tax people hailing rides from services like Uber or Lyft an extra 50 cents. People taking pooled trips would pay 26 cents a ride. The new tax would generate $910,000 a year which would be used for general municipal services.

Increase utility users’ tax on gas and electricity consumption

This measure would increase the tax on gas and electricity consumption from 7.5% to 10%, for all but low-income customers. That could generate $2.4 million a year that could be used to help low-income residents reduce their production of greenhouse gases. “Programs may include building electrification, weatherization, low-carbon shuttles, and other low-carbon transportation and mobility subsidies,” according to a city staff report. The money would go into a Climate Equity Action Fund. The Energy Commission would be renamed the Climate Action and Energy Commission and would make recommendations to the City Council on how to spend the money.

Early morning voters wait outside the Sylvia Mendez Auditorium on Nov. 6. 2018. Photo: Pete Rosos

Increase property taxes to pay for firefighting, emergency medical response, wildfire prevention

This measure would increase property taxes at the rate of $0.1047 per square foot of improvement, or about $199 a year for a 1,900-square-foot home, according to a staff report.

The tax would generate about $8.5 million a year and the money would help pay for firefighting services, emergency medical response, 911 service, hazard mitigation and wildfire prevention and preparedness. This tax would continue until voters repeal it. It requires a two-thirds vote to pass.

The cost of providing emergency services has gone up, according to the staff report. Calls to the fire department have increased 130% since 1995. The paramedic tax is not covering the cost of ambulance services, so the deficit is taken from the general fund. Alameda County is no longer paying the cost of transporting 5150 patients (those who pose a threat to themselves or others) to a psychiatric facility. Berkeley’s 911 communications center is in dire need of investment. For these and other reasons more funding is needed, according to the staff report.

Authorize Berkeley to continue spending funds collected from various taxes

Voters in Berkeley have approved various taxes over the years, including taxes for park maintenance, street lighting and storm drainage service, library services, emergency medical services, fire protection and emergency response services, emergency services for severely physically disabled persons, the business license tax, the utility users tax, the sugar-sweetened beverage products tax, parking and transient occupancy taxes, and the real property transfer tax.

A state law, known as the “Gann Appropriations Limit” only allows cities to spend the amount it spent in the previous year, adjusted for changes in population and the cost of living unless voters deem otherwise. In 2016, Berkeley voters approved the expenditure of these tax proceeds through June 30. This measure asks voters for another four-year extension. “Unless the voters do so, half of any amount collected in excess of the appropriation limit must be refunded to the taxpayers within the next two years,” according to a staff report.

A four-part measure to rescind residency requirements for firefighters, take out gendered language from the city charter and replace it with gender-neutral language; change requirements for those on the redistricting commission so they comply with state law, and add position and duties of the city attorney to the charter

Currently, sworn firefighters must live within a 40-mile radius of Berkeley; this ballot measure would rescind that requirement. It would remove 77 instances of gendered language (he, she, workman, chairman, etc.) and replace it with gender-neutral terms. This ballot measure would remove the requirement that applicants to the redistricting commission had to have voted in the last two general municipal elections. California law now prohibits this. The City Charter makes no specific reference to the role of the city attorney. This measure would delineate the role and responsibilities of that office in the charter.

Update Aug. 6: This article has been corrected to remove the statements that the city charter defines the mayoral and city council positions as part-time and a revised charter would state the positons are full-time. The charter does not speak to the issue although it has become a given in Berkeley that those officeholders are working part-time. We are trying to track down if that is written anywhere.

Frances Dinkelspiel

Frances Dinkelspiel (co-founder) is a journalist and author. Her first book, Towers of Gold: How One Jewish Immigrant Named Isaias Hellman Created California,...

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653 Comments

  1. I live in N Berkeley, and was ‘greeted’ at 10am as I went out to my car with ASH! Remember 2017? (or was it ’18?, I forget)…..anyway….

    …the smokey smell and light white ash drifting down like fallout – a scene from some dystopian movie – was an unpleasant reminder that Not All is Well in the World.

    Bummer.

  2. Please advise. Why the booking photos?

    I thought God (in the form of Berkeleyside) had decided the We (the public) should be denied this information.

    What happened? Did the Devil win?

  3. Making the elementary error of confusing weather with climate–like Senator Inhofe bringing a snowball into the Senate and thinking that the snowfall on that one day had anything to do with trends in changing climate over the years. .

    In California, global warming has made the forests drier (since warmer air can hold more) which means that forest fires spread more quickly. That is why we have had this sort of smoke every year since 2017, though we rarely if ever had anything like this previously.

    BTW, that comment is very generic. Since it begins with “Global Warming?” it could be used as a response to virtually any comment about global warming, so it looks like the sort of thing that a bot could send after machine-reading the words “global warming” in a comment. If Mr. VanderKol responds to this, we will know he is a person and not a bot.

  4. Global warming has been greater in the arctic than the tropics. This reduces the temperature difference between the regions and causes the jet streams to slow down and meander more than in the past. This results in greater variation of weather. In the Northern Hemisphere If one is in an area where a jet stream is tracking north one sweats. If one is in an area where it tracks southward one is cooler. Cherry picking weather isn’t very useful when one wants to determine climate change.

  5. my simple disposable Covid surgical mask seems to lessen the smoke impact. At least I smell it less with the mask on.

  6. Global Warming?
    Check the National Weather Service
    https://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/discussions/hpcdiscussions.php?disc=pmdspd

    “much of the eastern half of the country will experience
    cooler than normal temperatures due to persistent upper-level troughing. A
    stalled front interacting with tropical moisture should cause continued
    chances for showers and thunderstorms for much of the Southeast including
    Florida as well as the Mid-Atlantic through the end of the workweek.
    Rainfall totals in most areas should not be significant, but locally heavy
    rainfall could cause isolated concerns for flooding or flash flooding. A
    few strong storms containing gusty winds cannot be ruled out either,
    especially Thursday. Isolated to scattered strong thunderstorms are also a
    possibility in the Rockies to Plains, particularly each afternoon/evening.”

  7. Hmmm, do all homeless people think and act the same? Are we all homeless for the same reasons? Do you know all of us??? Do you know me????? Interesting opinion you have there.

  8. Just when I thought people couldn’t possibly promote these pipelines anymore.
    You know what else gives you three square meals a day, a bed, and teaches you how to do manual labor while pilfering off of your hard work? Prison.
    Only difference is you get paid a living wage for joining the military because it’s in the promotion of federally-sanctioned murder because war is a big industry. Whether we’re talking about the prison-industrial-complex or the military-industrial complex, I’d prefer to stay out of both.
    Foster care, while necessary at times, is actually mostly run by third-party corporations, some of them ironically having ties to the military-industrial-complex, and many foster families that kids are placed with are doing it for the money and many kids actually fall into sex trafficking rings through the foster care system. Pipeline after pipeline of human exploitation.

    You’re right: I am responsible for myself. Which is why I got myself into a youth program and graduated high school and am about to be in college, so that I can become an advocate for people who need it. I am responsible for myself, so I don’t purposely put myself in a rape-culture of toxic-masculinity in order to fight wars for those pigs responsible for my situation in the first place.

  9. My son is a senior this year. Glad I read this, he won’t waste time applying to UC Berkley or any California, Oregon, or Washington State school for that matter. Also going to avoid metropolitan areas, NYC, Boston, etc, that are/have been riot hot spots. The map of good locations is shrinking, local schools that have potential for student to commute if necessary are looking better and better.

  10. I would agree to all pay raises for the mayor and council if they would agree to never report for work. I would rather have a single competent city manager take care of business without virtue signalling idealogues doing everything but run the city.

  11. Respectfully, the other Berkeleyside articles described the incident as a robbery, and shoplifting has a different meaning legally, and the difference determines a felony or misdemeanor. My issue was only with the word. Was there not a threat of force?

  12. It started as a shoplifting and then became a robbery as circumstances shifted. Please know that I will report *all the details* with the utmost care and balance once they are available and we will make all records that are provided to us available to the public as well.

  13. Last season there was a thing on here with a diy air purifier. Basically you just tape a furnace filter to a box fan and turn it on inside.

  14. Access to affordable or free food (I used to get food stamps and it ran out after one-two weeks), access to clean water, access to breathable air, access to hygiene products and a place to use them, as well as restrooms access. These are things needed at the bare minimum for human health. The problem is that the people in power so often act like these basic things needed for survival are somehow ‘over the top’ or an inconvenience.
    It’s sad that thousands of lives are seen as an inconvenience or not worth the time.

  15. The original Berkeleyside article called it a robbery:
    At 9:18 p.m. an officer was patrolling near CVS Pharmacy at 1451 Shattuck Ave. (at Rose Street) when she suddenly encountered an in-progress robbery involving three people: two men and a woman. While attempting to detain them, she fired her gun, according to a BPD statement. (The incident was originally described by BPD as a theft and subsequently as a robbery because of use of force.)

  16. Thank you for your understanding- I’ve known many people who started meth because it was freezing outside and raining and they wanted to fall asleep and were exhausted. This combination of exhaustion, PTSD, drug use, and homelessness can make people’s mental health degrade very rapidly. People mutter to themselves sometimes, scream at the sky, etc. I was one once. Thankfully I have an opportunity to not be. I’m in a youth shelter (18-25) and I just graduated high school. Now I’m going to go to college and eventually become a civil rights lawyer and advocate for people who need it. But being here is a privilege and a very VERY rare one. There are so few beds and so many people in need of them, and there is only one Covenant House California in North California- only one that helps us get off the streets like this, gives us almost all the resources we need. And there are less than 50 beds here.

    Although, the police know that the more dope fiends they have to arrest, the more money they can make off of the black community and the more people go to prison. The more kids get hooked on meth, the better for that pipeline. They arrest dealers all the time, and then release them. Trust me I’ve known quite a few. They get threatened a little, but they usually go free again very soon because they have almost a type of immunity. They would much rather (and frequently do) arrest and institutionalize (John-George) substance users and people who have been sex trafficked.

  17. I am one of those criminal mental case transients Peter. Just because I’m white, female and 20, doesn’t mean I’m not. But you need to understand that the root of the problem is not “crime”. It is not “bad, abnormal” people. The real problem is actual homelessness that disintegrates people’s mental health and drives people into survival mode. Anybody with the most prevalent forms of severe PTSD understand what this is like. Most if not all homeless people have been subjected to major trauma, most have what Pete Walker describes as C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I’m just lucky enough right now to be in a youth shelter and to have an opportunity to work on mine (which has driven me to psychotic breaks, drug use etc.)
    It depends on what crime you’re talking about too.
    I have been institutionalized before many times. And doped up too. It was a living nightmare. It only makes your mental health worse. You need to understand why before calling to have people locked away simply because you don’t want to see their pain or suffering. If you don’t feel safe, imagine how we feel. What must drive people to major drug use??? What kind of traumatic events lead to this? What kind of predatory people have been in our lives to get us hooked on these substances, or living this way?

    If you can’t afford to live here, but you have the money, social tools, and resources and mental health, or in short, privilege, to “start over” somewhere new, then you need to realize that the majority of the people on the streets don’t.

    Don’t dehumanize drug-users and people with mental problems just because they’re homeless. Plenty of famous people have mental problems and use drugs freely and no one wants to lock them away because they’re tired of looking.

  18. It would be interesting to add families who left BUSD. Your questionnaire only talks about people who stayed. But i think a significant fraction left or is about to leave BUSD and go private school or home schooling.
    It would be good to include notes on that as well.

  19. What happened is that Republicans swept out Democratic majorities in Congress that November 2010 and they sure as heck weren’t going to fund any services of this kind. Elections matter.

  20. A month earlier than usual. As I remember, smoke beginning in late September became the new normal a few years ago, and it looks like smoke beginning in late August may become the new normal beginning now.

    Because of global warming, our lives are noticeably worse than they were several years ago. Of course, the people living in fire zones are much, much worse off than we are.

  21. sorry to be off-topic but…

    on the map this location is closer to the “south berkeley” label than the “southwest berkeley” label

    I understand why you call it “southwest” but that low corner below ashby gets kind of orphaned in the neighborhood naming

  22. Thanks Berkeleyside & please keep reporting on this. Blackouts are a serious inconvenience to all of us but a downright danger to the elderly and disabled. Furthermore, it’s depressing to check CA ISO’s website each evening and see California’s power grid burning truly gargantuan quantities of gas just to keep our lights on when wind/solar are slacking off. Energy storage technology seems to not be living up to the hype, and “nuclear” remains a four-letter word, so we can expect many more weeks like this week in California’s future.

  23. So sad and true. The world is just shaking its head at America now in shock and disgust. Great job Trump enablers!

  24. The fact that you’re getting down votes for stating a simple fact here is troubling. The Post Master General is just one more in a loooong line of crony Trump appointments.

  25. Democrats vote by mail in much higher numbers than republicans. Do some research so we don’t have to constantly correct all the misinformation. Its tedious!

  26. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

    I consider this an extraordinary claim.

    Proof?

  27. Three classes a day 4 days a week is a joke! These kids need structure and need to be engaged all day 8:30 – 3:00 not 9:15 -12:30 . Are the teachers getting a 50% pay cut for only working a half day?

  28. No one should be asked to stand in line at Berkeley Bowl during a pandemic, the government should bring us groceries right?

  29. Among my many lost causes is a rock-era analogue to this area of Scandinavian gloom. Surrounded by some verry successful acts like bright/bubbly ABBA and Bjork (who I couldn’t ID in a line-up) and shunned by the rock world, Copenhagen’s Savage Rose stood stood out. They were the best musical group in the ‘rock’ era you never heard of. They were omitted from the several encyclopedias of the day.
    Musically, they had no peers in the Northlands, and few beyond. Founding brothers Thomas and Anders Koppel were the sons of classicist Herman Koppel. The singer was the wide-range diva Annisette. Their catalogue contains many gorgeous and profound pieces. Thematically, however, they did not seek to provide happy hummy escape. As true radicals, their work often paints a picture of red-skied apocalypse peopled by homeless waifs and used needles, a reflection of massive drug abuse and disaffection in an otherwise swinging country. (Denmark usually scores high on the Happiest Countries Index.) Franz Fanon was their muse, if that’s a tip-off.
    Their records require a search in the ‘S’ bin, but I think it’s worth it ..

  30. In the “remote hills of San Leandro” like it’s so far from civilization. Sheesh. We live in the Bay too, we know geography, this is insane.
    Also “He was given a trailer” – That’s a pretty sweet deal… but then he complains because it’s 5 blocks from a CVS?
    And do you think ambulances in Berkeley are unable to service the far outer reaches of the “bottom of Harrison St.” like they have to cross mountains and valleys to get there or something? They regularly take calls all over town, including up in the Berkeley hills, a much farther distance and a much slower route than servicing any part of the flatlands.

  31. Yes, the Republicans are deliberately trying to destroy the PO.
    Because it’s been operating SO efficiently for So many years right?

    Keep doing things the same way over and over while expecting a different outcome, yup that is the definition of the Democratic party.

  32. To my knowledge, “lead pipes” only exist as drainpipes and as murder weapons in dated thrillers–not as water supply lines. For some years, the solder used to sweat copper had lead in it, but that’s only for the joints, so typically there would be almost no lead in copper pipes, especially those installed after lead was eliminated decades ago.

    Getting rid of lead in gas was a great thing, but to me, at this point in time, lead is really a non-issue compared to all the other apocalyptic crap we’re facing.

  33. I stand corrected, then, but it sure is true that once a galvanized pipe has been in there long enough, there isn’t anything but raw iron on the inside. Whatever the trace amounts were, they’re long gone after a few decades of use. One supposes that a tiny amount of that tiny amount ended up in drinking water in years gone by, but then skateboarding, biking, drinking to excess, and a host of other common activities during those same years represent a far greater threat to health. I suppose that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t mitigate lead exposure, but let’s not exaggerate the risk, either.

  34. Why has a homeless 70 year old woman been living across the street from the YMCA for almost a year?

  35. The left will find a way to dismiss this woman but she is correct, all of these crumbling cities have been under democratic control for decades and yet they try to blame the republicans it’s laughable how they can twist the facts and convince themselves.

  36. Did you note the district with the highest lead? Fruitvale. Do you think the residents had a choice about this?

  37. This article is a failure in journalism much like the city’s homeless policy. It presents no other dissenting views, no negative implications from the five activists (think adding hours into city meetings and multiple unfounded lawsuits) and only interviews several extremely biased sources.

    Homeless activists are constantly picking on Berkeley, when in fact Berkeley does so much more than nearly any other city. The problem becomes the endless supply of new homeless relocating to the area. The city keeps very poor metrics on outcomes, and most programs do not even have KPIs associated with them. These programs are a grab all for the overpaid so-called non-profits.

  38. Agreed. No raises for anybody in government right now. If anything, we might discuss pay cuts for how poorly they’ve handled everything. This was their time to shine. I’ve seen no shine.

  39. I’m sure your own contribution of many long hours or hard work had a lot to do with it as well. Congratulations on your success so far. Here’s hoping for much good to come your way.

  40. COPD can affect people other than smokers. Many homeless people live and sleep right next to where automobile and truck traffic passes by 24 hours a day. That kind of exposure to exhaust can trigger asthma and other lung disorders, which can lead to COPD, especially when you combine it with all the other health challenges homeless people have.

  41. compassion for the unhoused…check the time comments were made before shooting off your mouth.

  42. The slant on Berkeleyside is becoming unbearable. People who didn’t follow the story might be led to believe that some kids were stealing candy bars and lip gloss when a crazy cop burst in and started firing. Which, I guess, is exactly the narrative they want imply.

  43. Just don’t send the CC’s Davila and Harrison … Berkeley’s “Starsky and Hutch”. No comedians.

  44. You can get free groceries, including local produce and baked goods as well as frozen meals prepared onsite, from the Berkeley Food Network at Ninth St. and University. Our pantry is open to the public Mon-Thurs 10am-2pm, Mon/Wed 5-7pm and the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month from 10am-noon. Please come by and pick from an amazing array of high-quality, nutrient-dense foods. Please bring reusable bags if you can! berkeleyfoodnetwork.org

  45. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won’t do anything about this issue at all. As neoliberals they are both economic centrists who have no interest in upsetting the current hegemony and will simply perpetuate the policies of Clinton and Obama that brought us to where we are today.

  46. Thanks for pointing that out! I was certainly hoping I would not be the only one who would be able to do so. Although already knowing that information myself, I went to verify it with a known source so I could post that verification, and not just post without being able to cite it. I’m glad to see that at least two others – you and Frances Dinkelspiel – were here to do that. The information about WWI – or The Great War, as it was more commonly known at the time – in general doesn’t seem to be nearly as well known as WWII, although that historical conflict doesn’t seem to be nearly as well known as it should be lately!

  47. point is here the people provide shelter for the people whether it be personally provided or donated.

  48. Thank you for this article Berkeleyside. I knew these guys from Occupy days and beyond. They had a great spirit and really took the movement to heart. People writing nasty stuff about these guys can go suck an egg. If you’ve never spent a night or six on the street you don’t know them and you never will. There’s a lot of love on the streets and these guys shared a lot of it. peace

  49. “On July 30, a Berkeley police officer also fired her gun at several people in a vehicle after what began as a shoplifting incident” – this wasn’t shoplifting incident, it was a robbery at night involving 3 people who had a getaway vehicle. Shoplifting means there was no threat of harm, very different.

  50. The speed and crack is better here? Or that you will not find a more compassionate-to a fault-populace. Berkeleyans have watched a man attempt to murder a city employee and said “Now’s your chance, man. I’m giving you a chance to get away,” ….with that level of impunity, I’d come here too.

  51. How many shootings are prevented with adequate staffing and a police force that is empowered to stop criminals in neighborhoods where the shootings are constant?

    Instead, we’re fed messages and data spun to fit a pre-determined narrative designed to make you mad and give your vote away. This is how erosion works. Berkeley is slowly turning into Chicago and Baltimore…except the people in the latter city are now waking up, as showcased in this video:
    https://youtu.be/7S_Xl2eOeeY

  52. What the City does not understand is quite a few of the traveling homeless are MAGAts. They do not speak to them so they do not know. Truth.

  53. They’re not turning off Berkeley because Berkeley itself is using too much power. They’re doing it because the whole total of state grid load is too high and they have to turn _someone_ off and it seems to be a combination of lottery and an attempt to turn off the power that will impact customers the least.

  54. Maybe it’s slightly less gritty and the residents are easier pickings. Plus Berkeley gives you free weed.

  55. What do you figure is Berkeley’s special draw when competing with Oakland or San Francisco on this score?

  56. A while back, council asked our city manager to prepare a report detailing those kinds of data, at least in terms of contracted agency performances. They wanted to be able to use such information for formulating plans ahead. She came back with a “preliminary report” describing how next to no data of those types had been captured. I don’t know if anything further developed.

  57. Leading homeless individuals into thinking housing for 2000 indigent individuals was magically going to appear in a middle income city with very expensive rent and a sub 5% vacancy rate? That’s a suicide mission, not leadership.

  58. Whoa! You’re shooting pretty far past the usual call for “a regional solution”, which our mayor has assured is in the works. Meanwhile, back in 2010 the feds sent a roadshow across the nation, creating the “Interagency Council on Homelessness”. In major cities, “working” sessions were held and included the public. At the time, it was touted that the results of all these work sessions among so many stakeholders would then produce a Big Plan to “end homelessness”. Have you seen it? Perhaps all that was most notable as an introduction to many of the use of quasi-Delphi Method to give a sense of “consensus building” which is anything but, in the end.

    Meanwhile, last December this is what the head of that council had to say about how California’s doing:
    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-12-20/homeless-housing-chief-robert-marbut

  59. 8-10 shots. Quick succession but a little ragged, definitely faster than the Bings Liquor corner crowd squeezes them off. Sirens started up 2 minutes later, knew it was a bad combo.

  60. Actually, Sullivan didn’t live in a camp at the time of his death. He was lodging in one of the city’s provided trailers and was eagerly anticipating soon obtaining his own place again, at last.

    Also, the Here/There camp, in its current location and operattions, is not the one “founded” by Zint, et al despite that close proximity in time and place. The FTCftH camp, as such, was raided and disbanded by Police, and was included in the ensuing lawsuit. Another “First They Came for the Homeless” camp was subsequently set up outside the old city hall and another camp so affiliated down by Aquatic Park. Neither of those lasted too long.

    A rather different camp was started on the city owned property near the Here/There art sculpture, rather than on the BART property on the other side of the sidewalk where the FTCftH camp had been. While there was some confusion for some time about whether or not it was genuinely an FTCftH operatioin or affiliate, for several key reasons, eventually even Zint disclaimed that. Given its longevity by now that could indicate something significant, and including intracamp dynamics and politics which usually aren’t the focus publically.

    It’s interesting to see such a narrative as this, on quite this topic ,and focus upon who may have done what — but only those deceased. Otherwise I see no mention at all of, say, Dan McMullan who was an integral part of the “Poor Tour”. But, yes, he’s still with us. Nor any mention of the notorious, former Berkeleyside Guest Contributor now banned from Berkeleyside — Slum Jack, also still living.

  61. I always wondered what the voters destroying this city were like…thank you for the insight.
    After multiple projects, and millions of taxpayer dollars spent since this poor tour started we have achieved:
    Double the homeless population.
    More fires.
    More homeless-related crime.

    It’s almost as if, the more you accommodate, the more show up. It’s basic economics. If I could find a city to host me and take care of my basic needs while allowing me free reign to do my drugs, commit crimes to feed my addiction, and then whine about not enough services to get more…I’d move there too, I don’t blame them at all.

    What are the numbers on police, fire, and ambulances spent on the Berkeley sponsored and created local homeless epidemic in addition to the free stuff they already get from taxpayer money?

  62. A lot of Berkeley homes don’t even have AC, right? In the 5 years and 3 homes I’ve lived in Northern California, I’ve never had AC and was told it was not really a thing in the Bay Area. So I don’t even know what’s expected by limiting home electricity.

  63. Thanks, Mal Warwick and B’side. I have yet to really get into Nordic noir, but someday I shall. My favorite recent series is Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad, literary crime novels in which the narrative shifts, book by book, from one detective to another, so you’re never left with the sense that the author feels forced to keep going for bigger and better thrills and revelations.

  64. Any Idea if BUSD gives a rats ass what we think? It very well could be a waste of time, They have been known to dismiss the parents opinions and concerns.

  65. Do you honestly think this is a representative sample? With school starting on Monday and a survey deadline by Wednesday. BHS has no classes on Wednesday so this is 2 days. C’mon.

  66. Cheryl Davila is a disgrace, as are most of Berkeley’s city councilmembers. Her district is being overrun by mentally ill people pushing shopping carts and going through people’s trash. I was born and raised in Berkeley, and its nauseating to see what’s happening to this town. We have the best police officers in the country, yet their hands are tied by Davila and her cabal of far-left ideologues to do anything about rioters and looters, not to mention the hordes of mentally ill people who are flooding Berkeley’s streets. I had an hours long conversation with a few of them last week, and it blew my mind to listen to them express how frustrated they were with the city council tying their hands. Berkeley is fast becoming a cesspool, and we have Davila, Arreguin, and Co. will go down in history as the leaders who ruined Berkeley

  67. I will miss his voice in these comments. He was an intelligent and pragmatic man and I wish the city council had taken the time to listen to him more.

  68. So it’s either fill out a survey 2 days in about “things you want to talk about” or else it’s “long after” you’ve finished reporting? Surely you realize that people filling out this survey on day 1 and 2 of distance schooling are people who are already pissed off before school has started.

  69. Mike Lee was the most important Berkeley homeless advocate of our time. He was a man of common sense, of realistic expectations, and willing to call out Berkeley Liberals for their hypocracy. He was a common man, and asked for simple solutions.He will be missed.

  70. I agree with Sophie Hahn’s comment that we have become a cruel society. I have become somewhat cruel in that I know how many suffering homeless people there are, but I am not willing to commit time or money to the cause. My political philosophy supports the idea that the Federal Government should be the lead agency to tackle homelessness. I feel really sorry for the folks in tents and under the freeway, but what we really need is a Liberal based National Housing Policy that eliminates homelessness under a National umbrella.I am counting on Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to accomplish this during their first term.

  71. Yes. First get the outage block number here:
    https://www.arcgis.com/apps/instant/lookup/index.html?appid=04b7c901f2ff468daed74df54396d75e&find=1711%2520Francisco%2520St%252C%2520Berkeley%252C%2520CA%252C%252094703%252C%2520USA

    Then compare it to the information here:

    https://www.pge.com/en_US/residential/outages/planning-and-preparedness/safety-and-preparedness/find-your-rotating-outage-block/find-your-rotating-outage-block.page?WT.mc_id=Vanity_rotatingoutages

    Then ignore all the information because of the disclaimer that says:
    Due to these real-time variations, the accuracy level of this information is approximately 80 percent at any given time.

    This means that their information is 20% wrong, so you can´t rely on it.

    Then try calling PGE and ask for an agent to explain it to you. You will get a computerized message that says, ¨That is not a valid option.¨

    People that use home oxygen generators will die. People that need AC to stay alive will die. People that need power to work, will lose work. etc…

  72. The point of giving a deadline is so people aren’t contacting us long after we’ve finished our reporting. More importantly: it’s so that we can then follow up with people as their forms come in to talk to them directly about their experience over the course of the whole week.

  73. Finally found the secret spot on the PGE website to look up your outage group number:

    https://www.arcgis.com/apps/instant/lookup/index.html?appid=04b7c901f2ff468daed74df54396d75e

    Then, you click to see what groups are set for outages.

    Can you rely on this information from PGE?

    PGE adds a disclaimer: Due to these real-time variations, the accuracy level of this information is approximately 80 percent at any given time.
    ***What is a person living on a home oxygen generator supposed to do when they are told that that there is a 20% chance that the information about the electricity keeping them alive might be wrong?

    Are these the only groups subject to CALISO outages, or can it be a larger group of random customers?

    Tried calling PGE. When I asked for an agent, the computer says, ¨That is not a valid option.¨

    There is no reason why this has to be such a royal pain. People on home oxygen or reliant on AC to stay alive are at risk of death because of PGE criminal incompetence. They supposedly send a text message if you will be cut off, but they should also send a message if you are NOT going to be cut off.

    *Welcome back Emilie! We missed you!

  74. It’s a valid question. I got stumped one time about donut holes; they share an ontological connection with your conundrum.

  75. I agree with the comments below completely. You are asking for 2 days’ experience in a completely new scenario

  76. Sounds good. I particularly like the ‘voluntary socialism’ aspect. Let those who want to be ‘socialists’ (or whatever) be socialists, and those that don’t, don’t.

    If ever a venture like this could succeed, it would be in Berk-Oak-land.

    Good luck!

  77. Baby Steps
    next: return the sorting machines & curbside mailboxes, remove all barriers to delivering first class mail, stop messing with leadership (who know what they’re doing), fund them…

  78. thank you but god has little or nothing to do with me being alive.working within the system to change things will not change things.most of the un housed are fed by donations from the community and tents are supplied by donations from the community.city hall is a shitty hole seemingly full of mostly incompetent weasels on the neo-liberal side of life.no hope within capitalism…in the meantime lots to figure out,eh??see you in the streets where real change happens.

  79. Such a positive impact all of those folks had on my life. They were the ones who helped when no one else would even say hello. They were my start on the path to what is now, housed employed me.

  80. Mike Lee was a great Berkeley citizen, and our community is lessened by his passing, whether or not one shared his views (I mostly did not).

  81. kept prisoner in a hospital The hospital that was trying to save his life was holding him against his will?

  82. It is always good to see someone who avoids reading the information in other comments before coming out with a transparently false comment of his own.

  83. What a great concept, kudos and gratitude to all involved in making a go of this. The pandemic really does bring out our best and worst.

  84. It’s helpful to refer to what the grid operator is actually saying and ignore PG&E. The ISO puts a tighter time window around possible events. Says the ISO:

    The CAISO anticipates the need to interrupt firm load for the period 16:10 through 17:40 in the amount of 500MW

  85. Was anyone able to figure out the PG&E tool? I looked up my outage block number, but it didn’t have the alpha components in the PG&E schedule.

  86. I wish you had known Clarke: He was on intubation for a collapsed lung for 2 1/2 months, kept prisoner in a hospital in the remote hills of San Leandro, but he recovered, and fought against his diabetes. He was given a trailer at the bottom of Harrison st in West Berkeley, where the nearest CVS was 5 blocks up to San Pablo and Gilman, ( the trailer had problems with the quality of construction… ). He was supposed to be the perfect candidate for the program, except that he needed access to emergency medical services quickly.

    While he was on intubation, it was impossible for him to change his benefits card pin, because well, intubation. ( duh! )

    The trailers were put in a place that had zero access to medical assistance, and was so far by ambulance, that probably most of the residents there will die alone: The policies of the city of Berkeley, CA are in perfect alignment with homeless dying alone.

    While researching the homeless problem we found a study done by the city that proposed that homeless would by property along university avenue, with help from the city, they spent millions on the plan. The number of successful purchases: ZERO. The past, and current administration are do-nothing money burners, lying and stealing in a KLEPTOCRACY.

    I am registered to vote in Berkeley, CA, and I will be damned if I will vote for another do-nothing money burning incumbent, and I will register every young person I can find, and tell them the truth.

    [This comment has been moderated. -Eds]

  87. If I pay full price and someone else pays half price, who makes up the missing half? Doesn’t someone have to pay 1.5x to balance out or is this an example of “we lose money on every sale but we make up for it on volume”?
    Joking aside, this is a great idea.

  88. Well Wools, when they do head counts or any information gathering about these individuals, none of the information is vetted. You can spin any old yarn about who you are, where you are from etc. Self reported data is junk without actually verifying in some way.

  89. Not happy about any persons leaving behind this world, but why don’t you do a story on the domestic violence issues at the Seabreeze camp. Or the fact there has been many, many fires started at these camps lately. You will not be happy until all of West Berkeley burns.

  90. He was determined and driven. I know that from experience, playing as his double’s partner on Grinnell’s tennis team. Just one glance from him after making a bad shot, and I knew it was going to be a long afternoon. But also generous to a fault. Nice pun there…he would approve. And I will miss his wet wit and dry humor.

  91. It would be helpful to have information on the status of the homeless or formerly homeless in Berkeley. How many are located in: 1) permanent housing provided by the City, NGOs,or other government agencies, 2) RVs or cars, 3) sanctioned camp grounds, 4) unsanctioned campgrounds or sidewalks, 5) “Covid hotels”, 6) bused or transported elsewhere to where family or friends are located, 7) other?

    It would also be helpful to know the City’s plans or expectations for each of these categories and the total number of homeless that the City expects to need to address.

  92. USPS is self-supporting, not subsidized.
    But it has the extra burden of pre-funding pensions, which no other self-supporting business has.

  93. “Fake News” — Hmm, where have I heard that phrase before?

    Hint: it was in a fake tweet, but not an AOC fake tweet.

  94. peace be upon all the recently deceased activists in berkeley and elsewhere.the cruelty laid upon them via the city manager and implemented by the police and public works of berkeley will not be forgotten.fire the berkeley city manager,defund and then abolish the police,and abolish the cruel capitalist system which works for capitalist while everybody else gets screwed.

  95. Probably because energy demand has been on a steady decline since 2006, despite the fact that the population has grown by 10% in that time. The demand during these outages hasn’t been at record levels. The outages are caused by the fact that the demand peak has moved 1-2 hours later in the day, thanks to rooftop solar, and now the peak demand hits the grid at the moment when utility-scale solar supply is waning. And it’s just unbelievably hot.

  96. Y’all sampled too many of them recreational drugs in the sixties,

    If you believe this conspiracy theory And think this mail thing favors one party over the other.

  97. Pretty much agree. Natural gas evolving into nuclear is the path to energy independence and relatively cheap and clean energy. Given that we unlocked the atom nearly 80 years ago, might as well put the knowledge to good use.

  98. Had the same thought – cut the power of those who don’t need AC to enable those that have it to continue to crank it.

  99. Galvanizing coating can be present on the inside of the pipe —

    “the pipe was galvanized on both the inside and outside, or just the outside.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galvanization#Galvanized_piping

    “the grade of zinc typically used for galvanizing contains a minimum of
    0.5% lead and can itself be a significant long-term source of lead,
    which may explain some recent lead contamination problems associated
    with galvanized steel. Surface analysis of various galvanized steel
    pipes and fittings installed from 1950 to 2008 demonstrated that the
    concentration of lead in the original zinc coating can range from
    nondetect to nearly 2%, dependent on the manufacturer and fitting type.

    https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/ees.2015.0073

    here you can see pipe being hot dip galvanized, with the ends open
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvvRcYpX4HM

  100. Having hired one of Berkeley’s paint contractors who was recommended by my realtor to scrape and paint the outside of my 100+ year old house, I was surprised that he did not supply a port a potty to his workers. Instead, he suggested they walk through the house to use my restroom for the 5 days they worked here.

    Inevitably that must have brought paint dust and chips into the house.

  101. I am interested in learning more about why Berkeley is selected and in scope for this outage? Is it because Berkeley consumes more power than other locations? Or is it because Berkeley has a more temperate climate and those that elect to live in areas that are difficult to survive without AC are consuming above average amounts of power? Is the state applying a utilitarian model to do the least harm overall?

  102. You mean city that makea up illegal laws to try and get out of illegal activity on property owned by city?

  103. Haha when city staff actually knows laws maybe. I was told by city first that they had right to exceed city,state and federal boise pollutions on top of City trying to say you need a minimum number of complaints when they illegally break law. So apparently city can make up illegal laws/tell you illegal laws…this was email replies from enivromental health lino ancheta..i was a bit shocked that city would pass around illegal information to try and get out of them breaking laws.

  104. Talk to the former residents of Chernobyl and Fukashima about that safety order of magnitude. Our safest primary technology is efficiency and conservation.

    The sun shines every day. Peak demand during hot weather is also the time when solar can generate the most power because there is so much sunshine. The biggest risks from solar involve people falling off of roofs.

    Have you noticed that there is still no safe method for disposal of nuclear waste?

  105. Would love to see some evidence of ‘widespread mailbox uprooting’…..until evidence exists, I’ll classify it as “AOC fake tweet” FAKE NEWS

  106. Sounds very intresting if they can just take out the political propaganda about environmental racism and all the social justice BS I would probably watch it.

  107. raising animals in any capacity is bad for the planet. emissions cause global warming by heating the air

    every year, animal ag accounts for 9% of co2 emissions, 37% of methane emissions and 65% of no2 emissions. methane emissions are 20x worse than carbon. no2 emissions are 300x worse than carbon.

    Also, the majority of food grown is given to them instead of people.

    https://news.cornell.edu/stories/1997/08/us-could-feed-800-million-people-grain-livestock-eat

  108. Does this sound like an excuse for losing?
    “I expect that, because of the bad economy and because of his mishandling of the coronavirus, he [Trump] will lose big no matter how hard he tries to cheat.”

  109. Read the comment you are responding to, which gives the source of my information.
    Then tell us what is the source of your information.

  110. I’m one of those lifelong environmentalists who does understand nuke power. I also consider global warming to be a far worse threat than the risk of an occasional nuke accident…at least if you let the Germans or French design and build the thing. The current problem with new US nuke plants is that they’re more expensive per kwh than any other source, thanks to non-standard designs, a corrupt and often incompetent US construction industry, regulatory and protest delays, and insurance. That’s not even getting into the political problem of storing the waste, or the uranium running out after one generation of new plants.

    There’s actually plenty of wind on average, just not all the time for a given region. There was a paper in Science calculating that covering N Dakota with a mere 50k wind turbines would supply 100% of US electricity demand at the average wind. That was ~12yr ago but turbines are bigger, so the number’s probably still good. Germany and Denmark, among others, get large fractions of their electricity from wind. I’ve hiked past the base of several turbines in Germany and never seen a dead bird lying there. That has more to do with proper siting than painting the blades right.

  111. Well, dozens of highly qualified scientists and science journalists praise Shellenberger’s work:

    “Engaging and well-researched”
    “In this engaging and well-researched treatise, Michael Shellenberger exposes the environmental movement’s hypocrisy in painting climate change in apocalyptic terms while steadfastly working against nuclear power, the one green energy source whose implementation could feasibly avoid the worst climate risks. Disinformation from the Left has replaced deception from the Right as the greatest obstacle to mitigating climate change.”
    — Kerry Emanuel, Professor of Atmospheric Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

    “Michael Shellenberger methodically dismantles the tenets of End Times thinking that are so common in environmental thought. From Amazon fires to ocean plastics, Apocalypse Never delivers current science, lucid arguments, sympathetic humanism, and powerful counterpoints to runaway panic. You will not agree with everything in this book, which is why it is so urgent that you read it.”
    — Paul Robbins, Dean, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison, author, Political Ecology: A Critical Introduction

    Apocalypse Never will make some green progressives mad. But I see it as a useful and even necessary counterpoint to the alarmism being peddled by some activists and journalists, including me. Let the arguments begin!”
    — John Horgan, science journalist, Stevens Institute of Technology, author, The End of War

    “In this tour de force of science journalism, Michael Shellenberger shows through interviews, personal experiences, vignettes, and case histories that environmental science offers paths away from hysteria and towards humanism. This superb book unpacks and explains the facts and forces behind deforestation, climate change, extinction, fracking, nature conservation, industrial agriculture, and other environmental challenges, to make them amenable to improvements and solutions.”
    — Mark Sagoff, author, The Economy of the Earth, Professor, George Mason University

    “Michael Shellenberger loves the Earth too much to tolerate the conventional wisdom of environmentalism. This book, born of his passions, is a wonder: a research-driven page turner that will change how you view the world. I wish I’d been brave enough to write it, and grateful that he was.”
    — Andrew McAfee, Principal Research Scientist at MIT and author of More from Less

  112. The main source of lead contamination locally is lead paint. I learned this from presentations by Oakland hazard-reduction folks to our local home inspectors’ group. Lead dust from sanding and scraping during repainting, and also from wear over time, ends up in the soil and on window sills, where kids contact it. State and federal law require that surfaces affected by repainting or remodeling be tested for lead, and that those working on contaminated structures take precautions to protect workers and to prevent lead dust from escaping. But the rules are almost universally ignored and there is near-ZERO enforcement.
    If you walk around town during remodel season, you will see plenty of paint dust flying into the environment. If you complain
    to a local building departments, including Berkeley’s, they will disclaim responsibility and refer you to EPA. But unless things have changed recently, which I doubt, EPA takes no action. The only agency that will respond, at least in some cases, is Cal OSHA, which sometimes acts to protect workers. For the most part, it looks like the only available remedy is private litigation against careless homeowners and contractors.

  113. That was in 2017 and probably during the hottest period of the year (which includes September and October). Residential water usage is very definitely tied to seasonal factors. During the cooler winter/early spring months residential water usage dips to lower levels; around 130 gallons per day February – April 2019, for instance; about 144 gpd for the same period in 2020.

    Residential water usage appears to be climbing during 2020. This may be a reflection of people sheltering in place, thereby shifting some use that occurred at work to their homes.

  114. So in the end the power didn’t go out. Apparently, texting everyone in the state to change their thermostat to 78 degrees actually worked.

    However, CAISO is still predicting a much higher peak demand Tuesday. If the predicted peak occurs, it will be the all-time highest electricity load ever seen in the state.

  115. I hope that the film covers the role of the lead industry in promoting lead paint and lead pipes.

  116. Well it goes right with the 5G silliness and NIMBY attitude

    Coal.. bad global warming and toxic waste
    Gas .. bad global warming
    Water.. bad the sad fishies and my beautiful mountains picture i never take is ruined
    Nuclear bad .. we dont’ understand how it works so we are against it just like 5G
    Wind bad .. poor birdies and the noise, not here on our coast the view (NIMBY), besides not enough anyway
    Soar.. well it only works during the day and of course the poor birdies again, and who wants to pay more for the kWh?

    So here is the result of no one making a yes we can decision. We need a yes we can attitude in this state not a NIMBY and antiXYZ concerned citizen attitude. Again in Berkeley use the 5G discussion as an example.

    There is no energy generation without impact we have to choose which impact we want.

  117. Sorry but there is no battery in the world that can be used for this.
    The large battery you are talking about is called lake in the mountain with turbine we are against building because it is bad.

  118. The Pentagon also “operates at a huge loss”. The Wall Street banks that “operated at a huge loss” were bailed out in 2008 and the auto industry in 2010. Do you value the public good that is mail delivery? It costs money. Unless you want it privatized – which I’m suspecting you do by your tone.

  119. There are natural gas powerplants held in reserve for such occasions. Some have had trouble getting online fast this time.

  120. Berkeleyside, did the webcam and the resident peregrine falcons on the Campanile survive the lightning strikes?

  121. As of 10:41pm, no blackout here, near Allston & MLK. It’s been getting cooler all afternoon and evening, which has apparently helped, at least locally. Still broiling a little farther inland, like Concord and Livermore.

  122. Last figures I saw, Texas was #1 in the US for wind turbine output (Dubya when governor discovered the voters like it), and Arizona has lots of solar, as befits its climate.

  123. Global warming is the #1 certain worldwide disaster. But what everyone does for the rest of this century can make it a lot less horrible…or not. As much natural gas (and oil and coal) as possible needs to stay in the ground forever. The entire average electricity demand of the US can be met by several 10s of 1000s of wind turbines in N Dakota, or by covering a small fraction of Arizona with solar cells. (Yes, I know storage is needed. Pump water uphill.) And what a novel hypothesis, that wind and solar are 100+ times more dangerous than nukes.

  124. So If you want the form back by the 19th, then how could you known how the first week of school was before it was over ?

  125. According to the NYT, experts don’t know why the ISO is doing this, because the operating reserves have been high enough that they shouldn’t have triggered blackouts:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/16/business/california-blackouts.html.

    Thank you, Berkeleyside, for trying to see if this will affect medical baseline customers. I’m disabled, and the wildfire shutoffs are bad enough. Rotating outages with no firm notice about the times and locations effected make it impossible to plan. I use a power wheelchair but can survive without electricity for a few hours; my friends who use a ventilator can’t. If it’s true that it’s not strictly necessary–that the California ISO has instituted blackouts even with more than 3% operating reserves available (the usual marker for stage 3 action)–it’s extraordinarily irresponsible.

  126. As a parent, I’m giving the schools at least a week to work out any glitches and to course correct (so to speak) before passing judgement. I hope Berkeleyside and others do the same. People are doing their best, and this is all so new to everyone. That said, aside from some initial technical confusion this morning (not sure if it was us or the school’s system), today went pretty well.

  127. Merely pointing out the absurdity of denying the right-to-vote to [ex]felons.

    Apparently you have no need for data to make global assumptions, btw.

    PS: Roger Stone, Manafort, Arpaio, Libby, Behenna, Golsteyn, Loran, etc, etc.– all FELONS (some guilty of murder), so by your definition the likelihood that they are not continuing to commit crimes “is virtually nil”.

  128. Well … how about going to Builders’ Book Source, say hi to George, buy some books and then hie thee up the street. Mr. Johnson has over a half dozen flavors which aren’t chocolate or vanilla

  129. I know it is old school but you could actually call them to see what flavors they have each day, lol. But maybe this will help – there’s a list of their flavors on Yelp in their photos.

  130. Where does the lead contact the water? The inside of galvanized pipe is not galvanized, only the outside.

    Years ago, people used to use lead-based solder to sweat copper pipe, maybe you are thinking of that? The practice stopped in the 1970s IIRC.

  131. shifting to solar and wind is smart as believing in fairies and unicorns. Nat gas transitioning to nuclear is our path to prosperity, and nuclear is – by orders of magnitude the safest primary generating technology.

  132. For $300, they are using 240+ gal/day which for 2 seniors with no yard is insane.

    Yes, you also pay Berkeley for sewer service. No, that doesn’t “nearly double rates”: it is a per water unit rate (about 1/3 of the bill). If you want to pay for less COB sewer service, USE LESS WATER.

    My household uses 25 gal per day per person in the wet season, so if you WANT to pay less, you CAN.

  133. I’ve been backing up 10TBs of footage and can’t just pause or stop the process. It’s extremely irresponsible of PGE to do this and not even specify the effected areas. My case is a minor one but I’d be interested to see Berkeleyside do a piece on those with medical problems who will be affected by this outage

  134. Lightning woke me up in West Berkeley too. I saw a lot of flashes before I heard any sound. Also a loud explosion like bang at one point that I assume must have been a transformer being struck by lightning but power never went out.

  135. I have my rechargeable lights and phone battery bank primed and ready to go.

    As bad as so many other things have been so far this year this seems like a pretty easy thing to deal with.

  136. As inept as PG&E is this isn’t entirely its fault. Note that the blackouts are statewide and extend beyond the time of peak electricity demand. As we’ve mandated that solar and wind make up a greater percentage of generating capacity there isn’t sufficient fossil fuel generation to meet the gap between solar and total demand as the sun sets but temperatures remain high. Doesn’t help that there often isn’t a great deal of wind when it’s scorching. We need large storage batteries to shift the excess daytime solar generation

  137. One significant source of lead poisoning in Berkeley and Oakland is lead from old galvanized pipe.

    In rental housing, the problem is an example of a “split incentive”.

    The renter cannot update the plumbing, and the landlord is not the one drinking the lead. Consequently, the pipes just leech lead year after year.

  138. The most common sources of childhood lead exposure are lead-based paint, and soils. Data for Alameda County would be obtained from the Healthy Homes program; they don’t publish numbers by source, but discuss the sources here. I doubt the filmmaker is saying the water in Oakland is poisoning kids. https://www.achhd.org/leadpoisoning/index.htm

  139. This is simply unacceptable. No matter what side of the energy equation you are on, citizens should not have their electricity arbitrarily shut off due to a lack of system capacity. PG&E continues to demonstrate their absolute lack of a strategy or a plan to deliver power safely to Northern California.

  140. Comment while you can!

    PG&E sucks #!@%! We pay some of the highest rates in the USA. They burn us to death with fire, explode us with natural gas, screw us with high rates, and then fail us without power like a third world country. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars on insulting TV ads telling people important things they never considered like ¨Find two ways out of your house!¨ Truly Criminal Bastards!

    [edited! by Disqusted-I can´t tell you how I REALLY feel- insert expletives here]

  141. Watching the “pre” debates on PBS realizing there is now no assemblance of neutrality with the media, PBS now sounds like campaign central for Biden…Crazy times!

  142. It sound’s like the left is making excuses in advance for why they lost again in 2020

  143. But you didn’t answer the question how does slowing the mail help one party’s voters over the other?

  144. What an interesting experience! With my uncurtained big windows wide open all night, I slept right through it. When I looked outside in the morning, the street appeared to have had a layer of mist touch the pavement, but there was no other sign of moisture either on or underneath the parked cars. I imagine there must have been a wide variety of experience around town.

  145. Because most crimes are not solved, and most crimes are committed by repeat offenders.

    The likelihood that Florida’s felons are not committing crime is virtually nil.

    Regarding Florida’s drug laws, that is ‘interesting’, I suppose, but its only potential relevance is if some high percentage of Florida’s felons are in prison due to marijuana possession, AND, you think that because the law is harsher in Florida than elsewhere, that somehow mitigates their crime.

    The likelihood that most Florida felons are in prison due to marijuana possession seems nil. If you’ve got data to the contrary, please post it.

  146. BTW, for the same reason, they are saying that there will be a “blue shift” after election day. Mail-in ballots take longer to count, so the results will tilt more and more Democratic in the days after election day.
    If Trump is a bit ahead on election day, he will sue dozens of states to try to stop them from counting mail-in ballots, because he knows that the mail-in ballots would make him lose.
    But I expect that, because of the bad economy and because of his mishandling of the coronavirus, he will lose big no matter how hard he tries to cheat.

  147. 2 odd events Sunday in North Berkeley.

    1) at 5am, I was awoken by lighting ( not thunder ) and rain. I went to the balcony, and the sky was periodically lit up. Very odd, very beautiful. Once in a while I heard thunder, but just rarely.

    2) at around 8am, I was by the balcony, and was thinking “ah, nice air, it’s such a relief from yesterday”….when, out of the blue, a blast of HOT air hit my face. It felt like I had just opened an oven door right in front of my nose. I thought “that’s weird, what is that?”, and went to the front door. To my amazement, the air in front of the front door was HOT too, maybe 90 degrees.

    Essentially, in a matter of 5 seconds, the air temperature went from 68 degrees or so to 90 degrees. Almost instantaneously. And then, within 5 minutes, it cooled back down, probably to 70 degrees or so.

    The only explanation I can think of is that there was some sort of downdraft of hot air. But I don’t know. It was weird.

  148. Just as long as it doesn’t hit the Gourmet Ghetto area all will be fine.

    I’m not using anything except the power for my computer. A Good Citizen.

  149. One point missing is many students don’t have automobiles because of the costs and draconian policies of the city. Now nobody wants to be on Muni, Bart, Caltrain or Uber. Car sales have skyrocketed..

  150. Why would you believe anything Trump says? In CA, mailed-in ballots are verified by the signature on the envelope vs the one on record in the Registrar’s computers. No signature on the envelope? The ballot isn’t counted. Don’t forget to sign yours.

  151. There is. That’s why the boxes to authorize someone else to drop your ballot at a polling place are there on the back of the ballot envelope.

    If the nursing home cares (good luck with that), it’ll arrange for an employee to drop inmates’ ballots into a drop box.

  152. Texas and Ohio are also swing states this time, thanks to Trump’s increasing unpopularity. Maybe some others too.

  153. If they had common sense, they wouldn’t be Trump voters. If he had common sense, he’d be someone completely different. He’s certainly right that they’re more devil-may-care about virus risks. So he’s hoping his supporters will vote in person, while millions of mail ballots don’t get to or from Demo voters in time. That’s why he ordered his Postmaster General to do what he could to slow delivery, especially of 1st-class envelopes. Hence dismantling the sorting machines.

  154. If a review about Noble Cow hopes to get me to hie myself to 4th Street for ice cream, I need to see a list of flavors. Noble Cow doesn’t have such a list online, not that I can find, and this article only mentioned strawberry and chocolate. Hey, if the guy opening Noble Cow thinks he has to mention strawberry and chocolate, he is not a very savvy marketer. What ice cream shop doesn’t sell the basic flavors of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. i loved Three Twins for their unusual flavors. I am not going out of my way for choc, strawb or vanilla.

  155. She was born in Oakland and attended Elementary school in Berkeley. What are you trying to imply?

  156. For a hills fire, of course they will. Along with firefighters from other nearby cities. For a big quake, depends on how badly damaged access routes are and whether they need to rescue their own families first.

  157. I personally don’t think I have flipped 180 degrees. I did not vote for Jesse when he ran, and am torn about it time as I am SO FRUSTRATED with him, but understand his 2 challengers are far worse. Mostly, I think my positions are the same, I just want what I have always wanted, a city that makes sense.

  158. The leftist media is more than happy to identify Kamala as from Oakland although there is no connection. In 90% of the US, Berkeley democrat means wacko

  159. Jesse Arreguin doesn’t own a car, and appears to have zero sympathy for those of us that do.

  160. It has been very interesting watching your 180 degree flip in your positions on local issues over the last few years. Thank you for sticking with it and staying abreast of Berkeley politics for so long so that you could see for yourself what the rest of us have been complaining about.

    Please tell your friends and neighbors and everyone else who will listen. It’s so easy to be a low-information voter in Berkeley who falls for the glowing promises Arreguin and the rest of the council say to our faces and not pay attention to the issues in the off-years and realize just how terrible they are at their jobs and how many of those promises are broken.

  161. The problem is that it costs a couple hundred grand to run for the city council effectively in Berkeley. Our local voters are just as dumb as the voters everywhere else so you need tons of glossy mailers, lawn signs, billboards, digital campaigning, meet-and-greets and so on. You’ve either got to be wealthy enough to pay for all that or not have a “real” job so that you can pound the pavement all day knocking on doors and sitting at an information booth.

  162. Steadily failing upwards seems to have been Jesse Arreguin’s trajectory for the last 16 years.

  163. Maybe pay in the private sector is for performance but mayor and council pay is not a reward for performance.

    There are MANY glorified clerks working for CoB who are paid much more than the mayor or council members. . . a clerk at the rent board is paid $95K plus great benefits, including pension pay. It just isn’t right to underpay the mayor and council.

  164. I don’t think anything in Berkeley is totally non-ideological. If something seems to be, just ask the nearest SJW.

  165. Happy Birthday Ms. Eddie Mae! I may be a few years behind you, but you give me something to look forward to!

  166. Hilary was +4 million votes over Trump in CA. I think the Dem’s can afford a little “protest vote” heat for strong arming the primary process. YMMV…

  167. Hmmmm…. anyone check the water quality at Aquatic Park? I imagine the storm sewers got flushed out.

  168. They’re not full time employees and-except for the inexperienced mayor-most of them still hold or have held careers outside of politics. 95% of what the majority of them say/think is spoon-fed to them by vocal special interests. All they have to do is show up, listen, vote. Not to mention that there is full-time city staff at their disposal.

    In that sense, they’re already overcompensated. If what they’ve done so far is their audition for the job, I’m not hiring them. A couple of them are just trying to get a taste of this government cheese before this charade comes crashing down.

  169. In 2016, Hillary Clinton got 4.2 million more votes than Trump in California. Biden’s almost certain to widen that margin. Anyone who wants to help Trump needs to move to a swing state.

  170. t’s kind of weird that Harris’s official bio refers to “growing up in Oakland.” I’m not sure she has ever lived there. After going to high school in Montreal and graduating from Howard, she moved back to the Bay Area to go to law school in San Francisco. After graduating, she worked for the Alameda County DA’s office for three or four years, from 1990 to 1994, but may have commuted from San Francisco.

  171. Her family lived at 1229 Bancroft, so probably Columbus (now Rosa Parks)?

    In 1963, Columbus was 24% white / 73% black, Thousand Oaks was 95% white / 3% black.
    In 1969, after busing started, that changed to 57% / 37% and 53% / 40%.
    Today it’s 47% / 9% and 33% / 12%.

    https://www.berkeleyschools.net/2018/12/50th-anniversary-of-berkeleys-pioneering-busing-plan-for-school-integration/

    https://www.publicschoolreview.com/rosa-parks-environmental-science-magnet-profile

    https://www.publicschoolreview.com/thousand-oaks-elementary-school-profile

  172. Biden has done more racist things as a congressman than trump will ever have a chance to do.

  173. You didn’t answer the question though. The point is that primary voters and general election voters are different, and there’s good reason to believe that their performance might be negatively correlated (strong partisans winning primaries but attracting fewer centrist votes)

  174. It is amazing that I have to explain that it was a hypothetical statement.
    It does not say that he ran in the Democratic Primary. It says:
    “If Donald Trump had run in the 2016 Democratic primary, he would have gotten 1% of the vote or so. Would that mean he was a weak general election candidate?”
    The point is that a candidate can do badly in the primary of one party but can still be a good candidate in the general election.

    Try thinking about another example of a hypothetical statement. Someone says, “IF I voted for Trump, I would be a fool,” This doesn’t mean that he actually voted for Trump. The words “if” and “would” show that it is meant to be contrary to fact.

    Try reading both those quotes again, looking for the words “if” and “would.”.

  175. No one has less respect for truth than Trump. And his rambling, incoherent speeches sound like he is on the edge of dementia.

  176. Trump has made more than 20,000 false of misleading statements as President. That comes to over 5,000 a year, about 100 per week.
    So he is definitely a better liar than Hillary.

  177. Shortly thereafter is better than mango Mussolini who contradicts himself multiple times in a single sentence.

  178. That’s not how a free democracy works. You vote for who you want to win. Thanks for the vote shaming.

  179. Wasn’t Biden the one who wanted to keep them segregated because he didn’t want a “racial jungle”? And Harris called him out on it? And now she doesn’t care?

  180. Harris didn’t prosecute Mnuchin corruption. Is that a reason to vote for the guy who appointed Mnuchin as Secretary of the Treasury?

    A prosecutor doesn’t go ahead unless there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

    But a president can appoint his own choices to his cabinet, and this President seems to prefer those who are corrupt.

  181. Tulsi was too big a threat to the people that actually run the country. Unless you are pro Global bombing you don’t have a chance. Anyone that doesn’t see that needs to snap out of it.

  182. Men are accepted and praised for being ambitious. Women are shamed. No coincidence that we heard the same things about Hillary.

  183. The bottom picture with the caption, “Water floods an area of Fourth Street after a water main break. Photo: Christine McGuinness”, is looking at Sacramento and the Acton Crescent Path. I used to live down the path on Acton Crescent.

  184. My friend was convinced by following Bernie that Hillary was terrible. So when she voted, she just left the vote for president blank and didn’t vote for either of them. Where does she live? Florida! Multiply someone like her enough times in the right places, and we end up with Trump. Do you really want to argue that people in blue states should engage in ‘virtue signaling’ but people in red states shouldn’t?

  185. The reality is, we have only 2 choices. Vote for Biden/Harris or vote for the current incompetent, racist, insane Mango Mussolini. That’s it. Anything you do other than vote Biden/Harris supports Trump.

  186. More neighbors, who will need more housing. Wait, now we need more jobs for the new people, who are using more water. And all this traffic, need more freeways. Dam more rivers, build more reservoirs, collapse more ecosystems because more is better. Maybe someday the Bay Area can have as many people and as great clean water as Capetown, Mexico City, or Mumbai!

  187. Upped the water pressure? Yikes! I’m in central Berkeley and we were already facing spikes north of 90psi. Glad we installed a pressure regulator for our house a couple of years ago.

  188. We can’t afford more residents for countless reasons, but the uppermost problem is that our water supply is already so overtaxed we have rationing every few years.
    The notion that increasing population for tax revenue purposes is a sustainable strategy is the equivalent of unlimited capitalist growth theories. It’s a Ponzi scheme and ultimately destroys the character of the city we were trying to save.
    Nonsense.

  189. W didn’t go to law school. However, he used family connections to get into Harvard Business School for his MBA.

  190. The school system wasn’t officially segregated. However, there was de facto residential segregation. Since the elementary schools were all neighborhood schools, they followed the demographics of the neighborhoods. I’m pretty sure that Berkeley High was effectively integrated.

  191. If Donald Trump had run in the 2016 Democratic primary
    He ran in the 2016 Republican primary and won, smh

  192. Agreed that nearly our entire water supply system is failing.
    But how to pay for it?
    Our water bill for moderate consumption by two adults is already more than our PG&E bill for gas & electricity.
    Water is already our most expensive utility as it stands. How are people on fixed incomes going to afford it?

  193. Trump has withdrawn from the Paris agreement and is actively working against efforts to control global warming. If the world’s largest economy withdraws from the Paris agreement, that could undermine the entire world’s efforts to control global warming.

    Biden has said he will rejoin the Paris Agreement on his first day as president, which would help the entire’ world’s efforts to control global warming.

    “What will happen that stops the process of global climate change that has already been set in motion?”
    How much warming will occur depends on how much ghg emissions there are in total before the world achieves net zero emissions. If the world gets to net zero by 2050, there will be 1.5 degrees of warming. If we get to net zero by 2080, there will be 2 degrees of warming – which will avoid the worst effects of global warming and will avoid tipping points that could lead to runaway warming.
    The Paris Agreement has the goal of keeping warming as far as possible below 2 degrees.

  194. We just need to defund the silly pet projects of the city council and fix our infrastructure.

  195. Taxpayers do not fund EBMUD; ratepayers do. Revenue from water rates pays for system maintenance in addition to other vital operations like raw water transmission through the Mokelumne Aqueducts and water treatment.

    The Board of Directors approves the rates. The Board of Directors are accountable to the voters. Historically, Directors have not wanted to raise rates much more than the rate of inflation so that they can be re-elected. Historically, rates have had a modest component for pipeline replacement. Large portions of the system were built with cast iron and concrete pipe up through the 1960s. The older portions of the system (mostly West of the Hills) are failing due to age and are located in areas with older buildings like Oakland, Berkeley, Albany, Richmond, San Leandro, Piedmont, El Cerrito.

    If you want EBMUD to have enough revenue to accelerate pipeline replacement then elect a Board of Directors that will raise rates to do just that. The current Board recognizes the need to accelerate pipeline replacement. It is wary of trying to do too much at once.

  196. You read it again, 3gen has it right.
    “If Donald Trump had run in the 2016 Democratic primary”

  197. Yes, virtually all infrastructure costs for EBMUD and Berkeley public capital projects are paid by new developments and taxes on newly-arriving residents, which is why the city is structurally bankrupt.

    New residential developments pay between $10000 and $60000 per dwelling for EBMUD capital improvements. That’s in Berkeley. Certain exurban water guzzlers are charged as much as a third of a million dollars in impact fees for a single house.

    The sewage capacity fee is $3000 per dwelling.

  198. While the Republicans cater to the newly elected Marjorie Taylor Greene, who believes in the QAnon conspiracy theory that says we are controlled by a deep state of Satan worshiping pedophiles.

    Who caters to the wackier wackos??

  199. Nobody is paying enough money to replace the thousands of miles of pipes. The entire system is due to completely disintegrate from old age even without an earthquake. The breaks and leakages are lost water and lost revenue. EBMUD needs to raise prices and start a serious program of replacing pipes.

  200. Keep those pressure adjustments coming! It is the only way to get EBMUD to replace more than a tiny fraction of the thousands of miles of old pipes,.

  201. It seems that no one has told Dave and his allies on this thread that trees sequester carbon, Perhaps they don’t know that climate change is underway.

  202. Less than 1 mile from the BPD headquarters. To me such a brazen armed robbery during the daylight is a lot more terrifying and hateful than some homeless crazy person lighting garbage on fire in the middle of the night.

  203. I don’t think a white man could say “he’s my boy” in regards to a black man…I think many of you have lost touch of the movement.

  204. Yes… and Yimby developers – do they pay for water system upgrades / improvements? Do the Yimby developers pay for improved sewage treatment? Or do the tax payers? COB Council and Mayer is in bed with developers. Ask your city council – who is paying for the infrastructure for all the new housing? City council already gets 100% paid for health and dental benefits plus free parking at center street garage (along with COB management) and they can’t even pave bicycle Blvd.

  205. On the last point:
    I don’t think people would ask for pay raises if it would not be so expensive to live here. Low income is 120k/year. so you want low income government employees so they can be bribed easier?
    Noone can live here with 50-60k/year. that may be a fine salary in Nevada somewhere but not here.

    But i agree with the rest and would add its caused byt eh fact that tax burden is not equally distributed. Prop 13 and related must go!!

  206. And she had by far the WORST attendance record of anyone on those boards…They pay big money and only require members to attend a handful of meetings each year. She consistently missed about half of those.

    (Would disagree with your word “mistress” however…The relationship was out in the open. The word “mistress” implies something immoral or hidden, neither of which was the case IMO…Mistress should probably go the way of other 19th century terms like “spinster”).

  207. The break on Marin near The Circle was not caused by pressure problems as were the West Berkeley mainbreaks. All of the West Berkeley breaks were in one pressure zone. The Marin break occurred in a different pressure zone.

  208. Pipeline replacement does not correlate to increased pressure in the system.

    System pressure can be affected by the operations of regulators, pumping plants, and zone valves.

  209. The sad part of all of this is: This is the best we got? Really? sad…
    Joe Biden and Kamala Harris is the best of the best out of 330 million people? Come on man

  210. I disagree, she only lived in Berkeley for a very short period of time the rest was mainly Oakland and a little Albany village. I also went to 1000 oaks in 1969 btw.

  211. I can only imagine that Council members have a religious theory about working off the debt of sin through painful toil.

  212. No doubt the regulars will arrive to say this proves that we can’t afford more residents. It actually proves the opposite: we don’t have enough tax revenue to maintain what we already built. Maintenance scales by the mile, not by the person. We need more neighbors to pay these bills.

  213. After Biden got bullied into to committing to pick his VP based on gender and race, I still had some glimmer of hope he would pick Tulsi Gabbard. She would bring in the military and veteran vote, and actually has leadership skills that will be necessary as Biden slips further into dementia.

  214. “We think an adjustment of higher pressure may have caused the more vulnerable, older pipes to break.”

    Oops…

  215. . Based on her Berkeley address, what segregated school would Harris have been forced to attend before 1968?

  216. Crumbling infrastructure, mass influx of people who’ve heard of the free money and low law enforcement, and a city government that wants a pay raise for all of their “hard work”. This is fine.

  217. I had been riding my bike out and about in North Berkeley and Albany. EBMuD has been performing H2O pipe upgrades and I wonder if this work had something to do with altering pipe pressures, maybe causing the older peripheral pipes (x16) to fail?

  218. The beauty of Berkeley is not in a tree, it’s in the people. If we want our future neighbors to be anything but the richest workers, we must value housing over trees.

  219. Exactly, start here to show how left ideas work. Cue Trump commercials which will show homelessness and filth.

  220. Kamala is just a political parasite. She is the go-to pick for cocktail upper class whites. She is NO friend of the Black Community, since she loves to jail young black men for smoking weed. Everyone thinks she is a great debater, but she is a rope-a-dope boxer with a glass jaw. Tulsi Gabbard knocked her flat on her ass and that was it for her campaign. Its gross that she could most likely be President, since Joe Biden will be drooling from the sides of his mouth in a year. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/opinion/kamala-harris-criminal-justice.html

  221. Donations work…! Does Berkeleyside have a backup strategy to cover reporting of events or episodes of on-going public interest that occur during vacation time? Without that it’s uneven, intermittent, and appears to be suspiciously selective. Or is reporting crime like salmon on their annual run to spawn? Otherwise, keep up the good work and restaurant reviews.

  222. Prayers answered! (I’d been hope for a soup & salad place for a long time.) Can’t wait to try it.

  223. In what way is the suggestion that McBride share proceeds an assault on NS’ interfaith ties? Can’t you have strong ties and also acknowledge that McBride made a mistake?

  224. The battles you pick are indicative of your real goals. Why shouldn’t newcomer neighbors joining Berkeley communities get to enjoy the beauty of Berkeley too?

  225. So that’s a no, then?

    Am I the only one who cares about this and finds it absurd it takes multiple weeks for a simple explanation that was promised?

  226. I found the answer. She went to a middle school named
    Notre-Dame-des-Neiges in Montreal. I’d hoped that she’d gone to Garfield Jr High where I went. It’s now called MLK I think.

  227. I’m complete cool with upgrading City Council and Mayor’s salary but they should also give up their free parking spots in downtown. Living like every day Berkeley citizens will probably better inform their decision about raising parking fees, lack of parking in downtown, ect

  228. Also, speaking of unrelated items, KK would repeal the Charter language;
    “The City Attorney shall prosecute, in behalf of the people, all criminal cases arising from violations of the provisions of this Charter and the ordinances of the City,,,”
    Changing it to;
    “…shall prosecute all violations of the Charter and ordinances of the City; shall, subject to the general direction of the Council, prosecute and defend for the City and all boards, officers and employees in their official capacity…”

    This strips the independence of the City Attorney to prosecute crimes. As many informed Berkeley Citizens are aware, the City Council maneuvered two Measure ‘O’ projects around the ‘Oversight” committee. So instead of prosecuting the Council members for violation of the Charter, the City Attorney would be directed to defend the criminals. So she has been reading the complaints that she is ignoring.

    “The City Attorney’s ‘impartial’ analysis of the compensation proposal is highly flawed since she uses the terms salary and income interchangeably, yet the resolution states ‘Compensation’. I have a feeling that Jesse wants the Salary of $107,300 plus a big fat benefits package worth $40,000.

  229. The first laundromats in Berkeley were likely built in the late fifties when the coin mechanisms were invented.

  230. Berkeleyside, do you know if the council seats and mayoral candidacy registration period is over or possibly extended due to Covid? That would be a great public service in the future to publicize when candidacy registration opens and closes for various public offices.

  231. Raises for the council? This makes no sense right in middle of a major budget deficit and pandemic. What kind of insanity is this? Probably half the restaurants will fail this year not to mention other retail. Raises?

  232. I haven’t made up my mind on the pay raise. As much as I think the mayor and much of the council doesn’t deserve one, the low pay (by Bay Area standards) makes running for mayor a significant sacrifice for many otherwise qualified candidates.

    As of now, the only people who can run for mayor are: 1) the very wealthy and 2) those for whom $61,000 would not be much different (and possibly much more) than what they’re making now. There are a lot of other people out there that don’t fit in either category; simply by increasing the pool of potential candidates it seems we MIGHT get someone better. For now, I think we are excluding a large number of potential candidates.

    . . . and no, I am not saying people who make more are automatically better qualified. Just that more competition might improve the ultimate result. For people who complain about a lack of choices (and I am one) this proposal bears consideration.

  233. For a start-

    “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

    W.B. Yeats

  234. You are completely correct, as usual.

    I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be on city council. Most of our city’s problems are related to regional- and larger-scale issues that they can’t do much about.

  235. Well, this is depressing. Looks like our choices for mayor are: Jesse…..or…… Jesse…… (or, if you’re feeling the need for change: a Gray Panther, a radical veganista or them). Still time for a write-in candidate to file but….sigh…

  236. He is not supposed to be running an organization with the staff or budget the size of our city’s. We have a professional manager and that is her job. He and the council need to stop meddling in what are ministerial decisions.

  237. I hope he runs in a year when he must choose between that and re-election here. Probably won’t happen. In any case, it would be great to send him to Sacramento where it’ll be harder to do as much damage.

  238. Please do not support the pay raise. Two reasons

    One, the incumbents are doing an objectively bad job. Pay is for performance.

    Two, they’ve taken it on themselves to meddle with many decisions that should be ministerial. We have a professional manager. Our mayor and council need to let her do her job. Doing so would require less time.

  239. It seems obvious to me that nobody sane wants the job anymore, particularly in the present political climate.

  240. He isn’t fed talking points, he’s just a two-faced liar who will tell you whatever he thinks you want to hear to win your vote. Remember, he was praising the Berkeley Police and saying that we needed to hire more officers just a few months before he started insisting that we defund them.

  241. Great to see the full conspiracy theory here. ICLEI and UN Agenda 21 are an international conspiracy to end local sovereignty and establish world government. I wondered why Agenda 21 was left out last time.

    Great theory, except for two facts:
    -They both just make recommendations and have no control over any local government.
    -Anyone who follows the city process and sees who speaks at the meetings knows that Berkeley is building bike lanes because of the efforts of local bike activists.

    BTW, when an ICLEI member orders cheese pizza, are they really ordering child pornography? Since we are at it, we might as well add in the pizzagate conspiracy theory.

  242. should be “the demands that the majority of citizens put on the council and that a small fringe criticizes on Berkeleyside.”

  243. So why did Laurie run against him last time? Whenever there is a chance of winning, there are lots of serious candidates for the job of mayor.

    The City Manager runs the organization, not the mayor.

  244. I made requests for neighborhood improvements that they had never thought of before and that were totally non-ideological.

  245. I am in fair health and live in southwest tBerkeley. All I see is a diminished quality of life and increased crime. My social security and pension do not increase enough to accommodate the city’s insatiable requests for taxes. The mayor and this city council have done nothing for most of us residents. Why do they keep doing this to us? This is not “progressive.”

  246. What it says to me is that being Mayor of Berkeley is a job that pays very little and requires a high tolerance for abuse. I can’t see why anyone would want the job, and especially not anyone competent at running an organization with a staff or budget the size of our city’s.

  247. I’m one of their “constituents” unfortunately as well. I’ve created a lot of housing in Berkeley with my own hands and labor. I’m now 65 and retired and own a couple rental units, but these self righteous idealogs that run the city keep adding more costs (taxes fees etc) for property owners and more restrictions on rental properties making it impossible for me to live here.
    Unlike city employees, I don’t get a retirement. The rental units I created are my retirement. I created it with my own hands, my own labor, my own risk and creativity, yet they will regulate it to the point that I cannot afford to live here.
    They have an agenda and they walk all over people who don’t fit into their little plan.
    I’ve lived in Berkeley for 45 years. I was born in California. My family been in California for over a century. But we are being driven out by the mad, one-sided policies, of these politicos. In the meantime, they will give themselves pay raises, and many of them will continue to live off of their landlords because they’re in rent control units.
    The mayor and most the city council are grifters.

  248. They were the first to encourage a hands off approach to political violence in Berkeley. Fifty years of left wing activism here and I never saw people beaten senseless in our streets for the crime of provocative speech.

  249. The first time, he was opposed by a serious candidate and won overwhelmingly.
    The second time, he is not being opposed by any serious candidates. What does that say about his job performance? It seems obvious to me that, if he had performed as badly as commenters claim, there would be serious candidates running against him. There aren’t because the potential serious candidates know they would lose.

  250. It is all about ICLEI and the New World Order. Somenow, I forgot about that – and somehow I also forgot that it is run by Satan-worshipping pedophiles. If we are going to deal in crazy conspiracy theories, let’s go all the way.

  251. This is more reasonable than the average comment.

    He certainly is bright and understands government. That is why I can’t take most comments here seriously – such as the comment that says he is a buffoon.

  252. He is. Check out the alliance with Susan wengraf. He is also not taking public funding, so he’s opening himself up for big cash infusions. He is definitely moving right.

  253. Yeah, and his 180 on the Golden Duplex issue when the mob came in threatening him with a lawsuit and “conflict of interest”, when non existed. Buffoon is about right.

  254. This is not the first time the city council ties different elements together in one ballot. Two years ago the ADU issue was on the ballot along with an issue to expand rent control to new construction after twenty years, if Prop. 10 passed. Although Prop 10, failed statewide, Measure Q passed by more than 70%.

  255. What a load of poppycock. How naive do you believe the citizens of this town are? The same council and mayor “expressed their desire to act on homelessness” repeatedly. Yet here we are, more homeless than ever, millions of taxpayer $ wasted, zero accountability. Nope. These clowns need to be hounded until they are so boxed in they either get their act together or they get prosecuted.

  256. That democratic process also includes us voting out Jesse and his cronies. It’s really quite simple. Guarantee that 100% of the funds go to the intended purpose or no yes vote. This mayor and council has lied too many times and exposed themselves as such incompetents that short of binding agreements based on quantifiable outcome nothing will fly.

  257. Jesse Arreguin made homelessness in Berkeley his primary focus and the problem is now much worse than it was before he entered office and worse than it has ever been in recent history. The more involved in something he becomes the worse it gets.

  258. After four years of failure Jesse Arreguin has the nerve to ask for a raise while city workers are being furloughed in the midst of a global crisis?

    Disgusting.

  259. I’d still want to see a more detailed description of “green projects” and substantiating rationales. Unfortunately, the euphemizing jargon has already become relatively meaningless.

  260. But alas, plans are commenced with no way for any of us to know, in advance. Maybe “plans” isn’t the right word?

  261. Uh, some already have been. There are heros in the social work dimension. Maybe not many, but.some exist.

    Burdening a dispatcher with having to make critical triage decisions based on nothing more than complainant calls might be the diciest part of the formula.

  262. You may have just illuminated why this item has come up now.

    Obviously, the premise as posed, isn’t that a major raise is merited based on exceptional performance to date. Rather that the existing compensation has been woefully inadequate for some time, and disallowing the further attentions and time/effort necessary to get more done.

    We’re talking Elected Office Equity, Compensation Justice and removing that Systemic Racist pay scale.

  263. Ah, yes, the stretches of U.N. Agenda bike paths! Now on Adeline, probably in anticipation of the fuller Plan to sustainably develop it into an ICLEI Transportation Corridor community.

    The absence of serious contenders for the office is major defining feature. Where is Running Wolf now that we need him?

  264. Again, though, context might be everything. The ol’ step by step rungs of the state political ladder climb may not be de rigeur anymore. Remember — now that we have pandemic, Everything Is Different. New Normal.

    A big fish in a little pond, in this new emerging world, may very well go directly to being a sizable fish in an ocean.

    After all, City District Councilman to Mayor. But of a Key ICLEI City (prominence in int’l org). Now president of a Regional group of governments.

    The sky’s the limit in this New World Order!

    https://www.un.org/ecosoc/

  265. But… but… what about Berkeley City weighing in on international relations policies involving nations halfway around the globe?

  266. Spinning his wheels is not considered full time work just because he is busy during that time.

  267. I’ve always wondered why District 8 had no Chinese laundromats or African American dance-halls. Now I know. Apparently, it’s systemic racism.

  268. The City Attorney report on multiple subjects in ballot measures that you referred to. Thanks.

  269. Maybe I would vote for it if it wouldn’t take place till the following election cycle so a more qualified pool might enter the contests.

  270. And if he thinks his pay is too low, he’s free to walk. Just like all the other hard working people in this town. There’s a reason it’s called public SERVICE.

  271. Nobody is forcing you to read them. Unlike the rest of us who are forced to suffer the consequences of Jesse’s bullshit.

  272. Near as I can tell, he’s chosen to hitch his fate to the U.N. Agenda. In that context, suddenly his whole deal makes sense. For him & the growing legion of hydra-heads.

  273. I’ve dealt with several directly and personally. I found those to be uniquely, consistently unhelpful, beyond lip service. But they wanted my help.

  274. Albany gets the same on site animal services as Berkeley residence for pennies on the dollar.

    Mental health services are fully funded in Berkeley, including pension liabilities and physical infrastructure.

  275. Just because you don’t like the way T1 funds were spent doesn’t mean it wasn’t a democratic process. The community had their input and then the elected officials decided. That’s representative democracy, “Pearl Clutcher.”

  276. Funny thing about the Salary Increase measure is that the only reasonable rationale for voting Yes, in the midst of our current malaise, is that it might encourage better people to run for Council+Mayor.

    I doubt that’s the argument the council is using to justify this otherwise tone deaf measure, but maybe? If so, that would be a heroic example of good governance!

    “Increase our salaries so we can be replaced with competent people!”

  277. I agree that he is very bright and understands government. It’s just that he has no spine to follow his knowledge. You don’t go from “we need a gang unit, and K9s and ..” in a blog post and suddenly do a 180 a year later because something bad happened on the other side of the country unless you answer to a different authority, a different group, and are being told what to think.

  278. Like I said, I know I’m not in the majority among the commenters here. It’s not great timing but we’ve been dodging the issue. Fundamentally I want to allow less wealthy and younger people to be on council. Currently we have a large number of retirees and people who married well.

    If we’re concerned about cost we should reduce the number of council seats. 4 seats plus the mayor seems like a good number.

  279. Try testing the claim about the silent majority by running for mayor on a platform saying, I will ignore the bullshit and just focus on paved roads, safe streets, and a cleaner environment.

    Be sure to say that Black Lives Matter and Global Warming are bullshit that the city should not care about. That will win lots of votes, It is bound to win over the silent majority of Berkeley voters.

    By the way, where have I heard the phrase “silent majority” before? Now I remember. It was Richard Nixon who made it famous, not long after his vice-president Spiro Agnew used it in a May 1969 speech, saying “”It is time for America’s silent majority to stand up for its rights,”

  280. I am one of their constituents, and I have dealt with some of them personally and found that they treated me as a person to be helped, not as an enemy to be milked. Have you ever dealt with them personally?
    I have never heard any of them say or imply that our history is one long litany of evil to be avenged.

  281. Emergencies. You’ll be glad for them living within a quick commute of the city at the next big quake or hills fire.

  282. Albany has beautiful schools, pools, parks etc, and more effective policing. Guess which city is wasting vast amounts of money on ineffectual virtue-broadcasting programs.

  283. Not “key.” Albany exports its more unpleasant homeless to Berkeley, and I think pays a fee to use Berkeley’s animal shelter. I can’t think of any other subsidies, direct or implicit–can you?

  284. Not in Berkeley. All the recent Council and mayoral voting results say that appealing to liberal guilt and over-the-top PCness are what get candidates elected. That may change if he runs for something from a wider area.

  285. Back to Nevada, Arizona or Florida where they came from? Both SF and Berkeley have unpublicized “Thank god and Greyhound you’re gone” programs.

  286. I suggest:
    No on the salary increases. Da Mere and 6 of the 8 councilmembers have engaged in gross dereliction of their sworn civic duties for their whole terms. Save the $$ to reward those who replace them.
    No on the Anti-Police Board. The current Anti-PRC has enough investigative powers and is quite anti-police, yet found only one case of impolite language worth upholding last year. Our very good, professional and as nonviolent as possible PD is already suffering from low morale and understaffing, due to early retirements or resignations. Giving the PRC more power would only make things worse.
    No on The Rent Board. This is a barefaced money grab arising from the Board’s gross lack of fiscal and management controls, especially on salaries, legal fees, and handling sexual harassment. Anywhere else, requiring owners not subject to rent control to register with the rent control board and pay a stiff annual fee would be seen as the absurdity it is.
    Just vote rationally on the rest.

  287. Actually, I can agree that this is not the right time to give them a raise.
    But I disagree with the character assassination and the ignorant claims that they should just work part time, have no experience, etc.

  288. Dystopian. Utopia is what many believe will happen elsewhere once America is “dismantled”, there’s no utopia intended for people living here.

  289. Councilmembers are elected by the majority – not by vocal minorities.
    Berkeleyside commenters represent a small minority of Berkeley citizens.

  290. Another comment from someone who is obviously not involved in Berkeley politics. In fact, Jesse is very involved in repaving roads and in public safety.

    They just began a process of overhauling public safety, so it is absurd to say they don’t address public safety. It is more accurate to say that some Berkeleyside commenters have different ideas about improving public safety than the mayor and council do — but the majority of voters have elected the mayor and council.

  291. Technically correct, but he got 49% while the runner-up (Laurie Capitelli) got 32% — an overwhelming victory though not technically a majority.

  292. They treat their own constituents as enemies to be milked, re-educated (brain washed) stripped of security and eventually burned out as their fellows in Portland have already demonstrated. They seek to rewrite our unique history as one long litany of evil to be avenged (by them) and to turn our treasured collective spaces (like the marina which all walks of life enjoyed) into hallmarks of human misery. They have only proved useful as a form of chemotherapy, for those who believe that America itself is cancer. Give them a break indeed.

  293. When he was elected mayor, he was opposed by Laurie Capitelli, a very serious candidate (whom I voted for, by the way).

  294. Anyone who has met with Jesse knows that he has a remarkable grasp of the details of every issue he deals with. No one who knows anything about it would say that he is “fed talking points.”

  295. Actually, frances raises a very interesting point, apparently the eviction provisions are already law.

    With that in mind, can anyone give a legitimate reason this on the ballot at all, let alone tied together with actual changes to the law.

    It seems to me, that the city is hoping voters will think they have to pass emergency eviction protections to have emergency eviction protections. The city is preying on lack of information. That’s worse than merely a multiple issue item.

  296. 49% is not a majority, and definitely not a “large majority”. A plurality, absolutely.

  297. I don’t think higher pay will attract better quality candidates. The only folks who will run (or get elected) are SJWs that don’t care about infrastructure, et al.

  298. Hi Frances,

    So my thinking has evolved a bit since my initial post. I suspect this particular bill is legal, although I continue to believe it’s highly immoral to tie emergency issues to other issues.

    I’m not convinced that ballot measures can have unrelated items, as I don’t trust the City attorney’s office in the slightest, they’ve routinely ignored housing laws and I can’t trust them to be truthful. I see in our municipal code we have single-subject restrictions on council ordinances. It’s possible we have something for ballot measures, or that the rule extends to ballot measures.

  299. Not zero. I was class president and organizing prom took a substantial amount more work than Jesse does being fed talking points and copy/paste laws from the big alphabets.

  300. It is not illegal to have ballot measures with multiple unrelated items according to a city staff report prepared for other items. Also, the provision about evicting tenants is already existing law in Berkeley, adopted by the City Council. This part of the measure brings the rent control ordinance in compliance with the law.

  301. If you think Social Workers are going to respond to a service call about a homeless person in crisis without the police, you are mistaken. All this will do is increase the personnel resources expended on each call.

  302. And I love commenters who are retired and refuse to see how demoralizing it is for those who are struggling, not able to work due to the shut down, to see the same council that has failed us time and time again give itself a raise. Where is the compassion for younger families and single residents who are terrified they are not going to financially survive this epidemic? Not all Berkeley residents have the comfort of knowing their social security check comes no matter what.

  303. The pay raise is a slap in the face to every single person who is not able to work right now. The pay raise is an endorsement of everything the council has failed to do over the last 2 years.

  304. Why does it matter where Firefighters live? They live at the station during their shifts. Who cares if they live in Idaho?

  305. Please revise this header – “Require partially exempt rental units to register with the Rent Board; limit rent control exemptions to certain ADUs”

    As noted in the text, this item actually also includes a prohibition on “the eviction of tenants for not paying their rent during state or local emergencies, such as the current one in effect because of the coronavirus.” That’s a major aspect that’s omitted from the header.

    Editorial feedback aside and IMO, tying emergency eviction protections together with other issues, such as expanding rent control, is a sickening tactic. They know the voters will support emergency eviction protections. That support is independent of the other measures, yet the rent board is using the emergency support to get other pet-items passed. That is a perversion of democracy.

    And I’d really love to see an op-ed attacking this tying. Would you publish one if I wrote it?

    I’d also be interested in a legal analysis. It really SHOULD be illegal to tie unrelated items together like this. I don’t know the relevant law enough to judge just yet. May need to read up on it.

    initial readings indicate this proposal likely violates our “single-subject rule” – I think Berkeleside should follow-up with the city on this. Critical issue.

    example of a similar situation where the initiative was ruled unconstitutional for violating our “single-subject” rule – https://ballotpedia.org/Malibu_City_Commercial_Property_Regulations,_Measure_R_(November_2014)

  306. I know. Look at the link that Tracey Taylor provided. By contrast, your comment had absolutely zero factual basis.

  307. Right, his loyalties are with the small minority, and that is why he is elected and reelected by the large majority.

  308. And I love the commenters who have zero work experience in politics but who claim to know much more about it than people who have many years of exprience.

  309. That should be “putting the brakes on the City Council.”
    Most of our commenters are not willing to give them any breaks.

  310. If they eliminated all the feel-good projects including getting involved in things have nothing to do with the city of Berkeley they would have plenty of time.

  311. Because they live in the present, half of Berkeley lives in the past the other half lives in some fantasy utopian society.

  312. In a recent Berkeleyside article, I seem to recall Jesse mentioning his 16 YEARS on the city council.

  313. Talk to your friends and neighbors. Most Berkeley voters are not paying attention. If the measure sounds at least vaguely liberal, they’ll vote yes. Explain to them the reasons for putting the brakes on this City Council. Personally, I’m voting no on everything, except maybe the pay raise. I think higher pay might interest better quality candidates in the job.

  314. Has there been any reduction in obesity from the anti-obesity programs?? Exactly what are these anti-obesity programs? Has most of the money gone to staffing? How is their effectiveness evaluated related to the amount of money spent, i.e. number of fewer obese people per $$ spent?

  315. In my opinion a news organization would at least ask the mayor for a comment on the assassination of a 19 year old and the shooting of a 20 something. They were the wrong color though so don’t bother asking. Or maybe a small investigation into the E. coli outbreak at aquatic park, and the public works failures behind it. That is surely To break out again after the first rain. Or maybe some digging into the citizen oversight of O and P money not taking place. Or a deep dive into the rent boards former ED quick departure.

  316. There’s no need for character assassination with Jesse, he’s already committed character suicide.
    His loyalties are clearly with a small but loud minority of people who seem to be in an endless competition to out-woke each other.
    He does not represent those of us who go to work every day, send our kids to school, and hope that they are not accosted by a homeless person on their walk home.

  317. I love that the mayor, who has zero work experience outside of politics, believes he is deserving of a 6-figure income. For what? For having no original ideas and doing whatever the mob tells him to do? For bravely proclaiming how public safety should be run, only to make a complete 180 a year later?

    The police charter ballot printing avoids all of the issues with it (almost doubling budget, the standard to convict is lower than what you’d need to accuse your own kid of stealing a cookie, etc)

    Keep increasing your taxes people-addicts and criminals out there are counting on your money. All of these will pass, and keep passing, until they’ve bled you dry and bankrupted the city.

  318. There are three possibilities

    1) he’s working overtime and failing (“ending homelessness”)

    2) he’s working against the city’s interests and succeeding (encampments everywhere, decaying infrastructure, budget disaster)

    3) he’s plotting his next moves

    None of these demonstrate merit worthy of compensation

  319. Again, this is weak sauce. I’ve given you a specific example of how unrestricted funds supposedly guided by experts have been redirected by THIS council. Restricted funds exist for a reason and they require a 2/3 majority. For the rest, you seem rather naive about the trust you are placing in politicians. “Democracy is what it is” has to be one of the saddest embraces of mediocrity I’ve seen in a while.

  320. Look at the ratio of employees to residents. And do note that we subsidize Albany in some key respects.

  321. The obvious next chapter for him is to get a position at one of the nonprofits who have benefited so richly from his policies. So indeed the transparency being called for would reveal whose servant – the public’s? – he is with the balance of his time.

    Disclosure of these material facts is important. It’s why we know that Sophie Hahn, self styled environmentalist, owns shares in the worst corporate polluters.

  322. Roads, public safety and quality of life are not addressed. They pander to the 1% of homeless drug addicts from all over the US and ignore their constituents. For gods sake there have been two assassinations here in three months and the mayor can’t be bothered to comment. This council is turning Berkeley into a pit.

  323. The Mayor is working 24/7. When Skinner gets termed out, Buffy will run for her seat and the Mayor will run for assembly. So he needs to get the backing of SEIU, the nurses’ unions (think Alta Bates), teachers unions, all the non-profits building “affordable housing” and of course the entire homeless industrial complex.

    Last but not least he has his hands full with ABAG, planning new tax hikes for Bay Area residents which will be dispersed to the unions if they support him.

    So yes, the phone logs, emails, and calendar would be most revealing.

  324. Congratulations on missing the barn door-sized point. The constituents and their concerns aren’t the problem, most people holding a job and feeding a family in this town are quite level-headed.

    It’s the narrow focus on bullshit from a vocal minority with too much time on their hands and no real problems (apart from their own existence perhaps). The silent majority would be happy if all that bullshit were ignored and we’d just get paved roads, safe streets, and a cleaner environment. And they would vote for that in a heartbeat if there were more than the clueless incumbent plus two hopeless loons on the ticket.

  325. And yet they have better paved roads and trails, not half the garbage we have lying around, and their parks and recreational spaces are better looked after. Wonder why that is. Albany often strikes me as the much smaller, but grown up version of Berkeley.

  326. The supposed “desirability” of Berkeley over Vallejo is totally unrelated to the current local politicians. Berkeley has been more desirable for many for a LONG time, before some of these politicians were even born. The university and the amenities it attracts are the main reason. Certainly not the way these politicians are running this city into the ground.

  327. This comment is just so wrong, I’m not even going to elaborate. Stephanie is never going to be convinced otherwise. So why the heck am I even responding?

  328. A 75% raise? During a global pandemic when so many local businesses have shut down permanently? It is obscene.

    Kate’s husband makes $200K, Sophie’s >$2 million, Wengraf is very very rich and is a landlord, Ben is an attorney. Now is not a good time.

    If the Mayor needs cash, give him a loan. Sophie, Kate, Susan, Lori, Ben, and Rashi do not need a 75% raise.

  329. Reality check: there are NO “conservatives” on the Council, let alone anyone who would remind one of Trump, thank our lucky stars. There are perhaps 2 moderates, Wengraf and Droste, and they are clearly the most thoughtful people on the Council.

  330. Why aren’t you in line with Rashi, you are her appointee right? She said the other night that this is a terrible time to be adding new taxes when residents are suffering financially. Do you disagree with her assessment?

  331. I think it is better to make the point without the character assassination. If Jesse really cared more about advancing his career than about anything else, he would take more moderate positions and make deals with business interests who have more money to donate.

  332. The reality is that anyone will be elected and reelected to the council only if they respond to their constituents concerns — and this is more than a full time job.

    As a reality test, try running for office on a platform saying that councilmenters should work half time because the issues most constituents care about are bullshit

  333. I agree, and as well since we are basically all his boss, before he is given a raise both he, and the city manager need to give the public a detailed account of their job responsibilities, and daily duties complete with current successes and future goals. Just as he would need to at any full time job in today’s market if he were going for such a big raise.

  334. And. . . I think Jesse has a roommate or two chipping in on his rent-controlled rent. . .

    It is not right to evaluate a proposal to raise salaries based on the personal circumstances of the mayor.

    These jobs are underpaid and the low salaries do keep better qualified people from running. These job should pay fair wages irregardless of whether or not the current mayor is competent or worthy.

  335. So, you’re saying that 100% of the UUT will go towards green projects? Is that right? Can you guarantee that? I’ll vote for it if you can guarantee it.

  336. Re the mayor’s salary increase

    This is definitely a part time job if you only care about the city.

    But if you choose to spend the balance of your time making deals with special interests (like the homeless services industrial complex) to advance your political career, that is entirely the mayor’s personal choice and in no way consistent with the job description per the charter.

    Maybe if we could see the mayor’s calendar and phone logs we would understand why this needs to be a full-time job. It’s a fair question for the public to know what their mayor does for them, v. what he may be doing for his own political advancement.

  337. So is there really no answer to the questions of outside employment, outside compensation and permitted outside activities. I am also baffled by the lack of distinction between compensation and salary.

    The Mayor’s 2019 total compensation was $72,967.

    2+2+5

  338. Anyone who is lower middle class should think about the fact that Biden, Kamala, and AOC want to preserve their Social Security, while Republicans claim that we need to reform entitlements (=cut their retirement income) in order to deal with deficits–at the same time they increase those deficits by giving a trillion dollars in tax cuts to the obscenely rich.

  339. I’d be very willing to pay the UBER tax if the monies went into ONLY fixing the roads. There is a nexus between the cars and the roads, after all.

  340. Thanks, We can all see that, even though it was in the general fund, it was NOT “spent on salaries and pensions and the panel of experts can take their community process and shove it.”

  341. This statement is inaccurate:
    “The state of California passed a law, however, that says whenever an ADU is built on a property with multiple units, like an apartment complex, all the units on that property would no longer be covered by rent control. This proposed change to the ordinance would limit that exemption to “owner-occupied properties with a single-family home and one accessory unit.’”
    AB68 mandates that cities allow ADUs on multi-family properties:
    https://www.ezplansusa.com/2020-guide-to-the-new-adu-laws-in-california
    Previously the ADUs were restricted to single family residences (SFRs).
    State law does not stipulate that all the units on an ADU property be exempt from rent control. Under Costa-Hawkins, new construction is exempt, but Berkeley’s Measure Q extended that exemption to the main building, assuming it would be an SFR. However with AB68, allowing properties with multi-family buildings to build an ADU, the City wants to update the ADU exemption in Measure Q to be in compliance while ensuring that existing units do not lose their rent control.
    Compliance with AB 68 and maintaining rent control on units that are already so regulated only seems fair, but limiting the exemption to only one ADU is lamentable.

  342. The City of Albany, CA has a budget of about $26M for a city of about 25,000 people.
    The City of Berkeley, CA has a budget of about $200M for a city of about 120,000.
    Albany spends just over $1,000 per person. Berkeley spends about $1,666 per person = 66% more per capita than Albany, and our spending is on the way up!

    https://www.albanyca.org/home/showdocument?id=41650
    https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cityofberkeley.info%2FuploadedFiles%2FManager%2FBudget%2FFY-2020-2021-Adopted-Budget-Book.pdf

  343. OK, got it. Your response to the lower-middle class is essentially, “too bad for you, collateral damage, no solidarity with your plight”.

    Is this what Biden, Kamala and AOC also want?

  344. Well said. No more general fund increases. The council needs narrow guard-rails when it comes to spending.

  345. If you look around and see a well managed City, with well maintained infrastructure, and reasonably priced, effective City services, give the City Council a raise. If you see closed pools, a closed pier, failing streets and sidewalks, and a complete failure to manage a burgeoning homeless problem, just say no. I will be saying NO.

  346. Who initiated the Council raise? THAT person needs to go. Did the current mayor and council members know, when they applied (ran) for the job, what it paid? Why is that now in need of change?

    Me: I got that new job I worked 6 months to get! It pays $38,695 a year!
    Me, six months after I’ve been on my new job: Wow, this is harder than I thought. Let me ask the boss if I can have a 75% raise.
    Me, at the unemployment office: Damn!

    So, if the measure passes, all CM and the mayor should be prohibited from any other active source of income. And, it should apply only to newly elected members.

    I also (don’t) like the automatic escalator by tying the compensation to an index decided by some faceless bureaucracy.

  347. Your second statement needs help. “Anyone that looks at the demands the Council puts on itself would see that it’s basically a full time job,worrying about Tibet or the dog festival in China, or trips to Korea or such.”

  348. Do you honestly not think that during a pandemic, when so many Berkeley residents are being prevented from working at all, it might be not the best time to ask for a raise? I understand the economic shutdown is needed for the greater public health, but COME ON, as you ask people to make huge sacrifices, perhaps have a little grace and refrain from demanding more cash for yourself.

    This coupled with recent moves, such as Kate Harrison sneaking through a motion to have her own house declared a historic landmark (now her home repairs are tax deductible, that must be nice) all while taking an insanely long time to get any of the unhoused residents with covid symptoms off the street, just highlights to me the self serving, greedy nature of this council.

    On the ADU thing, yes I agree with you 100%.

  349. To put it in perspective, most people I know who have jobs that are doing ok are still having pay freezes and pay cuts. And these are businesses that are profitable at this time. This is the wrong time for them to true up their salaries, and strikes me as being incredibly tone deaf.

  350. Likely they want to preserve the “part time” fiction to enable themselves to take other employment.

  351. Oooh, a new word of the day. Lagniappe. The little extra piece of pizza they give you at the Cheese Board when you buy a whole pie now has a name. I’ve been calling it “the little extra piece of pizza they give you at the Cheese Board when you buy a whole pie.”

  352. That is strange, because it is different from what Jesse’s email said and different from what Bentham Paulos said. He is the expert, so check out his comment saying it is structured like the soda tax.

  353. Well, eight of nine members of the Council voted to put it on the ballot, and over 60% of voters surveyed said they would support it — even during the pandemic and recession.

    The pandemic is bad, yes, but it doesn’t mean global warming has gone away. I think voters will be willing to spend an average of $52 per year to support climate action, while cutting taxes for the lowest-income households by $162 per year.

    It is also a way to “build back better,” to recover from the recession by building green infrastructure. You know, the Green New Deal, what Biden, AOC, Kamala are talking about. (https://insideclimatenews.org/news/05082020/kamala-harris-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-climate-equity-bill) We can do that here, and I think voters are with me.

  354. I don’t think I am incorrect. Here is what the memo accompanying the proposed measure reads: “The proposed ballot measures establishes a Climate Equity Action Fund in which revenues received from the Utility Users Tax imposed on electricity and gas above 7.5% and any other funds designated by the City Council may be deposited. At the City Council’s discretion, the proceeds may be spent to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate climate impacts on disadvantaged communities, or for any other general municipal purpose.”

  355. It is always interesting to get the perspective of someone who obviously has never worked with councilmembers and doesn’t know how pressed for time they are.

  356. Firefighters need to live within 40 miles of Berkeley and preferably closer. and this should not be rescinded. It is unfair to tuck that into a bill that is otherwise good.

  357. These are the people telling us we are too comfortable and need to “dig down” and “rethink” our entitlement to civic safety and functioning infrastructure. These are people calling for more “unrest” and fewer resources to combat it.

  358. Measure 5:
    I don’t think the Mayor is a buffoon, but he has increased trash levels all over the City and our part of the Bay by many, many multiples. I mean, can you believe it? Truly despicable. He does not deserve another term or a pay raise. Period.

    Measure 4:
    Councilperson Davila should take some time to take a walk 3 blocks west and see how many “poor people” as she puts it, use ride share companies to go to medical appointments, get groceries or just conduct daily life. She doesn’t even know what goes on in her own(supposedly) neighborhood!

  359. If some metrics of accomplishment benefiting the citizens of Berkeley were delineated, and additional pay contingent on that, I might be for a raise. But as of now, there seems to be no incentive on the part of our elected officials to make life here civilized and safe.

  360. These are pet projects they bring on themselves, often at the cost of boring stuff they are supposed to be doing like making sure the infrastructure is maintained.

  361. Because there are clearly many effective projects that it could be spent on–far more than the tax can pay for.

  362. So how was the money from the soda tax actually spent? I hear it was all spent as advised by the health panel.

    How it is spent is the issue, not how it “can be spent.”

  363. The article said “The money would go into a Climate Equity Action Fund,” but that apparently is incorrect.

    Jesse sent email about it today saying:
    Funds would be used for general municipal services, including programs to equitably reduce local greenhouse gas emissions. The proposal will also reorganize the existing Energy Commission into the Climate Action and Energy Commission, who will be tasked with – among their existing duties – providing recommendations to the City Council on how to allocate these funds.

  364. Look up the actual data to see this is false. Berkeley’s vacancy rate is lower than what is considered desirable. Of course, I am talking about pre-epidemic vacancy rate, which we will have again when the epidemic is over.

    “common knowledge that many of those new building have plenty of empty units because the prices are so high”

  365. Thank you for your comment. A lot of the references in the city staff material and the name of the proposed ballot measure referred to placing something in the charter about full-time status. But you are correct, it’s not there. I am trying to find out where it states mayor and CC members are part-time. This is the info packet the CC considered: “The current Charter provisions do not designate the offices of Mayor and Councilmember as full-time positions. This amendment would designate the offices as
    full-time and task the Personnel Board with setting the salaries of Mayor and Council based on surveys of other full-time Mayors and City Councils. “

  366. You might want to contact the City Clerk about writing the ballot argument against the measure. If no councilmembers or community groups want to write that argument, the the city clerk will let any citizen do it.

  367. If I did my math correctly, they are asking for a 75% pay raise. Does anyone think the City of 75% better than it used to be? Just look around, this place is a hot mess!!!

  368. I am looking forward to almost all of the members of this city council being replaced but in order for that to happen, I think a reasonable wage is probably needed to entice someone who is competent.

  369. My guess is that they knew that $61,304 for a PART TIME JOB for a HOUSEHOLD OF ONE wouldn’t be convincing enough for a raise (especially one that’s 75%!!).

  370. My neighbors just moved out. Their business got hit pretty badly from the pandemic, and the last thing they need is more taxes on their utility bills. What kind of a relief is there for middle income households?

    Is there a worse time to put this on the backs of middle- and working-class families? A household making $60,000 cannot afford to pay more utility taxes during a once-in-a-lifetime economic crisis.

    One council member said this from the dais: “I struggle with these tax increases at this time…this year is a difficult year to ask this of folks. I’m also concerned about the impact on our businesses who are also struggling in this pandemic some of whom have opened and had to shut down and I just don’t know what’s going to happen to our small business community as we weather this very uncertain pandemic.

    Your response?

  371. Unlike seemingly everyone else, i think the salary increase makes a lot of sense. Anyone that looks at the demands we put on the Council would see that it’s basically a full time job (given our dozens of Commissions, endless Council hearings, etc). And I want to enable working people to take these jobs and not just retirees.

    Separately though – I appreciate that the council has toned down the ADU rent control, but I still don’t like it. The city has said that ADUs should be an important part of our new home construction. The state allows single family home to build TWO ADUs (a ‘regular’ ADU and a ‘junior ADU’). Based on the brief description above it seems like it would dissuade people from building the second ADU. Similarly it would dissuade homeowners living in duplexes, as well as landlords, both of whom might have more willingness to build ADUs. Finally every time we revisit the ‘ADU and rent control’ issue, it creates confusion and reluctance on the part of homeowners to build ADUs. Given that, in effect, new ADUs are already protected by the Costa-Hawkins state new construction exemptions, this seems to have risk without any benefit.

  372. Agreed. Maybe he needs to be reminded of that. The other day, another poster suggested somebody could buy up the mayor’s golden duplex and take it off the market. 😉

  373. BERKELEYSIDE, this is WRONG: “If adopted, the charter would recognize that serving as mayor and on the council are full-time jobs.”

    Read the proposal!

  374. Increased pay for city council members…… that’s hilarious!
    Is anyone going to vote for that besides the council members themselves?

  375. How can a specific tax amount be set *before* there’s an articulated plan showing specific anticipated expenses and projected values of itemized results?

  376. I suspected that, but still think it’s an arbitrary or, worse, somewhat contradictory basis for reckoning compensation, particularly at quite this point in time. What other jobs set salaries in that way?

    Plus, since Berkeley is sporting a gigantic BLM slogan on a civic center street, along with so much local “support” for the outfit expressed, oughtn’t it be acknowledged that one of the core beliefs/objectives is:

    “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement
    by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that
    collectively care for one another, especially our children”

  377. Not on the ballot, but passed by council a couple of weeks ago, is that “defunding” of police and to reassign homeless, mental illness, domestic disputes, traffic stops and parking tickets, etc. to some other agencies/”professionals”. But then, it may be that total actual costs exceed the amount trimmed from the police budget.

  378. What an assortment of wonderful ballot measures. Some real gems here. The city council and the mayor really outdid themselves this time around.

    I really love the one that proposes to collect more fees for the corrupt rent board. It’s understandable – they do need to fund their highly important causes like defending the former executive director in the harassment lawsuit against him. And, of course, to pay the high salaries of their lawyers and the new executive director (over 210k for Matt!). This is great news for the tenants as well – they’ll be so happy to pay these new registration fees, which will undoubtedly get passed on to them.

    And good news for the mom and pop landords – now, any state of emergency can mean that they won’t be able to charge rent for who knows how long (possibly way beyond the state of emergency). Of course, it doesn’t matter that they might be financially affected by such an emergency in the first place, and might not be able to pay their mortgage and property taxes. Truly wonderful – best of luck to them trying to hold on to their houses!

    And of course, more taxes across the board to fund the “progressive”, “leading”, and “first of its kind” agenda of the council and the mayor! We need to support them, no way around it. Never mind the issues that some (foolishly) consider to be important – tent cities going up around Berkeley, badly maintained streets, and increasing crime. Who cares about those.

    A resounding YES on all of these!!!

  379. With respect to the measure to re-approve many existing taxes, I think that the voters should be informed about how much money will be returned to them if they vote no (it is required that approval is given or money has to be returned to the taxpayers).

    But more importantly, consider this:

    The taxes that were collected but not spent where required allows the city to ask for a new tax for a popular purpose and then spend it on what they really want to spend it on. I’m ok having voters approving new taxes for a particular purpose but if we allow the city to pander to our generosity and then spend it on other things we need to reject that untrustworthy and furtive behavior.

    We should vote NO this time so that the city returns the amount of the excess as required by state law. This will serve as a lesson to the city that the people will vote for funding for the good of the community, but only if the city government lives up to its promise to spend on the programs it sold us.

  380. Imagine how much we would save, and how much better the city would function, if we eliminated the entire city council, the mayor, and all of their staff. Instead, we should try to elect a single competent city manager that was actually able to manage the city without interference from virtue signalling idealogues. I vote to eliminate the council and the mayor, all their staff, and all of their drama. We need a city government focused on actually running the city efficiently and with fiscal responsibility.

  381. The Fire Dept already has 3 taxes on our property tax bill which are calculated on the City’s faulty square footage database (PARAMEDIC SUPPLMNT, FIRE/EMG SVC TAX, CFD1 DISASTER FIRE). Under this scheme, hundreds of taxpayers are paying substantially less than they should. So, why should the rest of us subsidize them with more square footage based Fire Taxes? What is really needed to fix the Fire Dept’s revenue problem is to reconcile the City’s Tax Records with Planning’s or the County Assessor. See http://berkeleytaxes.info

  382. Remember that song from the Great Depression? “Brother, can you spare a 75% raise?”

    Yeah, me neither.

  383. Doubletree has got to be done down there. No way are they bouncing back. And that will be the death of the marina enterprise fund, which was already up the creek with no help on the way.

  384. That simply isn’t good enough.

    We can’t audit the panel. We can’t control or monitor the selection process – one CM screens appointees for BDS bona fides- or challenge their expertise. And we can’t know if the guides providing guidance are not themselves being guided. For T-1, the community spent months producing the project list. Council did its own thing in the end.

    I could go on, but it is YOU who need to explain why you are endorsing a transparent hack. If it’s the right thing to do, don’t do it the wrong way.

  385. Rumor has it that he also gets full medical coverage & lives in a rent controlled unit. If so, I’d say he makes plenty for part-time work.

  386. Upvote this post if you’re getting a 75% raise this year. I’ll run over and tell the good folks at disqus to expect a lot of server traffic! BRB

  387. Well this is gonna be an easy one. Vote NO on every single one. While there is an argument to be made for living wage so regular working people would consider running for office, under the current pandemic and resulting economic meltdown that is simply not on the table.

    This city’s ever increasing appetite for tax revenue raises coupled with complete inability to attempt to take on even the most basic responsibilities of local government can only be rewarded with abstinence.

    Chase the mayor out of town. Disband the council. Base policy on facts and measurable outcome, not on good intentions or claims to ownership of perpetual virtue. In simpler terms: deeds not words, results not intentions.

  388. They do this Charlie Brown and football game every time and we fall for it. They use the words “such as” to strongly imply that the general fund revenues collected will go to a specific purpose “such as” yak shaving classes for deprived left handed cellists. But those words mean exactly nothing.

    You can even add a “panel of experts” or a “community process” as we have on infrastructure , homeless, and sugar tax measures. Doesn’t mean anything. Money in the general fund can be spent on salaries and pensions and the panel of experts can take their community process and shove it.

  389. Berkeleyside is just the local NPR. They carry the water for the pols under the guise of “news.”

  390. He’s crushing it. At least that’s what the toothless meth addict told me when I was down there looking for my son’s bike. She said, and I quote, “Jesse Is crushing it! I sell all the stolen bike parts in that tent, and when I can’t get bike parts, I perform “services” in that one, and then I score meth over there. After I shoot up, this place is the crown jewel of the Bay Area! For a while, and then it’s not and I hate myself. Rinse and repeat.”

  391. Take a moment and imagine if they only worked half time. Awesome, right??!!

    Do you think that would translate to doing half as much stupid $h!t?

    I like the idea of citizen servants. Not a red cent to the council. That would encourage one term and then they’d leave it for the next batch.

  392. You mean the same council that breaks own laws and when shit happens on city property they point fingers at others yet tax and fee the crap out of homeowners and businesses. I thought berk was on tight budget hm

  393. In San Francisco, when we went from the citywide election of Supervisors to district elections, there was a marked reduction in the quality of candidate.

    Likewise, when we gave the Supervisors a massive pay raise, it did not improve the quality of politician attracted to the job; nor the work that they actually did — in fact, the quality went down as there was a noticeable increase in grandstanding manifesting itself in the passing of irrelevant non-binding resolutions opining on all manner of national and international topics with absolutely no local relevance and other such non-mission critical baloney — all the while making absolutely no headway on a series of pressing/chronic issues facing the City.

    I’d say to Berkeley voters: Beware!

  394. The climate fund measure is structured just like the soda tax in 2016, which was also a general fund tax. The council has always spent soda tax revenues on anti-obesity programs, as intended.

    The Council and voters have repeatedly expressed their desire to act on global warming. So of course they will spend it as promised. A panel of citizen experts, of which there are many here in Berkeley, will guide the process.

  395. Yes, some of the stuff coming out of the mouths of the conservative members of the council remind me of Trump.

  396. I believe the comment about the rent board registration is off base. It’s not about money it’s about finding out information on the prices and vacancy rates for all those market rate units that the city has allowed to be built in the past 5 and 6 years. The mantra is the we need to build more housing because there’s a “shortage” yet it is common knowledge that many of those new building have plenty of empty units because the prices are so high. Plus as I understand it, the registration fee will not be as high as the current fee, which is according to rent board website $250 a year, a fraction of a month’s rent.

  397. It’s not that low considering we live in a tiny city where a third of the population are students, and frankly, there isn’t that much for city government to do. That they take on themselves to manufacture problems and get involved in all sorts meaningless feel-good things instead of the few things they are supposed to be doing is not really my problem.

  398. This is particularly bad form, even if higher pay rates are appropriate. I would like a comment from each council member why they’re asking for a pay raise at a time when Berkeleyans are losing jobs and businesses are closing throughout town at alarming rates.

    If this measure isn’t yanked, it’s a firing offense for the entire council. The more I think about the chutzpah, the madder I get. Do they really not understand how tough it is out here, and how much worse it’s going to get over the next 5-1/2 months?

  399. Don’t they also get the pensions and cadillac benefit plans? If so, the base salaries are the tip of the iceberg

  400. These folks are doing for the psychic income of being big fish in a little pond. You can’t compare it to someone who isn’t a pol

  401. In what way would you be qualified for this (barely an honorarium) job? Keep selling waterbeds until you can afford public service.

  402. I guess the position is designed for a breadwinner in a 3-person household. Seems reasonable.
    A monastic Jerry Brown type can bank the lagniappe.

  403. Maybe Berkeley doesn’t need a City Council. If only we could convince the current councilmembers how this idea is very progressive and will make headlines around the nation.

    Lol

  404. The Mayor and councilmembers also get FREE medical, FREE dental. This is a value of >$30K for a family.

  405. Why not just do the math and report that? It is a >75% increase.

    If Berkeley residents believe a 75% increase is fine in the midst of a pandemic and when businesses are shutting all over Berkeley, they’ll vote for it.

  406. No it is going into the general fund. Don’t expect any of it to go to green projects. The money is needed to pay for the salary raises.

  407. I believe that the $648K figure is adding up the combined proposed salaries of the city council members plus the mayor.

  408. Oh, so now being a mayor / councilcritter is a full time job? Dang, these folks have MUCH better crap than we had in the ’70s.

  409. They are able to work elsewhere, and they have failed pretty spectacularly at basic things like fixing roads, and more complex issues like homelessness. Still think they deserve raises? Please take a ride down University to the Marina and remember this is the area Jesse said he wanted to allocate millions to revitalizing and making the “crown jewel” of Berkeley.

  410. I’m not so sure about that, i think we’d end up with the”Rent Board” as our City Council.

  411. One correction and one addition to the description of the Climate Equity Action Fund.

    First, the funds would emphasize equity and benefits to low income households, but that would not be the sole focus. The main point is to cut global warming pollution from transportation and buildings, so think energy efficiency, bike shares, electric cars, and heat pumps. Cutting carbon with an equity benefit is the sweet spot.

    Second, the measure would exempt low income customers on the CARE and FERA rate discount programs from the utility tax entirely. They currently pay 7.5%. So it is a tax cut for low income households.

  412. It’s a train wreck, and I do not think they are doing a good job. But the job needs to pay better to attract better candidates. There’s no way I’d leave my job to make $100k.

  413. We need half the number of council members and we need to get rid of the ridiculous, gerrymandered districts and move to at-large representatives.

  414. While “Berkeley voters established the Police Review Commission in 1973” the will of those Berkeley voters was neutered when courts ruled that many of the powers given to the PRC by that 1973 law were not giveable: They were given to the City Manager under the City Charter and only an amendment to the City Charter, not just an ordinance, as was the 1973 initiative, could transfer those powers.

    Why it has taken decades since that court decision to get a Charter amendment on the ballot to do even part of what the people of Berkeley voted for in 1973 is beyond me, but here we are.

  415. Dear Council:
    Thank you for continuing to find new and creative ways to make Berkeley more and more unaffordable each and every year, while pretending to care about affordable housing. Thank you for being dedicated to no layoffs of any city employees, even those who no longer have any work to do. Thank you for continuing to give away millions of dollars, in cash and free rent, to the non-profits of your choosing. Thank you for letting us vote on bond measures to pay for services like lighting, sewers, and roads, that other cities pay for out of their general funds. Thank you for not paving the streets. Thank you for closing Willard pool. Thank you for allowing the marina and the pier to decay. Thank you for implementing a new more expensive system that will not allow many residents to renew residential parking permits online or by mail. Thank you for never answering the phone when a constituent calls. Thank you for almost never responding to any constituent emails. Thank you for being you! Please give yourselves a raise, you deserve it!

  416. I don’t know where you got the $648,092 a year from. Perhaps you should reread the article: “If adopted, the charter would recognize that serving as mayor and on the council are full-time jobs. The mayor would be paid $107,300 and council members would be paid $67,599.”
    I personally don’t mind the pay increase as long as the mayor and council members are not able to work anywhere else.

  417. Just what we’ve all been waiting for-Eight measures to increase spending, increase taxes, and increase the power of the city over our lives.
    My first impressions:
    Raising the Mayor and Councilperson’s salaries is the best idea of the bunch. Raising salaries means more incentive for folks of modest means to run for and hold office.
    No to rental registration-the Rent Board is a disgrace and already has way too much money to destroy a healthy rental market.
    Arguably the most offensive and regressive measure is the increase to utility taxes. Utility costs are already Sky High, and this tax will impact working class families the most.
    No on the Emergency Services tax, since most of it will go to further fatten the bloated Fire Department budget.
    If just the Wildfire Safety provisions were being voted on, I would approve it in a heartbeat, but this just more taxes for already overfunded services.
    The Best measure to vote against is the measure to re-approve many existing taxes. By voting no, one gets to see whether anything changes if funding is reduced. I bet no one will be able to tell the difference.
    Finally, why on earth does the last measure combine four completely unrelated issues to vote yes or no on?
    All one needs to vote no is to disapprove of any of the four, and I will simply make the case that living within 40 miles of Berkeley is not an onerous burden to our $300,000 Firefighters. They can already live as far away as Fairfield, Novato, Fremont, Pleasanton, Redwood City, etc. Isn’t that far enough?

  418. I am resisting the urge to use all caps to type this because I am in fact SCREAMING at my computer screen. It is so revolting, and beyond comprehension that in the middle of a pandemic, when the city faces huge shortages, and when the council has failed to deliver on any promises they have made, that these incredible #$%#^#^%$ think they deserve a pay raise?
    As for the rest of it… uh…NO, everyone is struggling enough unless the council hasn’t realized we are in a pandemic, which has greatly impacted nearly everyone’s income, and for now NO ON ALL OF IT, is the only sensible thing to do.

  419. I say the audacity instead boot them out pay raises lol not only no pay raises pay back money received for joke of council. City council is a joke. I beg south park dudes to do whole season based off berkeley.

  420. “The proposal to make the change pointed out that the mayor’s salary approximates that “of a very low income households of three persons.” But…he is ONE person.

  421. Thank you Frances! This kind of reporting is why I’m a Berkeleyside member (paying an annual donation). There is too much going on in Berkeley for me to keep track of amid all the “bad” news nationally and about COVID-19. I imagine there will be robust debate about all of the ballot measures, but its great to have a baseline to keep track of the “big picture” in the upcoming election. I wish others in the “Commentariat” would financially support Berkeleyside local news reporting, as well as sharing their opinions. This would be for the benefit of us all.

  422. Because it goes into a special fund, I think it would need 2/3 majority to pass. Is that right?

    Increase utility users’ tax on gas and electricity consumption
    …The money would go into a Climate Equity Action Fund.

  423. There are so many problems with several of these, it’s hard to know where to begin. But why in God’s name would a City the size of Berkeley want to pay $648,092 a year for the Mayor and City Council? Does anyone – ANYONE – believe that we get $648,000 worth of value from their shenanigans? It’s completely ridiculous and completely out of step with how similar sized cities pay their CC members. Do we really want to make it possible for City Council members to focus full time on their bizarre agendas? I think it’s actually a good thing that Council members have to hold other jobs – keeps them grounded. The idea of paying people like Davila and Harrison even what they are making now makes me nauseous. No way I’d support an increase for any of those clowns.

  424. This council and mayor have no shame, proposing new taxes and pay raises during a pandemic and near-depression.

  425. Editors, edit needed and if the City uses this same language in the ballot argument it would be misleading.

    “The proposal to make the change pointed out that the mayor’s salary approximates that “of a very low income households of three persons.” Council salaries approximate those of “extremely low-income households.”

    https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines

    Extremely low income is essentially SSI level income.

  426. The timing on the salary increases and uber surcharge seems bad. I would agree that $60K to be mayor is low, but is this the right moment to correct that? And ride sharing companies are tanking right now – what use is a $.50 tax on nothing? maybe most of this was in place long before march, but given this moment much of these seem tone deaf.