Thursday, June 13, 2013

Thursday Must Reads: Oakland Budget Battles Heat Up; Mayor Quan’s Chief of Staff Appointed to School Board

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Jun 13, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland City Council will consider competing budget proposals at a hearing today at City Hall that will ultimately determine whether the city will further civilianize its police force or provide raises to non-sworn employees. A plan authored by Council President Pat Kernighan that’s backed by Councilwoman Libby Schaaf and Mayor Jean Quan would add five civilian police dispatchers and ten civilian evidence technicians to help the police department solve crimes. But a competing proposal from Councilmembers Larry Reid, Desley Brooks, and Noel Gallo would instead fund pay increases for civilian employees citywide, the Chron$ reports. The city’s budget director, however, has said that the Reid, Brooks, and Gallo plan will cause a $9 million shortfall because it fails to properly account for the proposed raises.

Anne Campbell Washington
  • Anne Campbell Washington
2. The Oakland school board appointed Anne Campbell Washington — Mayor Quan’s chief of staff — to fill a vacant seat on the board, the Trib reports. Campbell Washington will replace outgoing board member Gary Yee, who is taking over as interim superintendent of schools. Campbell Washington, who has two children in Oakland public schools, apparently will also keep her job in Quan’s office.

3. UC Berkeley and other UC and CSU schools likely will begin offering scholarships to students from middle-income families under the budget deal reached by Governor Brown and state legislative leaders, SFGate reports. Middle-class students have increasingly been priced out of UC and CSU schools in recent years because they haven’t qualified for financial aid as tuition has skyrocketed. Under the program, students whose families make between $80,000 and $150,000 annually will receive tuition discounts ranging from 10 percent to 40 percent.

4. Two gay men have sued the San Leandro Police Department in federal court, alleging that police discriminated against them in a police sting that specifically targeted gay men who hook up at the San Leandro Marina, the Tribune reports. The men, who were arrested for allegedly engaging in publicly lewd behavior but were never charged, contend that San Leandro police do not target heterosexual couples in the same way.

5. Two Caltrans consultants say the agency should open the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge on Labor Day as planned, because they contend that the new bridge, even with its broken bolt problems, is much safer than the old bridge, the CoCo Times reports.

6. And the Chron$ notes that the ACLU’s lawsuit against the NSA over its phone-data collection program likely will center on a 1979 US Supreme Court case that ruled that people give up their right to privacy when they phone someone.

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