In Councilmember Jean Quan’s most recent newsletter (and by the way, no matter how many negative things I have to say about Jean Quan, that woman deserves major props for putting out an incredible weekly newsletter), she has a section where she discusses the parcel tax for police the Council just voted to place on the ballot, including a helpful little Q&A section, in which she addresses the issue of waste in the City budget:
Why can’t you just cut the waste/corruption?
Following from above, while I believe we can be more efficient and we may find some inappropriate and unapproved expenditures, the worst case scenario numbers we are looking at are probably not near a million at this point. There is not $40-60 million in waste or misspending. $1 million would fund about 4 officers. (emphasis added)
In the same newsletter, she discusses her proposed Kids First 2 compromise ballot measure (PDF), which the Council will consider at a special meeting (PDF) Tuesday morning. Quan’s proposal would gradually increase the amount of unrestricted General Fund revenue that gets set-aside for the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth, from 2.5% currently to 5% starting seven years from now, an increase from $10 million this year to $12.7 million next year to $23 million in the seventh year. On this subject, she says:
While I am still generally opposed to measures that tie the hands of the Council basically forever; this proposal is significantly better. It is less and would be phased in over much longer period of time. Most significantly, it requires that at least 25% of the funds be done in collaboration with City agencies and that partnership should be positive. If done well, it might not mean cuts in other city programs and in the short term could increase funding if city proposals are competitive.
So…am I the only one who’s seeing something of a disconnect here? There’s less than a million dollars in waste in the entire city, but we can somehow double the amount of funding we’re providing to the Oakland Fund for Children and Youth without cutting any other City programs? How does that work?