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Re: “Town Business: Oakland Fire Department Still Seriously Under-Staffed

The problems with the Oakland Fire Department is much deeper than the numbers. The critical issue is lack of qualified experience at top management levels and in other critical areas of the department. This was clearly evident when for almost 2 weeks after the Ghost Ship fire last year, the Fire Chief (Reed) made no public statements and deferred to her Deputy Chiefs to respond to questions at news briefings. The reason was that Reed was hired because of her former colleague at the City of San Jose, Deanna Santana, who was the City Administrator under Mayor Jean Quan. Once again friendships and relationships seem to trump training and experience at the top levels of management in Oakland. Reed was a numbers cruncher in San Jose, responsible for the budget. She was woefully lacking in field operation experience. She was also lacking in professional attitude and demeanor when she lost her cool at a public meeting when challenged by the public about her staffs performance in the north hills area. She should have never been hired for this job. More importantly, there has for years been a serious internal lack of technical expertise qualified to administer codes related to fire suppression systems, hazardous waste and plan checking for new development. Since at least the year 2000, there has only been one or two people on staff to manage those important program areas. All firefighters want to respond to calls in the field, wash the truck, go to Safeway, lift weights and look good in uniform. Somehow very few in Oakland seem willing or required to put in the hours of study and training in the more complex technical areas of fire safety. Change has to come from the top and the focus needs to be on more than just numbers.

Posted by Gary Patton on 04/26/2017 at 9:23 AM

Re: “Condominium Conversions in Oakland Displace Renters and Undermine Affordability, According to Tenants and Housing Experts

Oakland lacks an effect policy for protecting and increasing affordable rental housing.

Oakland officials are not responsive to citizens's requests for help.

That's Oakland in a nutshell, baby!

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 04/26/2017 at 8:14 AM

Re: “Blacklisted: How The Oakland Police Department Discriminates Against Rappers and Music Venues

This is a typical Oakland tale: city hall (Mayor and her staff) completely out of touch with the community. Police Department with no practical or effective idea of how to deal with gang and individual violence.

Solution is intelligent and competent leadership in Oakland. Which has for a very very long time seemed an impossibility.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 04/26/2017 at 8:07 AM

Re: “Top Commander Accused of Turning California National Guard Into ‘Criminal Syndicate’

Unless the press continues to ask the hard questions, nothing will be resolved. This has been going on since before MG Baldwin. Go beyond the information the PR person gives any reporter. It's as bad, or worse, as the listed comments in this site.

Posted by littleone on 04/26/2017 at 5:01 AM

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