Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday Must Read: Quan Ousts Two Budget Officials; Prop 8 Sent Back to State Supreme Court

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 7:03 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. In her first full day as mayor of Oakland, Jean Quan ousted the city’s two top budget officials and replaced one of them, the Trib reports. Assistant City Administrator Marianna Marysheva is leaving the city effective Friday, as is city Budget Director Cheryl Taylor. Quan, who has vowed to deliver a balanced city budget by the end of March, appointed Sabrina Landreth, an analyst in the budget office, to replace Taylor. Landreth also was a budget analyst for the city council’s finance committee when Quan was the chairwoman. Quan also attended morning roll call yesterday at the police department. On Monday night, about 1,000 people showed up at City Hall for an open house — that Quan hosted — to learn about volunteer opportunities in the city.

2. The legal battle over Proposition 8 is headed back to the state Supreme Court to answer the question of whether anti-gay-marriage forces have a right to defend the measure, the Chron reports. A federal appellate court asked the state Supreme Court to intervene in the case, saying it's unclear under California law whether the anti-gay-marriage side has standing in the case after the state refused to defend Prop. 8. If the state Supreme Court rules that the anti-gay-marriage forces don’t have standing, then a lower court ruling that overturned Prop. 8 will be upheld.

3. Top UC officials who threatened to sue the university system have no legal right to bigger pensions, UC President Mark Yudoff and regents Chairman Russ Gould said yesterday, the Chron reports. UC executives have said they were promised larger pensions, but Yudoff and Gould maintained that the university only said it would examine the issue.

4. Governor Jerry Brown wants to transfer more responsibilities from the state to counties and cities, but local officials are worried that there wont’ be enough money to do the job, the Chron reports. Brown’s plan is short on specifics, but he said he’s thinking about changing the way foster care, welfare, food stamps, and parole and probation services are provided to the public.

5. In the latest attempt to ban SmartMeters, the Marin County Board of Supervisors approved a one-year moratorium on the controversial devices, the Chron reports. However, it’s unclear whether PG&E will honor the moratorium as it has done in the city of Fairfax and Santa Cruz County. Opponents of SmartMeters worry that they pose health risks and overcharge ratepayers.

6. And the Oakland Raiders fired head coach Tom Cable after finishing the season 8-8, the Chron reports. Team owner Al Davis apparently intends to promote offensive coordinator Hue Jackson to replace Cable. The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile, hired a new general manager and are hotly pursuing Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh.

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