CityCity

The Lowdown: Berkeley council on parks funding, 2014 elections, youth on drugs, rodent infestation

The Berkeley City Council meets Tuesday nights at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Photo: Emilie Raguso
The Berkeley City Council meets Tuesday nights at 2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way. Photo: Emilie Raguso

Berkeleyside is experimenting with a brief overview in advance of each Berkeley City Council meeting, time allowing, after taking inspiration from the East Bay Citizen, an independent local news site to the south. Click the links below for related materials and staff reports to learn more.

Special session on Berkeley parks funding, facilities

Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council has scheduled a special session, beginning at 5:30 p.m., to take a closer look at funding and facilities related to Berkeley parks and recreation. There are three items on the agenda: a report on funding; a facilities assessment; and a discussion about possible ballot measures, as well as a community survey, expected to come later this year. Willard Pool supporters are expected in droves. Read more on Berkeleyside about prior parks funding discussions here.

What’s on the regular agenda?

During its regular session at 7 p.m., council is slated to take action on several items. Among them, a public hearing is scheduled about summer camp fees at Echo Lake Camp. There are also two charter amendments that are under consideration, as well as talks about potential upcoming ballot measures, all of which are related to the November 2014 election.

An Alameda County ballot box. Photo: Joe Hall
An Alameda County ballot box. Photo: Joe Hall

Elections 2014 charter amendments, ballot measures: What it means The council will consider two amendments to the city charter, which were submitted by City Clerk Mark Numainville. One of the amendments relates to the city’s recall process, and the other deals with council vacancies. The current city charter includes rules that could lead to an expensive special election — costing $300,000 — if certain issues arise related to a recall election or council vacancies. Proposed changes could negate that possibility, city officials say. In a separate item, council is also scheduled to discuss programs it may wish to consider funding through a revenue measure — or measures — on the November 2014 ballot. A community survey related to those programs is projected to cost $29,000. A final decision on ballot measures is scheduled for July 24.


Summer camp fees: What it means Following last summer’s devastating fire at Tuolumne Family Camp, the city plans to hold a replacement program at Echo Lake Camp. Fees for the new program will be discussed and may be set. City staff project a shortfall in the city’s camp fund, and hope the Echo Lake program will generate much-needed revenue, according to the staff report.

Other items of interest

From Ohlone Park in Berkeley: This squirrel had just found a nut in a tree and buried it shortly afterwards. Photo: Derrick Coetzee
Photo: Derrick Coetzee

On the consent calendar: the sale of the city’s old animal shelter for $1.2 million; loan forgiveness to BOSS for $785,947; and the approval of up to $1.8 million in payments related to Measure M projects, along with another $1.8 million for street rehabilitation.

There are also two information reports, which generally are not discussed. One is related to substance abuse by youth at Civic Center Park, and the other deals with how to control the ground squirrel and gopher population at Cesar Chavez Park.

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 details

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 the city council meetings live on Twitter. Others sometimes do the same and the discussion can get lively! Follow council coverage on Twitter via hashtag #berkmtg. Follow along in real-time here, and tag your tweets with #berkmtg to join in.


Council-related Twitter handles:
@MayorTomBates; @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.

Is there something else on the agenda that’s caught your interest? Please let us know in the comments below.

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