Tag Archives: fire

Oakland Voter Guide: Why Oakland Sucks & How We Will Improve It

Oakland has lots going for it, except for a dysfunctional OPD and City Hall. And ultimately, voter ignorance of both. Here’s how you can make a difference and actually change your city.

The short and long answer: spend 30 minutes reading about your city council candidates before filling in your ballot every four years. City Hall affects you far more than national policies will. If you can’t control your own neighborhood and city, what chance do you have to affect national decisions about how the federal government spends our income taxes?

Read up on the people (and organizations backing them) who will be holding power over you and deciding where our tax money goes in Oakland. Is that too much to ask?

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Oakland can’t afford more cops or proper cop training because we’re not paying them, firemen and every other city employee at affordable levels.

OPD pay package: $200-250,000 per year. This is according to the Len Raphael campaign website.

Minority communities don’t cooperate with police partly due to many incidences of actual and perceived police brutality and profiling.

*** We could FIRE repeatedly abusive OPD cops IF city council would repeal “binding arbitration.”

*** We could pay police/fire (75% of city budget*) less and use the savings for better OPD training, and hire more good police, IF city council would repeal “binding arbitration.”

*$170k-250k/year total compensation package for every police and fire guy/gal. Not sustainable! Most other Oakland city employees are overpaid by 10-20% vs other bay area cities too.

With all the savings from actually adjusting pay packages down to Earth, we’d have money to immediately hire more police.

“And this is why we can’t have nice things.”

The city used to publish an internal salary survey on its website, but lately that’s too embarrassing so they removed it in 2009. Sounds just like Deanna Santana’s plan to limit public access to Oakland city council meetings.

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What is “binding arbitration”?

It’s part of Oakland’s city charter (our “constitution”) and prevents city council from re-negotiating any city union pay packages or firing Oakland cops for flagrant, repeat abuses. Continue reading


A streetcar named Oakland?

How much fuel does our city government burn through every day of the week? Oil and gas can only be burned once you know! And fossil fuel is super duper useful. One gallon of gas pushes a Crown Victoria 15 city miles, unless it’s hot rodding through poorer areas. (i wouldn’t blame the driver. driving is much less pleasant IMO than walking or biking a beat)

How many city employees, Telegraph hipsters, downtown office plankton, restaurant day laborers or slaves would you need to push this squad car 15 miles? How much would you pay any of these heathens hourly, vs the mere $2.97 (or $4.22) for four quarts of 87-octane gas? (*facetious answers at bottom)

Once oil is fed to our cars and burnt out our tailpipes–poof. No more “go” until the next tanker truck shows up. In an earthquake, economic collapse, or other situation it might be a while. So when is our Safeway bread and juice reload scheduled for then? How many days of fuel does City of Oakland keep on hand?

I contacted my city councilwoman, the illustrious Ms. Nadel, to ask how much fuel the city has on hand in case of any type of emergency. How many days can the city operate? We already have to ground the OPD “ghetto bird” helicopter (actually it’s a MD 500E that gets 1-2 miles per gallon; 64 gallon capacity; 150mph top speed; 34 gallons per hour*; 1.5 hour range) due to lack of fuel (money… fuel and money, same thing)…

Here’s the response I received from OFD:

The City has a fuel supply of about 12-14 days on hand. [more than most residents. is this normal supply or emergency overdrive high-burn-rate supply?]

Additionally, the City has several agreements with fuel suppliers during emergencies. [who? at what rate?]

I believe that our supply will be adequate as during a major disaster we will begin to receive State and Federal assistance for resources with 7 days. [from schwarzenegger and the kinder, friendlier bush? are you kidding?]

I hope you will find this information useful. [i’m quite grateful; details would be lovely]

Best Regards,


What’s this mean to you? To our city? Will the State of California or FEMA come to Oakland’s aid in a major emergency?

Water is way more important than fuel, but fuel is vital to the movement of food and water into cities…in many, many ways.

Continue reading