Berkeley City Council, May 2014. Photo: Emilie Raguso
The Berkeley City Council meets Tuesdays in Old City Hall. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Scroll down to learn about the highlights of this week’s Berkeley City Council agenda.

The special session: Disaster preparedness

At 5:30 p.m., Berkeley Fire Chief Gil Dong will give an overview to council about the city’s approach to disaster preparedness and emergency management. (It’s good timing, as the city just held its annual community-wide disaster preparedness training day Saturday.) The report from Dong also serves as training for council about the role it must play during a disaster. The packet includes a 30-page report called “Resilience in Berkeley: Highlights from 25 years of community support.” Read the report.

The action calendar

There are nine items on the action calendar, including a public hearing to set up long-term parking at a lot adjacent to a vacant building in South Berkeley that may be on the verge of a comeback, the consideration of the installation of AED devices in city buildings in the next fiscal year, and a modification to the municipal code related to the sales of alcohol.

There are also a handful of items from council members, most of which are old business. Those include the consideration of new ambulances as a budget priority, the implementation of a neighborhood notification system, and fees related to tenant screening, vacancy registration and commercial district stabilization.

Councilman Kriss Worthington has a new item on the agenda to ask the city to create promotional materials to alert potential renters and buyers to a range of improvements on Telegraph Avenue (which is part of his district).

As a side note, there are two information reports on the agenda related to some of the items above. (Council takes comment on information items during the consent calendar public comment period.)

Those interested in emergency alerts should check out this round-up of offerings on the city website. A PDF brochure about emergency alerts is posted online, too. In addition to those options, a county-wide alert system is slated to go into effect by July 2015, according to an information report from the fire chief that’s also on the agenda. That integrated system will allow the issuance of alerts to mobile phones based on the real-time location of users. The county plans to pay for the first year of that system through grant funding, but may require Berkeley to chip in down the line to continue to participate.

There’s also a report from the Berkeley Fire Department about a new pilot project to add a fourth ambulance to the city’s rotation, which is expected to bring in more money to the city and decrease potential costs — slated to rise — related to the use of ambulances from other agencies. The department plans to use overtime to staff the ambulance, but that is expected to be offset by the department’s increased capacity to handle calls. No staff are slated to be added as a result.

There are 26 items on the consent calendar, most of which include lease agreements with tenants of city property, and agreements with surrounding cities related to fire and emergency services.

Councilwoman Linda Maio is asking for a traffic plan in the Westbrae neighborhood and Councilman Jesse Arreguín would like two commissions to look at whether local landlords should rethink “no pet” policies.

Meeting info

Follow live tweets of the Berkeley Council meeting by clicking the image above. Join in by tagging your tweets #berkmtg.
Follow live tweets of the Berkeley Council meeting by clicking the image above. Join in by tagging your tweets #berkmtg.

The Berkeley City Council meets Tuesday nights at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Special sessions generally take place at 5:30 p.m. and regular meetings begin at 7 p.m. Council agendas are available online here. Watch the meetings online here.

Berkeleyside often covers council meetings live on Twitter. Others sometimes do the same and the discussion can get spirited. Follow council coverage on Twitter via hashtag #berkmtg. Follow along in real-time here, and tag your tweets with #berkmtg to join in. You do not need a Twitter account to follow along. Just click here.

Council-related Twitter handles:
@LindaMaio (District 1)
Darryl Moore @BerkCouncil (District 2)
@JesseArreguin (District 4)
Laurie Capitelli @berkcap (District 5)
Kriss Worthington @k__worthington (District 7)
Gordon Wozniak @Gordon_Wozniak (District 8)

Learn more about the Berkeley City Council and how to connect with local representatives via the city website.

Has something else on the agenda caught your interest? Let us know in the comments.

Council on racial discrimination, Parker Place, curbside EV charging grant, more (10.07.14)
Council on homelessness, ride-sharing, minimum wage, solar bins, more (09.29.14)
Council on crime, homeless youth, Telegraph Channing merchants, more (09.15.14)
Council on civic center overlay, cellphone safety stickers, e-cigarettes, parking, more (09.08.14)
Council on South Berkeley pizza plans, e-cigarettes, water shortage, more (07.08.14)
Council on soda tax, medical cannabis, minimum wage task force, BART plaza (07.01.14)
Council on ballot measures, downtown post office, FY2015 budget (06.24.14)

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...