Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Berkeley ponies up $90,000 to help military men and women

By kbender
Thursday, May 22nd, 2008 at 3:15 pm in Uncategorized.

Several months after the City Council sparked the ire (read: pissed off) the right, the left and just about everyone in between by calling the United States Marine recruiting center “uninvited and unwelcome intruders,” the council showed its’ patriotic side this earlier this week.

The council approved $90,000 to supplement city employee’s military pay and health benefits when they are away from their jobs serving in Iraq. Nine city employees, mostly Berkeley cops, have served in the Middle East since the war began more than five years ago.

Berkeley has spent more than $300,000 paying for the difference between their city pay and their military pay and covering their health benefits, said Mayor Tom Bates.
Of course, Bates said, the city is still against the war.

‘But we want to distinguish between the warriors and the war. We are just very proud of the people who have served (the country),” Bates said.

One of those people is Earl Elzy, a Berkeley public works employee, who recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq and was honored by the council this week.

“I’m very thankful for the appreciation I get from the city of Berkeley,” he said at the meeting. “I am proud to serve my country and the city of Berkeley.”

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