The Editor's Back Fence

New: Department of Further Clarification

Saturday June 05, 2010 - 05:44:00 PM

City Manager Kamlarz put out a new memo about Measure C on Friday: 


"DATE:June 4, 2010 TO: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council 

FROM: Phil Kamlarz, City Manager 

RE: City Budget 

This memo is in response to certain questions raised about the Pool's measure (Measure C) and funds on the June 8, 2010, ballot. 

All funds for Measure C would be dedicated for the Berkeley pools. That includes proceeds from the bonds for construction as well as operating funds. 

The City is managing its long-term debt. Our most recent debt rating from Standard and Poor's placed the City of Berkeley within the top 1% of California cities. 

I hope this clarifies the issues raised ." 


Well, no, not exactly.The point made by the more responsible critics, here and elsewhere, is that the money in the current budget which is now being spent on swimming pools could be spent elsewhere if Measure C passes.That’s true, isn’t it? 

The value of a Standard and Poor’s bond rating is the subject of much current discussion in the world outside the Berkeley Bubble, too much for the time and space available before the election on Tuesday.One can assume that Kamlarz’ statement is true, but what it means as the world of finance turns topsy-turvy is not so clear. 

Still unanswered: Is there any guarantee that the warm pool will ever be rebuilt? If so, when? 

Our citizen reporter said this: 


“Nothing in Measure C obligates the City to borrow the full $22.5 million or spend it unwisely or on overly ambitious upgrades. At the same time, nothing in Measure C appears to prevent it.”  

Can anyone provide official language which contradicts his assessment? 

A blog offers discussion of these topics in staggering detail.