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Re: “Town Business: City Workers Plan to Strike, and Oakland's Affordable Housing Fees Slow to Raise Money

At the end of the day, you can't squeeze orange juice from a rock. The bottom line is that the City of Oakland is broke. For workers to expect to be among the highest paid public employees in the bay area is delusional. A 4 % initial and retroactive salary increase seems to me to be fair. To connect future raises to revenue projections seems to be a fiscally responsible approach.My question is where was the fiscal responsibility when the budget adopted in June of this year included no money for employee raises? Why would you do that unless you wanted to use that omission as a future bargaining tool to limit the scope of upcoming labor agreements. In my view, both city management and the union employees need a dose of reality. First of all, every time there is a budget problem in Oakland, the cuts seem to always be made at the lower staff levels. The city always seem to have money for high paid unnecessary managers in the Mayor and City Administrators offices. If times are tough Mayor Schaaf, you and Ms Landreth need start by looking around your tables and making some cuts. I read that the Asst City Administrator is retiring. There is one unnecessary position that does not need to be filled. That alone would save over 200 K a year. I am sure there are other high paid unnecessary managers organization wide who could disappear and nobody would know the difference.The bottom line would get much more bang for the buck if some of that level of staff came off the payroll. Secondly, as a group, City of Oakland employees are far from being the best motivated efficient and competent group in the bay area. There are some good employees, but the lack of leadership and proper training over time has left many who do the minimum and expect to get paid like top performers. Beyond the past and continuing inept bungling of the Ghost Ship fire issues, ask anybody you know who resides in Oakland. Whenever you contact the City about a problem, you can generally expect that your experience will not be good. What you get are bad attitudes, people who do not return calls, can't explain or don't know the policies and usually there is no follow up. Your salary should be commensurate with your performance and City of Oakland employees generally are far from the top in comparison with other cities. These folks need take the 4% retroactive for 2 years, negotiate the language of future adjustments now or later and get back to work..

Posted by Gary Patton on 12/05/2017 at 9:33 AM

Re: “Cheeseboard Alumni Launch Dimond Slice Pizza

Don't use the CB name to promote other businesses that are trying to copy CB. Do your journalism.

Posted by zetetic on 12/04/2017 at 11:21 PM

Re: “Monday Must Reads: Brown to Endorse Schaaf for Mayor of Oakland; Governor Rakes in Millions for Ballot Measures

This lady is tough, consistent, stands up for Oakland and really works hard on crime and homeless problems. She gets my vote and I don't live in Oakland. Best thing that has happened for Oakland in a very long time.

Posted by RLT on 12/04/2017 at 9:40 PM

Re: “Town Business: City Workers Plan to Strike, and Oakland's Affordable Housing Fees Slow to Raise Money

Oakland is a tough City to work in. There are too few staff to meet City Council/Mayor demands. We are paid less than our counterpoints in other Bay Area cities and have been for years. "Wait until next contract" is what we hear every time. Well, no more.

Posted by Veritegrity on 12/04/2017 at 8:32 PM

Re: “Alameda Health Systems Removes License Plate Reader Surveillance Camera from Highland Hospital in Oakland

Kudos and thanks to Privacy advocate and researcher Mike Katz-Lacabe !!!

Posted by Amelie Love on 12/04/2017 at 6:21 PM

Re: “Town Business: City Workers Plan to Strike, and Oakland's Affordable Housing Fees Slow to Raise Money

The City of Oakland affordable housing ordinance adopted last year was as much of a joke as the budget the Republicans are trying to ram through Congress. The City of Oakland politicians knew as far back as 2006 that they could never collect enough fees to even begin to address the affordable housing needs. The only way to make sure that affordable units are built is to require them to be built alongside and at the same time as market rate projects. As one reader noted, the creation of zones did absolutely nothing. s A 2006 study concluded that the only places where land values can support new construction of affordable units is in the downtown, Broadway corridor, Montclair, Temescal and Rockridge neighborhoods. The City Council did not have the balls to take on those neighborhoods in 2006 and 10 years later the current ordinance again fails to deal with the issues for what they really are. The development community does not want to build in affordability into their projects, white neighbors in those neighborhoods don't want it and there is nobody in City Hall, including the Mayor who will fight for it. Look at what happned at E12th st last year. The Mayor and City Council actually broke the law in order to circumvent the affordability issues for a project there. It was only after the neighborhood outrage became too loud and EBX surfaced a cautionary letter from the City Attorney that the project was modified to include affordable housing. The City of Oakland cannot even coordinate building and fire inspections to keep people from dying in unsafe warehouses. Do you really think they will collect 7 million dollars from developers who have units in the ground already completed? What kind of a scam ordinance allows developers to proceed with construction and promise to pay later? This has as much chance for success as trickle down economics.

Posted by Gary Patton on 12/04/2017 at 3:43 PM

Re: “Town Business: City Workers Plan to Strike, and Oakland's Affordable Housing Fees Slow to Raise Money

I live in East Oakaland and truth be told, I don't see much in the way of building going on. Why is it significant that the fees don't kick in for another 8 months or so?

Posted by Bruce Ferrell on 12/04/2017 at 3:14 PM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn

The only thing deserving of "scorn" here are people like you - Robert Gammon (a journalist I used to respect) - who, rather than investigate a story, decide it's easier to stick to the status quo and continue to heap blame where you find it easiest. Almena, the media villain, deserving of all of your self-righteous scorn. You should be ashamed, and please stay away from this story and our community's grief. You are not worthy of commenting on this matter anymore.

Posted by ConnorMorrison on 12/04/2017 at 11:59 AM

Re: “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf on President Trump: 'Move Beyond Anger to Action'

Robert Appeldorn nobody EVER said they hate Trump because he's a man and he's white... Nobody... ever... A fool or a damn liar. Which one are you?

Posted by Rudi Mwongozi on 12/04/2017 at 10:48 AM

Re: “Cat-sturbating

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Posted by EDEN HAZARD on 12/04/2017 at 8:14 AM

Re: “Evictions After Ghost Ship

Key word: UNPERMITTED (not actually a word, but this is EBX).

Posted by Garry Ovalbach on 12/03/2017 at 5:49 PM

Re: “Oakland City Council: Tenant Relocation Assistance Delayed, But Moratorium on Rent Control Loophole Passes

When the likes of tenant activists push to have landlords subsidize market rent they should push very, very hard to have that subsidy or payments be a taxable deductions for the property owner and declared income by the tenant. Why isn't any of that put forth by the socialist groups such as Centro Legal de la Raza. What say you, Leah?

Posted by Mike Mitchell on 12/03/2017 at 11:13 AM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn

Rereading the above, I realize I was using some strong language. The anniversary is a rather heavy time. Pardon the oversight but please take the points.

Posted by Jonah Strauss 1 on 12/03/2017 at 10:07 AM

Re: “Abalone Collapse with Kelp Forests

This is very concerning, however there are many people focused on working on solutions that reimagine the way we relate to our ocean ecosystems. Concerned California citizens have been partnering with and CA Fish and Wildlife to strategize on how to successfully permit and implement restorative ocean enterprises that restore kelp forests through actively seeding native varieties of kelp to help repopulate kelp forests. Please reach out to support's work and sponsor this CA initiative.

Erin Axelrod
Sonoma County, CA

Posted by Erin Axelrod on 12/03/2017 at 6:54 AM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn

Robert, everyone already knows Almena shoulders the primary responsibility, so I don't understand the source of your fervor. Regarding Harris, I'm sure you have the resources to dig a little deeper than what went into the sentiment you're expressing here. There are pretty significant differences -- just ask community members. Remember that the DA has a PR goal, and charges may have to change after deposition this week.

The article comes off as pretty mainstream in its reactionary tone, which was the standard MSM approach a year ago. Your Oakland Magazine article (January?) was along similar lines, though I can see you've toned it down since then.

You've got the tacit agreement thing between tenants/landlords/City described accurately, and you are certainly correct that tenants who build out non-conforming spaces -- typically with owner permission -- have historically taken great pride in their work and in its long term safety and stability. That was nice to see acknowledged in print after all these months.

Regarding the building department, you are a little misinformed, which is surprising coming from the editor of the Express. That is most clear here:

"But requiring city employees to determine which spaces are clearly dangerous and need to be shut down like the Ghost Ship and which ones only present minor hazards that need to be fixed is not so simple. Such a protocol, if it were established, also could expose the city to further liability, especially if people were to die in a fire in a warehouse that the city had deemed to be not that bad."

While technically true, this last sentence is fearmongering, no better than internet whackos who call for widespread evictions. Warehouse & non-conforming unit safety advocates have been meeting with select City officials for many months to design an appropriate path forward, one that is hardly touched upon in the Anniversary Report and in the Mayor and Administrator's rhetoric. Both parties share the same concern for life safety, and recognize that there are very few (if any) spaces left like Ghost Ship since the community did its own cleanup in the first half of 2017.

There are clear and simple ways to define what is and is not a life safety hazard. And contrary to Rich Fielding's historical approach, a collection of common code violations does not necessarily equal a life safety hazard. I look forward to seeing a hierarchy of compliance priorities in the future -- such as that used by community safety organizations -- adopted by Code Enforcement. There is no reason that such a practice would increase liability, as imminent life safety hazards do indeed require temporary relocation for repairs. Even in highly problematic cases where tenants can not be moved, such as 2551 San Pablo, the City can always order a 24-hour fire watch (which I believe would have saved that building).

If you need to worry about it, worry instead about the hazards that Code Enforcement is often careless about attending to, namely the pervasive violations in conventional multifamily housing available to low-income folks. You'd be alarmed at the callous approach of inspectors. From water damage and mold to uneven floors and shoddy electrical work, there are many violations that landowners are allowed to explain away or never be cited for -- provided, of course, that the tenants are poor and typically people of color.

Posted by Jonah Strauss 1 on 12/03/2017 at 5:46 AM

Re: “Why Derick Almena Deserves the Most Scorn

Who the heck writes these articles these days? What generation are these writers mostly derived from? What happened to writing articles of actual substance, and not just repeating 3 things, 6 different ways, in order to be able to hit the word count necessary, to look like a real news article?

Posted by Nicole Celli on 12/03/2017 at 2:07 AM

Re: “Oakland School Board Members Apologize for Mid-Year Budget Cuts at Packed Board Meeting

Members of OUSD school board should do whats decent and resign. They each have failed to fulfill what they were elected to do. Saying youre sorry is nothing but sorry.

Posted by GinaJ on 12/02/2017 at 3:15 PM

Re: “Ippudo's Legendary Ramen Hits Berkeley

Review pretty spot on. Ramen good but not great. Buns tasty but way overpriced, as was everything. Add in Berkeleys overpriced street parking and with tax and tip I wound up paying almost $35 for a simple lunch of ramen ... and thats without the absurd $2 charge for the usually included egg. Not worth the wait or the money

Posted by Alan J Miller on 12/02/2017 at 2:35 PM

Re: “The Miseducation of Hopie

Del the funky homosapien smokes meth. He used to abuse this woman name STAR, who had hopes and dreams of making just ONE single with Del...del would get her high on meth and date rape her.

Thats your mentor hopie?

How would you deal with that in law?

Posted by Shanksta Shank on 12/02/2017 at 10:50 AM

Re: “The Miseducation of Hopie

I think hes hell fake, nothing about what she did wasnt FULLY invested and funded by family members and 6 fingers is far too dont produce $5000 + videos, editedprofessionally just by the fling of it....Shes a phony artist...MONEY TALKS letting BULLSHIT strut its walk....stupid pompous bitch, every filipino girl gets raped or abused. I used to have a super mentally FUCKED filipino girl that was like OBSESSED with pleasing me like a king, I had tio work with her with a therapist to teach her that her body and selling it was the lowest of the low and shes now hired by a company that protcts such women from their past.

Hopie aint shit, shes a poser and fake. And Del? Thats a bitchmade brat nigga who sits bitch, eating candy, commanding "A brother (wigger) named Heorgy" White emcee who is such a cunt he thinks that by being dels driver, crack buyer, or in general felatio helper is going to keep his depressing, baldin at 30 life happy....fuyck him...also death to bukue one, that shitty rapper is such a joke and s a sham to skateboarding and hiph op and Dels invovement is so fake claimeing his crackhead ass is "iller than most?" that nigger is so ugly I want to kill him because hes stanger than the fucking alien from stranger things. Not like magical. Hes just a meth head black trash. Nothing special about him. He cant even play a G chord on guitar...didnt even release any good music with bukue one, well bukue is like pathetic so no wonder, but him having hopie the dumb filipino contrived fake buttflut say he was her mentor? SO FAKE. Del is gonna get his jack cracked and if I see him on stage trying to pretend like hes some wonder in front of REAL musicians and a composer as gay as dn the auto TRADITOTOR...Ill make sure I peg him with a full bottle of "NEWTONS folly{" Give that biting ass, poser, super insecure, smelly, rat faced, zombie looking nigga some bate.....Whats up del....Neo nikolas says your a bitchass nigga and will battle you anywhere anytime nigga, whats up. Spark on says your a bitchass nigga. PEACE says your a bitchass nigga. saafir says your a bitch ass nigga. Even Opio said your a dumb meth head and your career is over. Matt kelley says your a fucking loser.

Posted by Shanksta Shank on 12/02/2017 at 9:59 AM

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