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Comment Archives: stories: Blogs

Re: “Town Business: Oakland's Proposed $2.6 Billion Budget

Gary, money for broken families in these types of programs is money down the drain. You have to get to the root of the broken families. Throwing money for these programs who lack a stable family are still going to end up in the same place.

Posted by Robert Hope on 05/03/2017 at 8:43 AM

Re: “Town Business: Oakland's Proposed $2.6 Billion Budget

@Bruce Ferrell - The City doesn't build or operate housing itself (the Oakland Housing Authority, a separate agency, does own and operate public housing). But for decades it has provided funding to developers of affordable housing (mostly but not exclusively locally based nonprofit groups). There are long term deed restrictions to ensure that the housing remains affordable and occupied by eligible lower income households.

The City can require developers of new owner-occupied housing (i.e., new condos) to provide affordable units, but State law precludes such requirements for new rental housing unless the City is providing some kind of financial contribution, fee waiver, etc. The City recently enacted an impact fee where developers of market rate housing pay into an affordable housing fund, but it hasn't yet generated much revenue, though it is anticipated to do so in the future as new projects apply for building permits. The City *could* condition rezoning, increased height, reduced parking, etc. on provision of affordable units, but so far it has rarely done so.

Posted by Jeffrey Levin on 05/03/2017 at 12:12 AM

Re: “Town Business: Oakland's Proposed $2.6 Billion Budget

This distorted view of reality when it comes to kids has to stop at some point.Closing head start and child development programs and hiring more cops is a recipe for disaster. Obviously, the orange man in Washington doesn't get that. I guess we are also drinking the koolaid at the local level. If you invest in kids, especially disadvantaged kids from broken families and give them a chance at success in life, your chances are better that you don't need the cops down the road. This approach is cheaper in the short and long term, yet because of politics, we screw the kids, hire more cops and build jails. When will the madness stop?

Posted by Gary Patton on 05/02/2017 at 7:31 PM

Re: “Thousands Flood Oakland Streets to Support Immigrant Rights on May Day

They're ILEGAL ALIENS, NOT IMMIGRANTS! How is it so many people are misguided sheeple! WAKE UP PEOPLE, you're running this Country into the ground!

Posted by Todd MacCubbin on 05/02/2017 at 7:27 PM

Re: “Town Business: Oakland's Proposed $2.6 Billion Budget

The author know very well how much it costs to build affordable housing, but will never report on it because then people will say "Duh, no wonder it's not in the budget". The author likes to keep beating this horse while leaving his readers in the dark.

A recent affordable housing project in East Oakland costs $30million for just 60 units (http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/01/13/eas…). It costs $500k to build a single unit. Who is going to pay for that when people can't afford housing themselves? The entire police academy cost would equal 3 housing units.

The best way to pay for affordable housing is to have developers pay for the affordable housing, and spread the cost over market rate housing. Of course the author doesn't support market rate housing either.

Posted by Clarence C. Johnson on 05/01/2017 at 9:23 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

Yes, I (and others) are pushing to get the advisory board set up immediately. If you are interested in serving on the soda tax advisory board please send your information to my Chief of Staff at SThao (at) Oaklandnet (dot) com.

Thanks.
-Rebecca Kaplan

P.S. Some asked about Oakland's process to appoint Boards. Here is that law:

Section 601. Boards and Commissions.

Members of boards and commissions shall be appointed by the Mayor subject to confirmation by the affirmative vote of five members of the Council and may be removed for cause, after hearing, by the affirmative vote of at least six members of the Council. Vacancies shall be filled for any unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointments were made; provided, however, that if the Mayor does not submit for confirmation a candidate to fill the vacancy within 90 days of the date the vacancy first occurred, the Council may fill the vacancy. If the Mayor does submit for confirmation a candidate to fill a vacancy within the 90-day time frame and the Council does not confirm the candidate, the 90-day period shall commence anew.

Posted by Rebecca Kaplan on 05/01/2017 at 6:05 PM

Re: “Town Business: Oakland's Proposed $2.6 Billion Budget

Can someone explain how the city provides (in ANY way) affordable housing?

Are there currently housing developments operated and funded/subsidized by the city?

The city has the ability, through policy, to require developers to build and then operate such once built.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 05/01/2017 at 4:10 PM

Re: “Oakland Officials Want to Ban Flavored Blunt Wrappers, Two-Pack Cigars, And Vape Juice

The aim here is to make these products less accessible for youth and prevent youth from picking up the habit in the first place!

Posted by Yesenia Molinar on 05/01/2017 at 3:29 PM

Re: “Town Business: Oakland's Proposed $2.6 Billion Budget

I don't think Schaaf has ever offered a vision of where she thinks Oakland should go. Her budget proposal does suggests priorities which seem to go along with what we know about her political base of support and her campaign funding.

More planners to serve more development. This makes sense since Schaaf's backers are largely developers.

No funds for affordable housing. Maybe there will be some "affordable" units in the new developments.

Potholes in streets seem to be a big deal, especially for the commuters who travel through Oakland towards their jobs, or their homes, elsewhere. Personally, I prefer the potholes to the commuters.

No funding for Shotspotter. We were hoping for an extension into our neighborhood where we get more drive-by shooters than we really can enjoy.

More cops and firefighters. Maybe a good idea, but we seem not to be able to fill existing, already-funded, and perhaps critical, Fire Department slots as it is. More cops has been the mantra of the folks who live on the hill, including Schaaf, for at least a decade, but more seems to be both difficult and not-too-effective. Maybe with a good public safety scheme we could do more with less rather than vice-versa.

I don't know for sure, but my impression has been that Headstart as a nationwide effort has been quite successful. Oakland's poorest and most violence-affected kids no doubt need this kind of support.

Oakland's structural financial deficits having to do with pensions have long been a big challenge which no elected here has wanted to take on. Admittedly a really difficult challenge, so when a Mayor and the Council can only say "feh!" we really can't blame them. Better to deal with the real world of excess soda consumption and the dangers of flavored smokes.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 05/01/2017 at 9:40 AM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

You might ask why get all riled up before Mayor Schaaf has officially submitted her budget, just based on comments by two council members.

When you have two council members like Brooks and Washington who often disagree on measures, saying the same thing, it's a safe bet that the Mayor was testing the political waters to see how much of the soda tax revenue she could divert to fill the budget black hole.

If we wait for a formal budget proposal to evaluate before speaking up, the horse trading between council members and the Mayor will already be set in concrete.

Posted by Len Raphael on 04/30/2017 at 4:21 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

Here is the Budget language
INVESTMENTS IN HEALTHY CHILDREN
In November 2016 Oaklanders passed Measure HH by 61 percent imposing a one-cent per ounce general
tax on the distribution of sugar sweetened beverages. The tax must be deposited in the Citys general fund.
The Measure also requires Oakland establish a Community Advisory Board to advise the City Council on
how best to support education and prevention programs. As this Board has yet to be established, the
budget includes several new investments that are consistent with the goals of the measure. These total
more than $3.5 million in expenditures. Additionally, the FY 2018-19 budget will reserve an additional $1
million, so that recommendations of the Advisory Board may be considered during the mid-cycle budget
process. We look forward to hearing from these community members on their ideas for how Oakland can
best prevent the negative health impacts of consuming sugar sweetened beverages and enhance the overall
health of our children. We are especially committed to working with our community partners in fighting
against the epidemics of childhood obesity and diabetes.

Posted by ed gerber on 04/30/2017 at 3:49 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

There has not been a sudden, unexpected worsening in city finances from the start of the soda tax election campaign in 2016 to now to justify any emergency need to divert expected soda tax revenue to any other purpose. The City's budget office has consistently projected large deficits in each of the 5 year projections they have published ever since they were required to do so by Council several years ago.

Posted by Len Raphael on 04/30/2017 at 12:59 AM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

Campbell Washington wrote the measure as a tax with the proceeds going into the general fund. She knows the general fund is general, not fenced for specific uses. She and Kaplan and other councilmembers now try to shift the blame onto Schaaf. This is a puppet show for those voters who drank the Kool-Aid promises of the tax.

Posted by Charlie Pine on 04/29/2017 at 1:19 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

How about we find out the details of the budget rather than jump to conclusions like we do so often with false news. I am so surprised that ACW is jumping on this bandwagon. Please let us know what has been done to set up the committee AND details before throwing someone under the bus so we tax payers can have the correct information with which to respond.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by MVelasco on 04/29/2017 at 12:30 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

Can't wait to vote her out of office.

Posted by John Michaels Grabowski on 04/29/2017 at 1:12 AM

Re: “Tenants Sue Landlord and Housing Nonprofits Over Deadly West Oakland Fire

The writer speculates if no definitive statements are being made to confirm the articles claims.

Posted by Napola on 04/28/2017 at 11:04 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

This will not go unanswered. Our neighborhood campaigned for this tax on behalf of the children of Oakland. How dare Schaaf try to divert the funds. She'll pay at the ballot box!

Posted by C. Leonard on 04/28/2017 at 8:45 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

While these members of the city council are decrying the alleged use of the funds, I would ask what EXACTLY the city council (in general, these member in particular) has done in regards to setting up the advisory board?

It's really easy to sit back and take pot shots while take NO responsibility using vague language.

As I recall the bill called for the city to form the advisory council. That would seem to me to mean the city council as well as the Mayors office.

It seems to me both Ms Washington and Ms Brooks have been EXTREMELY visible on a number of high profile issues, and now it seems only on those high profile issues... While seemingly ignoring the absolutely essential, day to day issues for the city of Oakland.

I will hold my outrage until the actual proposed budget is released so I can see exactly what the proposed expenditures are.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 04/28/2017 at 8:44 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

Please folks, is anyone really surprised by this "Shaft" us again tactic? Distasteful, disingenuous, disgusting and so, so dirty!

Posted by Ellen Gierson on 04/28/2017 at 5:09 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmembers Accuse Mayor Schaaf of 'Bait and Switch' With Soda Tax Revenue

This is such a Jerry Brown, mod-Dem tactic and Mayor Schaaf was trained by Jerry too. When mod-Dems pull these kinds of stunts, people don't trust Democrats. This distrust is one reason why the country wound up with #45 in the White House.

That sugar tax advisory board needs to be set up ASAP, and not with Ms.Schaaf's hand picks, which tend to undermine what the purpose of what these boards are supposed to do.

Posted by Kit Vaq on 04/28/2017 at 12:37 PM

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