Public Comment

Bruce Love's Ballot Measure and Mayoral Recommendations

By Thomas Lord
Friday November 02, 2012 - 07:26:00 AM

Measure M:  

General Obligation Bond for Street and Reltated Watershed Improvements 

The City, having for years neglected to adequately fund road repair and watershed management, with special disregard to the city's least affluent neighborhoods, now kindly requests additional funds to continue their work. Everything is more expensive these days, don't you know. 

Vote "NO" and demand to see the real plan. 

Measures N and O:  

General Obligation Bond for Pools and Associated Facilities;  

Special Tax to Fund Operation and maintenance of the Replacement Warm Water and Willard Pools 

Last election cycle the City put forward a needlessly expensive plan for our pools and the voters, unsurprisingly declined. 

Now we have a compromise. We meet half-way. The city has kindly lowered the price by asking for less money and raised the cost by trashing some pools. So they've split the middle. Are we even? 

Vote "YES". Even at this price the pools are a good investment in community and property values. And the price ain't gonna go down from here. 

Measure P: Ballot Measure Re-Authorizing Expenditures of Voter-Approved Taxes for Parks Maintenance, Library Relief, Emergency Medical Services, Emergency Services for Severely Physically Disabled Persons and Fire Protection and Emergency Response and Preparedness, Under Article XIIIB of the California Constitution (Gann Limit)  

Thank you, 1970s tax reform cranks. The clarity and nuance you brought us in California governance continues to serve well. 

Vote "YES" because otherwise something vital will probably quickly fall apart. Don't look so smug: you don't understand it either. 

Measure Q: An Ordinance of the City of Berkeley Amending Chapter 7.70 of the Berkeley Municipal Code to Modernize the Application of the Utility Users Tax (UUT) 

Council wants to expand the applicability of a regressive tax on telephony services. A sleeper, sneaky tax raise -- disguised as just "modernizing" the code. No, it doesn't raise the tax rate, as the city assures us, but it does raise the number of services to which the tax applies. 


Measure R: Charter Amendment to Allow City Council to Adopt Decennial Redistricting Plan 

Some students want to notch their politics belts by campaigning for a charter amendment to allow drawing a "student district". And they also actually want a "student district", I presume. Somewhere between that starting point and the ballot, their project turned into a measure to grant council almost entirely unencumbered "freedom to gerrymander" with or without much regard for students per se. 

Vote "HELLA NO". It's a teaching moment. (For council.) 

Measure S: An Ordinance of the City of Berkeley Adopting New Section 13.36.025 of the Berkeley Municipal Code to Prohibit Sitting on Sidewalks in Commercial Districts 

In a desperate, last-gasp attempt to justify the taxes imposed for the Downtown Business Improvement District a handful of Berkeley real estate moguls offer to pass an ineffective and divisive law in pursuit of socially un-challenging ice-cream for all (who have enough money). As a free thank you gift, they'll throw in years of legal challenges, protests, and other excuses abuse one another in blog comments. 

Vote "NO." It's not even funny. 

Measure T: Amendments to the West Berkeley Plan and Zoning Ordinance 

Vote "NO," because if you ask any two Berkeleyans what the measure does you'll get at least 3 and possibly 5 opinions. It's a dumb, poorly constructed measure born of a lot of bitter Berkeley in-fights. Oh, and it's a bunch of big money trying to bully/bluster the electorate around -- there's that, too. 

Measures U and V:  

Initiative Ordinance Enacting New Requirements for the City Council and Rent Stabilization Board and Boards and Commissions Relating to Agendas and Meetings, Requiring Additional Disclosure of Public Records, and Creating a New Commission (Sunshine Ordinance);  

Initiative Ordinance Requiring the City to Prepare Biennial, Certified Financial Reports of Its Financial Obligations for the Next 20 Year Period; and Requiring Certification of Such Reports Before Council May Propose or Voters May Approve Any Debt Financing, or New or Increased City Taxes, and Before Council May Approve Any Assessments or Property-Related Fees (FACTS Initiative) 

Vote "YES," and let the sunshine in. 

For Mayor: 

Please vote for Kriss Worthington. I think he has the intellectual honesty and the will to work with the whole community. The whole can exceed the sum of the parts.