LIVE: City Hall budget meeting, video here

Today’s city budget meetings from 5pm to 6pm and onward are viewable LIVE here via KTOP (and possibly thanks to the city’s Dept of IT)

Blah blah blah. I don’t hear anyone talking about cutting city worker PENSIONS down to normal size, or eliminating them for NEW HIRES permanently.

City of Oakland MUST cut its budget by 30-40% for the next ten to fifteen years’ worth of budget cycles.  That means by $300-400MM.  Up to $400 million in cuts.

The easy solutions:

  1. Privatize Oakland Housing Authority, aka OHA public section8 housing ($120-130MM net value at most, but huge one-time boost)  Probably would cause riots. Non-starter? Do gradually.
  2. ELIMINATE Pensions for ALL New Hires. Easy. Nobody in private sector is getting any! No 201ks either jokers.
  3. Be honest and up front with pension holders.  Say that we are breaking our promise to pay for their 90% paid salary retirements forever.  Decrease pension payments to Retired Oakland City workers – police, fire, planning department, whatever – gradually over time to ease the pain.

No more delays. No more lies.  The longer you wait to amputate the gangrene, the more you have to cut off!

* * * *

LiveBlogging Highlights:

Public Works Director: we’re falling behind on filling in potholes, filled in 9,000 last year and now need to lay off PW staff positions.

Rebuilding Oaktown comment: STOP REPAVING. Start installing RAILROAD RAILS. No need to repave rails!!!

Community & Econ Development Agency Director William Cohn:Major savings next year ($4.5MM)

RO Comment:4.5MM is major savings? I suppose with respect to this year’s deficit of 15MM yes, but compared to future liabilities, no.

Bruce Nye, Jim Blackman, Vicky Carson UnionLocal21, Cary Joe, Jeffry Levine, ?, Ivon Martinez, Rachel Richmond, Dayl Hagen, Rich Carlson.

BN with Make Oakland Better Now: Read OakTrib story of $15MM deficit and seeing city shell game manuvers addressed with delays/smoke and mirrors last year.   City not addressing keeping core services going, but rather selling/transfering more stuff to itself.

RO Comment: right on: city is doing “extend and pretend” just like the Too-Big-to-Fail-Banks!

Vicky Carson: cannot cut our way out of this crisis.Can offer early retirement incentives.

RO Comment: Boo, NOT TRUE! The only way out.

Jeff Levine, Union Local21 rep #2.  Cost savings over-stated. Concern about use of temporary employees instead of union employees to be laid-off.

RO Comment: DUH. This is what private companies are increasingly doing. I was a temp employee for IRS through sub-contractor Bank of America’s “lockbox” processing centers. No bennies, no pension, no crying!

Woman in green with black blazer: Asking city council why council is laying off talented city workers, esp Planner IV level positions. (like this woman and or her colleagues?)  Asks for reductions at all levels, Staff positions 1 thru 4.

RO Comment: no money.

6:25pm: Ivon Martinez, SEIU Local(#?). Complaining about eliminating 2 meter maid positions to create 1 non-revenue generating supervisor position.

RO Comment: Take out more meters, add more card/coin meter stations!  Less aimless driving around. And yes don’t do 2-for-1s.

More names being called…

Sanjiv, Jason Madani, Gladys Green, Daniel Shulman…….

City Atty’s Office: One of 7 paralegals speaking. Arguing on behalf of city maintaining its CA staff, protect against lawsuits.

RO Comment: Hey, bankruptcy!! That would help Oakland…

6:31pm: Gladys Green: city should keep its senior centers open.

RO Comment: Will seniors raise pitchforks and guns and take on city hall to keep their piece of the pie? The pie is shrinking every year from here on out folks!!

6:45pm: busy, no more liveblogging.

7:04pm: exception. (Disabled advocate asks where are amenities for disabled.

RO Comment: Well, go look in formerly Third World Asia and 3W Africa.  There were no disabled ramps or parking permits before Columbus got here either.  That’s where we’re going – fast! Sorry to say it but that’s the truth.

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