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Re: “Some Oakland Landlords Are Using a Legal Loophole to Exempt Housing from Rent Control

One of the tenants asks where to go to get clarification about the law. That is exactly what a lawyer does. Also, the law says that the landlord must substantially rehabilitate the unit it wishes to exempt. Rehabilitate, gpby its definition, means a great deal more than doing maintenance. If a building needs expensive maintenance, it only means that the landlord has not been maintaining the building up to this point or that the building needs something expensive like a new roof or heating system. However, just because something is expensive does not mean that it is part of a rehabilitation of the building. Buildings need new roofs periodically. This is the cost of doing business. Similarly, appliances occasionally need to be replaced or updated. Just because the landlord did not plan ahead to bank money for a major necessary expenditure or did not do it's due diligence of foreseeable immediate costs when purchasing a building, the landlord should not be allowed to game the system to get the tenant to pay exhorbitant rents. While I agree that rent increases should keep in step with inflation and not be limited too artificially, a landlord should have to truly rehabilitate a property that is otherwise "broken" (if such an exemption is going to exist at all) before s/he is allowed to jettison rent control. So, if you want to fight a landlord who is wrongfully seeking exemption from rent control, go talk to a reputable lawyer.

Posted by priorattorney on 10/12/2017 at 2:32 AM

Re: “Watching the Watchdog

Call this sour grapes, since I was the other candidate whom Ms. Roberts trounced in the election. But the legions of well known public officials and the boards of the biggest Oakland municipal unions, got exactly the hear no evil, see no evil City Auditor they wanted.

In Ms. Roberts, they had someone unknown and unconnected to most of Oakland, who had lived all her time in Oakland in a gated hills community and commuted thru the flats to get to SF or Emeryville. They got someone completely dependent on their endorsements to get re-elected.

Background: Much more so than in the local district races or even citywide races such as Mayor which get decent media attention, the endorsement of the Alameda County Democratic Committee is essential to winning in low information race. That endorsement gets you on the relatively inexpensive mailing pieces Endorsed by the Democratic Party.

And most voters assume that if the Democratic Party endorses one candidate, then the other candidate must be a Republican, Green Party, or Peace and Freedom. In fact, the local branch of the Democratic Party had endorsed me over Ms. Roberts, but likely a few phone calls were made, and the full County Committee unanimously endorsed Ms. Roberts. In a prior interview, the politically influential Fire Fighters Association had flatly told me that did not want an Auditor on record calling for public discussion of city employee retirement benefits. The Police Officers Association board told me they would not accept an Auditor who both supported greater police accountability (Im still the Treasurer for the Coalition for Police Accountability, aka Measure LL) and questioned high police disability and overtime pay. Ms. Roberts, bless her, probably didnt even know what the issues were.

Most voters reasonably assumed that Ms. Roberts was the better candidate because she had years of experience as an auditor, where I was merely a CPA tax accountant with years of participation in Oakland civic and community activities. Hey, everything else being equal, theyd be correct.

The media never had the time to explain to voters that the City Auditor doesnt perform audits. The Auditor hires an Assistant Auditor who manages the staff of field auditors and others. The Auditor sets goals, selects some of the audit areas, and communicates findings to the public and Council.

I asked a TV reporter at a mayoral election event why no Auditor race coverage. She answered that her boss gave her 3 minutes of airtime to cover the Mayoral and all the Council races. 0 for Auditor race. The media did not bother even to verify the resumes of either candidate for Auditor. And the only checking that the City Clerk does is make sure the Auditor candidates have current CPA or management auditor certifications. People do more background checking on their dog walker.

But what made me laugh at one of the first forums were the words from Ms. Roberts surrogate, the Berkeley City Auditor. How Ms. Roberts must be the better candidate because even though she didnt know much about Ms. Roberts, she knew a lot about me. How I had been politically active for years. How that meant Ms. Roberts would be objective, not partisan like me.

Ms. Roberts took that cue and made her complete ignorance of Oakland into a strength, not a weakness. In the poorly attended, few public forums in which we both spoke, Ms. Roberts smoothly repeated the mantra how she would apply objective, scientific audit methods to determine which areas needed to be audited. That didnt work so well going to door to door, or face to face with voters when people asked for specifics, but the media swallowed it whole. It wasnt just the East Bay Express who endorsed Ms. Roberts; it was also the former Oakland Tribune.

Ironically, more than a few voters told me I was too combative and angry to be effective, while Ms. Roberts was so even-tempered and mild.

Posted by Len Raphael on 10/12/2017 at 2:08 AM

Re: “Watching the Watchdog

"Not long after Roberts arrived at City Hall, the office's work slowed to a crawl" This is not unintentional. Roberts knows she only has one job - and that's to not rock the boat - dont investigate the city contracts (and upset the unions), don't make enemies with the mayor or city council members, and you can sail into office again with 80% off the vote. This is what she promised in 2014 - not to rock the boat - and she was endorsed by all the special interest groups.

But then how do you manage competent people working for you who feel they lack a sense of purpose or direction? Make them feel that the problem is them.

Posted by Clarence C. Johnson on 10/11/2017 at 9:40 PM

Re: “Watching the Watchdog

All indications here are of a presentable, plausible... incompetent. And the electorate put her there in desperation to "throw the old rascals out".

The question becomes, how do we avoid a repeat performance?

Wait... Why is a critical function like this politicized (elected)? That MAY be a key question to answer in not getting another one like this.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 10/11/2017 at 9:31 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Chief Made False Statements About ICE Raid

I share the concerns about blurred lines. I'm also concerned that accurately reporting shortly after the action, the information available to the Chief at the time of the report (and it DOES seem ICE may have been... Less than truthful. That's sarcasm, for the sarcasm impaired) is considered by EBX and the Oakland Privacy commission to be grounds for an internal affairs complaint. It sort of looks like a witch hunt.

It's very easy to armchair quarterback three weeks later; Especially when a known Oakland hot button issues and are used to spur action. "Sex trafficking condoned by OPD" may well have been seen has she NOT supplied the officers.

EBX, DBG, figure out which side you're playing on. It's clear to me this is purest demagoguery and does nothing but further divide the community and further aid and abet ICE.

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 10/11/2017 at 9:00 PM

Re: “Watching the Watchdog

I know who I am NOT voting for. She needs to go ASAP.

Posted by Celeste B on 10/11/2017 at 8:15 PM

Re: “East Bay Children's Book Project Is in Peril

Most people have no idea how important EBCBP has been for children, there is no comparable organization in the East Bay. Every once in awhile there will be a media story about some group that gave away 100 dictionaries or whatever, ok great, but nothing compared to the many thousands of books they give away every month, really high quality books, with almost no media attention. I spent years bringing their books and others to the kids living in Oakland's homeless shelters, the kids were always so happy and excited.

Posted by Todd Pratum on 10/11/2017 at 1:54 PM

Re: “Watching the Watchdog

This is nothing. I once worked for the president of a college back east who was a control freak like Roberts. All the deans and asst deans had to get the president's permission to do anything, short of blowing their noses. They had to submit a memo for each action and wait for him to respond, which could take weeks because of all the memos that piled up on his desk. He had them in neat piles, about 3 reams' worth per pile, 14 piles in all. And if there was a single typo in a memo, the pres would return it to be corrected, after which it went to the bottom of the piles and would have to work its way up again.

Posted by Mike Bradley on 10/11/2017 at 1:13 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Hold Secret Ceremony Honoring Several Officers Accused of Mishandling Celeste Guap Sex-Crimes Investigation

Call the police for help..... not a chance.
Don't need them shooting at me. If you got bad meal from a restaurant you would not go back. Boycott the police. They are about violence and fear. It's that simple.

Posted by glenn Scott on 10/07/2017 at 1:15 PM

Re: “Move Over, Hippies

Great article with great info!

Posted by Denize Ramirez on 10/07/2017 at 7:38 AM

Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

Tom : Respectfully disagree, . We have a progressive tax already-income tax. Why burden a property owner with a larger cost to support city services when most public administration research indicates higher income property owners use far less municipal services? That City of Oakland needs to re-focus its municipal serves to include fire, police, water, waste collection, and staffing and up-keep of recreation-parks, fields, and our estuary lake.

Don't buy the argument that if you choose to invest in a home in Oakland you should be stuck with financing projects and programs that rarely impact you or your family.

Posted by michael.sagehorn on 10/06/2017 at 11:36 AM

Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

The transfer fee should be a percentage of the appreciation not the sale price. After all, apprection depends on how well the city is managed in terms of: safety, schools, streets, parks, etc. The city needs a piece of that appreciation to maintain progress. Furthermore, It is our culture of fairness that the fee be progressive.

Posted by B Tom Smith on 10/06/2017 at 4:11 AM

Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

Everybody pays the same percentage rate. How is this not fair? People purchasing expensive real estate pay more total dollars than those paying less expensive homes.

The city of San Francisco should not be held as a model for anything, let alone a housing transfer tax. How much market rate housing is available in San Francisco for someone of modest or middle class means able to buy? Nearly half of the city's civil servants live in the East Bay. It's a crummy idea.

Perhaps if Dan Kalb and the other elected and appointed officials of Oakland better forecasted and spent their current revenues more effectively than as practiced, a solution to soak the people who've invested in Oakland would not be thought credible. Solution- build and remodel housing with less local restrictions. A San Francisco solution? No thanks.

Michael

Posted by michael.sagehorn on 10/05/2017 at 6:24 PM

Re: “UC Berkeley Professor Calls for Speeding Up the Drone Arms Race

What he proposes, autonomous devices to hunt and kill our "enemies" is in fact the premise of the first "Terminator" movie. Truth is stranger than fiction. The total and staggering immorality of this leaves question as to whether Yoo is in fact a human, or a cyborg.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 10/05/2017 at 11:14 AM

Re: “OPD's Double Standard Lives On

"The past is the past." So it is but if the past is not corrected it will become the future. This is the philosophy of corruption. No, the past must be corrected so that we can move forward.

Posted by Charles T. Smith on 10/05/2017 at 11:13 AM

Re: “UC Berkeley Professor Calls for Speeding Up the Drone Arms Race

Yoo is a truly disgusting human being.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 10/05/2017 at 10:21 AM

Re: “Another Unnecessary Sports Expense

Oakland has a long history of giving away public money to sports teams. Thank God the teams are leaving the Coliseum! One day the city will have no sports teams that the voters are forced to finance, and the money can be spent on education and housing. Not overpaid millionaires and billionaires.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 10/05/2017 at 8:39 AM

Re: “OPD's Double Standard Lives On

Wonderful. We are finally rid of Henderson's incredibly expensive auto da fe of self flagellation of the OPD. This is correct. Move on. It's good to get away from the endless cycle of Burris/Henderson mandated cash payouts.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 10/05/2017 at 8:36 AM

Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

The simple truth is that Oakland officials will spend every penny of budget they get, and then borrow for more. It doesn't matter what the numbers are. They City is horribly in debt and getting worse, and this is just ignored, and instead we get pleas for more taxes. Cut spending, folks. Reduce those sweet union deals, take away the free tickets the council members get from sports teams and sell them, stop paying overtime and double time to the police and raise the department size. Learn to not spend. I know it's hard.

Posted by Ernest Montague on 10/05/2017 at 8:32 AM

Re: “Will Oakland Adopt a Mansion Tax?

Time for a crackdown on the EB-5 visa program that Jerry Brown turned into a criminal enterprise.
Make the people who have been "land-banking" put the properties on the market and stop catering to developers and labor unions who are against modular homes and other innovations.....
Regards, Allen Sanford
https://www.facebook.com/RealEstateFraudOr…

Posted by Allen Sanford on 10/05/2017 at 7:25 AM

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