A recommendation from Mayor Shirley Dean requesting that PG&E implement a power-reduction plan for Berkeley residents and businesses will be tabled, said Councilmember Linda Maio.
The recommendation called for the California Public Utilities Commission to require PG&E to set a goal for conservation of electricity and gas consumption and to notify each energy customer with specific methods of reducing energy use.
Maio said she will pull the item from the agenda because the city, rather than PG&E, should be conducting a public awareness campaign to reduce energy use.
“We should be responsible for our own public awareness campaign,” Maio said. “We can’t just can’t give the ball to PG&E.”
Maio suggested the city make use of the existing recycling program to distribute information about energy reduction. She also said that the city should be working with legislators to initiate a statewide reduction program similar to those currently under way in Washington and Oregon states.
Dean’s recommendation also called for an investigation into creating a Berkeley Power Authority for purchasing low-cost electricity and financing conversions to alternative energy sources like solar power.
Dean is currently in Washington, D.C., attending the annual Conference of Mayors and will not attend tonight’s council meeting.
Smoke shop moratorium
There are two tobacco shop moratoriums on the agenda for tonight’s meeting. One is from Councilmembers Dona Spring and Margaret Breland, the other from Mayor Shirley Dean.
Both recommendations were spawned by the recent opening of the University Smoke and Gift Shop on Durant Avenue, which Dean’s recommendation said was mistakenly given a zoning certificate. The owners of the shop also have a shop on University Avenue, near Shattuck Avenue and are in the process of opening two more, one on Shattuck near the UA Theater and the other near the 7-11 on College Avenue.
Both items call for an immediate emergency moratorium on smoke shops. Dean’s recommendation calls for the city attorney to draft an permanent ordinance regulating the opening of new shops that are “substantially devoted to the sale of tobacco and tobacco products.”
Massage Parlor Moratorium
Councilmember Dona Spring has put a recommendation on the agenda calling for a moratorium on massage parlors on University Avenue.
Spring said in her recommendation that there are already four massage parlors on the busy street and residents in the area want the city to encourage more neighborhood-serving businesses.
The council is expected to authorize the city manager to finalize a contract with and advertising agency to build 125 bus shelters that will display advertisements.
The arrangement is part of a larger agreement between LAMAR Transit Advertising in which the agency will build “advertising shelters” in seven cities. Berkeley is the only remaining city to finalize the deal.
In addition to the shelters, the city of Berkeley will receive a percentage of advertising revenue estimated to be about $46,000 per year. LAMAR will be responsible for building and maintaining the shelters.
Councilmember Betty Olds has recommended the city manager make sewer line repairs within 100 feet of all creeks.
Olds’s recommendation cites a overflow near Codornices Creek last month in which a sewer line became clogged from tree-root infiltration. The result was “gallons of polluted overflow went directly into the creek.”
Olds calls for older pipes to be replace with PVC pipe, which is resistant to roots. There was no estimate of cost included in the recommendation.