Familiar Council

CITY AFFAIRS Berkeley needs to move forward with the four incumbents that have almost certainly been re-elected to City Council.

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Although the city chose the same members, we hope to see some different results.

In Tuesday's election at the local level, all incumbents appear to have retained their seats on Berkeley City Council: Linda Maio, Jesse Arreguin, Kriss Worthington and Gordon Wozniak.

The Senior Editorial Board evaluated this election with the philosophy that we wanted to see change. This time around, council members should take note.

The passage of Measure R is the most prominent and clearest indicator of voters' opinions. The 64.22 percent in favor is a clear sign that the building height debate should be over so the city can move on. Now, we need an actual downtown area plan that relies on the 12 approved goals as a guide, and we would like to see collaboration on that project.

There is nothing wrong with a diversity of voices and opinions. Yet the two incumbents whom we did not endorse this election cycle - Arreguin and Worthington - should use their capabilities to work towards a solution and move past the "dissenting voice" rhetoric that they have often referenced. Dissent for the sake of disagreement is nowhere near progress.

We have further, less philosophical expectations not only for Arreguin and Worthington but also for the other two incumbents. Each official's subsequent term should be better than his or her previous one.

In District 1, Maio should be more open about her work with Pacific Steel Casting Company. As we have mentioned before, the community should feel it has a greater part in the process.

Wozniak has done a good job in facilitating community and fraternity relationships and should continue this communication. Also, we want to add another plug for him to look into tangled traffic issues.

Arreguin should immediately seek to address the businesses and constituents in his district who have said that their voices are not heard. He is still the council's newest member and we look forward to seeing him work towards his potential with other council members.

Finally, Worthington must address the fact that Telegraph Avenue and People's Park continues to blight the area. He needs to take care of business - even if that takes the first elementary step of walking down Telegraph to count the depressing number of empty storefronts. In his meeting with us, Worthington said he was going to work to change the area. We hope that will happen this term.

If nothing else, this election provided a forum for the community to bring up their concerns with the status quo. And council members would be wise to incorporate these articulated ideas into their ongoing service, instead of brushing them aside since most ballots have been counted.


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