Difference between revisions of "Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance, Measure U (November 2012)"

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{{tnr}}A '''Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance, Measure U''' is on the {{nov6ca2012}} for voters in the City of Berkeley in {{alameda}}.<ref name=sun>[http://www.berkeleyside.com/2010/12/14/citizens-sunshine-law-to-go-on-2012-ballot/ ''Berkeleyside'', "Citizens’ sunshine law to go on 2012 ballot", December 14, 2010]</ref><ref>[http://berkeley.patch.com/articles/deadline-looms-for-ballot-arguments ''Berkeley Patch'', "Deadline Looms for Ballot Arguments", August 16, 2012]</ref>
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{{tnr}}A '''Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance, Measure U''' was on the {{nov6ca2012}} for voters in the City of Berkeley in {{alameda}}, where it was '''defeated'''.<ref name=sun>[http://www.berkeleyside.com/2010/12/14/citizens-sunshine-law-to-go-on-2012-ballot/ ''Berkeleyside'', "Citizens’ sunshine law to go on 2012 ballot", December 14, 2010]</ref><ref>[http://berkeley.patch.com/articles/deadline-looms-for-ballot-arguments ''Berkeley Patch'', "Deadline Looms for Ballot Arguments", August 16, 2012]</ref>
  
Measure U has been under discussion in various forms for ten years and has gone through 24 drafts.<ref name=sun/>  It was drafted by the Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance Citizens’ Committee with the assistance of the statewide organization, "Californians Aware".<ref>[http://pinole.patch.com/articles/calaware-helps-keep-government-open ''Pinole Patch'', "CalAware Helps Keep Government Open", March 13, 2012]</ref>
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Measure U had been under discussion in various forms for ten years and has gone through 24 drafts.<ref name=sun/>  It was drafted by the Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance Citizens’ Committee with the assistance of the statewide organization, "Californians Aware".<ref>[http://pinole.patch.com/articles/calaware-helps-keep-government-open ''Pinole Patch'', "CalAware Helps Keep Government Open", March 13, 2012]</ref>
  
The ordinance, if approved by voters, will apply to:
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The ordinance would have applied to:
  
 
* The City Council
 
* The City Council
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* The Board of Library Trustees
 
* The Board of Library Trustees
 
* Some private corporations that are subject to the state's Brown Act<ref name=sun/>
 
* Some private corporations that are subject to the state's Brown Act<ref name=sun/>
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 +
==Election results==
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 +
{{Short outcome
 +
| title = Measure U
 +
| yes = 10,509
 +
| yespct = 23.27
 +
| no = 34,651
 +
| nopct = 76.73
 +
| image =
 +
| unresolved =
 +
| state = Local
 +
| percent = 50.00
 +
}}
 +
:''Final certified results from the [http://www.acgov.org/rov/current_election/index.htm Alameda County elections office].''
  
 
==Provisions==
 
==Provisions==
  
Specific provisions of the proposed ordinance include:
+
Specific provisions of the proposed ordinance included:
  
 
* Those wishing to comment at city meetings would be granted an extra minute to talk about an issue.  They would also be allowed to talk about every agenda item.  At the same time, there would be an 11:00 p.m. curfew on Berkeley City Council meetings.
 
* Those wishing to comment at city meetings would be granted an extra minute to talk about an issue.  They would also be allowed to talk about every agenda item.  At the same time, there would be an 11:00 p.m. curfew on Berkeley City Council meetings.
Line 23: Line 38:
 
* An Enforcement Commission would be enacted by the Sunshine Ordinance.  The Enforcement Commission would have independent legal representation and the power to sue the City.
 
* An Enforcement Commission would be enacted by the Sunshine Ordinance.  The Enforcement Commission would have independent legal representation and the power to sue the City.
 
* City officials would have to post their appointment calendars online.
 
* City officials would have to post their appointment calendars online.
 +
 +
==Support==
 +
 +
Dean Metzer, chair of the Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance Commission, supported Measure U. Comparing it to Berkeley's current laws about transparency, he said, "The Sunshine Ordinance has more teeth in it and will get more results".<ref name=u>[http://www.dailycal.org/2012/10/03/measure-u/ ''Daily Californian'', "Ballot measure to increase government transparency may incur costs", October 3, 2012]</ref>
 +
 +
Shirley Dean, a former mayor of Berkeley, said, "The fact that it may take two months for the commissions to make recommendations to the council is not a sunshine issue — that is the commission’s problem."<ref name=u/>
 +
 +
==Opposition==
 +
 +
Tom Bates, the mayor of the city, said, "It’s just really a bizarre, over-the-top measure that’s put together by a lot of people who are paranoid about what’s happening in Berkeley...I am all for hearing residents speak, but when you have 100 people show up and you are trying to make a decision, you want to hear from people, and you want them to express themselves, but you have to make a decision in a timely manner."<ref name=u/>
 +
 +
Berkeley City Auditor Ann-Marie Hogan said, "I am worried about the way it is going to slow down decision making and create more work for the staff and city."<ref name=u/>
 +
 +
The ''Oakland Tribune'' editorialized against Measure U, writing, "We usually trumpet sunshine and open-meeting requirements. But this micromanaging measure goes too far. For example, it creates a new commission with the power to sue the city for compliance, gives the public the power to petition to put items on an agenda, expands public comment period to three minutes per person, and requires elected officials and city department heads to post weekly calendars of their meetings."<ref>[http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_21897206/oakland-tribune-editorial-no-measures-a1-and-u ''Oakland Tribune'', "Oakland Tribune editorial: No on Measures A1 and U and yes on Measure V", October 31, 2012]</ref>
  
 
==Ballot text==
 
==Ballot text==
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* [http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/uploadedFiles/Clerk/Elections/SO%20-%20Question%20and%20Text%20ONLY.pdf Text of Measure U]
 
* [http://www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/uploadedFiles/Clerk/Elections/SO%20-%20Question%20and%20Text%20ONLY.pdf Text of Measure U]
 
* [http://www.berkeleysunshine.org/ Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance], a website sponsored by the initiative's supporters
 
* [http://www.berkeleysunshine.org/ Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance], a website sponsored by the initiative's supporters
 +
* [http://basiscraft.com/-/2012/10/08/widget/index.html Berkeley Ballot Measure Browser]
  
 
==References==
 
==References==
 
{{reflist}}
 
{{reflist}}
  
[[Category:California 2012 local ballot measures]]
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[[Category:Local government transparency, California, 2012]]

Revision as of 06:01, 5 December 2012

A Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance, Measure U was on the November 6, 2012 ballot for voters in the City of Berkeley in Alameda County, where it was defeated.[1][2]

Measure U had been under discussion in various forms for ten years and has gone through 24 drafts.[1] It was drafted by the Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance Citizens’ Committee with the assistance of the statewide organization, "Californians Aware".[3]

The ordinance would have applied to:

  • The City Council
  • Every city committee and commission
  • The Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board
  • The Board of Library Trustees
  • Some private corporations that are subject to the state's Brown Act[1]

Election results

Measure U
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No34,65176.73%
Yes 10,509 23.27%
Final certified results from the Alameda County elections office.

Provisions

Specific provisions of the proposed ordinance included:

  • Those wishing to comment at city meetings would be granted an extra minute to talk about an issue. They would also be allowed to talk about every agenda item. At the same time, there would be an 11:00 p.m. curfew on Berkeley City Council meetings.
  • Members of the public could put an agenda item on the agenda of a city council meeting by gathering 100 signatures.
  • If so many people attend a city council meeting that there isn't enough space to accommodate all of them, the city council would be required to adjourn to a larger venue. The larger venue would also have to provide a live television feed of the proceedings.
  • The council would have to report how members voted during closed session and they would have to vote again on closed agenda vote in public.
  • Agenda packets would have to be distributed no later than 11 days before a meeting. The ability of the council to take up agenda items not on that agenda would be narrowed.
  • Any record that is not restricted to the public would proactively be made available online, rather than requiring members of the public to specifically request the documents.
  • An Enforcement Commission would be enacted by the Sunshine Ordinance. The Enforcement Commission would have independent legal representation and the power to sue the City.
  • City officials would have to post their appointment calendars online.

Support

Dean Metzer, chair of the Berkeley Sunshine Ordinance Commission, supported Measure U. Comparing it to Berkeley's current laws about transparency, he said, "The Sunshine Ordinance has more teeth in it and will get more results".[4]

Shirley Dean, a former mayor of Berkeley, said, "The fact that it may take two months for the commissions to make recommendations to the council is not a sunshine issue — that is the commission’s problem."[4]

Opposition

Tom Bates, the mayor of the city, said, "It’s just really a bizarre, over-the-top measure that’s put together by a lot of people who are paranoid about what’s happening in Berkeley...I am all for hearing residents speak, but when you have 100 people show up and you are trying to make a decision, you want to hear from people, and you want them to express themselves, but you have to make a decision in a timely manner."[4]

Berkeley City Auditor Ann-Marie Hogan said, "I am worried about the way it is going to slow down decision making and create more work for the staff and city."[4]

The Oakland Tribune editorialized against Measure U, writing, "We usually trumpet sunshine and open-meeting requirements. But this micromanaging measure goes too far. For example, it creates a new commission with the power to sue the city for compliance, gives the public the power to petition to put items on an agenda, expands public comment period to three minutes per person, and requires elected officials and city department heads to post weekly calendars of their meetings."[5]

Ballot text

The question on the ballot:

MEASURE U: "Shall an ordinance be adopted: establishing new agenda and meeting requirements for the City’s legislative bodies (Council, Rent Stabilization Board and all 36 commissions), including earlier agenda deadlines; increased disclosure requirements for public records; and creating a new commission with authority to take enforcement action against the City in case of violations?"[6]

See also

External links

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References