Stop and Go

Life in the Fast Lane

Ann Smulka “talked traffic” at a recent meeting of CENA —

Claremont Elmwood Neighborhood Association 

CENA held its monthly meeting at St. John’s Church on College Avenue in Berkeley. Ann discussed the improvements negotiated as part of the Fourth Bore Tunnel Road / Ashby Avenue settlement.  It is estimated that thousands of cars travel up and down Tunnel Road each day.  This month, some work on the Fourth Bore project has begun but drilling is scheduled after a sound wall is built.  Construction is scheduled to take five years. 

In 2005 Ann helped pull together the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore Coalition with her neighbor, John Eastman, and a half dozen neighborhood groups. Theirs was a joint effort by civic and community groups to promote respect for the environment  These groups included CENA as well as the following:

NHPA North Hills Phoenix Assn


Parkwoods Condos                                                                      

East Bay Bike Coalition

 and Frog Park

Eventually Ann was named District Appointee to the Berkeley Transportation Commission by Gordon Wozniak, City Council Representative for District 8.  Wozniak (center) talks with Berkeley residents after the CENA meeting:  Martha Jones (left), former CENA president and community organizer, and David Morris, owner of Bread Garden Bakery for more than 30 years, now struggling to stay in business

Most people are not aware that there are 44 different commissions and boards in the City of Berkeley.  These are staffed by approximately 350 citizen volunteers, who advise the Berkeley City Council on matters of policy.

Years ago Ann and her husband bought one of my listings, near my own home on Alvarado.  We have been good friends ever since.  I’ve been grateful how much Ann contributes to the community.  She brought to my attention several other immediate neighbors on Alvarado and Vicente who also serve on Berkeley commissions:

     Matt Mitchell – Emergency and Fire Preparedness Commission
     Ann Wagley – Landmark Preservation and Citizen’s Humane Commissions
     Jonathan Wornick – Peace & Justice Commission
     David Joseph-Goteiner – Youth Commission

Here’s the link to the Berkeley commissions web page:  Ann said there are frequent membership changes.   So interested citizens are encouraged to check with the Office of the City Clerk for current information regarding vacancies through the Office of the  City Clerk.  Citizens may submit at any time an application for any commission.  It’s a great way to get involved and make a difference.  General information on the role of each commission, when and where meetings are held, and contact information for the staff secretary may be found by selecting a name from  from the Boards & Commissions page.

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