City Hall Critic Sacked From HAC By MATTHEW ARTZ

Tuesday June 28, 2005

A sharp critic of the controversial settlement agreement between the city and UC Berkeley was dismissed from the Housing Advisory Commission Friday, the same day a page-long commentary bashing the deal which she signed appeared in the Berkeley Daily Planet. 

In a terse e-mail, Councilmember Gordon Wozniak, a UC retiree, alerted HAC Chairperson Anne Wagley that he was terminating her as his appointee to the commission because he had “lost confidence in your political judgment and your ability to represent the best interests of the city.” 

Wagley, who also works for the Daily Planet as calendar editor, has been an outspoken critic of the deal with UC, which resolved the city’s lawsuit contesting UC Berkeley’s plan for future development. Along with two other residents, Wagley last month filed a legal motion to set aside the dismissal of the lawsuit and intervene in the case. 

“I think this is because of my opposition to the city’s settlement with the university, which [Wozniak] voted for,” she said. 

“That’s a factor,” Wozniak confirmed. “We have a disagreement about that.” 

Wozniak said another factor was his drive to limit residents to serve on only one commission at a time. Wagley, a human rights attorney, is also a member of the Peace and Justice Commission, appointed by Councilmember Linda Maio. 

Wozniak said he had a replacement in mind for Wagley, but that he had not yet offered anyone the position. In 2002, Wozniak and Wagley ran against each other in a three-person race for City Council. After Wozniak won, he appointed Wagley to the HAC. Wagley said that Wozniak had never expressed displeasure with her actions on the commission. 

The HAC primarily advises the council on housing issues and funding for nonprofit housing projects. 

Wagley had the second-longest tenure on the nine-member HAC, which has seen seven new members appointed in the past two years. The acting chair will be Jesse Arreguin, a Rent Board member and UC Berkeley senior appointed last year.  

“It’s certainly a loss to the commission,” said Arreguin, adding that Wagley helped newer commissioners like him, “gain insight into the development process and financing.” 

Seven members of the commission have been appointed in the past two years. 

Berkeley Housing Director Steve Barton also praised Wagley. 

“Anne has been an excellent and knowledgeable member of the HAC. She knows a lot about non-profits and has been a good chair,” he said.