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.