Berkeley Neighborhoods Council

 

Dedicated to improving the quality of life for all
by creating a unified neighborhood voice
for promoting livability and resolving problems

 

Neighborhood Watch Calendar

BNC will post information about meetings and events that neighborhoods should watch carefully.  Your information about all kinds of meetings and events, and your comments are not only welcome, they are highly encouraged.

Today's Post:   Community Meetings to Discuss the Future of the City's Parks and Facilities

The new combined Parks and Waterfront Commission invites the public to three Wednesday meetings in October to hear from you about ideas for improvements to the City's parks, pools, community centers, marina, and camps.  Childcare will be provided.

October 2, 2013:  James Kenney Community Center, 1720 Eighth St, 7pm-9pm

The focus of the meeting will be on parks and facilities in West Berkeley and the Marina (Council Districts 1, 2 and 4) including Cesar Chavez and Aquatic Parks, West Campus Pools, Rosa Park and Washington Schools Parks, San Pablo Park, Strawberry Creek, Ohlone, Civic Center Park, mini-parks and others.

October 9, 2013:  Live Oak Community Center, Fireside Room, 1301 Shattuck Ave, 7pm-9pm

The focus of the meeting will be on parks and facilities in North Berkeley (Council Districts 5 and 6) including King Swim Center, Live Oak, John Hinkel, Indian Rock, Great Stoneface, Codornices, Dorothy Bolte, Terrace View, Grizzly Peak and Thousand Oaks Schools Parks, the residential camps and others.

October 16, 2013:  South Berkeley Branch Library, 1901 Russell at Martin Luther King Jr Way, 6pm-7:30pm.

The focus of the meeting will be on parks and facilities in South Berkeley (Council Districts 3, 7 and 8), including Willard Park and Willard Swim Center, Oak Park, Monkey Island, Greg Brown, Grove, Bateman Mall, Halcyon commons and the LeConte, Malcolm X and John Muir Schools Parks.

All members of the public are welcome at any of the meetings.  The same materials will be presented and discussed.  Community members who are unable to attend the public meetings may submit written comments by October 30, 2013 to Roger Miller, Secretary, Parks and Waterfront Commission, 2180 Milvia Street, Berkeley, CA 94704, or by e-mail at miller@cityofberkeley.info.  More information about the City's parks and facilities is available at www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/PRW.

Update: What's Happening with Your 30 Million Measure M Dollars

In BNC's August 2013 eNEWS we expressed our great concern that the City's website that promised “all the information” about Measure M and how its $30 million of our hard-earned tax dollars were going to be spent was woefully lacking.  Well, we are happy to report that a lot more information is now available and here is how you access it:

  1. Go to the City of Berkeley official website http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/Home.aspx.
  2. Type in “Measure M” in the search box in the upper right hand corner
  3. Scroll down and click on “Measure M: The Public Works Commission and The. - Berkeley”
  4. Go to “Measure M Integrated Street Investment Plan (September 2013)”

The Integrated Street Investment Plan states that the purpose of Measure M funding is to accelerate implementation of the 5-Year Street Repaving Plan as it is updated and to install green infrastructure as part of the Repaving Plan when appropriate. It carries out this purpose by recommending that in the next three years (2014-2016) the City spend approximately $14.5 million of Measure M funds in addition to about $10.2 million in what is projected as pavement management funding.  Years 4 and 5 of Measure M funding will be decided upon after reviewing the results of years 1 through 3.   Further, the Plan recommends a policy that street repaving and rehabilitation and “related” improvements must be integrated and that “related” improvements should not be funded on a stand-alone or individual basis “Related” improvements include such items as funding for bicycle, pedestrian, traffic safety (calming) and drainage improvements.

Public Works staff will be working with the Public Works Commission to finalize recommendations for the Proposed 5-Year Street Rehabilitation Plan for Council review in a Workshop session which is scheduled for Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 5:30 pm, Council Chambers.

Little information is provided about how the 5-Year Plan that we already have might be changed or how much weight will be given to storm water runoff problems that have caused flooding in West Berkeley and pollution of Aquatic Park in the past.  In the “Next Steps” section of the Integrated Street Investment Plan there is an example of a permeable pavement project on Allston Way, next to Civic Center Park, from Milvia to Martin Luther King, Jr.  Way that gives the impression it has already been approved.

BNC continues to have concerns which are still unanswered:

  1. How much of Measure M funds will be spent on salaries and employee pension costs, presumably costs that are already in the City's Public Works budget.
  2. Will the City Council commit to using Measure M as additional funds for infrastructure repair rather than use them to replace some or all of the annual projected $3.4 Million funds projected in the budget so those funds can be used for some other purpose.

BNC will keep monitoring Measure M planning and expenditures and provide future updates.