To the Editor:
I think that no other ballot measure in Berkeley history has lost by such a large margin as Measure P, the height initiative, with 80 percent voting against it. This decisive vote should be the end of NIMBYism in Berkeley, but it obviously won't be. Howie Muir mentions a series of lawsuits (Daily Planet, Nov. 6) that could stop development. It is more disturbing that two backers of Measure P are running for the Executive Committee of the Northern Alameda Group of the Sierra Club: Elliot Cohen and Carrie Olsen.
The Sierra Club did not oppose Measure P because the Northern Alameda County Group voted to oppose the measure by only 5 to 4, just short of the required two-thirds majority. If these two people are elected, this group will have a NIMBY majority. It will undoubtedly do its best to oppose new housing in Berkeley, despite chapter and national Sierra Club policies that support smart growth. City Councilmember Dona Spring has done a mailing asking people to vote for these two candidates (and one other candidate) in the Sierra Club election. Dona Spring took a public position against Measure P as a matter of political expediency, but she also did her best to kiss up to Measure P supporters. She was endorsed for re-election by the pro-P Berkeley party. Now, it looks like she is trying to build a NIMBY political machine within the local Sierra Club group.
The ballot is in the current Sierra Club Yodeler. If you are a Sierra Club member and you voted against Measure P, then please vote in this Sierra Club election, even if you have never voted in one before. Vote for anyone except Elliot Cohen and Carrie Olsen. The pro-P faction is obviously a tiny fringe element in Berkeley politics. It should not be allowed to use back-room politicking to take over the local Sierra Club.
Carl A. Adams