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Monday, March 10, 2014

The Skinny: Oakland City Council Committee Preview, Mar. 11, 2014

Oakland City Council Committees Preview
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza
Tuesday, Mar. 11, begins at 9:30 a.m.
Hashtag: #oakmtg

>>> COMMUNITY & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
RENT ADJUSTMENT REGS Two weeks ago, renters rights activists lobbied strongly against landlords sharply raising rents following capital improvements to their buildings. Under current regulations, landlords can amortize the cost of the improvement directly benefiting tenants over five years. The system, however, is tilted in favor of landlords, critics say. In addition, there is currently no cap on the increase in rent following the improvements and the onus is on renters to file complaints.WHAT IT MEANS With the rise of gentrification beginning to bubble in Oakland, the city is moving to somewhat even the playing field for tenants. The proposed resolution allows for amortization up to 20 years with a 10 percent cap over a 12-month period on landlords passing down rent increases. Under the proposal, owners will file petitions with the city capital improvement increases. (Starts at 2 p.m.)

>>> FINANCE & MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
BALANCED BUDGET The city has identified over $18 million in additional revenue this fiscal year. A resolution in committee entails adding the windfall to the general purpose fund along with over $7 million in new expenditures. WHAT IT MEANS Just over $6 million of the new expenditures pays down previous city over-spending and much of the new projected revenues stem from increases in the Real Estate Transfer Tax. However, the city staff report tempers the good news, noting unfunded programs and liabilities are still quite large. (Starts at 9:30 a.m.)

>>> PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE
RECYCLING A resolution urges the city's next waste management contract to include bumps in pay for union recycling workers, a third bin for organics and compostable materials and curb-side bulky pick-up for all residents. WHAT IT MEANS The last proposal being tailored to reduce the amount of illegal dumping of large garbage items on city streets. Currently, single family dwellings and apartments with 2-4 units can schedule pick-ups for items such as mattresses and other large items. Otherwise, lug your old couch to the dumps in San Leandro and pay large fees or, you know, drop it off on the corner and run. (Starts at 11:30 a.m.)

>>> LIFE ENRICHMENT COMMITTEE
FOR THE CHILDREN A legislative update from the Oakland Head Start/Early Head Start program brings good news. The City Council moved last June to fund the childhood program with $1.5 million in city funds after Republicans in Congress cut funding through sequestration. Most of the funding has been restored. An appropriations bill earlier this year will bring over $1 million back to the program. (Starts at 4 p.m.)

>>> PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE
MEASURE Y One of Oakland's most contentious committees is relatively quiet this week. Two items appear on the agenda, including an informational report on the City Council's planned reauthorization of Measure Y, the city's public safety parcel tax. Get there early because this meeting won't last long. (Starts at 6 p.m.)

NOW YOU CAN'T SAY YOU DIDN'T KNOW

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