When I was buying my plane ticket for vacation, I struggled with when to return. My real work schedule allowed me to come home on Tuesday, but I hesitated to stay away that long, since it would mean missing all the Committee meetings for that day. I ultimately decided that it was beyond sad to schedule a vacation around the City Council, and went ahead and booked the longer trip.
Of course, when I found out that yesterday’s Committee meetings included a report (PDF!) from the Oakland Partnership, more discussion of the Estuary Policy Plan update, and Dellums’s police recruitment strategy at the Public Safety Committee, I was kicking myself. So many important topics, and I was going to miss them all!
Anyway, it looks like one major decision last night was that we aren’t going to be spending a full $1.5 million on advertising, as requested in Dellums’s plan:
The committee gave its approval to the Dellums proposal only after taking steps to limit Measure Y’s contribution, demanding that officer bonuses be part of the package and insisting that the city spent less than $1.5 million on advertising and marketing, as Dellums had asked for.
How much money we will be spending on advertising, I don’t know.
The Express has a story about the recruitment plan today, and as usual, the degree to which Gammon gets basic facts wrong is almost comical. Not only does he apparently lack the most basic grasp of what the “strong Mayor” form of government means or how the City Council operates, but he also can’t even correctly report the major points of the proposal:
The mayor proposed operating four police academies in 2008
If Robert Gammon had bothered to read the proposal (PDF!) he keeps calling “ambitious,” he would know that it actually requests 6 academies this year, not 4.
In a blog post on the matter, Gammon criticizes the Public Safety Committee’s desire to reject the advertising allocation in favor of hiring bonuses, since signing bonuses are apparently “not an effective use of taxpayer funds.”
I find it fairly hilarious that Tucker could make such a statement with a straight face, when I have a hard time thinking of a less effective use of taxpayer funds than throwing even more money into recruitment strategies that yield virtually no applicants.
When job applicants take their written exam, they are asked where they heard about the available OPD positions. In November, the Police Department presented a report (PDF!) to the Public Safety Committee on the current recruitment efforts. This report contains a list of what every candidate’s response was during the most recent reporting period. In spite of aggressive media campaigns, hardly anyone who actually sat for the tests reported TV, radio, or newspaper ads as their source of referral:
Here are the actual numbers, broken down into more source detail:
With results like that, it seems to me that adding even more money to our advertising budget is about as smart an idea as tossing it onto a compost heap.