The City Council formally meets twice tonight, first in a special meeting to consider the budget shortfall, and then in a regular council meeting. Tomorrow night, there is another special meeting to consider the phase 1 priority recommendations for 2020 Vision.

At 5:30 p.m. tonight, a worksession of the council will look at proposed balancing measures to deal with the fiscal year 2010 structural deficit, caused by the shortfall in the city’s Refuse Fund. The balancing proposals consist of three parts:

  • Measures for new and increased revenues
  • Reduced costs through operational changes for solid waste and recycling operations
  • Borrowings of $6 million, consisting of $2 million each from the Capital Improvement Fund, the Worker’s Compensation Fund and the Equipment Replacement Fund, with annual payback of $1 million with interest

A key part of the reduced cost plan is a move to single-person trucks, on an incremental basis starting in the next fiscal year. There are also a raft of proposals for reduced overtime and slimmer staffing. The major revenue increase would raise $1.5 million through a new regulatory fee for recycling.  The full 16-page proposal can be seen on the council website.

The regular council meeting will convene at 7 p.m. Tonight’s lengthy agenda consists of 43 items. Interest is likely to center on the presentation and discussion of the locally preferred alternative on bus rapid transit (BRT — large PDF alert, a mere 387 pages). Alan Tobey discussed the project the other week on Berkeleyside.

There is also a resolution proposing support for Walter Hood’s Center Street conceptual design, detailed yesterday on Berkeleyside. The resolution is proposed by Councilmembers Jesse Arreguin, Linda Maio and Kriss Worthington.

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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...