The Berkeley Wire: 04.04.12

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  • PragmaticProgressive

    That poll is a big story.

    The analysis of the results left out the serious skepticism often voiced here about te city’s management of current revenues. Giving them more money when they’ve been irresponsible with what is already collected is not on my todo list.

  • I’m Jes’ Sayin’

    “Rephrase the question to get the answers that we want.”  Really?  What part of “no” do they fail to understand?

  • EBGuy

    Honestly, though, the Executive Director of the Rent Board is underpaid at a salary of $179,886.  Please, tax me more.  Or at least close down some more pools to give him a raise.

  • The Sharkey

    Holy hell. I bet he gets a fat pension and bennies packet too.

  • The Sharkey

    I’m really surprised Berkeleyside isn’t dedicating more space to this subject, especially since the City spent $24,000 on this poll. I probably wouldn’t have even followed the link if I hadn’t read your comment.

    The people of Berkeley have spoken loud and clear to city leaders: No new taxes.

    Even the famously left-leaning city has its limits, apparently. A recent poll of 430 residents likely to vote in the November election told city leaders they won’t get the necessary two-thirds approval to raise property taxes to fund any of the $500 million needed to upgrade the city’s infrastructure such as roads, swimming pools, storm drains and buildings.Residents’ attitudes about the direction of the local economy weighed heavily on their answers to the $24,000 poll conducted in March, a pollster told City Council members Tuesday evening.

    “It doesn’t appear we have a package that is an easy win at this point,” David Mermin of Lake Research Partners told council members. ” In terms of the local economy, 45 percent say it’s staying the same, which is a fairly negative view because the economy has been so lousy for the last
    few years and 17 percent think it is getting worse. Thirty-four percent said the local economy is getting better.”

  • The Sharkey

    I guess in Berkeley, “No.” means “Maybe.”

  • The Sharkey

    Some more information from the Berkeley Daily Planet article about this poll:

    Before asking likely voters if they’re willing to pay higher taxes to
    fund more Berkeley police officers, the pollsters conducting the
    follow-up survey in May should inform respondents that in fiscal year
    2012, Berkeley police officers’ average salary was $125,652; that their
    benefits (pension, health insurance plus workers comp) averaged 74% of
    their salary or $92,242; and that their total compensation averaged
    $217,894 a year.

    Indeed, before posing any questions at all about
    new taxes, the pollsters should tell respondents that last November
    former city Manager Phil Kamlarz retired with an annual pension of
    $250,000, joining 74 other city of Berkeley retirees who are getting
    pensions over $100,000.

    Also they should state that according to data obtained by the San Jose Mercury,
    in 2010 over a quarter of city of Berkeley employees—380 out of
    1,529—had a base salary over $100,000; and that when cash payments,
    including overtime, are added, 30% of city staff landed in the $100 K
    club—and that’s not counting their fringe benefits. Mention, too, that
    personnel costs account for 77% of city expenses.—By-Zelda-Bronstein