Public Comment

Don't Reward Nicole Drake's Bad Behavior

By Patti Dacey
Tuesday August 07, 2012 - 09:37:00 PM

Would you hire a job seeker who had logged months of unexcused absences at her current position? Someone who, when confronted by her peers with her work record, protested that she was being picked on?

The job seeker in this case is Rent Board Commissioner Nicole Drake. She wants you to vote her into another four-year term on the Rent Board, even though: 


  • She missed more than half of all committee and numerous regular Board meetings in 2011, most of them without explanation and frequently after agreeing to attend.
  • Except for a small deduction for full-Board absences, she received the same stipend as her conscientious peers, until my letter of complaint encouraged the Board to initiate a pay-deduction scale.
  • Since being confronted with her poor attendance, she has nonetheless continued to miss most committee meetings in 2012, the improvement being that she now proffers excuses.

But we must credit Drake with consistency: She disregards rules in other aspects of her life, too. In 2010, she and her partner were caught building an illegal shed in their backyard. The ruckus following this discovery forced her partner to resign from the ZAB. 


This election cycle, Nicole Drake has cobbled together a group of her friends to run against the Affordable Housing Slate. So let’s compare the two: 


  • Drake et al. have the approval of the Berkeley Property Owners Association. Drake has taken City money for work not done, and thumbed her nose at building permit regulations. The other three are unknown entities, apparently chosen as filler.
  • The Slate was selected by a diverse collection of tenants, landlords, and homeowners at the 2012 Berkeley Affordable Housing Convention. Three of them are hard-working Board incumbents with excellent attendance and progressive voting records. The other is the well-respected Vice-Chair of the Housing Advisory Commission and legislative aid to Councilmember Kriss Worthington.

Who do YOU think will best serve the Rent Board?