February 25, 2014 Council Meeting
Item #20 Potential ballot measure for November 2014 ballot
4 elements will be included in the community survey
- Commercial vacancy tax
Begins after 2 years of vacancy
.50/sf/month – mayor wants dollar/year and retroactive.
Arreguin thinks it should escalate every year and that is should come into effect after 1 year.
There will be a hardship appeal
Maio wants to include a residential vacancy tax for over 4 units and the entire building would have to be vacant.
Capitelli wants residential to also be $1/sf and retroactive.
Surveyor will separate commercial and residential question
- Sugar Tax on drinks
Tax on distributors .01/ounce either a special tax (designated for health services) or general tax that would go to the general fund. Question will be asked both ways for designation and the measure will be based on the majority.
Maio would like venues to go to diabetes prevention.
Worthington wants a .02/oz as San Francisco is doing. Need to tell voters what money is going to be used for.
Anderson. Can we raise the sample size from 500 to 700?
Wengraf I want educational programs to get the money
Capitelli Early childhood nutrition should be added
- Increases in rental unit taxes
Increase from 1% to 3% not to include buildings constructed in last 20 years and owner occupied units of less than 10 units and historically lower rent units. Tested two ways one for special tax with revenues going into the housing trust fund and the other as a general tax.
- Parks capital and Mello Roos tax
$2M operations need
Bond of $30M to Rebuild Willard Pool, specific repairs to parks as defined by Parks service, Santa Fe right of way improvement and Center street Plaza
Test for $30 and $60M bond
Wozniak wants an oversight committee
Arreguin. Needs to be something for everyone
Total 3 speakers in support of vacancy taxes
Total 6 speakers in support of pools and parks.
Item #21 Redistricting
In support of BSDC map or putting it on the ballot. Total 3
in support of neighborhoods Total 3
In support of a compromise map Total 15
Worthington. 15% of Berkeley residents signed the referendum. It speaks to how bad the map was. This is not a student district. It leaves out the majority of the dorms and coops. Prejudiced against progressives and neighborhoods. There are compromises on the table that will save hundreds of thousands of dollars. The easiest is to adopt the USDA map. It has been out for 7 months.
Bates. This is what I would like to propose. It is not controversial that we accept the referended petition. Voted unanimously. If we go to the ballot it is confusing where the lines would be drawn. I move that we hold this over until March 11 and have a closed session on March 3 to discuss legal alternatives.
Maio. I agree that we should not put this on the ballot in June.
Worthington. I appreciate the sentiment to have another meeting to discuss. If we make a clean break and rescind the map then we are too pressed for time to develop a compromise map in time for the registrar deadline. We should rescind the controversial map now and not leave it on the table to frighten people.
Anderson. To have this map linger when we are trying to move ahead would be a net drag on developing a compromise map. We need to make a clean break from what was bad. And the BSDC map is bad. To discuss spending the money to put this on the ballot is fiscally irresponsible. We need a new beginning on this.
Wozniak. I don’t support the substitute motion. I think we should follow the Mayor’s suggestion and not rescind the map!
Arreguin. We should not have a closed session. The public should be made aware of what we are considering. April 1 is the deadline for having the lines in place. We could wrap this up with a compromise map. If there is a suit, then all the proposed maps should be considered by the court. We should either rescind this or put it on the ballot. We should rescind it. There could be an initiative in the fall but I don’t think anyone wants to do that.
Bates. The city could potentially bring a suit.
Worthington. The decisions should be revealed in the light of day and not behind closed doors. If there are legitimate legal questions then the public should know and be able to make up their own minds. Let the public hear and let them know what it being considered by everyone.
Maio. Democracy is messy and I accept that. No one is pure, it is questionable. My buttons have been pushed. There is no purity on this dais.
Anderson. I thought there would be a spirit of compromise and represent ourselves and democracy. It is disappointing to me that some want to cling to a bad decision. We need to do something that will redeem us. People want statesmanship and not hackery up here.
Bates. If we put this on the ballot it will be in November. We will initiate the suit.
Vote on map rescention
No. Maio, Wozniak, Capitelli, Bates, Wengraf
Yes. Arreguin, Anderson, Worthington
Vote on Main motion to hold over to March 11
No: Anderson, Arreguin, Worthington
Yes: all others
Worthington. I make a motion that there will be no secret legal session
Bates. I won’t support that
Item # 22 Zero Waste Program
Options are to increase rates to residential customers by 24% year one or stepped increase over 3 years and commercial rates by 2.5% immediately.
Zero Waste resources will be the new name of Refuse services
With the immediate increase there will be a fund profit of $5M in 5 years.
Profits will be used for transfer station and improved recycling programs.
Rates cannot exceed cost of the program per Prop 218.
New rates would go into effect on July 1 if schedule is maintained.
Maintains status quo and doesn’t move us toward our Zero Waste goal. Total 2
This is being done in the middle of the night and residential customers are getting stuck with the big increase while commercial has the big dumpsters.
Urban Ore is in existence because the city wanted to focus on reuse and recycling. We’ve never taken any money for the tax payers. There was a study done in 2005 that has been suppressed, it was a rate study and forward thinking plan to keep Berkeley competitive. The city’s market share is getting taken away because nothing has changed. The transfer station needs to be rebuilt! All this recycling talent in Berkeley is not getting used.
Organics need to be addressed. There needs to be a separate fee to manage the Organics program. We need to support the sustainability of the program
Bates. Can we charge an additional $1 fee on top of the increase?
Wozniak. We are going to look into the future but we have a deficit. I think it is better to do it and get it over with. I move that we adopt Option A and parts 2 and 3 (immediate 24% increase).
Capitelli. Why does the commercial cart cost less than residential? So if we adopt proposal A I want a sinking fund so some money can work toward rebuilding the transfer station. What is the capital that is building up going to be used toward? I think we should consider entirely rebuilding the transfer station.
Moore. Does this take into account deleting the franchise agreements? This is locking in the commercial rate without taking into consideration ending the franchise agreements.
Bates. We need to address the deficit. Is it possible to designate 10% for informing the public and education?
Vote for 1a (immediate increase)
Absent. Anderson, Arreguin, Worthington, Wengraf