The 2019-2021 City of Oakland Budget talks have turned into a full out war between Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan. What once seemed like a renewed political friendship has, once again, degenerated into a war of words. Only now, it’s spilled over into the media.
It started with City Council President Rebecca Kaplan presenting her alternative to Mayor Schaff’s budget, and in Oakland News Now (thank you) and then District 4 Oakland City Council Member Sheng Thao responding with her take on Kaplan’s ideas.
Then Schaaf rounded up her Oakland City Administrative Staff to blast Rebecca Kaplan’s call for eliminating the Department of Transportation and restoring the 8.5 Parks and Recreation full-time-units (jobs) that were proposed to be cut by Mayor Schaaf – saying that the plan would be harmful to the city’s finances. “It’s not just flawed, it’s illegal,” Schaaf says, “cuts millions from police + delays road repairs. It spends $100 mill in fictitious revenue and forces layoffs. Council votes tomorrow — let them know you want the balanced budget that protects Oakland’s future.”
But while Libby may feel like she’s got her own City Adminstrator on her side, Council President Kaplan has the help of the ReFund Oakland Coalition.
ReFund Oakland Coalition To Hold Rally Against Mayor Schaaf’s Budget at Oakland City Hall 4 PM
ReFund Oakland Coalition community and labor groups will hold a rally in opposition to Mayor Libby Schaaf’s budget at City Hall on Monday, June 10, at 4 p.m.
“There are only two things wrong with this budget. It funds the wrong things, and it does so in a shady way,” said City of Oakland resident and employee, Felipe Cuevas, a heavy equipment mechanic and Oakland Chapter president of SEIU 1021, “We have had a number of years of Mayor Schaaf and City Administrator Sabrina Landreth’s budget. We know what those budgets mean for Oakland, which is more cranes in the sky and more trash in the streets.”
“For almost a decade, the City of Oakland has consistently under-projected revenue by large margins,” said IFPTE Local 21 Bargaining Team member and Oakland Revenue Operations Supervisor Nicole Welch.
“Each year, we hear the same story — that there isn’t enough money for services or to help city workers keep up with the cost of living, but each year the City closes its books with millions in extra revenues.”
“This year alone the City estimates that it has almost $40 million in surplus general purpose fund revenues. At the same time, the City budgets millions of dollars for positions that it never intends to fill and redirects those funds to special projects, increased overtime and private contractors. It’s time for the City to invest in its workforce and the critical services we provide.”
Rebecca Kaplan’s Talking Points For 2019-2021 Oakland City Budget
To represent her latest response to Oakland Mayor Schaaf’s Budget, and City Administration comments, Council President Kaplan sent over the following pdf document, called “talking points”:
Kaplan asserts that the City of Oakland will realize a surplus of $40 million; she plans to use unrestricted 3 percent growth in revenue which is $18.3 million in 2019-2020 and $19.05 million in 2020-2021. Overall Kaplan makes the point that the City of Oakland’s budgeted revenue is less than what is actually collected.
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media