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.
9:10 a.m. That isn’t quite it. As several commenters have pointed out, there are plenty of Berkeley votes still to be counted: most of the absentees, provisional ballots, many vote-by-mail ballots. If turnout is around 2008 levels, it might be another 20,000 votes. Some of the close races — particularly Measure T and rent board seats — could well change. Measure S, with a 1,000 vote margin for the opponents, is less likely to change, but it’s not impossible.
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%.
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.
With Labor Day behind us, elections are moving center stage in Berkeley as well as nationally, as candidates begin to hustle to get their names and messages in the public eye.
Incumbent Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates will face five challengers for his seat in November, while City Councilmember Darryl Moore will have two challengers and Max Anderson and Laurie Capitelli will each have one. City Councilmember Susan Wengraf will run unopposed.
The interior of Jacquelyn McCormick’s Berkeley hills home looks like it could be in the glossy pages of a lifestyle magazine.
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.
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?
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.
Four Berkeley council seats and a variety of other Berkeley posts are being contested at the general election on Tuesday, November 2. Berkeleyside will have full coverage of all the races but, first, here is your quick summary guide to who is running for what.