Tag Archives: Mary Kay Clunies-Ross

Layoffs, fee increases proposed for 2012 budget

Mary Kay Clunies-Ross and Phil Kamlarz at city budget briefing
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In order to close a $12.2 million deficit next year – and a projected $13.3 million deficit in 2013  – the city of Berkeley will eliminate 79 positions, cut services, and may raise fees on garbage collection, marina rentals, senior center rentals, and permit inspection fees.

The city may even ask voters to approve a new parcel tax to pay for road and building improvements.

The suggestions are part of the two-year budget City Manager Phil Kamlarz will present to the City Council tonight. And, while the news is gloomy, it is a slightly better forecast than in March, when the city thought it was facing a $12.5 million deficit.

“This is the longest and deepest depression we have had in the last 25 to 30 years,” Kamlarz said at a press briefing on Tuesday.

The city has eliminated 130 positions in the last two years but must cut deeper to balance the $320 million budget for fiscal 2012 and the $311 million budget for fiscal 2013, said Kamlarz. Of the 79 positions that will be eliminated, 57 will be cut in 2012 and 22 will be cut in 2013. Because the city has not been filling vacant positions, 26 people will lose their jobs next year and 18 the year after. … Continue reading »

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Fire and police officials earn more than Berkeley managers

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If you are looking for a job in Berkeley, steer clear of City Hall. Instead, head on over to the fire or police department. They pay way more.

In an analysis of public employee salaries, the Bay Area Newspaper Group determined that at least 35 fire and police officials make more than most of City Hall’s top managers, including the Director of Planning and the Director of Public Works. Only City Manager Phil Kamlarz is in the uppermost echelon.

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Why doesn’t the city of Berkeley have a Facebook page?

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When a hit-and-run driver mowed down a pedestrian at the intersection of Market and O’Farrell streets in San Francisco on February 25, the police department sent out a call for witnesses on its Facebook page, which has about 3,000 fans.

When a woman wearing nurses’ scrubs stole a wallet and used a pilfered credit card soon after, the Boynton Beach police department posted a photo on its Facebook page – and then tweeted the news release.

Police agencies around the country are turning to social media to get the word out about crime and collect tips from local residents. So why doesn’t Berkeley, a city that has made a practice of democratizing its processes as much as possible, use Facebook, Twitter or other forms of social media? … Continue reading »

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Lucky Dog pet store is shut down

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The owner of Lucky Dog pet store lost his bid to keep his San Pablo Avenue store open for a few days longer so he could find homes for the chickens, pigeons, fish, turtles, rabbit, and guinea pig he had for sale.

After a judge in Alameda County Superior Court refused to grant an extension, Bobby Rostam stayed up all night on Wednesday clearing out his space at 2154 San Pablo in anticipation of getting locked out of the building by the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department at 6:01 am today.

Rostam managed to find homes for most of the animals except the chickens and pigeons, he said. He had been planning to transfer them to his home and had started to construct a foundation for the coops, but was informed by the property manager that he would be charged $115 a day for every day the birds remained on the premises, he said. … Continue reading »

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