Sunday, May 31, 2015

City Hall Insider: City Council agenda notes from around the East Bay, June 1-2

OAKLAND/June 1, 10 a.m.
Controversial issues, budget talks continue in Oakland

BUDGET NITTY-GRITTY The arduous tasks of listening to budget presentations from each of the city's departments begin during a special meeting of the City Council on Monday morning. The agenda also includes discussion of Councilmember Desley Brooks' proposed new city department on race and equity sure to contain heated rhetoric from its creator. Plan received only $150,000 in Mayor Libby Schaaf's proposed budget.

June 2, 5:30 p.m.
12TH ST REMAINDER SALE The controversial $5.1 million sale of an acre of public land near Lake Merritt forced a council meeting this month to early adjournment. The shutdown led by BlackLivesMatter activist triggered a strong reaction from city administration in the form of stricter security measures at #oakmtg. The proposal is back for a vote Tuesday night. Still included in the proposal is 25 percent of proceeds from the sale be allocated toward the city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Developers hope to build a 24-story market-rate luxury tower at the site.

DAC PRIVACY POLICY The long-awaited Privacy and Data Retention Policy for the city and port Domain Awareness Center (DAC) awaits approval from the Oakland City Council. Curiously, for an issue fraught with public skepticism by some toward its government, the policy names the city administrator as chief privacy officer. No data systems can be added to the DAC, without council approval, 40 cameras around the city will not be included in the data stream, which will be retained for two years. Information from DAC cannot be shared with other jurisdictions.

FBI-OPD COURTSHIP Meanwhile, a proposal to build a workspace at the Oakland Police Administration Building for 10 FBI agents comes to the City Council. The city administration says the workspace will allow for greater collaboration between the FBI and OPD and its Safer Streets Taskforce. It will also aid the department's lackluster Criminal Investigations Division, says the city. The FBI is footing $110,000 of the build out and OPD allocating $63,000 for furniture and digital infrastructure.

ALAMEDA/June 2, 7 p.m.
Expensive APD Body Camera purchase, budget approval

$424K FOR BODY CAMERAS Alameda Police are seeking to receive approval for the purchase of 80 body-worn cameras for its officers. The proposed five-year contract with Taser International is for $424,752. The cost of the 80 AXON Flex body cameras alone are $39,221. Storage of data and other accessories boosts the first-year costs to $142,000 and the on-going costs at $62,000 annually. However, no policy for data retention exists yet.

BUDGET APPROVAL Alameda City Council is set to approve the biennial budget for FY2015-17. It's the first time in three years that no cuts were made to city departments. The city's non-existent Information Technology Department will receive two new positions as part of this two-year budget.

WATER REDUCTION Following Gov. Jerry Brown's order to reduce water use by 25 percent due to the state's continuing drought, EBMUD will provide a presentation on its water reduction efforts, but Alameda says it has already reduced municipal water usage by 29 percent between March 2014 to December 2014 over the previous year, or more than 120 million gallons of water.

SAN LEANDRO/June 1, 7 p.m.
Two-year budget set for approval; $4mil for roads

BUDGET APPROVAL The city's two-year budget for Fiscal Years 2015-17 is set to be approved by the San Leandro City Council Monday night. The total budget forecast for FY2015-16 is $141.8 million and a general fund balance of $93.5 million. In FY2016-17, the total budget increases to $148.3 million; general fund, $95.2 million. An increase in revenues were derived from a pair of successful revenue-enhancing measures approved recently by city voters. Therefore, nearly $4 million in each fiscal year is budgeted toward rebuilding San Leandro's woeful roads.

CCA A presentation will be given to the council on Alameda County's efforts to potentially create a Community Choice Aggregation program (CCA), which gives residents an option to purchase energy from an entity other than the current provider, Pacific Gas & Electric.

HAYWARD/June 2, 7 p.m.
Break-even budget; water rate hike; new poet laureate

BAD TIMES BE GONE? After years of multi-million dollar cuts, Hayward projected budget for FY2015-16 is almost break-even. The City Council met for an all-day budget work session on Saturday, followed by another this Tuesday night. Hayward, however, is one of the few cities around who still attempt to calculate the often dubious 10-year budget projection. Whatever it's worth--assuming the city did nothing over the next decade to avoid disaster--the shortfall for 2023 is still only $10.4 million.

3% RATE HIKE Water rates for Hayward resident could be raised, according to a proposal before the City Council . Rates for single-family, multi-family, mobile homes to those with limited incomes would rise by three percent across-the-board. Single-family residents, for instance, currently pay $28.09 a month, which under the proposal, would rise to $28.93.

POET LAUREATE NAMED Bruce Roberts will be named Hayward's first poet laureate. The position is newly-created and labeled by city staff as a one-year pilot program. Roberts, an author and former educator, will not be paid for his work.


Hayward is an odd place. It pays Fran David 30% than Governor Jerry Brown earns governing the entire state. Yet Hayward always cries about being "broke." Budgeting out 10 years is insane, just like those raises Fran David kept getting while rank and file city employees were getting pay cuts.Garbage rates have gone up, now water rates, utility taxes, extra sales tax to fund the library and a tree plaza. The tiny kingdom of Hayweird, where budget shortfalls are predicted each and every year but they just don't materialize. Give Fran the boot before she pads her pension even more. She has done enough damage to citizens & Hayward workers pocket books.

Hayward cut millions of dollars out of their budget, so they could spend 62 million plus on a new library across from the Hayward Fault and soon 80 million plus on a new police department. The Hayward Plaza maybe almost 2 million to knock down the old library and millions more for the new fire station & training center. Stockton Jr.

Fran David was the only city employee who saw her pay increase astronomically, during the "great recession." She feathered her nest & padded her pension while most residents and many city workers barely squeaked by. Now that the economy is up, she wants another raise because she feels like her $294,000.00 compensation isn't enough. I wonder why City Council thinks she is worth that much? Could it be because she does their thinking for them too?

By MW:

In regard to comments concerning Fran David's salary, I am not aware of any place in the entire US that is nearly as heavily infested as the East Bay with government agencies that as standard procedure pay their higher ranking managers drastically more, and in fact often many times more, than the lower ranking employees.

For example, Susan Muranishi, and who is Alameda County's Administrator, has total compensation of over 700K per year. THAT IS RIGHT, OVER 700K PER YEAR.

And Muranishi will even be receiving similar compensation, AND IN FACT FOR HER ENTIRE LIFE, after she retires.

Q: But why do the members of the AC Board of Supervisors agree to pay Muraniushi such an outlandishly high salary?

A: Because she does a an extremely "great" job at what is actually her primary responsibility, and which is turning a blind eye and pretending not to notice the virtually non- stop shenanigans, and in fact often outright criminal activity, a lot of the other big boys in AC government are often involved in and/or protect.

And when a high ranking manager in government, and such as for instance Fran David or Susan Muranishi, is paid an outrageously high salary, very often the main concern of that manager becomes not serving the public, but instead looking for ways to stab in the back and destroy any whistleblowers who ask too many embarrassing questions and/or bring to public attention examples of fraud and/or bribery and/or incompetence and/or illegal backroom fixes involving the big boys.

Fran David runs the city & the council. That's why Hayward is so damned screwy. Mayor Halliday defended Fran's pay (which is more than Gov. Jerry Brown makes), because of the "size" of Hayward. News flash Mayor Halliday, the State of California is bigger than Hayward. No wonder Hayward schools suck. Halliday berated citizens and city workers when they brought up the BANG article about "The Cost of City Manager's Pay" at the May 19th city council meeting. Shades of Bell, California. I wonder if Fran's pay raises & perks are transparent? Fran calls city hall a "safe harbor where people are treated with respect and they can voice their issues freely." Yeah, unless they question her pay. Then they get their heads snapped off. The video of the May 19th council meeting is on the City of Hayward website.

By MW:

In regard to the post of 8:56PM, in recent years the big boys of East Bay politics have more and more in their attitudes started to resemble the big boys of San Francisco politics.

And the big boys of SF politics have long "known" that they are the "very smartest," the very most "honest" and "ethical," the very most "qualified," the very most "wonderful," and the very "best" people anywhere, and therefore "deserving" of extremely high pay.

In fact if whistleblowers, and rather than reporting to the media Nadia Lockyer's drug addiction problems, regular absences from Board of Supervisors' meetings, and overall erratic conduct, had instead reported it internally, almost certainly Alameda County government would have had it "investigated" by a committee composed of professional pathological liars with law licenses from the DA's office and/or County Counsel's office, and then those professional pathological liars with law licenses, and after completing their "investigation," would have insisted there was no evidence to support any allegations that Nadia Lockyer was a drug addict and also a completely out of control and totally incompetent nitwit.

And then the County government would have probably gone after and tried to fire the whistleblowers for having made such "totally absurd," "ridiculous," and " outrageous" charges about the "wonderful" and "extremely competent" Nadia.

And if the whistleblowers had refused to back down and had then made the charges about Nadia again, then the professional pathological liars with law licenses from the DA's office and/or County Counsel's office would have then done another "investigation," an "investigation," which would have then "proved" again that: one, Nadia was not guilty of the allegations; and two, that the whistleblowers were "crazy," "stupid," and "liars."

And if the whistleblowers had still refused to back down, then the County would have probably paid the money to hire an outside "independent" law firm to "investigate" the charges, in other words an outside "independent" law firm that in exchange for a high fee would have "proven" any lies and garbage that the County government wanted "proven."

In fact any time a lawyer makes an "interesting" statement, the lawyer should be required to state under penalty of perjury and the threat of a prison sentence that he actually and truly believes his statement, and that it is not just the standard lawyers' lies and garbage.

So that is the reason the big boys in East Bay government get paid so much, in other words because they are so extremely wonderful and highly competent.. In fact, I think we should put a special measure on the ballot to increase taxes, and with all of that increased tax money to be put toward raising the salaries of the lawyers in AC's DA's office and County Counsel's office, since if those pathological liars with law licenses resigned, it is always possible that it might be difficult to find replacements as skilled at lying and conducting phony "investigations" as our present crew of parasites with law licenses.

In fact, let's also put a still additional measure on the ballot to increase taxes so as to quadruple the salaries of all high ranking public officials in Alameda County, and including Fran David, Susan Miuranishi, and all the rest.

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