Our recommendations in key Alameda County, Berkeley and Oakland races
AMENDMENTS TO THE WEST BERKELEY PLAN
Council Members Kriss Worthington, Jesse Arreguin, and Max Anderson all oppose this plan, which would open up West Berkeley to more office development — with no guarantee of community benefits. Everyone agrees the area needs updated zoning, but this is too loose.
Berkeley has needed a strong sunshine law for years; this one isn't the greatest, but it's not the worst, either; it would mandate better agendas (and allow citizens to petition for items to be put on the agenda) for city boards and commissions, would create a new sunshine commission with the ability to sue the city to enforce the law, and would require elected and appointed officials to make public their appointments calendars.
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL REPORTS
This sounds like a great idea — mandate that the city present certified financial audits of its obligations before issuing any more debt. In practice, it's a way to make it harder for Berkeley to raise taxes or issue bonds. Vote no.
Oakland ballot measures
Measure J would authorize $475 million in bonds for upgrading school facilities. This one's a no-brainer; vote yes.