Tag Archives: Jacquelyn McCormick

Soda tax, school board race, open council seat bring campaign cash to Berkeley

The proponents of a tax on soda kicked off their campaign on Aug. 2. Photo: Berkeley vs Big Soda
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The lure of an open Berkeley City Council seat has turned the race to replace Gordon Wozniak in November into a big bucks proposition.

The District 8 race for Wozniak’s position, the city’s proposed sugar-sweetened beverage tax on distributors and the Berkeley School Board race — with four people vying for three seats — are already bringing in significant campaign contributions as the November 2014 election approaches.

Read Berkeleyside’s 2014 election coverageContinue reading »

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Berkeley parks advocates push back after council drops bond from November ballot

The Berkeley rose garden pergola needs major repairs and has been closed to park visitors since April. Photo: Daniel Parks
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The public dismay was palpable last month when the Berkeley City Council decided, in a surprise move, to put a parks tax before voters this fall without a related bond measure that would have infused parks and pools around the city with much-needed cash, reversing an earlier vote on the items.

The $1.7 million parks tax, if approved by voters, would essentially maintain the status quo for maintenance and staffing needs, and cost the owner of an average-size home an additional $43 a year. (That same homeowner already pays about $240 a year for the existing parks tax.)

Had it gone to voters, the proposed $20 million parks bond could have helped re-open Willard Pool, improve the King and West Campus pools, put millions toward Aquatic Park, James Kenney Park and the much-loved rose garden, and repair tennis courts and ballfields around the city, in addition to addressing other significant needs. (See a financial breakdown of several possible iterations of the bond and tax proposal.)

The city estimated that the joint bond and tax measure would have added just $15 more than the tax alone to the bill for owners of an average Berkeley home, defined by the city as 1,900 square feet. … Continue reading »

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3, maybe 4, candidates vie for Wozniak’s council seat

Elmwood by Sharon Hahn Darlin
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UPDATE, 05.15.14: George Beier has announced he will be running for the District 8 council seat following the April 30 confirmation of which redistricting map the city will be using.

ORIGINAL STORY: Three candidates — with a fourth waiting in the wings — have taken out papers to run for Berkeley City Council’s District 8 seat that has been held by Councilman Gordon Wozniak for three terms.

Mike Alvarez Cohen, Lori Droste, and Jacquelyn McCormick have all filed to run in November for the seat. George Beier, who three times ran in District 7 against Councilman Kriss Worthington, may join the race depending on the final outcome of new City Council district boundaries. A court is expected to rule on those boundaries on April 30. (Update: A Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of the council-majority-approved redistricting map, which would allow Beier to enter the District 8 race. Learn more about the ruling here.) … Continue reading »

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News

Locals, city fight on to stop sale of Berkeley post office

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The local group protesting the sale of the downtown Berkeley post office building says it will continue its fight after United States Postal Service turned down its appeal that it not sell its Renaissance-style building at 2000 Allston Way. And a Berkeley councilman is trying to give USPS pause, if not prevent the sell-off, with a proposal that would limit the building’s use post-sale.

“We are poised and ready to file an injunction,” said Jacquelyn McCormick, Executive Director of the National Post Office Collaborative, who said USPS needs to post the property for sale before they can take that action. Meanwhile, McCormick says she fears developers and potential buyers are probably already in “behind-the-scene” negotiations to buy the building.

In a statement released on July 18, USPS Facilities Vice-President Tom Samra affirmed USPS’s decision to relocate the retail services located at Allston Way. USPS said “the concerns expressed by the community did not outweigh the dire financial circumstances” facing the postal service, and that there was “no basis to set aside the April 19, 2013 decision regarding relocation of the Berkeley post office.” The determination is final, it concluded. … Continue reading »

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Op-Ed: Berkeley must keep the one fair redistricting map in play

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Not so very long ago, Berkeley proclaimed itself to be a “City of Neighborhoods.” Not so much now. Under the quiet and persistent guidance of the present Mayor and Council, policy and practice emphasis has steadily shifted away from neighborhoods — their well-being and preservation — to developing density and allowing increased project size and bulk.

This point was driven home on May 7, 2013 when the Council approved a motion by Council Member Gordon Wozniak (seconded by Darryl Moore) … Continue reading »

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After loss, mayoral candidates say voters want change

JacquelynMcCormick
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Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates may have won re-election Tuesday, but his challengers say their campaigns still made a difference.

Councilman Kriss Worthington, second place finisher, said he knew the odds were daunting.

“I knew that running against an incumbent with a lot of money who had been in office for 34 years was not a cake walk,” he said. “But I also knew that allowing it to be a coronation where he got 70% or 75% of the votes would mean the drift to the right might continue.”

Worthington had garnered 21.2% of the vote as of Wednesday evening, with perhaps as many as 20,000 ballots still to be counted.

Jacquelyn McCormick, who had 11.3% of the votes by yesterday, and came in third in the mayoral race, said she felt the re-election of Mayor Bates spelled bad news for Berkeley. Reading Mayor Bates’ comments in Berkeleyside yesterday, she said, it was “hard to take his arrogance.” “We need change. [Bates] is pushing an agenda on the backs of everyone who lives in this city.” … Continue reading »

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Ranked choice creates uncertainty in mayoral race

Kriss Worthinton (l) and Tom Bates (r) sit next to one another at city council meetings but are facing off against one another in the 2012 mayoral race. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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Tom Bates’ fourth race for Berkeley mayor has a different dynamic to the previous three. In all of those contests, he faced a single major challenger: Shirley Dean in 2002 and 2008, and Zelda Bronstein in 2006. He won comfortably each time; the closest vote was in 2002, when he beat Dean by 5,000 votes, 55% to 43%.

But this year there are two organized challengers, Jacquelyn McCormick and Kriss Worthington, and, equally important, the new system of ranked choice voting (RCV). If the challengers (along with long shots Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi, Zachary Runningwolf and Bernt Wahl) can keep Bates’ tally below 50% plus one vote, then RCV will be used to produce an instant runoff. … Continue reading »

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5 Berkeley mayoral candidates face off at local forum

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Five of Berkeley’s six mayoral candidates faced off on Monday night in a bid to persuade a slice of the Berkeley populace that they were best suited to lead the city for the next four years.

No one issue dominated the discussions, but some of those being debated included the proposed sidewalk sitting ordinance, the city’s unfunded liabilities and how it spends its money, how to boost business locally, the town-gown relationship, and the achievement gap in the school system.

An estimated 150 people turned out to St John’s Presbyterian Church in Berkeley on an unusually warm evening to hear incumbent Mayor Tom Bates and challengers Council Member Kriss Worthington, local business woman Jacquelyn McCormick, Cal adjunct professor Bernt Wahl, and activist Zachary RunningWolf, share their vision and address questions from a panel of journalists as well as from the audience. (The sixth registered candidate, Kahlil Jacobs-Fantauzzi, did not attend.) … Continue reading »

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Jacquelyn McCormick vows to be a more inclusive mayor

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The interior of Jacquelyn McCormick’s Berkeley hills home looks like it could be in the glossy pages of a lifestyle magazine.

An enormous mirror reflects the image of visitors who walk into the entry hall of the house, the remnant of the four-acre Henry Taylor estate that once sprawled across the ridge. To the right is a spacious living room (a former ballroom in the estate’s heyday), with a large fireplace, a comfortable seating arrangement, a grand piano, and art work done by McCormick’s stepdaughter, Alexandra Salkin.

The fact that the interior of McCormick’s home is arresting isn’t so surprising, given that she became an interior designer in 2002 after a long career managing commercial real estate for banks. What’s surprising is that McCormick, 58, has done much of the work on the house herself.

When she and her husband, Michael Salkin, a former UC Berkeley economist turned portfolio manager for Morgan Stanley, bought the house on The Uplands in 2004, it was a mess. The house hadn’t been touched since the 1930s and there was six inches of standing water in the basement. McCormick got busy. She painted the living room walls and fireplace with a lime wash, which produced a pleasing variegated effect. She found a bathroom console at Omega Salvage and put the legs on herself. She added molding to the kitchen and installed a slate mosaic around the stove. … Continue reading »

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Unfunded liabilities prompt initiative, council resolution

Measure M will provide more funds for improving streets, but it still will fall short of the need. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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A ballot initiative to force the city to do biennial reports on obligations for employee and retiree expenses and for Berkeley’s physical infrastructure and capital assets appears likely to appear on the ballot in the November election, according to supporters of the plan. At the same time, at tonight’s City Council meeting a similar measure is being proposed by four councilmembers, led by District 5′s Laurie Capitelli. The council measure, however, lacks the penalties for failing to produce the report that the initiative draft contains.

The ballot initiative is called the Berkeley Fiscal Accountability, Clarity, Transparency and Sustainability Ordinance of 2012, which shortens to FACTS. It would require biennial reports on the city’s financial obligations for the next 20 years, and would prohibit the City Council or the voters from “incurring any debt financing, or imposing any new tax, assessment or property-related fee, or increasing any existing tax, assessment or property-related fee, or scheduling an election to impose or increase and tax, assessment or property-related fee” unless the report required in the ordinance has been published and certified. … Continue reading »

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Government

Election 2010: Counting the signs

Yard sign for Stewart Jones
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With the election little more than a week away, local campaigns can be frustrating for political junkies. There are no polls for amateur Nate Silvers to pore over, no phalanx of commentators wondering about every slip or coup, no barrage of television ads to sift. So how can we take the temperature before election day?

I spent part of this morning wandering around the streets of my district, District 8, where incumbent Gordon Wozniak is facing challengers Stewart Jones … Continue reading »

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News

City Council candidates respond to your questions

Stewart Jones
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Berkeleyside recently sent all the candidates for the City Council a set of questions, partly based on the suggestions our readers provided. Candidates are running in Districts 1, 4, 7 and 8.

Of the 13 active candidates in the four districts, we received responses from six: Linda Maio in \District 1, Jim Novosel in District 4, Kriss Worthington and George Beier in District 7, and Gordon Wozniak and Jacquelyn McCormick in District 8. A seventh candidate, Merrilie Mitchell in District 1, replied to our email saying she did not like the questions. If we hear from the remaining candidates before the election, we’ll add their responses.

The East Bay Express recently ran a good summary article on all the candidates and their stances on some major issues.

These were our questions to the candidates:

  1. What are your ideas for fixing “Berkeley process” to make it more efficient, genuinely more representative and less intimidating?
  2. In some ways Berkeley is two towns — the flatlands and the hills. What are your ideas to better integrate our two communities?
  3. While many efforts are concentrating on reviving the downtown as a desirable destination, Telegraph Avenue’s decline continues seemingly unabated. What would you recommend to get Telegraph on a positive track?
  4. Are current salary and benefits for city employees sustainable? If not, what do you suggest we do about future employee contracts?
  5. What do you think needs to be done to achieve Berkeley’s Climate Action Plan?
  6. What is the single most important issue today in your district?

We didn’t give candidates a word count, but for those who asked, the answer was that space on the Internet isn’t limited, but readers’ attention spans are. We haven’t edited the responses in any way. We’ve listed the answers by district and, within districts, in alphabetical order. Read the candidates’ answers below the fold. … Continue reading »

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