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Comment Archives: Stories: News & Opinion: Feature

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Useful information to pass on to readers, no matter how contradictory, conflicting, self-serving, and chaotic it may be. This isn't yet another straightforward Oakland budget fight, pitting department against department, neighborhood against neighborhood for gaining more city funding and resources, politician jockeying for position against other politicians. This also involves defending reputation that one or one's fellow staffers bore any responsibility for those deaths.

This kind of infighting is often seen in both the public and private sector organizations when leaders are ineffectual, ignorant, inexperienced, or just not capable of gaining the respect of the people under their responsibility.

I think both MS Kaplan and Mr. Patton are correct that mismanagement starts in the Mayors office, extends thru the City Administrator, and is reflected in incompetent, ineffectual department heads and upper management.

An Oakland mayor does not need to personally have the management skills of ex NYC Mayor Bloomberg, but they have to know how to find a City Administrator who does.. And we don't have to go back to the City Manager form of government that we had before Measure X. Few cities of our size or bigger kept the City Manager structure as they grew.

Regardless of why Mayor Schaaf chose Sabrina Landreth as City Administrator, it is time for Landreth to move on and for Schaaf to break the pattern set by Dellums and Quan of selecting unexperienced or inexperienced City Administrators. Find someone with solid line management experience in a much bigger city, either at the top or just below the chain of command. Not a manager or administrator from a tiny city who you hope will grow into the job. We might well have to offer a much longer, sweeter contract than normal to get that City Administrator. We might have to recruit form the non-profit or the for-profit sectors.

We can't afford to keep stumbling on from one departmental disaster to another.

Posted by Len Raphael on 12/10/2016 at 8:39 PM
Posted by Rick Gower on 12/10/2016 at 8:27 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

There is a vast group of retired firefrighters who have eperience and training, that could be pqassed on to the now acive members, This cadre of firefighters, engineers, and officers, is wide and deep in experience, and manyu would be happy an proud to come to service for the city to train, educate, and have the history necessary to mainyain an excellent department We have at least three or four members who retired as chiefs of other departments, such as Richmond, South San Francisco, and other major departments in the bay area, who shouold have been considered for the chiefs job in Oakland.
Just contact the retirement office and you will find all the names and places of these dedeicated, highy trained individuals.

Posted by Rick Gower on 12/10/2016 at 8:26 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

The fire chief is a retired fire Capt. from San Jose FD. When she interviewed for the position, the panel said she was the worst candidate they had. Were surprised she got the position. The Oakland city manager, was a friend of hers from city of San Jose. She was given the position. She is collecting a retirement and a salary from the City of Oakland. There others in the department, that were more qualified than her. That knew the city and needs of department. I am making a assumption, that they needed someone from the outside to cut costs.

Posted by Bea Burg on 12/10/2016 at 5:06 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

As I said...something is wrong with the assessed value in the first place. But usage outside proper zoning should result in more than a fine...it should nullify Prop 13 protections.

Should. Somebody would have to make the legal argument and have it stick...what a fascinating legal mess.

Did the assessed value keep going up? I find that hard to believe. Place had no power or water and stole from the neighbors. It appears that tax-wise the property was VACANT.

TAX FRAUD???

Out of all this human drama...what a dull little angle. I wonder if anybody in the media could be made to care?

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/09/2016 at 3:57 AM

Re: “When the Mind Splits

I currently have a friend that had Dissociative Disorder and I need to get her help ASAP. I live in the bay area but do not know who to get it from and how to contact her family about it; right now as I am typing it is 1:45Am and I just got off the phone with her, she is drunk and possibly might be in shock and I have no idea where she is. I'm hoping she wakes up tomorrow and calls me.

I need help, if anyone knows any professional Psychotherapist in the bay area that works with DID: please contact me in a comment reply here or message me immediately.

Thank you.

Posted by Molly 1 on 12/09/2016 at 1:49 AM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Mr Eroster I assume your economic calculation is correct but remember due to Prop 13 that is irrelevant . Just determine the assessed
value when acquired and the most it can be increased is 2% a year. This under assessment of commercial property is the cause of many of our City's financial problems.

Posted by ed gerber on 12/08/2016 at 6:28 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

The lesson that responsible grown-ups need to enforce responsible and lawful behavior is utterly lost on Demotro Polis and his or her red fist. Next time you think about calling police...don't. Just stand right there and defend yourself with your little cartoon fist.

We need all those police AND all those firemen. Was there not enough money to pay for these employees? Let me tell you this...if a warehouse has an assessed value of 43k but that warehouse is worth 6k in rent every month with absolutely no improvements or upkeep then something is drastically wrong with the assessed value in the first place. And that is where the taxes come to pay, for example, firemen.

If the warehouse was being used as an apartment then back taxes should be paid for all the years of under-the-radar unzoned usage.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/08/2016 at 4:14 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

thanks for this . it's time to reduce police budget, to require police to be individually insured and boded, and force them and their union to pay out 'settlements' and lost lawsuits due to police misconduct and brutality

these funds will be plenty to pay for as many first responders and firefighters, along with training, as we need

Posted by demotro polis on 12/08/2016 at 1:40 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

I cant take her seriously standing behind a Fire Truck podium. wth Oakland, wth....

Posted by Jason Clark on 12/08/2016 at 11:16 AM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Real firemen are snuff-chewing, spitting, swearing, politically-incorrect he-man manly men.

It is obvious this particular department is emphasizing something besides putting out fires and a whole class of warrior fire fighters have stayed away rather than pursue a job in a department where they will inevitably run afoul of the PC police.

Did you see that Saturday Nigjt Live sketch called The Bubble? Remember who didn't want to live in The Bubble?

Firemen.

Posted by Charles C. Eroster on 12/08/2016 at 11:10 AM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Mr. BondGraham,

The police department is authorized to have 779 sworn officers, of which 746 are actually filled -- leaving 33 positions vacant. That is your "apples to apples" comparison. The total number of vacancies is 92 as I stated, which includes civilian employees such as dispatchers, crime analysts, records personnel, etc.

The source of the true data: OPD has prepared a Personnel Distribution Report for many years. It reflects reality.

The administrative report to which you link is flimflam. It says that the total sworn police positions is 685 when the City does have 746 officers. For years public discussion of OPD staffing has revolved around the number 800 officers: is that still too few (yes), will the City get to 800 soon, etc.

Anyone with experience observing Oakland government would find it highly exceptional that the City was almost fully staffed up to its budgeted police officer count. Haven't you read the routine news reports once or twice a year when a police academy graduates? The numbers always reveal that OPD is understaffed. And it has been reported many times that four or five officers on average retire and resign every month. To think that only two of our authorized police positions are vacant at a given moment is unreal.

Mr. BondGraham, consumed by your antagonism to the police department as shown in article after article, you let yourself accept a ridiculous number. Whatever the reason, the case remains that basic facts in your articles are unreliable.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 12/08/2016 at 9:28 AM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Somehow people keep ignoring the bottom line problem when it comes to leadership at the City of Oakland. MEASURE X needs to be repealed. Mayor Schaaf is a nice person and tries hard, but at the end of the day, just because you can get 50 % of the 30% of citizens who vote to check the box next to your name does not qualify you to run a city. Running the day to day operation of a city the size of Oakland is complicated and should be done by a trained, educated and experienced City Manager. Being Mayor is political not technical or professional. The problems in Oakland with leadership in many areas are a direct result of weak and inexperienced people in key executive management positions. Trained experienced top level managers in the workforce will never ever be interested in working in a place like Oakland because they recognize dysfunction and are not interested in working for Mayors and administrators who are political and do not know what they are doing. Without the change I am suggesting, this will never get better. Jerry Brown was a unique candidate when Measure X was adopted in 1998. Not one of the Mayors elected since has been even close to being capable of running a City. When Robert Bobb was the City Manager in charge of the day to day operation, qualified and experienced professionals in all areas of the organization were flocking to Oakland. Since X was adopted, Bobb resigned and the City Administrator, with less authority, now works for the Mayor, the quality of managers and level of services to the citizens has gone down each and every year. The structure of the organization mandated by Measure X is set up for this to continue and trust me it will continue to get worse.

Posted by Gary Patton on 12/08/2016 at 5:14 AM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

Charlie Pine,

I relied on the city administration's October 24, 2016 Semi-Annual Vacancy Report.

It shows that the Oakland Police Department currently has only 2 vacant sworn police officer positions.

The Fire Department has 63 sworn firefighter positions vacant right now, according to that same report.

Another document I have from the Fire Department shows that they filled one position since then, bringing their sworn staffing vacancy to 62.

I'm comparing apples to apples.

I invite readers to review the document here: https://oakland.legistar.com/LegislationDe…

Posted by Darwin BondGraham on 12/07/2016 at 10:39 PM

Re: “Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn't Even In Its Inspection Database

This expose is marred by a blatant falsehood that makes one wonder: "The Oakland Police Department has only two vacant positions." The current OPD personnel report, prepared Nov. 28, 2016, details 92 unfilled positions. So much for Mr. BondGraham's crude attempt to set OPD against OFD. What other basic facts did he get wrong?

Posted by Charlie Pine on 12/07/2016 at 8:50 PM

Re: “Art Gallery Grifter: How White Walls Owner Justin Giarla Scammed Artists Out Of Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars, Then Disappeared

What a loser piece of shit! Using people is bad enough but fucking with their art is deplorable. His ass deserves prison time for sure. Karma will follow.

Posted by nanabriggs on 12/02/2016 at 9:50 PM

Re: “Just Vegas, Baby?: What Are the Odds that the Oakland Raiders Move to Sin City?

If you don't want the raiders moving to Las Vegas, sign the petition at nolvraiders.com

Posted by adrock702 on 11/25/2016 at 11:40 PM

Re: “Art Gallery Grifter: How White Walls Owner Justin Giarla Scammed Artists Out Of Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars, Then Disappeared

Really no one that's a competitor? How about FIFTY24SF, 111 Minna, Mirus, Heron Arts? Thanks for supporting all the local galleries that have never screwed anyone over Lauren Nopalitano!

Posted by Cleva on 11/25/2016 at 12:17 AM

Re: “Art Gallery Grifter: How White Walls Owner Justin Giarla Scammed Artists Out Of Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars, Then Disappeared

I was never paid for works sold (by Cerasoli LeBasse gallery, L.A.) at Aqua Art Fair Miami in 2008. I've given up but I'm still miffed...

Posted by jenniferdavis on 11/24/2016 at 11:46 AM

Re: “Top Ramen For Life: The Student Loan Crisis

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