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Check out some recent Registered Statements from citizens

Johnny Appleseed inside District 7 October 17, 2017, 10:14 AM

Should the City Council approve this agenda item?
Yes


Is there anything you would like the Council to consider regarding this item?
Let's do whatever we can to help the homeless!

Zach Cowan inside District 6 October 15, 2017, 12:48 PM

Should the City Council approve this agenda item?
Other/See Comments


Is there anything you would like the Council to consider regarding this item?
It would be churlish to say “No, don't accept money for a good cause.” But anyone who wishes can already make a gift to the City for whatever purpose he or she specifies. Council action to establish a “Berkeley Homeless Fund” sets a precedent for setting up funds and soliciting gifts for other purposes, and it is not certain that this Council or future Councils will be able to resist pressure to set up special funds for all sorts of other good causes, including some that are outside the City Council's area of responsibility (like, say, BUSD, or the latest disaster, or world peace). Keeping track of gifts made for specific purposes, and making sure they are spent as intended, requires staff time. Do we really want City staff keeping track of hundreds of small donations? One fund for only purpose may not be a problem, but what are the staff and resource implications of setting up and keeping track of lots of “Berkeley[name your good cause]” funds? The Council report does not address this issue. (In fairness, it is not unique in this regard – Council reports prepared by Council members almost never acknowledge the staff resources required by their proposals.) Also of concern are the ethical implications of large gifts that presumably are anticipated, and perhaps being solicited right now. Let's say a Council member who has made raising funds for the homeless fund her signature issue successfully solicits a $10,000 gift from a developer, or a business, or someone else, who wants something from the Council or may want something from the City Council in the future. When a major donation is solicited by a Council member and becomes a feather in her political cap, should that Council member vote on matters affecting the donor? As the Institute for Local Government states: "Promoting the public’s confidence and trust that their agencies make merit-based, fair and unbiased decisions is a key priority for many local officials. For this reason, some officials make a practice of not seeking support from those who either do or may have business pending before their local agencies. Others have a 'black out' period in which they won’t make requests within a certain time frame (for example, within a year of franchise renewal decision). Some local agencies codify such practices into local rules." (See www.ca-ilg.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/behested_payments_3-22-12.pdf.) This issue needs to be publicly ventilated and addressed before any fund is established or donations are solicited or accepted. In addition, if solicited “donations” (known as “behested payments”) are reportable as donations to the elected official who solicited them, do they run afoul of the contribution limits in the Berkeley Election Reform Act? A final question that comes to mind – though not directly relevant to this proposal – is what the Council will do if all the money it is already apparently planning to spend does not materialize? The Council clearly has put the cart (grand plans and projects to end homelessness) before the horse (funding). What if the belated horse only has three legs?

Jordan Place inside District 3 October 14, 2017, 10:36 AM

Should the City Council approve this agenda item?
Yes


Is there anything you would like the Council to consider regarding this item?
I wish the proposal included a more detailed description of how the public would come to understand what has been done with donations over the next year.

Name not shown inside District 8 October 8, 2017, 7:07 PM

Should the City Council approve this agenda item?
No


Is there anything you would like the Council to consider regarding this item?
The City of Berkeley has a large variety of spending priorities and I feel they should all be considered at the same time and funded at the same time. If we start a Homeless Fund, then do we also start a street repair fund? And a swimming pool fund? We already have a budget process that provides funds for a variety of needs. We should not create a mechanism on top of our existing budgeting mechanism simply because Homelessness is a visible issue.

Nancy Bissell inside District 4 October 7, 2017, 4:17 PM

Should the City Council approve this agenda item?
Yes

Name not shown inside District 3 October 7, 2017, 11:25 AM

Should the City Council approve this agenda item?
No


Is there anything you would like the Council to consider regarding this item?
The City of Berkeley has a large variety of spending priorities and I feel they should all be considered at the same time and funded at the same time. If we start a Homeless Fund, then do we also start a street repair fund? And a swimming pool fund? We already have a budget process that provides funds for a variety of needs. We should not create a mechanism on top of our existing budgeting mechanism simply because Homelessness is a visible issue.

Nancy Van House inside District 5 October 6, 2017, 8:10 PM

Should the City Council approve this agenda item?
Yes


Is there anything you would like the Council to consider regarding this item?
Homelessness is out of control -- people should not have to live on the streets! This proposal would give all of us a way to contribute to ameliorating the problem at least in some way..

Julia Schnell inside District 4 October 6, 2017, 9:00 AM

Should the City Council approve this agenda item?
Yes

juliet bashore inside District 5 October 6, 2017, 7:49 AM

Should the City Council approve this agenda item?
Yes


Is there anything you would like the Council to consider regarding this item?
We should examine Santa Cruz' homeless policies.

Matt Wyatt inside District 3 October 5, 2017, 9:16 PM

Should the City Council approve this agenda item?
Yes