Berkeley City Council Majority Fails to Protect Historic Building (Public Comment)

Fred Dodsworth
Wednesday March 16, 2016 - 10:29:00 AM

For those who don't already know, I'm running for Berkeley City Council. Last night (aptly the Ides of March) I attended a city council meeting and watched the city council stab the neighbors, the unions, the auto dealers and its own revenue stream to death by overriding its Landmarks Commission's decision to identify the old Berkeley Bowl as a building of significance (for example, it was the very place were Alan Ginsberg first read "Howl").  

Sure there was plenty of gnashing of teeth and quibbling about long lost windows and doors, but by failing to protect that historic building from grotesque over-development into a five or ten story mixed use building, the council insured that the neighbor's concerns were ignored, insured that the union jobs would be lost, and that the tax revenues from auto sales will be lost (which represent the largest portion of our retail tax income).  

Yet no one but Max Anderson dared to confront the rampant dishonesty, the pure kabuki theater of last night's highly orchestrated presentation. Also on the agenda was the council's proposal to fund an "eminent domain" fishing expedition which will further exacerbate and accelerate this plague upon our city of ugly, poorly designed, and poorly constructed giant buildings stomping all over Berkeley's historic identity.