Writing about the budget in 140 characters or less

So the main news about last night’s budget discussion is that nothing happened. Really. Desley Brooks, Nancy Nadel, and Larry Reid all complained about the alternative budget proposal submitted by four of their colleagues, but amazingly, considering how strongly they appeared to feel about how unfair it was that their own ideas weren’t included, none of them submitted any specific adjustments of their own.

Everyone will have until next week to submit their ideas in writing to be considered on the 30th (when the final budget is passed), but seriously, it’s getting a little late at this point. I mean, everybody had all weekend to respond to the proposal submitted on Friday, so it was really weird to see all this consternation absent basically any suggestions at the meeting last night. At one point, District 3 Councilmember Nancy Nadel, who was irate over the proposed cuts to the Second Start Adult Literacy program, said that more cuts will need to be made elsewhere, but she didn’t know where, and that she’d have to talk to the various department heads to figure out what other cuts should be made. HELLO! WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN DOING FOR THE LAST MONTH AND A HALF, WOMAN! O.M.F.G. Anyway.

While I was hoping to write up something about the meeting for today’s blog, the late of hour of adjournment, combined with my need for at least some sleep, means that I wasn’t quite able to get it together. But don’t worry, I’m not going to leave you with nothing.

A blog doesn’t really lend itself to live coverage of public meetings. But you know what does? Twitter. dto510 loves Twitter. I kind of hate it. Regular readers know that parsimony is not exactly my strong suit, and Twitter’s 140 character limit hardly lends itself to thorough and fair discussion of public policy. But it does have its uses, and live meeting coverage is one of them.

Anyway, in lieu of a real blog for today, I offer you an archive of my twitter updates from last night. There’s a lot of stuff in here I want to write about in more detail later, but I figure this little preview is probably helpful for that, because if people have questions about anything, they can ask them in the comments and I’ll make sure to address them in the post.

Vsmoothe: JQ: Property taxes now expected to be down 4%, higher than estimated previously

V Smoothe: Local 21 (Oakland’s professional employees union) opposes Council proposal to NOT plunge city into $50 million greater debt

Vsmoothe: Carl Chan (Chinatown Chamber of Commerce) threatens to bring 100 people to next meeting if Council cuts Neighborhood Service Coordinators

Vsmoothe: KTOP feed obviously overtaxed, barely working, sound in and out, very annoying.

Vsmoothe: Council on 30 minute break, will return at 7 to resume budget discussions. Accepting speaker cards until 7

Vsmoothe: Public comment over, Council discussing budget now

Vsmoothe: Nancy Nadel says 30% of adults in Oakland don’t read above 4th grade level and that the figure has nothing to do with ESL

Vsmoothe: Nancy Nadel strongly opposes proposed cuts to library adult literacy program, says it is a public safety issue.

dto510: @vsmoothe Isn’t fourth grade level reading considered literate? I agree literacy is important, but library isn’t best place. OUSD maybe?

Vsmoothe: Nancy Nadel says she doesn’t know what else to cut, would have to go back and ask department heads about what they think

Vsmoothe: Desley Brooks opposes elimination of small projects design group, who are building her recording studio. Calls them “necessary.”

Vsmoothe: Desley Brooks opposes cuts to Second Start, thinks we should open branches fewer hours instead.

Vsmoothe: Rebecca Kaplan thinks its fine to charge for using Tool Lending Library, since it will still be cheaper than Home Depot.

Vsmoothe: Rebecca Kaplan also wants to retain Second Start program

dto510: @vsmoothe Um, aren’t libraries supposed to be free? They’re not supposed to be revenue-producing, but a public service

Vsmoothe: Rebecca Kaplan: We are spending to much money on police at special events where they aren’t needed

dto510: @vsmoothe Don’t event permit fees include police costs?

Vsmoothe: Pat Kernighan: would like to charge a fee on every car in the city, but does not like charging high fees for parking tickets.

dto510: @vsmoothe Is it just me or does that make no sense?

Vsmoothe: @dto510 We used to not make festivals pay for all of the police costs. Now we do, but festivals can’t afford it and are getting cancelled.

Vsmoothe: Jean Quan: this is a rolling budget, will have plenty of opportunity to revise later.

Vsmoothe: @dto510 It doesn’t if you know anything about the issue. Someone should buy her a copy of HCOFP for her birthday

dto510: @vsmoothe: When’s Pat’s birthday? If only she were on Facebook

Vsmoothe: Larry Reid wants to know how he can get his ideas to balance budget considered, besides saying them at the meeting

Vsmoothe: Jane Brunner says she’s learned that determining what is core is a process you need a seasoned public administrator to help you with.

Vsmoothe: Rebecca Kaplan: runaway overtime costs undermine the budgeting process, how do we keep police dept. overtime in check?

Vsmoothe: Jane Brunner: We have 10 public hearings ahead of us, need to be moving faster.

Vsmoothe: Council approves sending layoff notices to employees proposed for layoffs in Mayor’s budget, but that have not been objected to by Council.

Vsmoothe: Pat Kernighan says she can’t find anything in police department that is not a core service

Vsmoothe: Desley Brooks says lots of things in police department aren’t core, we have too many people in dispatch

Vsmoothe: Desley Brooks: should be a cap on overtime officers can work. V Smoothe: would we need less overtime if we had more police?

Vsmoothe: Parks and Rec appears out of nowhere to say that if the Council doesn’t pass the full budget tonight, it will be disaster for them

Vsmoothe: Jane Brunner to Parks and Rec: where the hell have you been for the last month? why tell us this NOW?

Vsmoothe: Assistant City Admin: don’t listen to them, it’s fine.

Vsmoothe: Now onto public hearings, Sanjiv Handa out of room

Vsmoothe: On every item, Brunner makes a big show out of calling Sanjiv Handa for comment Everyone in room laughs uproariously every time.

dto510: @vsmoothe Why does Parks and Rec need budget immediately?

Vsmoothe: Rebecca Kaplan recuses self from item on delinquent business taxes, then leaves. Pat Kernighan speculates RK must owe delinquent taxes

Vsmoothe: @dto510 Nobody knows.

dto510: @vsmoothe So, is it over? Any decisions? Are the NCPCs losing their budgets?

Vsmoothe: @dto510 No decisions on budget, layoff notices will be sent out to employees proposed for layoffs, except layoffs those Council objects to

Vsmoothe: @dto510 Not yet, NSCs reorganization item not up yet. Currently, Sanjiv Handa is taking his 20 minutes to speak.

Vsmoothe: Jean Quan: We narrowly missed downgrade from one agency, will probably get downgrade from another

Vsmoothe: Desley Brooks and Rebecca Kaplan: City organizational restructuring should not be discussed tonight, should go to Committee first

Vsmoothe: Pat Kernighan and IDLF: OK with voting on restructuring tonight, support all parts of it except moving Neighrhd Svc Coordntrs out of OPD.

Vsmoothe: Council votes on restructuring, Neighborhood Service Coordinators will remain in OPD

dto510: @vsmoothe: NSCs are the most controversial, but what else is involved in restructuring?

Vsmoothe: Onto Master Fee Schedule, Rebecca Kaplan says we should raise meter rates to $2, not $1.75.

Vsmoothe: Jean Quan opposes raising meters higher than $1.75, opposes any fees on Tool Lending Library.

Vsmoothe: @dto510 Move Personnel out of Finance & Management, to become its own department, Human Resources, move marketing to CEDA.

dto510: How many people are following the #Oakland budget with @vsmoothe’s Twitter instead of the TV? It’s like Iran up in here.

Vsmoothe: Pat Kernighan opposes raising peak hour meter rates, thinks we need to talk about it more and warn public first.

Vsmoothe: Pat Kernighan: I would rather raise all meters to $2/hour than raise some to $3/hr during peak hours.

Vsmoothe: Why is it SO HARD for the Council to understand the basics of what they need to vote on and what they don’t? It’s pathetic.

Vsmoothe: Jane Brunner: OK with pilot program for increased peak hour parking rates, but only in small area, see how it works.

Vsmoothe: Pat Kernighan: Can we start pilot program in your district, then?

dto510:@vsmoothe OK, I don’t care when her birthday is, Pat is getting a present from me next week.

Vsmoothe: Rebecca Kaplan opposes proposal to eliminate proposed fees for Tool Lending Library from Master Fee Schedule.

Vsmoothe: Pat Kernighan thinks if we raise peak hour meter rates, every restaurant in Chinatown will close.

dto510: @vsmoothe: @transbay It does seem fair to apply peak-hour parking pricing to places other than downtown. Like Rockridge

transbay: @dto510 Are you getting her Shoup??

Vsmoothe: Rebecca Kaplan says a small pilot program for peak hour parking is good idea, suggests Uptown as location

Vsmoothe: @transbay Watching this, I think I need to buy copies for the entire Council. It’s horrendous.

Vsmoothe: Nancy Nadel opposes higher peak hour parking for Uptown because there is a parking shortage there. UGH!!!!

dto510: @vsmoothe Uptown is too small and too dead to be a good test for peak parking pricing

Vsmoothe: @dto510 I agree it’s stupid to do it in such a small area, but Nancy’s logic is wrong

dto510: @vsmoothe @transbay Also, parking shortage is reason to do peak pricing. It doesn’t work there b/c parking surplus.

Vsmoothe: Peak hour parking proposal = $3/hour from 10-2, busiest times.

Vsmoothe: Council votes to approve fees to use Tool Lending Library. Nancy Nadel abstains because she doesn’t understand.

Vsmoothe: Council confused about proposed parking ticket fees (PDF). New fees would cost $10 more each than on chart, b/c of prev aprvd state pass-through.

Vsmoothe: Council not capable of adding 10 to numbers before them, pulls fee proposal. Will discuss when it returns next meeting with new chart.

Vsmoothe: Nancy Nadel opposes imposing parking tax on large diesel truck parking, says truckers are too poor to afford it.

dto510: I gotta replace my #Oakland library card before the fee doubles

MaxAllstadt: I think the Council should fine people $5 every time they refer to San Francisco as “The” City in a meeting. It ain’t the only city!

Vsmoothe: Nancy Nadel: you shouldn’t tax people when they do something you want them to. R Kaplan: Then I should not pay sales tax to buy a bicycle?

Vsmoothe: Pat Kernighan: I am “flopping back and forth in the wind on this issue.”

dto510: @vsmoothe Hehe. What are they talking about?

MaxAllstadt: This is ridiculous. I’m going to bed.

Vsmoothe: @dto510 Imposing parking tax on large truck parking.

Vsmoothe: Pat Kernighan and Jean Quan suggest we have a lower parking tax rate for truck parking.

dto510: @vsmoothe How is parking big-rigs something the city wants ppl to do? I have no idea where NN is coming from on this.

Vsmoothe: @dto510 The idea is if they parking in special areas just for them, it keeps them out of neighborhoods.

dto510: @Vsmoothe Ah. Well, the city should just ban big-rig parking in neighborhoods. Lotsa ways to justify that

Vsmoothe: Scott Peterson: Chamber of Commerce convened a meeting, and concluded that tax incentives for businesses would be helpful to Oakland

Vsmoothe: Scott Peterson cont.: Also concluded that study is needed to see if incentives would be revenue negative, positive, or neutral.

Vsmoothe: @dto510 Re: big-rig parking. It is already illegal in neighborhoods.

Vsmoothe: Jane Brunner doesn’t like using stimulus funds for traffic signal improvements. Thinks we should do something “unique” and “creative.”

Vsmoothe: IDLF opposes golden handshake proposal (PDF).

Vsmoothe: Rebecca Kaplan and Pat Kernighan support golden handshake (early retirement)

VSmoothe:Glde Hndshke = Eligible employees would have option of retiring early in exchange for 2 years additional service credit towards retirement

[I don't know why I didn't write anything about the conclusion of this issue. Maybe because I was struggling with how to talk about it in so few words. Basically, they decided to do it, but only for certain classifications.]

Vsmoothe: Pat Kernighan: There are many very narrow streets where people routinely park on sidewalk. Those people should not be fined.

Vsmoothe: Rebecca Kaplan: We have an incredible epidemic of abuse of disabled parking placards, should be enforced as much as possible.

Vsmoothe: Council not comfortable raising fine for locking a child into a car (PDF) from $30 to $100.

dto510: @vsmoothe There is no excuse for parking on the sidewalk. If a street is too narrow for parking, then parking shouldn’t be allowed.

Vsmoothe: Jane Brunner: If your kid gets locked in the car, it’s pretty scary. The police come. You shouldn’t have to pay a fine also.

Vsmoothe: Jean Quan: Um, sometimes people leave their kid in the car and the kid dies. Jane Brunner: Oh yeah, nevermind.

Vsmoothe: Meeting is over! Bedtime!

transbay: @vsmoothe Is Pat aware that sidewalk parking is a violation of both state and federal law?

Vsmoothe: @transbay She says it shouldn’t be enforced in areas where the streets are so narrow that people have to park on sidewalk.

Vsmoothe: @transbay She says she’s okay with the fine is someone is parked perpendicular across a big sidewalk on a normal street

Vsmoothe: @dto510 Pat says that if they do enforcement of that in certain neighborhoods with narrow streets, there will be a “revolt”

dto510: @vsmoothe Those streets should be fixed! I know where she’s talking about, but it’s not her district

29 thoughts on “Writing about the budget in 140 characters or less

  1. Andy K

    So, what do you really think about NN?

    Shocking that they really did not do anything.

    On the radio today, it was reported as big news that Dellums agreed to cut his pay and make other cuts in his budget and the council agreed to drop pay-go.

  2. Ralph

    okay this is a lot to read, but a few items caught my attn:

    - Reading: at the risk of throwing out undocumented information, i heard that people should at least be at the 8th grade reading level to f(x) at a bare minimum. (ab Nancy, there are public safety implications but it is not a public safety issue – shouldn’t OUSD adult program, community colleges, or some outside program fund this)

    - Diesel trucks: aren’t they polluting the very air, Nancy is trying so hard to clean

    -Peak Parking: Nancy missed the economics lesson on that…that being said, I have plenty of time to survey parking in Uptown, there is no shortage of parking especially now that there is yet another lot being used for parking

    No dead kid fine: you gotta pay the piper…most drivers pay AAA some type of annual fee which covers some towing and lock-out services, why shouldn’t you be required to pay when the police come to save the baby from the dingo

    Sidewalk parking: down off 98th, they post the ordinance that prohibits such parking

    Disabled placards: aren’t they issued by DMV, so even if we all agree that there is some abuse isn’t that a state issue. I personally think they need to raise the fee. How much of the fee is shared with the city in which the car is registered?

  3. Jennifer

    Are these people aware of how totally ignorant they sound? It’s like they never leave their own homes. Every meeting is like the movie Groundhog Day.

  4. VivekB

    I love Jean Quan’s “rolling budget” phrase, did she really use that?

    Ever hear of a concept called a ‘baseline plan’? Oy, the horror, if only i could tell my CFO that my budget is ‘rolling’…

  5. Karen Smulevitz

    Extreme Oakland parking: Denying ADA access by leaving your car parked across a sidewalk on a narrow street with a baby locked inside.

  6. 94610BizMan

    If it weren’t for the $80 Million (plus) hole you might think you were actually reading a comedy routine ridiculing confused, clueless, incompetent politicos.

  7. Becks

    Thanks for the refresher of last night’s meeting.

    I just wanted to point something out though, for those who did not watch the meeting or who do not generally watch council meetings. The account above makes it sound like our council members are pretty much idiots who don’t understand the city and don’t come up with ideas. I know you don’t think that’s true, V, but that’s how it comes off. (I guess that’s another limitation of Twitter.)

    I too was frustrated by Nancy, Larry, and Desley complaining about the process but not offering up much in the way of ideas (though Desley did offer some). But outside of that, I thought the conversation last night was interesting and engaging, especially considering how long that meeting went on.

    And that’s so important to consider here. I was shocked that when I arrived home at 7pm after the Port Commission meeting, public comment was still happening. I sat from 7-11:30 in front of my computer watching the meeting, and it was totally exhausting. I couldn’t make it through the entire meeting, even though I was in the comfort of my home and I had joined in 4 hours after it started. Plus, I had the luxury of muting my computer and playing Mario Kart while Sanjiv Handa spoke for 20 minutes (apparently Sanjiv’s speeches are the perfect amount of time to play one grand prix).

    I really can’t imagine how exhausted the council members must have felt last night, but it showed. At one point, Jean Quan was leaning on her hand as she talked, as if to prop herself up so she wouldn’t fall asleep. And as it got later, they became slower, and more confused.

    I think our council members are actually quite intelligent, but they didn’t sound so at times last night. This just convinced me even more that we should be having council meetings every week and that being a council member should be a full time job.

  8. Colin

    There are streets near where I live in District 2 that are on hillsides and just too narrow for parking on the street. They can’t be widened because they’re on the hillside. Parking on the sidewalk is a long-standing solution to this, and I don’t have any problems with it, especially since I can still walk by on the sidewalk.

    That’s probably the exception, though, and not the rule. I’m not sure how you work around that, but there’s no way anybody could reasonably tell those people they have to park half a mile from their house because the city’s changed it’s mind.

  9. V Smoothe Post author

    Becks –

    You’re being far more sympathetic than I am to the position of the Councilmembers. It was mind-boggling to me the number of the things that several of them still did not seem to understand about the budget and various related proposals. Especially at this late date, when this has all been in front of them for over a month, the level of confusion really was inexcusable.

    Honestly, I didn’t find the budget conversation interesting or engaging in the least. Nothing was said that hasn’t been said repeatedly at previous budget hearings, no new ideas were introduced, and none of the things that had been brought up previously were expanded on or treated in deeper depth than they had been before. It was a total waste of time.

  10. Becks

    I guess I am being more sympathetic. I also probably found it more interesting than you because I haven’t read either of the budget proposals in detail, and I missed the last budget workshop. Just to be clear though, I was frustrated by their lack of knowledge about the process – I just give them some slack because they had been there forever and clearly were no longer focused.

  11. Naomi Schiff

    Disabled placards are a DMV thing, not city. Although maybe we could enforce abuse more. But do we want cops sitting around trying to figure out who is truly disabled? Maybe there are more important things for them to be doing?

    I keep wondering about police overtime too. I was told by one councilmember (PK?) that it is cheaper than the load of benefits that must be furnished to add an additional employee. But it is not cheap.

    I understand that library and OUSD are discussing some kind of joint approach to literacy program. Both have programs that are being/will be drastically cut. Maybe something can be salvaged by merging. I hope they will include Nadel in their conversations so we can get somewhere useful on this, which is a fairly hot topic as adult education gets killed off at OUSD.

  12. TheBoss

    The issue is less the disable placards being handed out right and left and more that people grab their disabled parent’s placard and drive aroudnd.

    As such, it’s very easy to police, since the driver is not the registered owner of the placard.

  13. V Smoothe Post author

    To clarify my earlier comment. While I was very frustrated with the meeting last night, because of the reasons explained above (it is far too late in this process to still not grasp the basics of a number of these things, no new ideas were presented, there was also no more thorough exploration of ideas already presented, time is really running out, etc), Becks makes a good point that the twitter format probably does lend itself to making the comments seem dumber than they actually are.

  14. Art

    I didn’t even know we *had* a fine for locking a child in a car (not that it’s a bad thing, but…?!?) I see no problem with upping it to something that might approximate the cost of actually getting said child out, though.

    But the sidewalk parking seriously pisses me off. It’s a plague in my neighborhood, where, yes, there’s a parking shortage and some streets are narrow—but that doesn’t make the solution any more legal! (And, pathetic soul that I am, I rarely if ever call people in because it makes me feel like a bad neighbor, which also pisses me off.) Part of the problem with upping any of these fees, though, is that they have to actually enforce these rules for the fee increase to result in any additional revenue for the city. I haven’t seen that happen, at least in my neighborhood (where you could easily make hundreds every night by ticketing all of the cars on the sidewalk and in the red zones).

    As far as the Tool Library, which we use regularly, I actually wouldn’t mind paying for it provided that the money went to support it. Somehow I’m guessing that’s not how it would play out, though. But a membership model could work quite well, since that would also give the City the ability to subsidize lower income households (versus charging for each use, which gets more complicated/visible if you want to subsidize in some way).

    I’m also sorry to see the sizable street tree fees ($260-$325). I definitely understand the rationale, but that’s likely to create a huge disincentive for residents to request street trees in the future—or more problematically, to plant their own trees, which may or may not destroy the sidewalk in years to come. (I know, that’s the homeowner’s problem, not the city’s—but part of the point of having city-sponsored street trees was to eliminate that issue.)

  15. Becks

    Yeah, I don’t know why Pat doesn’t understand that parking on the sidewalk creates HUGE problems for pedestrians. The saddest part about her comments is that they weren’t just off hand comments, since she said the same thing at the Finance Committee meeting last week.

    At that meeting, she also was upset that there was a proposed increase for fees for parking in bus zones. For anyone who rides a bus, this is such a huge problem! We should charge enough for the violation to discourage people from doing it.

    But as Art said, all the fees in the world won’t matter if we don’t enforce these violations, and I’ve seen many police pass cars parked in bus zones without even stopping to reprimand them.

  16. Ralph

    Wow, someone more cynical than I.

    @TheBoss, I would like to think that the people using the placards are the assigned individuals. I am anti-policing this activity and think it is harder to police than you seem. Placard cars are only an issue when parked in what should be a revenue generating parking spot. I suspect at that time the car is emptying so the only way to tag its illegal use is to wait until someone returns. And even then you could see a 20 y.o who looks just as healthy as the next guy but has a heart condition, which limits his walking and qualifies him for the placard.

    But something has hit me like a ton of bricks, seems like some have noted there is a general enforcement problem. Granted some fees and fines should be higher, but revenue collected from 0% enforcement is still 0.

  17. len

    so even though twitter made the meeting seem like a Marx Bros movie, it really was one?

    what’s the overall sense? sounds like some of the members are still in denial phase, some angry over the death of city business as usual.

    btw, what’s the big tree fee?

    -len raphael

  18. TheBoss

    @Ralph – All cops have to do is, when they see a car with a placard and the driver there, check their ID against the ID on the placard. That’s it. They don’t have to try and deduce whether the person is disabled. It’s far, far simpler than that.

    In the past, I know they’ve done a few “raids” on this issue, and some very large percentage of people they stopped were not the proper owner of the placard.

  19. Patrick

    Libraries are repositories of knowledge and, in the digital age, a place to seek knowledge via the internet. They were not intended to or set up for Adult Literacy programs. And, at $3000 a person, it’s a pretty poor value besides.

    ADA placards: they can give them out to people with hangnails for all I care, but why does such a placard excuse people from paying for parking? If they have the ability to drive to work/shop, they also have the ability to pay for parking. I’ve never quite understood this “handicap discount”; it seems to me that it singles out people that deserve to be treated/allowed the same access as everyone else by treating them differently. And as all it takes is a doctor’s note, the practice screams “ABUSE ME”.

    Parking on the sidewalks: de rigueur in my neighborhood. But as I pointed out to my next door neighbor when she parked on the sidewalk in front of my house (she moved her car), I am now responsible for the repair/liability of that sidewalk. And sidewalks are not designed to hold a ton of car weight, they are designed to hold the weight of people. Sidewalk parking should be banned/enforced as long as the City has decided that they’re my responsibility.

  20. yamp

    Is it a little weird that the council members are talking about 6.4 million in concessions from fire but there isn’t even a contract on the table yet? They might hope to get that–and they very well may–but it seems a little presumptuous to balance your budget on that assumption before the union membership has even had a chance to vote.

  21. hedera

    First, @vsmoothe, you get a Purple Heart for doing this! And I don’t think it sounded like the Marx Bros. – the Marx Bros. films were wittier than that. It sounded like a British comedy about politicians, along the lines of “The Office.” Terrifying.

    Speaking as the owner of a handicapped placard (which I haven’t used since my second knee replacement healed) – They come from DMV. You don’t pay a fee for them. You have to carry a special ID that proves it’s your placard. And the issue with them isn’t so much free access to paid parking spots as it is access to close parking spots – you can’t tell by looking at someone whether they have congestive heart problems or emphysema which seriously limits how far they can walk.

    I do agree that placards are abused – I once got into a fight (back when I walked with a cane!) with a couple of women after the younger one got out of a placarded car and ran into the Post Office. The older one screamed at me for objecting because, she said, it was her placard and the daughter was doing it for her…

  22. V Smoothe Post author

    Well, my problem wasn’t so much that the points raised by the Council weren’t valid – many of them are. It’s just that they’ve all been discussed before at previous budget meetings.

  23. Patrick

    I forgot to mention that I monitored Twitter on split screen while watching KTOP last night – I thought the Twitter feed was most engaging. It kind of punctuated the “action” (a la MST3000) and prevented me from yelling at the image of Desley Brooks any more than absolutely necessary. Perhaps a little simplistic, like bullet points, but isn’t that the point of Twitter?

    Speaking of DB – what was she going on about with the Design Team not being responsible for a negative fund balance and therefore should not be laid off thing? If it came down to laying off who was actually responsible for the current budget crisis, most of the people on that dais would be the first to go.

  24. Pamela Drake

    Okay, I confess that I didn’t read every comment. But Naomi did mention that adult ed is being killed off. Since the state took away our protections through categorical funding, we’ve had very serious cuts. Our year-round program is no more. I am unemployed this summer as an adult ed teacher and have little hope of work in the fall. My students have little hope of a job, especially without a diploma, and yes, many with below 8th grade reading levels.
    As to sidewalk parking, I have always opposed it for myself. Then under Brown’s administration, many new houses were built on our street -previously one side of our narrow street was almost empty due to the houses sliding off the hill back in the 1910s. Parking is more difficult now and I have been sideswiped twice. Neither my insurance company nor I care much for the situation. Looks like I’ll be on the sidewalk with everyone else on my street- in Kernighans’ district .
    $3 per hour for our commercial districts-puhllease. How can that help, less business, less money for libraries. I think the council members sound nonsensical because the situation is nonsensical!

  25. Oh Pleeze

    Re: “…[S]omeone should buy her a copy of HCOFP for her birthday.”

    The library’s book budget is being cut,
    New books will have to come from somewhere.

    So…How about buying a copy for the *library* so everyone on Council, as well as we everyone with a library card, can read it…assuming, of course, that
    — Council even uses Oakland’s libraries, and
    — that Oakland’s libraries are still kept open
    (I will refrain from comment on rumours regarding Council’s individual and collective literacy level)

  26. Robert

    The cost of a parking ticket is not much related to pricing parking to ensure availability. the cost of the ticket should serve as a deterent to trying to skate by without paying. It only took me a couple of tickets to decide it was much cheaper to feed the meter than to pay the ticket. So there is not a logical disconnect in what NK said. Also, except in a few areas, I usually do not have a problem with finding parking at a meter. And if you believe that parking should be priced to ensure that it is available, we are already there for most of the day, in my experience. There are a few times and places where parking at a meter is a problem, and fees should be raised specifically to address those issues. But this demand based parking rates is something that Oakland does not seem to have either the technical ability or political will to address.

  27. SF2OAK


    It is a joke in OAK how many placards I count sometimes up to 80% in a block. The new pay stations are a ripoff. Why do they say 1 hrs. parking is $1.25 in one spot and $1.50 in another. This system is so flawed it is another taking from you the taxpayer. Why not use a fastpass like device where you put it in your windshield press a button and start your meter when you return push to stop instaed of being forced to buy time in advance and may not know how much you need (what if the stroe you want to visit is closed?) in advance. Also compare the info on Berkeley’s tickets to OAK Berk. gives more pert. information. OAK should try some leniency on Parking and try and get some retail business instead it goes the other way whci drive people to Emeryville or Alameda. And now Oak wants to make Lakeshore TJ’s parking pay, after the citizens bought the lot. OAK is ripping you off yet again.