Monday, May 18, 2009

Good Enough for Obama, But Not Jerry Brown

By Robert Gammon
Mon, May 18, 2009 at 7:35 AM

President Barack Obama has nominated former top Oakland city official Rosie Rios to be the United States treasurer, according to the Trib. The high-level nomination is huge for Rios and well-deserved. She was one of the most effective and hardest working leaders the City of Oakland has ever had, serving as director of economic development and redevelopment from 2001 to 2003. Yet despite her many accomplishments, she wasn't good enough for Jerry Brown. The then mayor fired her in August 2003 because he was angry about her involvement in trying to build a downtown stadium for the Oakland A's. Brown had fired Rios' boss, City Manager Robert Bobb, for the same reason. So, let's review Brown's legacy, shall we?

-- July 2003, Brown fires Bobb, arguably the best city manager the city has ever had, and replaces him with a mid-level manager, Deborah Edgerly, who is clearly in way over her head and turns out to be a complete disaster. Bobb goes on to be city administrator of Washington DC and financial czar of Detroit public schools and is now a possible candidate for Oakland mayor.

-- August 2003, Brown fires Rios over the ballpark project. The mayor forces through a massive apartment complex on the same site identified as the best spot for a ballpark in the East Bay. Nearly six years later, the apartment complex sits mostly empty, and the A's are trying to move to San Jose. Rios, meanwhile, gets tapped by the most popular president in decades to be the treasurer of the United States -- a job that includes her signature being on all of the nation's paper currency.

How about this for a gubernatorial campaign slogan? Jerry Brown: Keen Eye for Talent.

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