Monthly Archives: February 2009

New Oakland taxes, OO repeal update

So the big Finance and Management Committee tax meeting is over, and here’s what happened. If you missed yesterday’s post about the new taxes being considered on today’s agenda, you can read it now to get some background on the items being discussed.

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Spreading public art throughout Oakland

Last Tuesday’s Life Enrichment Committee was a really good meeting. It was everything meetings should be, but rarely are. It was pretty short – around half an hour or so. All the Committee members had useful things to say during the discussion. Staff was pleasant, well-informed, and helpful, and also appeared genuinely interested in the Committee’s input. I can’t think of when I last got that impression at any meeting. Sometimes staff will obviously want the Council to go in one direction or another on an issue, other times they don’t seem to care what gets decided, they’re just waiting for instruction, but it’s definitely unusual (but so refreshing!) to hear statements like “This is important feedback, it redirects me.” But beyond the meeting just being extremely pleasant overall, I just found the discussion really interesting.

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So many meetings, so little time

So one of the main objections people raise to more frequent Council meetings, or say, moving Council Committee meetings to the evenings throughout the week in order to facilitate attendance by members of the public is that more nighttime meetings would create scheduling conflicts with all the other community meetings the Councilmembers and the public want to attend. I think the Council should meet more often, but the concern is certainly one I’m sympathetic to. After all, there are already so many interesting meetings going, often at the same time, that it’s impossible to get to them all. Just take a look at what engaged citizens have to choose between tonight.

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Elizabeth Echols for AC Transit

I hope you caught today’s earlier post about the AC Transit Board vacancy. The AC Transit Board of Directors will meet next Wednesday, February 25th, at 10 AM, to interview potential new Board Members to fill the At-large seat left vacant by Rebecca Kaplan’s move to the Oakland City Council. They’ve already narrowed the field from 17 candidates to four. I covered the applicants who didn’t move forward earlier today, now I’ll go over the finalists. The Board must make a decision by March 6th.

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Update (or not) on the Kaiser Convention Center

Last May, the Oakland City Council, in closed session, directed staff to enter into negotiations with Live Nation to reopen and operate the Henry J. Kaiser Center, sometimes known as the Kaiser Center, the Kaiser Auditorium, the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, and so on. I’ve always called it the Kaiser Convention Center (KCC).

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Your State in meltdown

Please pardon me for straying from my usual local subject matter. I try to stick to only writing about Oakland on this blog – after all, that’s what I know best. Statewide and national issues are covered pretty thoroughly elsewhere, and even if I did want to write about them, I doubt I’d have much of anything unique to contribute.

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