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

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

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

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