Mayor Shirley Dean will give the annual “State of the City” address tonight and is expected to cover a range of issues including the energy crisis, housing and troubles at Berkeley High School.
She is also expected unveil a surprise recommendation that will revitalize the civic center area. “It’s a bold and exciting plan to restore the civic center to a place of real pride” said the mayor’s Chief of Staff Jennifer Drapeau.
“It’s unbelievable and it will solve a lot of problems downtown.”
The mayor is expected to focus her energy discussion on solar alternatives. A resolution authored by the mayor and Vice Mayor Maudelle Shirek and approved by the council calls for assistance to businesses and homeowners when they change to solar power.
The mayor is also expected to discuss the city’s failure to build enough housing in recent years. She will discuss a proposal to develop housing over the Ashby BART Station. Dean also is expected to suggest making affordable housing a priority for Berkeley teachers.
Ongoing problems at Berkeley High School will be another topic Dean will discuss. She may endorse a student identification system that would require each student to wear a card that could be swiped by security personal and provide information about the student’s class schedule and other information.
Other issues the mayor might address are the condition of city parks and the animal shelter.