2008 City of Berkeley Annual Report
The 2008 Annual Report was delivered to more than 59,000 Berkeley residents and businesses the week of September 1. Download a PDF here, or keep reading for the interactive version of the report with quick links to the programs that interest you!
Letter from Phil Kamlarz, City Manager
By many measures, Berkeley is a strong, healthy community. We have a balanced budget, vibrant neighborhoods, and great opportunities for recreation and growth. But last November, when the Cosco Busan dumped 58,000 gallons of toxic bunker oil into the San Francisco Bay, we received a chilling reminder about our vulnerability to external threats.
After the spill, the Berkeley community organized quickly to protect the shoreline and animals. In any disaster, we should expect to be as self-sufficient as we were during the oil spill. The national and state economies are weak, the local real estate market is hurting, and the state likely won’t be able to quickly respond to help cities recover after a large disaster.
Intensifying the fiscal threats are the natural ones, most prominently, the Hayward Fault. It’s clear that our community is committed to disaster preparedness. Our Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) classes fill up quickly, and we are working to help every neighborhood prepare for a crisis.
The City is taking the forecasts about the Hayward Fault seriously and continues to work on issues such as un-reinforced masonry, soft-story buildings, and regional disaster planning. The City has been working hard to steward its resources so our community can sustain itself in the face of these uncertainties, and the center of this report provides more information about the City’s budget and finances.
We have much to celebrate. This year, we created a new model for disabled access CityCarShare vehicles, set an aggressive community plan for reducing greenhouse emissions, and expanded our smoke-free areas. We’re making great progress on our Customer Service Initiative, our food waste program, and our use of hybrid cars, and we’re also making important investments in our future with our new animal shelter, Gilman Street sports fields, and youth employment programs.
The following pages have information about a variety of programs, including:
Page 2: Emergency Cell Phone Calls, the AccessMobile, and Oil Spill Volunteers
Page 3: Customer Service Improvements, Emergency Notifications, Hayward Fault and Gilman Street Fields
Page 4-5: City Budget Information
Page 6: Berkeley News Bites
Page 7: Berkeley Climate Action, Green Programs for Residents, and a Smaller City Footprint.
So please, keep reading, and if you would like to know more or would like to comment on what you see in the Annual Report or elsewhere on our website, email me directly. I look forward to hearing from you.
P.S. Looking for 2007's Annual Report? Find it here.