Ignacio De La Fuente on why he opposes the police parcel tax

I wouldn’t usually devote a whole post to reprinting a Councilmember’s mass e-mail, but Oakland City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente sent out a really excellent letter this afternoon about why he’s opposing the police parcel tax, and I think as many people as possible should read it. So here you go (PDF!). An excerpt:

I do not believe that we have earned your confidence in our fiscal responsibility to ask you for more money for police services. We have yet to even fully implement Measure Y and we have been collecting those taxes since 2005. I am currently working on three critical reform measures to “clean house” including a whistleblower ordinance, an anti-nepotism ordinance and a hiring practices audit. think we must make a determined effort to pay for increased police services with the money you already give us. Given that we are experiencing a budget deficit, doing more with less and prioritizing spending are more critical than ever.

In fact, I encourage you to defeat any City parcel tax measure put on the ballot. I need you to help me send a strong message to everyone here in City Hall that we need to clean up our own house first. The recent controversy over the voting process with the Landscape and Lighting Assessment District (LLAD) also raises serious concerns that I will express fully at the appropriate time.

De La Fuente has also made the results of his survey, including the comments, available online here, if you’re interested.

8 thoughts on “Ignacio De La Fuente on why he opposes the police parcel tax

  1. oaklandhappenings

    Yes! For one of the few times during the last several years, I can say that Ignacio rocks! He may (or may not) every have what it takes to be mayor, based on one’s opinion. However, he seems to now be putting more of a dedication to his city hall presidential duties than in quite some time, showing more seriousness to what the citizens think in areas other than his district. True, he should have dealt with many of these issues years ago, but I will cut him a little slack. I think that it is good that Larry Reid never stole the presidential title from him, but others may disagree here(?)

  2. V Smoothe Post author

    oaklandhappenings –

    I disagree with your characterization of Ignacio’s record. Towards the end of the letter, De La Fuente points out, a lot less petulantly than I would if I were him, that he’s been trying to bring accountability to Oakland’s bureaucracy for years, and the only result of his efforts has been aggressive opposition to his campaigns by the city employees union. De La Fuente isn’t doing anything different right now than he has in the past. The only difference is that people are finally listening.

  3. 94611

    Oakland Happenings – I’d like to point out that Ignacio RAN for mayor but he is NOT mayor! You, like a lot of people expect him to run this city when he is just a council member – one of eight. Even people who didn’t vote for him expect him to do the Mayor’s job. Over and over Ignacio has gone well beyond the call of duty to take care of this entire city, not just his district. I am thankful for all the years that he has done that.

  4. Farrah

    I agree that this is an awesome statement. Some people seem to have an incorrect idea that any opposition to new taxes is a conservative way of thinking and since they don’t think of themselves as conservative, they blindly support these kinds of initiatives. Renters might not realize that property taxes are REALLY high in Oakland. Not that it’s a bad thing to pay taxes but we need to determine if we are getting what we pay for before we resolve to throw more money at a problem. Especially if the new money will be managed just as poorly as the money that’s already coming in. I know people who decided not to purchase a home in Oakland because of the high taxes. Those taxes are also exacerbating the problems that so many homeowners are facing as their mortgages are increasing.

  5. oakie

    We also have the highest business taxes in the state, and the state is one of the highest taxing states in the country. Wonder why there are never enough jobs here? And with the draconian rent control, why we’ve lost 8% of our housing units between 2000 and 2006. There are consequences, and it’s usually not what is intended. The story of why Oakland is so out of control has a lot to do with all of these. Consider the extraordinary high parking meter rates…..and what a visitor gets for it: a good chance of having our cars broken into, or stolen. Now why would anyone come to our city to spend their money at our retail stores??? There are consequences. In the mean time, the mayor sleeps. And not a peep out of Jean Quan or Jane Brunner…..

  6. oaklandhappenings

    V, thank you for pointing those things out as reminders. 94611, I don’t exactly expect him to ‘run”
    the city as a CC member. However, as the CC president, he definitely should be setting a good example. My comment was based more on the fact that he doesn’t want the tax to be approved, which–to me–showed an improved side of him, compared to past issues of stupidity on his part. If I didn’t make that clear, do pardon me, as I try again.

  7. Joanna/OnTheGoJo

    Okie, this is why I’m seriously contemplating walking away from my retail store in the next six months….

    p.s. – also an Okie, although I mean Oklahoma ;)

  8. cleanupoakland

    Ignacio is a strange fruit. He ran for relection stating that he get things done at City Hall as if he is the Mayor. When is politically expeident he critizes the City, but he is the President of the Council and control 5 votes. So if the City of oakland is jacked up, he is the blame becasue under Jerry Brown’s leadership, he rand the City. He ran a campaign stating police and public safety is a priority and now is campaigning against the money necessary to bring in more law enforcement in Oakland. Ignacio should apply for the City Adminstrators job if he wants to clean up the city, otherwise he should be an elected official and give leadership real meaning by sending back campaign contributions from people who either have a contract or will be getting one soon.

    clean up at city hall start with him.