Tag Archives: Mayor Tom Bates
Bearing 13 indestructible soccer balls, toys, shampoo, conditioner, and a bunch of T-shirts, Mayor Tom Bates and his wife, State Senator Loni Hancock, recently visited Palma Soriano, Berkeley’s sister city in Cuba.
The soccer balls were the biggest hit.
As soon as Bates, Hancock and the four others in their group arrived at Haydee Tamara Bunke Bider Middle School (named after Che Guevara’s translator), they pulled out the bright blue balls made by Berkeley’s One World Futbol Project. Bates started to play with one ball and even threw a few hoops with it, prompting the students to surge down the school steps and out onto the play yard. … Continue reading »
Berkeley in 2012 was filled with drama — a contested election, a failed nomination for a new school superintendent, a few missteps by the Chief of Police, and major changes at the University of California, among other events. Here’s a recap of the issues that had the deepest impact on Berkeley, plus a few fun ones thrown in.
The year got off to a tragic start with the untimely death of 37-year-old City Clerk Deanna Despain. She fell down the stairs of her Oakland home on Jan. 8. Her husband discovered her body when he returned from a late-night meeting. Their daughter was soundly asleep upstairs. Since then, Mark Numainville has been filling in as acting city clerk. In May, after serving as interim city manager for six months, the City Council appointed Christine Daniel permanently to the job. She replaced Phil Kamlarz, who had held the city’s top job for eight years. … Continue reading »
The future of Telegraph Avenue was the focus of a special work session of Berkeley’s City Council on Tuesday evening. Where most discussions of Telegraph concentrate on the many problems of the area — declining retail sales, vacant lots, troubling street behavior — Tuesday was filled with positive images and ideas for the avenue.
At the center of the discussions was one concrete project — the University of California Berkeley’s Lower Sproul Plaza redevelopment — and one ambitious series of new ideas, created by Berkeley Design Advocates following their design charrette last April. … Continue reading »
Mayor Tom Bates is moving away from City Councilman Kriss Worthington. Not politically. Just physically.
Bates has put an item on Tuesday’s council agenda to change the seating arrangements of city council members on the dais. Worthington currently sits on Bates’ right. The mayor wants to move him one seat away and have his ally, Councilman Laurie Capitelli, sit next to him.
When asked why he wants Worthington to move, Bates half-joked, “So I don’t strangle him.” … Continue reading »
Interactive map with precinct-by-precinct results for Measure S. Click the green arrows to conceal info boxes. View the map on Geocommons here.
Although most of the results of Berkeley’s 2012 election were known on Nov. 6, and the final tally completed over a week ago, an analysis of the precinct-by-precinct certified results provides a number of fascinating insights.
(The certified results were released by the Alameda County Registrar of Voters just before Thanksgiving last week – the full 9MB 748-page statement of vote is available for download, but only as a PDF, not as a useful data file.) … Continue reading »
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 »
On the surface, the local Berkeley vote appears to provide an echo of the national election story: after all the activity, accusations and counter-accusations, inside money and outside money, the city is about where it was before election day.
Many provisional and mail ballots have yet to be counted, but if the results don’t shift significantly, just about all of the incumbents were re-elected (only the Rent Board remains in doubt) and the majority on the City Council still sides with fourth term Mayor Tom Bates.
But Bates sees the results as a confirmation of change in Berkeley. Even seeming defeats, such as the currently trailing Measures S and T, spur his enthusiasm.
“I’m feeling great,” he said. “It was a really excellent election, for the presidential race, Prop. 30 and Prop. 32. And I got back my council.”
As for his own victory in pulling in 55% of the votes counted so far, Bates said he thought the result was remarkable given that he had “five opponents pounding away at me and at my record.”
He said he thought the result showed that “people like the tack we are trying to take with the city,” which he described as a denser city developed around transit sites. ”I’m really looking forward to the next four years and to seeing new green, well-designed developments in downtown Berkeley,” he said. “Stay tuned.”
Some contestants had been hoping this was a year for realignment of Berkeley politics. The “Anybody But Bates” plan by challengers Kriss Worthington and Jacquelyn McCormick, however, failed to force an instant run-off in the mayoral contest. Among local measures, the two designed to shake up the way city government works — Measure U, the so-called Sunshine Ordinance, and Measure V, which would have required biannual reporting of liabilities and a freeze on taxes and laws without certification — were roundly defeated. … Continue reading »
A candidate for the Berkeley Rent Board, who is also an aide to City Councilman Kriss Worthington, filed a police complaint Monday charging that the aide to City Councilman Laurie Capitelli trespassed on his property.
Alejandro Soto-Vigil said that his wife saw Capitelli’s aide and campaign manager, Pamela Gray, walk onto his property on Berkeley Way around 3:20 p.m. to look at a recycling bin that was stuffed with campaign signs.
“Pam apparently had gone onto our doorstep and porch looking at things and then she went to the recycling area and pulled out some signs and started taking photos,” said Soto-Vigil.
Capitelli told Berkeleyside that he and Gray were delivering campaign material to Soto-Vigil’s neighbor when they saw that the recycling bin contained campaign signs. Since so many of Capitelli’s signs have been torn up or taken during the election, he wanted to see if any of them were in there. They were not. … Continue reading »
Over the last several months, Berkeleyside has run many dozens of articles on Berkeley’s mayoral election, council seat races, the school board contest, the rival rent board slates and most of the 10 city measures on the ballot tomorrow. On top of that, our collaboration with MapLight on Voter’s Edge Berkeley provides a handy one-stop site for information about the ballot measures. And our Opinionator op-ed section has overflowed with rival views about various election issues.
What Berkeleyside is not going to do is make any endorsements in the election. There are two reasons why. First, we believe in an educated, informed citizenry. Newspaper endorsements are a relic of a pre-Internet era when readers had to rely on insiders to tell them what was what. Our goal is to make sure you have as much information as we have, so you can make up your own mind. We don’t feel the urge to make it up for you. Second, we work hard to be impartial in our news reporting of Berkeley. Even if we convince ourselves that we could create neat compartments between our opinions and our reporting, our readers would be understandably skeptical. … Continue reading »
In a surprising twist, the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to decline requests from U.S. immigration officials to apply more stringent detention rules to arrested individuals depending on citizenship status.
Advocates in attendance said the council made a landmark policy decision believed to be the most comprehensive and definitive in the nation as far as refusing altogether to cooperate with a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) program to detain and potentially deport non-citizens who are arrested.
The decision will, at least initially, have a limited impact given that the vast majority of these individuals ultimately are turned over to county agencies that do cooperate with the feds. Advocates said they believe, however, that the decision will have a ripple effect throughout the state to convince other jurisdictions to take a similar stand. … Continue reading »
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 »
How much will it cost to mail an absentee ballot? It depends who you ask.
Last week, a reader pointed out to Berkeleyside that the mail-in absentee ballot for the November 2012 election requires extra postage, but that the exact amount needed isn’t specified.
“I just filled out my ballot and, when I slipped it all back into the huge envelope and began to mail it, I realized the postage was not prepaid, nor did it say how much it should cost. It only says ‘Additional Postage Required’ and the envelope looks oversized and is fairly heavy for a letter. You might think it’s easy enough to go to the post office and find out, or I could weigh it and then look up the rates online. But these things are a major hassle.”
At Tuesday night’s council meeting, city officials and staff offered some insights to help voters know what to do with their absentee ballots. In Berkeley, the full package involves inserting four separate pieces into the envelope.
City Manager Christine Daniel said the vote-by-mail ballot requires $1.50 in postage, according to county Registrar of Voters Dave Macdonald. The city has posted more detailed information on its website about what voters need to know. … Continue reading »
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 »