Tomorrow is the last day to turn in your ballot

Tomorrow (Tuesday, July 21st) is your last chance to turn in ballots for Oakland’s special election! If you have not yet mailed in your ballot, you’ve missed your chance. But you can still submit your ballot by hand – take it to the Registrar of Voters office in the County Courthouse at 1225 Fallon Street in downtown Oakland.

A quick reminder about what’s on the ballot:

  • Measure H: Amends the City’s real estate transfer tax to clarify that it applies to corporate mergers and acquisitions. Revenue generated by this in any given year is unpredictable, but based on historical data, it is expected that it will average a little over $4 million annually.
  • Measure C: Increases the hotel tax and splits the increase between cultural institutions and the Oakland Convention and Visitor’s Bureau (OCVB). Does not bring in any new money for the City, but will increase available funding to the Oakland Zoo, Chabot Space and Science Center, and the Oakland Museum. And the OCVB.
  • Measure F: Increases the tax rate on marijuana dispensaries, expected to generate an extra $300,000 for the City next year.
  • Measure D: Reduces the City’s set-aside for youth programs to a higher level than it has been in the past, but a lower level than was required by Measure OO, which passed on last November’s ballot. Will save the City $3.6 million next year.

Please make sure to turn in your ballot, and please do not vote against Measure D because you want to punish the City Council for not stripping every last penny from youth programs or whatever it was you would have preferred to see happen. Every penny earned or saved from the passage of these measures will help to prevent further cuts to City services.

And just in case you have any doubt about how desperate the City is for cash, here’s some sobering news. The City has been informed that of the 140 police officers we applied for grant funding for from the CHRP program, the maximum we will be getting funding for is 40.7 officers. Which leaves us with $11.3 million to find somewhere in this year’s budget and $16.3 million from next year’s just to close that gap.

The Council will be discussing balancing measures needed to close new budget gap at a special meeting next Tuesday (PDF).

31 thoughts on “Tomorrow is the last day to turn in your ballot

  1. livegreen

    As some of you might have seen from Barbara Boxer’s recent newsletter, she & Barbara Lee have recently joined up to sponsor legislation trying to make sure that the City’s with the worst crime get a greater share of funding (much like stimulus money, COPS funding has been spread broadly to help as many politicians as possible, rather than to address the biggest problems). Thanks for their efforts to do this & let’s hope they succeed.

  2. bethh

    crud, I thought I had longer to get my ballot in (for no good reason!). Thanks so much for posting this. Do you happen to know if there’s an after-hours drop box? I see that things can be dropped until 8pm tomorrow, but I’m interested in dropping my ballot tonight or tomorrow morning.

  3. V Smoothe Post author

    The legislation sponsored by Boxer and Lee is more than welcome, and I certainly hope for its passage. But it’s important to keep in mind the pace of these things, and realize that even if it does pass, it isn’t going to happen anytime soon, and won’t have much of an impact on Oakland’s budget for this year at least.

    bethh -

    I am not aware of an after-hours drop box, but you might want to try calling the ROV to be sure: 510.267.8683.

  4. Ralph

    I don’t care how you vote just as long you don’t don’t vote. Provided you have signed the envelop, I will be glad to drop off any unsealed and unanswered ballots :)

  5. livegreen

    Location to drop off ballots, reposted from a message on a PSA listserve:

    For those who are late to submit their ballots, it is also possible to deliver it the the Registrar of Voters office in person.

    The Registrar is in the basement of the Renee Davidson Courthouse located at 1225 Fallon St., a 1-block street between 11th and 12th Streets, facing the lake. This is the old courthouse building between Oak St. and the Lake.

    You can reach the registrar’s office by entering the courthouse building and going to the basement, or entering the County Administration Bldg located at 1221 Oak St. (across the street from the old courthouse), and in each case going to the basement. The two buildings are connected by an underground walkway.

  6. len

    hard to see boxer/lee’s legislation getting any traction when the overall framework for federal stimulous spending is to send it disproportionately re population to rural areas and low population states with political clout.

    so what happens when dellums and cc only get say 15mill for two years and the cops refuse a 25% pay/benefit cut? they really will layoff police and then negotiate w Marleen re Measure Y :) Or is that when cc wishes in hindsight that D failed so they could have resubmitted to the voters with a smaller earmark?

  7. len

    Defeating D: it won’t bankrupt Oakland to go a few months with OO and run another mail-in ballot to fix OO. It could bankrupt Oakland to continue its 30 something year tradition of funding private organizations without decent oversight.

    If we have to cut the earmark by even 1Mill, and dedicate a few cops to cracking down on sideshows, that would be worth the two or more kids who get killed or maimed at sideshows every year.

    Was reading some of the history of the Studio One Arts Center and how recreation programs were once run efficiently and effectively in Oakland by a combination of volunteers and city employees. The rec dept employees had an enlightened understanding of rec programs that covered much more than baseball leagues and were aware of the differing needs of different parts of the city.

    Somehow in the last 3 decades that fell apart to where we’ve privatized rec programming and lost control of the expenditures.


  8. Robert

    len, you sure you don’t want to reconsider your opposition to D in light of your admitted underestivmation of our city officieals regarding Measure Y? I think if D fails some on council will say that that just shows the support for OO funding, and even if it does get to the ballot, the OO folks are going to be fighting hard against a full repeal.

  9. Helen

    One more piece of info about the ROV drop box location. It will be open until 8 pm tomorrow (Tuesday) for receiving ballots. That is the time that the polls would close for an election at the polls.

  10. 94610BizMan

    Len I have fixed your typo:

    “Somehow in the last 3 decades that fell apart to where we’ve CRONY-ized rec programming and lost control of the expenditures.”

  11. Jennifer

    I was surprised that there was no privacy envelope with my ballot. Usually you have your ballot, put it in a privacy envelope, then put it in the envelope to sign and mail in. I don’t like the fact that an election worker will see my name and where I live, then open the envelope and see how I voted. That’s not a secret ballot.

  12. len

    J, we paid something like 1.5M for that paper ballot (musta been a friend of our ex-mayor elihu :) . The vendor probably wanted another 1/2 mill for the privacy envelopes.

    Rbt, i was going to respond w something about how i’ve learned a lot about stubborn creatures who ignore their masters from caring for a rescue pit bull the last 5 months. but my record on that is mixed, so i won’t.

    If D loses, I’m not relying on the cc to do the right thing because the “people have spoken”. I’m relying on the cc members’ self interest in making sure they have money to spend on core services so voters will re-elect them.

    given a choice, what politician wouldn’t rather have voting power over more money? when OO was put on the ballot, cc correctly figured that Kids First was an electoral force able to stage jim jone’s political shows. Measure D itself shows that Kids First has lost some of its power over the cc and the voters. Post DTO riots, post little white signs on the median strips Kids First has lost mojo.

    Does that mean i think D will lose? No. It will win by a small margin. If the League of Women Voters had presented both sides, or if D opponents had had their act together to write a rebuttal to D, I’d say D would lose by a small margin.

    If D is defeated residents will need to attend hearings, get petitions signed, draft alternatives etc. If D passes, there will be plenty of other bad decisions coming out from our CC to educate voters about.

    -len raphael

  13. Ralph

    Council, god bless them, is stupid. In addition to Measure D, they should have put the full repeal on the ballot. Their strategy somewhat assumes people have been paying attn to the issue and will follow the recommendations of the usual suspects. Well we know how well that worked in November.

    Maybe they know a majority of the yes voters won’t turn out and more than 50% of the noes will convert to avoid financial ruin. The question is did they bet right.

    They simply could have avoided this by putting the compromise and full repeal on the ballot.

  14. Patrick

    As I’ve stated before, if the cc’s position is to make us, the citizenry, do their job, then they can at least offer us choices. 1%, 2% no f-ing %…seriously. They take our votes and spin them to support their previously supported positions. We really don’t need a city council anymore…we need a business manager and a secure voting method (assuming that all future spending requirements have a funding source identified and approved).

  15. len

    Ralph, i don’t think cc members start out that way. must be something in the bottled water they drink there. eg. look at Pat K. she often correctly identifies problems and the correct solution. Then she inexplicably votes for the majority dumb solution.

    She apparently did something like that with D re improving the oversight provision. No doubt she had her reasons. Maybe those high powered opinion polls she mentioned here.

    Must be something going on in the backrooms, where cc convince each other and new members that residents are really the dumb ones, and cc first priority is to make nice to the more organized power groups if they want to get anything done.

    But more likely it’s simply that no matter how many years they’ve served, they’re still amateur politicians who learned the lesson about the art of compromise but never learned how to lead.

    -len raphael

  16. Jennifer

    I was also surprised that postage was paid for the mail in ballot. Is that the law in California? I did politics in Oregon when vote by mail went into effect, and even though all the elections there are by mail, postage is not paid. Perhaps Oakland can have more drop boxes, e.g. in libraries, firehouses, etc. so people have access to drop off ballots; not pay postage, but have a secrecy envelope.

  17. Ralph

    len, with the exception of NN, i would agree you. i remember when i first moved to oakland, i was getting my hair cut down by PK campaign office. i really had no idea if i lived in her district but i strolled in to hear what she had to say. she wasn’t your typical bay area socialist – the anti-dellums. good sign. we spoke briefly (i envision pk having a flashback as she reads this) to determine if i lived in her district; i, of course, lived in the devil’s workshop. i just wish cc would take the fed stand – don’t negotiate with terrorist and hostage first/taliban i really don’t see much difference.

  18. Robert

    “But more likely it’s simply that no matter how many years they’ve served, they’re still amateur politicians who learned the lesson about the art of compromise but never learned how to lead.”

    len, I think you have identifed a critical issue. We have no leaders in city government. Which could be a reason to support Perata even if you don’t always agree with him. At least he will be trying to lead us somewhere.

  19. len raphael

    Rbt, yeah that was why i worked for dlf in my neighborhood. he’d fit the bill except that he’s crippled by his son’s conviction and the loyal but wierd web sit re that. smooth operator he’s not, but that’s kind of endearing.

    perata, has to be an improvement over dellums, brown, and harris on the getting things done scale. but his history with big role in creating the oakland raiders financial fiasco and then moving on to play key role at the state level when it ran up the costly budgets that were prime cause of current state problems suggests that the things he’ll get done are more of the same fiscally bad things that help his supporters especially unions but not the oakland residents. i would guess that perata owes favors to the unions big time because of how far he got in politics.

    obviously, there are ideological differences/blinders that affect oakland cc members, with NN the most ideological.


  20. Robert

    being ideological is not necessarily inconsistant with being a leader. Even if by ideological you mean left wing. I would put IDLF up there too as a leader, except all too often his leadership seems to just piss people off. Perata does owe a lot of favors, but at this point it might be better just to get things moving and deal with direction later. Sort of like steering a car to a given direction is easier once it is moving.

  21. Helen

    Here are the official numbers from the ROV website:
    Measure C – City of Oakland
    Completed Precincts: 260 of 260
    YES 36,191 76.63%
    NO 11,040 23.37%
    Measure D – City of Oakland
    Completed Precincts: 260 of 260
    YES 33,510 71.50%
    NO 13,355 28.50%
    Measure F – City of Oakland
    Completed Precincts: 260 of 260
    YES 37,652 79.90%
    NO 9,469 20.10%
    Measure H – City of Oakland
    Completed Precincts: 260 of 260
    YES 34,552 74.63%
    NO 11,745 25.37%
    These may change over the next couple of days, but not by much, as they process the last few ballots.

  22. Ralph

    and this my friends is the problem with a city that lacks any leadership and bends over to a bunch of 12 year olds and lacks a vision for the future. i would really love to know where it states in the city’s mission statement that paying for after-school babysitting services is an essential function of the government. oh wait, Oakland doesn’t have a mission stmt. but, if we must care for these jd-s, at least the city can collect a bigger chunk of tax revenue from the dealers selling these kids pot brownies. oh wait, selling pot to children, who are using a black market script is an all cash (i.e. unreported) transaction – oh well. thank you council.

  23. Ken

    at least this tells us how many oaklanders are not paying attention and or misinformed about city governance. between 33,000 and 37,000 people.

    the other 9500 to 13000 are either informed, republican or old and crotchety.

  24. Robert

    Ken, isn’t it just possible that some of those 35,000 are informed and paying attention, and just disagree with you?

  25. Jean

    Regarding ballot privacy envelopes and postage — hubs and I vote by mail since standing in line is hard on our bodies, and I’m happy to say that in recent years our polling place is almost always a lot of standing in line. Seems like lots more people are taking voting seriously.

    We’ve never seen privacy envelopes. But that’s a good idea.

    And postage is usually required. We figured this time it was an exception — since there was no option but to use the mail.

  26. len

    Rbt, if the choice comes down between JQ and DP, today i found me a wooden clothespin on the 51st median strip next to one of those tiny weeney signs that the city has stopped maintenance.

  27. Robert

    ken, sorry, I had skipped over Ralph’s rant.

    len, let’s hope that is not the choice.