Sewers, Impeachment, Alcohol Policy on Council Agenda

By Judith Scherr
Friday April 28, 2006

After a serenade by Berkeley’s Kairos Youth Choir and enlightenment by clever Public Service Announcements written by students in Berkeley High’s Communication Arts and Sciences program to inspire recycling, the City Council was ready to dig into the more meaty issues of the evening—aging sewers, creating an alcohol policy and impeaching the president. 

But not before Councilmember Betty Olds, who last week got the Barn Owl named as the city’s official bird, announced the Honda strike settlement, saying: “One week after the Barn Owl was chosen as the official bird, the Honda wrath has disappeared.” 

The creek’s task force got a reprieve—its final plan aimed at preserving Berkeley’s waterways was to go to the council in May, but it won’t be ready. So the council will look at a draft ordinance in July, then vote on the ordinance in the fall. 


Curbing alcohol nuisances 

During the public comment period, Lori Lott of the Berkeley Alcohol Policy Advocacy Coalition told the council that the present complaint-driven system of regulating alcohol-vending outlets is not working and Jeana Radasevich from Students For A Safer Southside spoke of “easy access (of alcohol) for minors.” 

The council agreed and voted unanimously to ask the City Council to take the packet of suggested legislation the group provided in order to craft an ordinance 

regulating the sale of alcohol. 


Impeaching Bush and Cheney 

With a unanimous council vote, Berkeley became the fourth city in California, after San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Arcata to call for the impeachment of President George Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney. The council also approved a measure asking the Peace and Justice Commission to consider an advisory measure that would place impeachment on the November ballot. 


Sewer woes 

There was no action on the city’s aging storm water system, simply a presentation of the vast need by Acting Public Works Director Claudette Ford. One solution is funding new sewers, which Councilmember Linda Maio said she’d like to see on the November ballot. Mayor Tom Bates, however, said he thought that the large school bond measure on the ballot was enough to ask of Berkeley voters. 

City Manager Phil Kamlarz talked about a bill in the state legislature that would amend the state constitution—ACA 13—and would allow cities to fund the storm drain system through fees, rather than having to float a bond measure. 

Also, the council put off a discussion of AC transit cuts in Lines 40 and 43 until its May 16 meeting..