What’s Up with Berkeley?

While the state and other cities are struggling big-time and talking about firing hundreds of public employees, the City of Berkeley is in such good shape that it’s not planning to lay off a single person. According to the Trib, Mayor Tom Bates credits City Manager Phil Kamlarz for keeping the city out of serious financial trouble at a time when other Bay Area cities, including Oakland and San Francisco, are facing huge problems. Sure, Berkeley is planning to eliminate some jobs, but the city plans to make the cuts through attrition, and by transferring employees around. In other words, no one is going to be out of work because of the economic downturn. That’s remarkable, when you think about it, and if Bates is right, then Berkeley may be the prime example of the importance of having a competent city administrator running the show.

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