Public Comment

Stoloff’s Choices

By David Stoloff
Thursday October 30, 2008 - 09:58:00 AM

Several people have asked my opinion regarding some Berkeley candidates and ballot measures. For what it's worth, here are my preferences. 

Of the seriously contested offices and measures, I am supporting (in one case, opposing): 

The re-election of Mayor Tom Bates. He's done a fine job of maintaining civil relationships among the council members, guiding the city through difficult budget balancing without significantly cutting services, growing the City’s tax base and moving toward making Berkeley the “greenest” city in the U.S., through measure G and the recently released Climate Action Plan.  

The re-election of Councilmember Laurie Capitelli (District 5). He has proved to be a hard working and effective official who is especially good at responding to constituent needs and complaints. He supports programs to deal with global warming as well as “smart growth” efforts that will meet the need for more housing downtown and along major bus routes and reduce (not eliminate) reliance on automobiles.  

The election of Terry Doran to City Council (District 4). Like Tom and Laurie, Terry supports housing downtown and along transit routes and efforts to make our city energy efficient. As a former Berkeley High teacher and School Board member, he is a strong advocate for improvements to our educational system. He is a long time resident and serves on the Zoning Adjustments Board.  

I oppose Measure KK. This measure masks itself as a general measure but is actually aimed at reducing the City’s ability to negotiate with AC Transit for improved service between Berkeley and Oakland. Some Telegraph Ave. residents and merchants put together this measure as a means of thwarting AC Transit’s concept of creating a dedicated bus lane along Telegraph Ave. south of Dwight and a portion of Shattuck Ave. The measure would require a city wide vote before any plan could be implemented, causing unnecessary and possibly deal killing delays and costs. 

I support Measure LL. As a member of the City Planning Commission, I labored for over a year on the revised Landmarks Preservation Ordinance, which revisions strengthen the ordinance by reducing the ability of the Landmarks Commission to landmark undeserving properties. The abuse of landmarking has given historic preservation a bad name in Berkeley; the new ordinance would help restore confidence in the landmarking process. 



David Stoloff is a member of Berkeley Planning Commission.