Tag Archives: Measure M
Isabelle Gaston, president of the North East Berkeley Association, recently did an email interview with Christine Daniel, Berkeley’s City Manager, about the financial health of Berkeley for NEBA’s newsletter. Gaston provided the interview for reprinting on Berkeleyside. It has been edited to conform to Berkeleyside style:
Gaston: How would you characterize the overall financial health of the city?
Daniel: The City of Berkeley weathered the financial downturn better than many jurisdictions. While reductions in staffing were felt throughout the city organization and resources for a variety of programs were reduced or eliminated due to decreased funding from sources such as the state and federal governments, Berkeley property values remained relatively stable compared to values in the region, and sales taxes, while suffering a decline in FY 2010, have recovered. However, property transfer taxes suffered a significant decline which affected the city’s ability to invest in infrastructure maintenance. Those revenues are now beginning to recover, but are not yet at pre-recession levels. … Continue reading »
Residents interested in street improvements and the city’s watershed have two chances this week to get involved in the discussion about how to spend millions of dollars in Measure M funds that are expected to start flowing into city coffers next year.
Tuesday night, the Berkeley City Council will hold a special work session on Measure M. Then Thursday, the Public Works Commission will discuss the city’s proposed updated five-year paving plan, which helps determine Measure M priorities. (Scroll to the bottom of this story for details.)
The five-year paving plan is the main document that will drive Measure M improvements. The council is scheduled to approve the next five-year plan in November. (See the current-year paving plan here.) … Continue reading »
The final public meeting currently scheduled to discuss Measure M spending will take place Thursday, July 18, at the South Berkeley Senior Center.
Measure M, to pay for bonds related to street and watershed improvements, was approved by 73% of voters in November.
Thursday, residents will have a chance to learn more about the proposal for how the city will spend the bond money, though which streets will see repairs or changes remains to be determined.
“We’ve been getting public comments coming in with people asking, ‘What about my street?’ They want to know where they are in the 5-year plan,” said Ray Yep, of the city’s Public Works Commission. “Right now we’re shying away from specifics like that.”
Yep said, currently, the city gets about $3.5 million each year in tax funding to handle street improvements, and the Measure M bonds will bring in an additional $6 million annually. Later this year, he added, the Berkeley City Council will approve the updated 5-year plan, which will set the specific priorities for spending.
“The amount of money available per year is going to triple, and the work per year is going to triple,” said Yep. “But which exact streets will be included, that answer is going to come later.” … Continue reading »
The second community meeting on Measure M spending will take place Saturday at 10 a.m. at the South Berkeley senior center to seek input from community members on their priorities for street and watershed improvements.
Priorities will likely include accelerating the city’s five-year paving plan and focusing on green infrastructure — such as permeable pavers and rain gardens — that relate to street improvements.
Measure M allocates $30 million toward street and watershed improvements. Exactly how the money will be spent will be determined between now and November when the Berkeley City Council will vote on the spending plan. The money is supposed to begin flowing toward projects in early 2014. … Continue reading »
A student-majority district in Berkeley moved a step closer with the release of redistricting plans on Thursday. Six individuals and community groups submitted redistricting plans, with most of them concentrating on creating a student-majority district 7, which currently is represented by Kriss Worthington.
Berkeley’s redistricting is spurred by the 2010 census, which showed a population increase of nearly 10,000 to 112,580. Population changes and demographic shifts had made the existing council districts highly unequal in population, from D5 (Laurie Capitelli’s district) with 12,709 to D7 with 16,623. The other vital wrinkle in the current redistricting was the passage of Measure R last November, which removes the severe geographic constraints mandated in Berkeley since 1986. … Continue reading »
In the next few months, city representatives will start taking steps to determine how to allocate $30 million from Measure M, which voters approved in November to improve Berkeley’s streets and watershed.
The first session will take place May 2 from 5:30-8 p.m. at the North Berkeley Senior Center, 1901 Hearst Ave. Commissioners will explain and answer questions about the planning process, the schedule, and the ways the public can contribute their views. City staff will provide technical background on street paving, watershed management and transportation programs. … Continue reading »
Several dozen South Berkeley residents and city staffers came together Tuesday night to brainstorm about how to make three key changes in the neighborhood.
Residents, who met at MVMNT Studio at 2973 Sacramento St., asked the city to help lead the charge to calm traffic and fix stormwater drainage problems at California and Julia streets, and address a blighted building on Sacramento that many said they feel is keeping the local commercial district from flourishing. … Continue reading »
The public works capital improvement program was the focus of the budget worksession that preceded Tuesday night’s City Council meeting. Public Works Director Andrew Clough and his colleagues presented an ambitious roster of projects for the next five years, but cautioned that the plans do not keep up with the city’s needs.
“The city’s public infrastructure is indeed suffering,” Clough said. “But all is not grim. We’re here not only to tell you what we don’t have, but also what we have done and what we plan to do.” … Continue reading »