Sometimes Berkeley politicians tell more truth than they realize. From the online text of the Tom Bates Anti-Sitting Initiative proposal, up before the city council on Tuesday:
“Given the contentiousness of the City’s past efforts regarding street behavior issues this item requests the City Manager return with draft ordinance and ballot language for Council consideration so the entire issue can be put before the voters for approval.”If the proposal’s author had looked up “contentiousness” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, he would have found this as the only meaning:
“Contentiousness: an inclination to fight or quarrel.”
Used in an example sentence: “His natural tendency towards contentiousness made him a poor choice for a diplomatic post.”
Could Merriam-Webster have been thinking of Berkeley’s mayor when they wrote that sentence?
The last thing downtown Berkeley, now experiencing a bit of an image uptick, needs is more contentiousness. Do we really want yet another big fight about whether beggars (and also, kids and old ladies and people with bad knees and tourists) are allowed to sit on the sidewalk? -more-