When the owners of Oakland’s 56-year-old Merritt Restaurant & Bakery sounded the alarm last month, city officials tossed them a $150,000 lifeline to keep the lakeside hangout alive.
But when the owners of Neldam’s Danish Bakery, which has stood on Telegraph Avenue for 81 years, asked for similar consideration they were informed that the city’s “bank was closed.”
“I did say the bank was closed, it has been closed for 14 months and I closed it,” said Walter Cohen, director of the Community and Economic Development Agency, recalling the meeting.
Why isn’t Dellums working on this?
Another example of Dellums not stepping up and doing something about the budget.
An Oakland City Council member told me the other day that no one wants to be associated with the nasty business of staff and service cuts – or take responsibility for the loss of 200 Oakland police officers.
I have some bad news for all of you Oakland elected officials: Not only did you sign up for this detail, the public already blames you.
They blame you for high crime and low school achievement, even though public education is a state responsibility. They blame you, at least a little bit, for the state of public finances and for failing to keep Mayor Ron Dellums engaged, even though the public elected him. They blame you for the pending departure of the Oakland Athletics, and for the return of the Oakland Raiders.
…About the only thing more disappointing is the abject failure of the city’s elected leadership to make tough financial decisions when similar decisions are being made in cities all around them.
And don’t look to the city’s top elected official for help.
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums reneged on a public pledge to voluntarily cut his $183,000 annual pay by 10 percent to match salary cuts imposed on all city employees.
Paul Rose, the mayor’s spokesman, sent an e-mail to Chronicle colleagues Phil Matier and Andy Ross last week that said the mayor was unable to fulfill his pledge because of a death in the family.
Well, that explains it.
Obviously, Dellums’ participation in a city tax initiative would only hurt its chances of passing.