Arts & Events


Kelly Hammargren, Sustainable Berkeley Coalition
Saturday May 16, 2020 - 03:51:00 PM

Worth Noting and Responding with phone call or email:

There are six public meetings this coming week with three on Tuesday and three on Thursday.

Tuesday - Budget Committee - While the State of California projects a 22.3% drop in revenue for the 2020-2021 year, a $54.3 billion deficit, a 27.2% drop in sales tax revenue, 18% unemployment for the budget year and a peak of 24.5% unemployment, a drop in personal income tax revenue of 22.5%, , a drop in revenue from hospitality industry of 50%, a reduction in new building permits by 21%, an increase in costs responding to COVID-19, and it is all layered over drought and wild fires. The City of Berkeley asked departments to look at deferrals/budget adjustments of 10%, 12% and 15%. For the present the Council Budget Committee meets weekly, but despite a projected City revenue loss of $25.5 million the City Council Agenda items still point to contract commitments and expenditures that paint a significant rosier picture than what was presented by the Governor on May 14.

Thursday - Design Review is meeting with preliminary review of three projects.

The City Council Agenda for the May 26 meeting is available for comment (agenda follows daily calendar) and contains some mind-boggling items and agenda order. Take a look at items 18, 19, 20, 21 and 27. Item 18. $6.1 million on recyclable materials, items 19., 20., 21. total $10,193,714 in contracts to generate parking revenue through fees and fines and item 27. The Emergency Ordinance to enhance tenant protections during the pandemic is placed as the very last item on a long agenda. Will the Council even get to tenant protections.

The Saturday noon Town Halls with the Mayor continue. Since questions need to be submitted in advance by 9 am on Saturday using this form and there is no live interchange with the public watch anytime on the Mayor’s YouTube site or watch as it is live streamed on Video Updates from the Mayor on COVID-19 are on Mondays and Wednesdays and are posted on the Mayor’s YouTube page, the same site as the posted Town Halls. -more-