The Lowdown: Berkeley council on budget, elections, minimum wage, new emergency response boat

Berkeley began using automated single-operator garbage trucks as a cost-saving measure in late 2012. Photo: City of Berkeley
Berkeley began using single-operator garbage trucks to save money in late 2012, but a fee increase is still needed. Photo: City of Berkeley

On May 20, the Berkeley City Council is scheduled to finalize its plans to raise the minimum wage, set its November 2014 election plans in place, and hold a public hearing on the city budget. There’s also a special session at 5:30 p.m. on charity care and community benefits at Alta Bates. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see how to weigh in, even if you can’t attend.

On the action calendar

Council is set to hold public hearings related to the upcoming fiscal year’s budget (Item 28) and consider fee adjustments, including a 25% garbage fee hike (Item 27). Read more about the city budget and garbage fees on Berkeleyside.

Proposed ballot measures for November (Items 33-34), a new location for council meetings (Item 31) and a new median garden project on Sacramento Street (Item 32) are also set for possible action. Proposed ballot measures include a soda tax and a parks tax and bond. Read more about the November 2014 election.

Councilmen Jesse Arreguín and Laurie Capitelli have also submitted an item that would allow voters to create an independent redistricting commission in November (Item 35), and Councilman Kriss Worthington is pushing a proposal for a measure related to publicly financed elections (Item 36).


Other items of interest

On consent: The council is set to approve on second reading its new minimum wage ordinance (which Berkeleyside covered earlier this month) and authorize up to $150,000 to help the city buy an “emergency response boat.” See the full consent calendar here.

Information reports: Berkeley is set to receive a good chunk of money from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission for Bay Trail improvements, and the city is looking at a possible new zoning designation — in line with state legislation — to encourage urban farming.

One special session

At 5:30 p.m., public health staffers will present a report to explain requirements tied to Alta Bates Summit Medical Center’s tax-exempt status, with a focus on the facility’s community benefits and charity care provided to Berkeley residents. The report is a follow-up to a July 2013 report before council during which city officials wanted more information on those efforts. Read the full report here.

Meeting details

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:
@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.

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

Related:
Berkeley council on minimum wage, Tasers, ballot measures, budget, pedestrian safety (05.06.14)
Berkeley council on redistricting, drones, affordable housing, mini-dorms, more (04.29.14)
Berkeley council on minimum wage increase, mini-dorms, ballot measures, more (04.01.14)
Berkeley council hears crime report, Aquatic Park plans, new Comal project appeal, more (03.25.14)
Berkeley council on Starbucks, redistricting… global warming warning labels? (03.11.14)
Berkeley council on redistricting, garbage fee hike, budget, pensions, false alarms, more (02.25.14)
Berkeley council on parks funding, 2014 elections, youth on drugs, rodent infestation (02.10.14)
Berkeley council on historic overlay, mini-dorms, violence prevention, 2020 Vision (02.28.14)

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