Berkeley Council Gets Staff Sunshine Draft

By Charlotte Perry-Houts
Thursday January 27, 2011 - 12:13:00 PM

The Berkeley City Council returned to the now ten-year-old Open Government debate on Tuesday evening. Deputy City Manager Chris Daniel presented the staff’s ordinance draft, which addressed some, but not all, of the open government issues which have been raised by citizens in the last decade. A more comprehensive citizen-drafted Sunshine Ordinance has qualified by initiative petition for the November election ballot. 

Councilmembers Worthington and Arreguin each passed out a list of proposed amendments to the staff’s ordinance, Worthington commenting that the ordinance doesn't address many of the key issues that citizens and councilmembers have been pushing for. With a very packed agenda for February 8th, the issue was held over until February 15th so that staff could comment on Arreguin's and Worthington's proposed amendments and a longer discussion could be held. 

Council honored RISE (Responsibility, Integrity, Strength, and Empowerment), a Berkeley High youth program that has produced a movie, “The Next Step,” which will be showing on February 21st from 11am-2pm at the Freight & Salvage for free. Council also honored Gary Lapow, a children's musician, by declaring January 25, 2011 Gary Lapow day, and honored Mark Gorrell, a long-time Berkeley environmental leader, teacher, and architect. 

The Consent Calendar was passed unanimously, except for no votes from Councilmembers Worthington and Arreguin on item number 10, regarding the banning of roosters. Item 10 recommends to the Citizens’ Humane Commission amending the Berkeley Municipal Code to include the banning of roosters in residential zones. 

The issue of the Affordable Housing Impact Fee was held over for the Consent Calendar of the February 8th meeting.