In the face of the climate crisis and COVID-19 economic and health crisis, we can ill-afford new taxes that fail to produce meaningful results.
Opinion: Berkeley prioritizes employee benefits over capital improvements
Unfunded liabilities for infrastructure needs now exceed unfunded liabilities for employee pensions. Why, then, does the City Council prioritize paying down pensions rather than fixing roads and sidewalk?
Opinion: 10 reasons to vote ‘no’ on Measure O, the $135M affordable housing bond
Measure O will fail to make a dent in the housing crisis; it promises more than it can deliver. It will also be a burden on homeowners who already pay for 6 local bonds and 9 different parcel taxes/fees.
Opinion: Pension obligations damage Berkeley’s finances
Berkeley owes $640M in pension obligations, which means Berkeley has to funnel funds toward that rather than fixing its parks, piers, and roads. Our leaders must address this.
Opinion: What Elisa Cooper taught me about the history of the affordable housing shortage
The Council is reneging on its 2006 pledge to divert all excess property taxes into an affordable housing fund. In 2017, $7M went into the Capital Improvement budget instead.
Opinion: City manager must be more forthright in answering questions about the fiscal impact of adding new employees
Berkeley has hired 73 new employees in the past three years. Before it adds any more, officials must understand and reveal what the long term costs will be.
Op-ed: Berkeley’s streets continue to deteriorate despite millions spent from Measure M
Berkeley voters must demand greater fiscal accountability on how the city spends bond monies.
Op-ed: Why undergrounding utilities is not the answer to earthquake and firestorm safety
With the anniversaries of the Loma Prieta earthquake and the Oakland-Berkeley Firestorm occurring in the middle of a “hot” election, there’s been much discussion about safety in the hills. Councilwoman Susan Wengraf has made this a key issue in her bid for re-election to the Council for District 6, by promising to “underground all utilities in […]
Op-ed: Berkeley needs to spend money to upgrade earthquake shelters
On the evening of Jan. 19, Timothy Burroughs, Berkeley’s chief resilience officer, delivered a presentation to city council on the seismic upgrade needs of the City’s seven “city care and shelter sites”. City care and shelter sites are sites that provide “regular day-to-day services but also serve as a care and shelter service in times […]
Op-ed: Berkeley’s ancient ruins — A photo essay
On July 1, 2014, the recently retired Director of Public Works, Andrew Clough, gave a somber presentation to City Council on the condition of facilities in Berkeley. The information report accompanying his presentation stated the following: “During the past 25 years, the City has deferred maintenance on many City buildings, decreasing the value of the assets […]
Op-ed: City manager’s departure is big blow to Berkeley
The North East Berkeley Association (NEBA) recently convened a board meeting for the express purpose of discussing the sudden resignation of the City Manager Christine Daniel. We believe the loss to the city of Ms. Daniel reflects a very serious and growing problem within our city government. Although we did not always agree with Ms. […]
Op-ed: The decay of Berkeley’s infrastructure
On May 12, the city of Berkeley’s budget manager, Teresa Berkeley-Simmons, will present to city council the proposed spending over the next five years for capital improvements. This includes money to be spent on sidewalks, streets, parks, storm drains, sewers, and transportation such as bike improvement projects. Between 2016 and 2020, Berkeley plans to decrease […]