Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Must Read: City and Civil Rights Attorneys Can’t Agree on OPD Czar; State Demands that Oakland Hand Over $18 million in Affordable Housing Funds

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 9:47 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland city leaders and civil rights attorneys have failed to reach agreement on who should become the “compliance director” of the Oakland Police Department, the Trib reports. The compliance director will have sweeping powers over OPD and its efforts to live up to court-mandated reforms. Federal Judge Thelton Henderson had asked the city and attorneys Jim Chanin and John Burris to come up with a joint recommendation for who should be hired for the position, but the two sides could not agree. As a result, both sides will submit names and Henderson will make the choice.

2. The State of California is demanding that the City of Oakland pay the state $18 million in redevelopment funds that the city had set aside for affordable housing, the Chron reports. The city planned to use about half the funds to pay for city staff overseeing the construction of 2,000 affordable housing units in Oakland, and the rest was to be used to acquire property and help finance the massive Oak-to-Ninth project. But the state maintains that the $18 million should have been handed over when Governor Brown killed redevelopment. The dispute is expected to end up in court.

Gallo
  • Gallo
3. Oakland Councilwoman Desley Brooks is alleging that new Councilman Noel Gallo agreed to vote for Councilwoman Pat Kernighan to become the council’s president in exchange for him becoming the chair of the city’s Public Safety Committee, the Trib reports. Gallo and Kernighan denied the charge, although Kernighan’s decision to make Gallo chair of committee is raising eyebrows, considering the fact that he is a supporter of stop-and-frisk, a controversial police tactic.

4. Governor Jerry Brown said he will push the UC and CSU systems not to raise student fees again, the LA Times reports. Brown unveiled a balanced budget yesterday, but UC and CSU officials contend that higher ed isn’t getting enough money.

5. New mortgage lending rules likely will result in fewer foreclosures, but they also will make it tougher for homebuyers, especially in the Bay Area, to qualify for loans, the Merc reports. The strict new rules prohibit people from qualifying for mortgages if their total monthly debt payments are higher than 43 percent of their income.

6. And California has surpassed the 1-gigawatt mark for solar power installation, the Merc reports. San Jose leads the state, installing 54.6 megawatts of solar on homes and businesses so far.

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