Council Holds Rare Back-to-Back Session With Light Schedule Planned

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor
Thursday September 24, 2009 - 09:24:00 AM

The Berkeley City Council holds rare week-to-week meetings this month, but not because of a rush to get work done coming out of the summer break. 

The council originally scheduled a meeting for September 15 but moved it to Sept. 22 to give councilmembers another week of vacation. 

Next week’s meeting, to be held on Tuesday, September 29, has a light schedule. 

With the city still seeking sources of revenue to keep its budget in the black, City Manager Phil Kamlarz has placed an item on next Tuesday’s agenda to increase parking meter rates by 25 cents to $1.50 per hour and to expand the locations of meters to more areas of the city. 

Kamlarz has also proposed extending the starting hours of parking meter operations at certain locations from the current 9 a.m. to 8 a.m. Because of the difference between morning and evening parking habits, the Berkeley proposal is not expected to cause nearly the same uproar as happened last summer in Oakland, when that city’s council extended the evening hour parking meter times from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

At next Tuesday’s meeting, the council has also scheduled a discussion of public transportation suggestions proposed to the city by the AC Transit bus district. Among the suggestions are the creation of a downtown transit center and an increase in cooperation with the city’s transportation department and AC Transit, including a collaborative effort to “obtain funds to improve [bus] services to poorly served [Berkeley] neighborhoods.” 

The council is expected to refer the suggestions to the city’s Transportation Commission for review before bringing them back for full deliberation. 

Tuesday’s meeting will begin at the regular 7 p.m. starting time and will be held in the council chambers on the second floor of the Old City Hall building on Martin Luther King Jr. Way.