So Dellums’s new parcel tax for police on the November ballot will be discussed at Rules Committee on July 10th, then at the City Council meeting on July 15th. I look forward to hearing the details. I’m highly skeptical at this point of the City asking Oakland residents for any more money at all, given the way they spend what we’re already paying, but I was much heartened by comments on the issue from City Council President Igancio De La Fuente and from District 1 Councilmember Jane Brunner at Rules Committee this morning.
From De La Fuente:
The same concerns I had with the LLAD, I have with this. I know that the majority of us and the majority of the people want to make sure that we have enough number of police officers, that we have this on the ballot, and I’m not committing myself to that – I’m committing myself to making sure that we make a decision, but I can tell you that unless there’s real performance measures attached to it that will be on the ballot, unless there’s specific timelines, that we’re going to have what many have suggested, CompStat, GPS, management systems that allow us to make sure we’re actually managing those resources within the ballot measure so the voters can actually specifically see that by, just as an example, by December 2009, this piece must be implemented, otherwise the allocation of those resources will be either held up or withdrawn. By June of 2010, this other piece will be implemented. Unless we have performance measures like this with specific timelines, I’m sorry, but I think that I will have difficulty supporting it unless we do that, because I think sometimes when the best intentions don’t allow us to manage those resources.
Let me say very clearly I support everything you’ve just said. I just came back from LA with the three captains looking at Bratton’s CompStat. There has to be language about CompSTAT in this. That is really, it’s not only the future, it’s been the past in some cities, it’s been very successful. There has been money connected to it, timelines connected to it. I want to see information about investigators included in this, and I support performance measures absolutely, and I have given Lenore a few other items that I want to see in this, so we will either work with the Mayor’s office to make sure they’re in the proposal, if they’re not, all of us will add to what needs to be in there.
The comments suggest to me that the Council is finally willing to take implementation and accountability seriously with respect to the police department and finally starting to realize they should take lessons from best practices in other cities. Obviously, I can’t make any judgments about the measure until we actually see the details. But at least we’re starting off partly on the right foot this time.
One thing that really disturbs me is that the Mayor’s office waited so long to introduce this. At this point, it will have to be rushed through approval in order to make it onto the November ballot, with extremely limited time for feedback from the public and alterations from the City Council. This is, of course, typical behavior from Dellums, who, ironically, ran on a platform of transparent and inclusive government and increased collaboration, but, once in office, could not be more clear about his complete disdain for Oakland’s citizens.
Also, CompStat! OMG, I’ve wanted this in Oakland for soooo long.
UPDATE: You can read the Mayor’s proposal here (PDF!).