City Council: Woolley Opts Out, Leaving Large Field





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As more Berkeley residents declared their intent to run for Berkeley City Council, an incumbent announced yesterday that she would not seek a second term.

Councilmember Diane Woolley, who has worked at several daily newspapers, said she will probably go back to journalism.

"Six years (on the council) is enough," she said. "There's more to life than the City Council. I've given it my best shot. You don't want (to stop) because you're working on projects, but it doesn't end and you just have to draw the line somewhere."

Woolley, whose advice to the next person in her seat is to keep a sense of humor, said the hardest part of her job was being in the public eye.

"You have to keep your shoes tied," she said.

Though she will not be a member, Woolley still has some advice for the future council.

"The city needs to direct much more of its attention and budget to the sewers," she said. "In the winter, they erupt and (their contents) end up in the creek, which ends up in the bay."

With Woolley out of the race and less than three weeks left to declare candidacy, Miriam Hawley is the only person running for the District 5 seat.

Hawley, who has lived in Berkeley since 1957, was on the Bay Area board of the League of Women Voters and currently represents Berkeley and Albany on the the AC Transit Board of Supervisors. District 5 encompasses North Berkeley.

"I've always been accessible and responsive to my constituents," she said. "I decided not to run for (the transit board) but to come back to Berkeley."

Hawley said she wants to improve the public transportation system in Downtown Berkeley as well as work with the city's schools to build after-school programs.

In District 6, Councilmember Betty Olds will face competition from Norine Smith, a UC Berkeley alumnus who is president of Software Consultants, Inc. She also runs Berkeley Language Schools, Inc., which teaches computer programming.

"I've worked in the headquarters of the major corporations in the area, (such as) Levi Strauss, Bank of America and Wells Fargo as a software consultant," she said. "I want to introduce a little professionalism in the council instead of that infighting. One of the problems is the factionalism. I'm an independent and I'd vote based on the facts."

Smith said she wants to support students by endorsing the protesters who are fighting for student housing on Underhill Parking Lot.

"(Olds) hasn't appointed any students to the city commissions," Smith said. "Students have a lot of energy, talents and fresh ideas and I want to use that."

Smith said she wants the city to be more fiscally responsible, and advocates cutting city staff and the cost of construction projects.

"That's how they waste our money," she said. "Those tax dollars should be paving our streets."

District 6 includes the Berkeley Hills and Northeast Berkeley.

Smith said she wants to improve Berkeley's "ambiance" by supporting bicyclists and pedestrians and fighting against raising building height limits.

"We need to cut bicyclists some slack," she said. "I wouldn't give bicyclists tickets for not stopping at stop lights."

Carol Hughes-Willoughby, one of three people challenging Margaret Breland for her Southwest Berkeley council seat, said she attended Berkeley's public schools until she dropped out and became addicted to alcohol and drugs.

"I started my recovery in 1987 and I realized I needed to give back to the community," said Hughes-Willoughby, who is now a pastor at New Life Ministries in Oakland.

She said she taught classes on HIV and AIDS to health care organizations through the West Berkeley Health Center and organized a community health fair in Berkeley. Additionally, she said she has spoken to national audiences about her experience with domestic violence.

The city needs more police officers and arrests as well as more effective programs for treating substance abuse, she said. She is currently working on a program to help people quit smoking.

Hughes-Willoughby, who said she is known by locals as "Mama Carol," said she has been an advocate for youth in the juvenile justice system and has coordinated self esteem programs at a home for runaway children.

No one has filed for candidacy against Vice Mayor Maudelle Shirek. The deadline for all filings is Aug. 11.

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