2011 City of Berkeley Annual Report
Page 1: Letter From the City Manager
The City of Berkeley's Annual Report has been mailed to every residence and business in Berkeley. An interactive version of the report follows, or you can download a PDF of the report here.
The technology for the Above Ground Fire System didn’t exist at the time of the Hills Fire, but in fall of 2010, the City of Berkeley became the first U.S. city to have this system for fighting landbased fires. Berkeley now has the ability to run six miles of hose from the Bay to the Hills.
Planning For Tomorrow
This October, East Bay cities will honor the 20th anniversary of the Oakland-Berkeley Hills Fire Storm.
The fire burned for three long days, killed 25 people, and destroyed 3,354 homes. Residents and City workers alike have not forgotten the devastation, or how emergency crews came from all over the state to help fight the fire and keep it from spreading to other residential neighborhoods.
Memories of that fire are still present in the work we do today. Berkeley is active in the Hills Emergency Forum, which works on interagency coordination, and the City recently joined a regional public safety radio interoperability network that includes over 30 other nearby agencies. The fire is a factor in City planning decisions, parking policies, traffic enforcement, and road repair plans. It’s also one of the reasons that disaster preparedness training is done by staff from every City department.
As both the national and local economies remain uncertain, it’s important that Berkeley residents know that the City is focusing on what’s important to our community: the safety and quality of life of Berkeley residents. About 80% of the City’s year-around workforce are in just six departments: Public Works, Police, Fire, Health, Library, and Parks, Recreation and Waterfront. City workers are collecting garbage and maintaining our parks, staffing libraries, senior centers and recreation programs, responding to emergency calls, and at the same time, preparing for future disasters.
We’re also working to meet the challenges of an aging infrastructure. Streets, sewers, and storm drains require constant maintenance, and the recession has forced us to delay important projects in order to meet other critical needs.
To help better explain how we balance resources to meet the needs of the community, we’ve put the City’s workplan online: CityofBerkeley.info/workplan. We hope this helps illuminate the many services that City workers provide every day, and gives the public a tool for shaping City services in the future.
We’re also working to make it easier for you to tell us about things that aren’t working in your neighborhood. The Online Service Center allows 24/7 reporting of broken lights, sidewalks, potholes, or graffiti (CityofBerkeley.info/onlineservice). You can also call the 311 Call Center during business hours. Either way, you’ll be given a customer service tracking number so you can follow up on your request.
As the economy struggles to stabilize, we’ll continue to focus our resources on what is important to our community. As we get ready to commemorate the Hills Fire, please join us in preparing for tomorrow's challenges.
Phil Kamlarz, City Manager