So do you guys remember how in the budget (PDF) the Mayor proposed, we were going to save $24 million a year from the General Fund by just not paying into our internal service funds, which would have plunged us an extra $50 million into debt over the next two years?
Now, the Mayor’s out of here and back to DC in two years, so of course, he doesn’t care. Send Oakland deeper into debt? Why not? It won’t be his problem. The Council, on the other hand, well, one, they actually live here and will have to suffer the consequences of whatever decision is made, and also they’re going to have to deal with it (and maybe even try to get people to vote for them again) when the FY011-13 budget process rolls around. And they’re starting to become painfully aware of just how much it sucks when short-sighted decisions you made a while ago cause it was expedient come back to haunt you.
Anyway, they’ve been pretty upfront since the beginning that they are not willing to stop paying the internal service funds. Which puts them in the unfortunate position of having to find another $24 million somewhere.
At Tuesday’s Council meeting (which starts at 3 PM), Councilmembers Jane Brunner, Ignacio De La Fuente, Pat Kernighan, and Jean Quan will present an alternative proposal (PDF) to the Mayor’s budget, one that does not stop paying into the internal service funds and also does not rely on $6 million worth of debt refinancing that the Mayor had proposed. Here are the highlights:
- Library: Do not accept proposed branch pairing, instead, keep all libraries open 5 days/week, but reduce book budget by 10% and eliminate General Fund contribution to Second Start Adult Literacy Program.
- Public Works: Rescue from proposed cuts 4 tree maintenance staff and 8 park maintenance staff who pick up trash. Instead, get rid of 100 vehicles.
- Police: Do not cut rangers (who patrol the parks) as proposed. Elminate take-home vehicles for OPD and ground police helicopter.
- Fire: Save $6.4 million through employee concessions.
- Parking: Extend meter hours to 8 PM. Increase parking rate by $0.25 per hour. Increase parking rates for peak meter hours downtown only, not including Chinatown or Jack London Square.
- Mayor: Eliminate $800k out of exempt positions budget, and eliminate Pay-Go for current year.
- City Council: 20% reduction of budget, including elimination of Pay-Go for current year.
- Voluntary 5% pay cut for elected officials.
- Reduce supplies across all agencies by 20%, saving $1.3 million.
- Renegotiate outstanding contracts for 5-10% reduction, saving $0.5 million
- Reduce subsidies to Zoo, Chabot Space & Science Center, Cypress Mandela Training Center, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, etc. by 10%. Reduce subsidy to School of the Art by 50%.
- Raise $9 million with entertainment fee: 10% surcharge on all tickets at Oakland Coliseum and Oracle Arena.
That’s not everything, of course. You can read all their suggested changes here (PDF), along with the amount of money each item will cost or save.