Mary Vail 
Member since Apr 20, 2015


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Recent Comments

Re: “The Oakland City Council Should Implement Measure AA and Honor Voters' Voices

I have never voted against a tax measure until AA and am uncomfortable in my vote being allied with the JarvisGann no tax ever lobby. That said, AA contains flaws, which have only been compounded by the proponents and City Hall's post election machinations.

My pre-election reasons for voting against AA (and I did nothing to campaign against it) :

1) A large amount of the revenue is guaranteed to go to one charity, Oakland Promise. That means every Oakland homeowner, when paying the tax, is also making a forced contribution to Oakland Promise. Can you imagine the outrage or concern if, City or community, put a parcel tax on the ballot for disaster recovery with 30% (or more) set aside for the Red Cross? a violence prevention parcel tax with a like set aside for one community organization that does violence prevention work?

No problem for me that such tax revenue ultimately goes in part to community/charitable organizations chosen by an oversight Board Problem to guarantee/favor one in particular.-----That's the process used for Measures Y and Z.

2) 30 years? Too long. Again, a periodic sunset and renewal, like used for Measures Y and Z and the Alameda County Health System funding measure.

3) Oversight Board powers too weak and language allows plenty of opportunities for folks associated with Oakland Promise to basically run the spending allocations.

4) Two wrongs don't make a right or breaking the law to enforce the law or supporting a good cause in an arguably unlawful process is harmful--both the language of AA and the post-election machinations are poster child for this.

5) It's time to go back to the ballot in 2020 with a Measure that has stronger fiscal oversight, no preference for Oakland Promise, a more reasonable duration.

Mary Vail

Posted by Mary Vail on 04/11/2019 at 11:30 AM

Re: “Oakland Police Commissioner Resigns Calling the Oversight Board's First Year a 'Squandered Opportunity'

Definitely a big loss. Hopefully the Mayor will appoint a replacement with similar skill set.

Posted by Mary Vail on 11/29/2018 at 4:27 PM

Re: “Further Evidence Emerges that the Oakland Police Under-Reported Use of Force Incidents

This information, along with Monitor's commentary in report that OPD was "resisting" fully analyzing its Stop Data (matter discussed at most recent Police Commission) raise grave concerns about OPD/its leaders taking steps to reform culture/practice necessary to reaching compliance.

Posted by Mary Vail on 11/17/2018 at 2:29 PM

Re: “Libby Schaaf's Big Financial Advantage

I figured out early on that the Mayor was blurring the lines between a parcel tax and shoveling money and control to the Mayor's hand-picked charity, but this article explains how this was done. And as explained in the article, likely that if this is passed, at least 2 of Libby's staffers / private charity allies get 6-figure jobs, paid for by us. And if push comes to shove over fiscal accountability and major decisions---the winner will be the Mayor's allies and staffers and charitable associates NOT the Measure A oversight
Commission. Finally, we are asked to think of the kids----but AA campaign's backers are corporate and developers (showing me this is about wealthy, insider control, not kids)----in contrast to the childcare measure on June ballot, which came from community folks and progressive public officials (and which Mayor was MIA on. Lastly, in SF the County Bar has an active high school to college and law school program, funded by its Justice Foundation---and you don;t see the County Bar or SF Officials taxing SF homeowners to fund the bar's effort. No on AA.

Posted by Mary Vail on 11/03/2018 at 7:46 PM

Re: “Oakland Councilmember Desley Brooks Alleges City Attorney Failed to Competently Represent Her in the Elaine Brown Lawsuit

Where are Barbara Parker's priorities...according to Federal Court investigation, for years before the Brooks-Brown dispute litigation, Parker did a poor job representing the City/OPD in police discipline arbitrations, causing repeated losses/officer reinstatements. And she's been MIA for years on OPD risk management and counseling OPD managers to do thorough and OPOA contract-compliant personnel investigations. Yes, the OPD cover-up perpetrators originally hid info from the Mayor and City Attorney in the 2015-2016 scandal/cop sex predator situation, but once the situation came to light in March-April 2016, Barbara Parker did nothing to cause investigation of the cover-up.

Posted by Mary Vail on 10/09/2018 at 7:53 PM

Re: “Oakland Council Ignores Warning from City Administrator and Votes for 'Strong' Police Commission Ordinance

Fact: Sabrina Landreth was acting Police Chief during time when 2016-16 scandal cover-up cops could have been timely investigated. She (with the Mayor's blessing did nothing, probably because moderate City official rule 1 is don't anger the police union. Another fact: In San Jose, where Police Auditor works under City Administrator, the SJ police union has tried to fire 2 of the last 3 police auditors., 1 success, 1 pending....Fact 3, Mayor Schaaf was never all in on the Commission oversight model, but after the 2015-16 scandal, opposing it was not viable for her....So now she is trying to hobble/slow and micro-control the pace of reform and the power of the new Commission, using the aforementioned legal arguments. We are having the legal discussion because of the political circumstances.....

Posted by Mary Vail on 07/11/2018 at 5:01 PM

Re: “Oakland City Council Candidate Chris Young Suspended by State Bar

And speaking from experience-----after I retired from my Federal attny. job in October 2009, I paid active member fees to the State Bar for 2010 and 2011......and as also required took and reported CLE classes to fulfill that requirement, into mid-2011. As a public sector lawyer for most of my career, it was irksome to pay for and attend CLE courses on subjects not relevant to my work (e.g.,'law practice management'). After major surgeries in 2009 and fall of 2011 (latter had 8-9 week home rest/activity restrictions) and after checking that there were no CLE requirements for Inactive members, I made the switch to Inactive CA bar membership, more than anything to get off the CLE compliance treadmill. The CA Bar rules are super clear. This candidate has violated the CLE and fee payment rules multiple times and gained additional notice of the Bar's rules by being suspended by the Bar multiple times clearly not a plus for his candidacy.......

Posted by Mary Vail on 07/04/2018 at 7:26 PM

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