City shutdown poorly timed

So tomorrow and Friday, the City of Oakland will once again be closed. You know, 13 days doesn’t really sound like all that much when you say it, but is it just me or does it feel like the City is shut down constantly?

Anyway, the scheduling of the City shut-downs really bothers me. I get that they’ve mostly been timed to coincide with holidays and so on, which probably makes the whole thing more convenient for any City worker who wants to go away for Easter or whatever.

Which I can understand, sort of. I mean, people are losing out on income by not getting to work, so whatever you can do to make it less burdensome, you should do. On the other hand, the City does not exist to make life convenient for its employees, it exists to provide services to people who live here, and I feel like that’s something that kind of gets forgotten a lot over at City Hall.

So right now, OUSD is on Spring Break. All those kids who would normally be in school during weekdays are now wanting to be entertained. And while I don’t agree at all with the people who keep showing up at Council meetings and acting like it’s the City’s responsibility to provide 24/7 entertainment for every young person around, I do think it’s reasonable to expect that children should be able to take advantage of basic City services when they’re not in school. They should be able to go to a library or a rec center or a pool on their day off. Parks and Rec has these neat Spring Break camps, which I imagine would be a godsend for working parents who need to put their kids somewhere while they don’t have school, except of course the camp is only for three days.

I’m sure that next year’s budget will involve these annoying City shutdowns again, and I just hope they don’t increase the number. But next year when the days get selected, I hope whoever makes that decision thinks about when residents want City services the most, instead of when they want to go on vacation.

5 thoughts on “City shutdown poorly timed

  1. DontBotherDelores

    It’s not like they work when then they’re there anyway.
    Come see the pile of trash outside my door, where is public works?
    First the pile has to be sprayed as dumped litter then we get someone to pick it up, maybe. I hope they enjoy their Passover and Easter though. Mine will smell.

  2. Joanna/ShopGirl

    PW is busy putting up tacky signs with duct tape telling people not to litter. Ironically, their signs are blight.

  3. I Hella Bike Oak

    At least with the state the furloughs are more predictable, first and third Fridays. Thanks V for helping me make sense of all this.

    The week they took off for the holidays was really frustrating too.

  4. Mike Spencer

    There is a little green strip on upper Park Boulevard where I take the dog to fetch tennis balls. (I always bring the crap bag for the dog–and me!). So the City took away the cardboard trash can and now people aren’t picking up as much after their dogs (yuck.) How did the City becoime so poorly run and poor that it can’t empty trash cans or keep stuff open. Oh, we are also about to cough up 5K for our 6-month prop tax bill and more $ for business tax, you know, for all those “city services” I use while working out of my basement. Dreaming of Lafayette….

  5. Deborah Hansen-Ching

    As a dedicated Oakland Public Library employee, just for the info of all those who have commented:

    1. The decision as to the specific lockout days was made by city management; the employees affected had no say in the matter.

    2. I fully agree that the the spring break lockout days make life more difficult for parents. I would prefer that kids spend their time in the library or rec centers than hanging out on street corners.

    3. As to public works, they are some of the most hardworking individuals I have ever seen. Their staff numbers have been cut mightily over the past few years.

    4. As to the duct tape, they are doing the best they can with no budget to pay for “official” signage, just as we make do with paper and tape signs at the library also.

    5. Instead of dreaming of Lafayette, how about attending some city council meetings, or the upcoming town hall meetings, and finding out what the hell we can do to get this city on track?