Oaktown Smackdown 

Breaking news from City Hall

City Hall just got considerably less crowded, as the word broke late Tuesday -- just after Express press time -- that the head of City Manager Robert Bobb would roll, courtesy of Executioner/Mayor Jerry Brown. Bobb has been in the doghouse for months because of his outward public support for a new A's baseball stadium on an uptown district site Brown had already earmarked for housing. This time, City Hall observers speculate that Bobb got in the way of da mayor's plans to boot the threadbare artists from the Alice Arts Center and expand his arts charter school to fill out their digs. Although Brown eventually backed down on that one, it now appears that someone had to pay the price, and that someone was Bobb.

Hidden amid the noise was a second head that rolled today: According to City Hall sources, Harry Edwards, the famously combative director of the Parks and Recreation Department (see the accompanying item, "Long-Distance Runaround, " in 7 Days) is quitting. Jim Ryugo, manager of capital improvements for Parks and Recreation, confirmed outside rumors that Edwards called his senior staff into his office Tuesday morning and read them the rough draft of a press release announcing his resignation. According to Ryugo, Edwards said he just couldn't stomach the city's brutal belt-tightening, and instead decided to move on. "He indicated that this whole budget process was very difficult for him in terms of having to lay people off," Ryugo says. "He was basically fighting that all the way, and that's not why he took the job." Although Ryugo described the mood around the office as one of "shock and dismay," others who recall Edwards' reputed pugnacity, stubbornness, and capacity to bully his subordinates might be somewhat less mournful.


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