San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom made all the right moves in his budget proposal a couple of weeks ago, protecting key city initiatives while making sensible cuts across all departments to close a $483 million budget shortfall.
In San Jose, Mayor Chuck Reed is awaiting last-minute concessions from a half-dozen unions facing job cuts. Barring agreements, Reed has vowed to push through his budget, which closes a $118 million gap by week’s end.
In Oakland, residents are still looking around for our guy, Mayor Ron Dellums, who has not been heard from for a while.
I’ve received a few e-mails from Oakland residents who’ve reported Dellums sightings at a grocery store in the Oakland Hills – in the middle of the day during the work week. But around Oakland City Hall, it would be a lot easier to find Waldo.
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.