Oakland – The Oakland City Council has some tough budget decisions to make in the next few weeks …a lot of attention has been focused on $120 million budget deficit (and growing) and the fact that the Oakland Police Department currently utilize in excess of 44% of the General Purpose Revenue.
With this as a backdrop, I was surprised to learn that the Mayor of Oakland did not utilize support offered by the Governor as she was apparently concerned of the “ optics “ and chose instead to request mutual aid from the Alameda County Sheriff’s department, which was already stretched thin and but recovering from being unsupported during the recent “mom’s for housing” stand off.
Where there are many people visiting Downtown Oakland with shuttered store fronts, to photograph the artwork that has appeared on the plywood covering the shattered storefronts and looted/burned out stores… I am head scratching over how anyone could be concerned about “optics”!
Our local banks in the Central Business District (CBD) and Chinatown are closed. The local pharmacies are closed and many of our city’s high needs and at-risk population currently living in SRO’s located (Some 5,300 residence] – in the CBD …HAVE NO VIABLE ALTERNATIVE.
It would be nice to hear concrete plans to address these issues and perhaps a representative from CVS, Walgreens, Target, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Bank of America or any number of other businesses affected as to when they are coming back?
Some of us are still meeting with insurance adjusters, and I’m happy to report while I was meeting with someone to provide the estimates on replacing our four broken storefront windows ($32,000 of damage) I was given a parking ticket for an expired meter. This is one ticket I’m happy to pay as I’m sure the City will need every penny to close that budget deficit. And optics well perhaps the new design review charettes will award points for creative use of 3/4 plywood as it is the urban fabric of choice in 2020.
This post based on Phil Tagami’s Facebook Page entry, and reprinted here, with appropriate edits.