Tag Archives: mayor

Ratio of power at Oakland City Hall?

I took the old photo of our city “leadership” and pasted in faces of current staff and soon-to-be sworn in councilmembers-elect. I don’t know who the two ladies are with “?” marks but assume one of them is the City Clerk.

What is the ratio of power at Oakland City Hall? Between city departments, city council, mayor and city administrator. (Ignoring for a moment our city attorney and auditor, and all the politically well connected non-profits, unions and developers, lobbying business interests – they are in power by proxy anyway.)

The power ratio is certainly not 1:1:1:1.

It’s probably more like 9:8:1:1. Continue reading

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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

.get your influence peddling on.

fyi….

September 30th  is the last day you can give free money to your Oakland mayoral candidates — and have it “count” on the chessboard of public opinion. (Since figures will be released early October.)

Continue reading

Making Crime Unprofitable

This post comes in the wake the author getting assaulted on Broadway at 25th Street over the weekend.

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What are our society’s financial incentives to keep crime down?  How are financial incentives set up right now?

Is the Mayor of Oakland (Ron Dellums) paid according to how safe our city is? Hell no.  Same for the OPD Chief.  Does he get a bonus for a safer city? Should he? I believe so.

Continue reading