Oakland Local

from the Mayor’s newsletter:  Budget Hearings Come to Close

This last week we held 4 hearings on the budget. They were evenly attended by staff and residents for the most part and brought out lively discussion.

The Oakland economy and city revenues are growing in most areas –property, business, sales, and hotel taxes. My proposal uses the new revenues from this year to invest in the city in 4 areas:

Public Safety: It funds 2 police academies per year, plus 37 civilian support staff to free up police officers to spend more time in the neighborhoods. We have also increased funding for court-ordered police monitoring and technology.
Economic Growth: It funds economic development and housing staff critical to growing Oakland’s economy, expanding the “pie.”
Investing in our youth: In addition to an increased after school Kids First funds (4% or $11M). No major changes in Park and Rec Centers. We restored about a third of the Headstart slots (34) cut by the federal sequester, and recommend that the the remaining 70 slots be a first priority add back for the Council.
Restoring Employee Contributions and Furlough Days: This budget does not recommend furlough days, this restores about 9% that employees contributed over the last two years to help us through the recession. It adds 12 days of service back to the community. We also fully fund the 21% increase in pensions, about $14 M.

Only because of state and federal cuts and the increase in pension rates are we making a roughly 5% cut — despite new funds which are mostly one-time increases in real estate transfer tax. We tried to do this in a “fair share.”
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UPCOMING MEETINGS
Budget Town Hall Meetings Completed, Council to Hold Next Hearing This Thursday

On April 30, City Administrator Deanna J. Santana and I presented the FY 2013-15 Proposed Policy Budget to City Council. Throughout May, the City we hosted five neighborhood Budget Town Hall Meetings, in partnership with Council members, to gather input from Oakland residents on the proposed budget.

The following Council Budget Hearings will be held in Council Chambers, Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza:

Thursday, May 23, 6:30pm, generally Council members are expected to state their priorities
Thursday, June 13, 6:30pm, usually the the vote on the Council’s budget
Thursday, June 27, 6:30pm for final budget adoption

For those unable to attend any of the above meetings, other engagement and feedback opportunities available include:

The City’s newly launched open data platform, https://data.oaklandnet.com, to explore and visualize budget data
A community-created visualization tool, www.openbudgetoakland.org, to view data and interactive infographics
Survey and community engagement opportunities at www.EngageOakland.com
Emailing suggestions and comments to budgetsuggestions@oaklandnet.com

For budget-related documents including the Administration’s priorities, the principles behind the budget proposal, a 4-page Budget-in-Brief fact sheet, and an 8-page Budget Backgrounder fact sheet, please visit the budget web page here.

For more info: Sean Maher, Communications Director, Office of the Mayor, smaher@oaklandnet.com or 238-7439 or Karen Boyd, Citywide Communications Director, Office of the City Administrator, kboyd@oaklandnet.com or 238-6365

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