Last week, the Council adopted the ALL-IN Budget amendment that I introduced with Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan (At-Large) and Councilmember Dan Kalb (District 1).  This inclusive budget makes wise, strategic investments to make Oakland safe, clean and prosperous.  As a reflection of the entire council’s priorities, the ALL-IN Budget funds all of the police chief’s priorities while setting aside the funds to help the City negotiate fair contracts with its civilian employees.

In short, the ALL-IN Budget:

  • Makes a significant investment in Public Safety—funds two police academies per year to grow the force to 700 officers, plus adds 17 civilian positions in the police department—primarily 911 dispatchers and crime investigators, and provides support for completing court-ordered departmental reforms.
  • Funds efforts to improve our quality of life and make Oakland cleaner—including over $4 million to address potholes, graffiti, illegal dumping and blight.
  • Supports economic growth—funds job centers in East and West Oakland, provides $6 million for the city’s administration to use in bargaining with our public service workers, and allocates over $5 million to pay down long-term liabilities, invest in capital improvements and increase our reserves.
  • Is a fiscally responsible budget that sets aside some “one-time revenues” (money that only comes in once, such as from the sale of City Buildings) for future expenses. The City is projected to receive $37 million in one-time revenues during this budget cycle, but the ALL-IN Budget spends only $33 million of this revenue—leaving a $4.1 million surplus—a fiscally conservative move to ensure that the City can continue to fund programs in future years.

In addition, the ALL-IN budget provides critical funding for the West Oakland Youth Center.  Next month, we will celebrate the completion of this long-anticipated resource with the launch of “Friday Night Live,” a series of youth-focused community block parties for a safe and fun summer. The events are co-sponsored in conjunction with Alameda County, the M. Robinson Baker YMCA and Oakland Unite.

With so many needs, many doubted that we could craft an inclusive budget that remains fiscally responsible, but Oakland’s growing economy gave us the opportunity to do just that.  I am very proud to have been a part of crafting an ALL for One budget to make a safe, clean, prosperous city.

With deep Oakland-love,

Lynette

 

Editor’s Note: This piece reflects an individual opinion and is not a reported story from Oakland Local. Oakland Local invites community residents to share their views about events and issues in Oakland. See our guidelines.

3 Responses

  1. Charlie

    Lynette,

    Great work getting the WO teen center funded. Very important!

    Will you support raises for the city workers which will exceed the $6 million one-time set aside allocated by the budget?

    – Charlie

    Reply
  2. Colin

    With 2 academies a year, we would be turning out somewhere around 60 new officers anually. We lose 40-45 each year to attrition, so that’s a net gain of 15-20. We currently have 633 officers on the force, so this plan gets us to 700 somewhere in 2018, assuming that nobody decides to cancel any in between now and then.

    And 700 is still unrealistically low for a city of our size. 1200 would be the suggested minimum number of officers for a large metropolitan expanse with an estimated population of 400,740.

    We really need at least 3 academies a year, there’s just no way around it.

    Reply
  3. Len Raphael

    You use the phrase “fiscally responsible” twice and “fiscally conservative” once in your op-ed.

    Yet just before passing this so called balanced budget you and 5 other council members gutted the only substantial attempt ever made by an Oakland city council to deal with the over 1 billion of un and underfunded liabilities that every city official has known about for years. Back in 2009 in the aftermath of the real estate crash, the Council resolved that if the volatile real estate transfer tax revenue ever exceeded 40 million/year, that the entire excess would be devoted to increasing the reserve and paying down that over 1 billion of obligations.

    The change as proposed by Larry Reid and supported by the public service union leadership was to give the council “flexibility” to spend any such excess tax revenue to pay for any “one time” expenses.

    The only council members opposing that were Kalb and Schaaf.

    All it would have taken was for one of the other council members to have voted no or abstained to have killed that change.

    Now with this adopted budget we see what the new “flexibility” has given you the leeway to spend the latest real estate bubble revenue on current expenses instead of paying down the ignored long term obligations.

    You did this by arbitrarily expenditures such as the 6 million set aside for raises as “one time expenses.” when employee raises are clearly ongoing, not one-time.

    We should be thankful that the council didn’t spend all of the projected excess real estate tax on “one time expenses” because after all the approved budget did allocate a whopping $500,000 to go against those 1,000,000,000 of long term obligations.

    if news reports are correct, Council with the exception of Schaaf, has dug our fiscal hole even deeper by approving a new contract with non public safety employees that abandons the Mayor’s goal of all employees sharing in the inevitable future medical and retirement cost increases.

    Strange to call this “fiscally responsible.”

    Reply

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