Oakland City Council Preview
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza
Tuesday, Jan. 21, 5:30 p.m.
Twitter hashtag: #oakmtg

PUBLIC SAFETY RADIO INTEROPERABILITY Last July, some council members asked for a side-by-side analysis of Oakland’s current police and fire radio system versus the regional network favored by the rest of Alameda County and Contra Costa County, known as the East Bay Regional Communication System (EBRCS). An analysis presented last summer detailed concerns long stated by public safety that Oakland’s P25 radios were often inoperable in emergencies and failed to adequately link up with outside agencies. A new study says most of the concerns have been fixed. In addition, says the report, it is recommended Oakland stay with its current system rather than join EBRCS. It is estimated the long-term costs of joining the regional system could be $25 million over the next five years, says the report. Tuesday’s agenda item, however, also recommends authorizing the city administrator to enter negotiations with EBCRS and bring a transition plan back to the council within 90-120 days (Item 13).

WHAT IT MEANS This issue has long upset Alameda County officials and just about every public agency involved in EBRCS who believe Oakland is stubbornly attaching itself to a failed system, which also places the seat of the county in an island unto itself. The argument of throwing good money after bad is often lodged at Oakland city administrators who have gambled on the P25 system. However, critics counter by noting the obvious, Alameda County rests in earthquake country and also contains important assets which could attract the interest of terrorist groups. In addition, nobody really knows how the current arrangement will hold up in the case of dire emergency, but here’s a potential scenario.

BE AWARE The city announces a settlement with Tony Ray Jones for $125,000 stemming from a Feb. 12, 2012 officer-involved shooting (Item 7.5). Council will approve awarding a $4.6 million contract to rehabilitate sanitary sewers in the areas including 20th Street, San Pablo Avenue, Telegraph Avenue, Alice Street, And 12th Street (Item 7.10). A first reading of an ordinance creating a Bicyclist and Pedestrian Advisory Commission will be read (Item 7.11); a $5.8 million no-bid contract for parking meter installation and management will be discussed (Item 15) and an Memorandum of Understanding will be presented for city to partner with Alameda County to operate the West Oakland Youth Center (Item 19). The MOU calls for a one-year contract with the county to run the center with two one-year options for renewal.

Councilmembers Desley Brooks and  Larry Reid will present a resolution to the East Bay Dragons Motorcycle Club on their 55th anniversary; Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney will honor the East Bay Warriors youth football and cheerleading squads for participating in the Pop Warner Super Bowl.

Jan. 7, a resolution to expand the Latham Square pedestrian plaza on Broadway passed (6 ayes, Kaplan, Kalb abstained) to expand to 9,500 square feet, but also to eliminate a lane was met with opposition. The council unanimously approved Councilmember Dan Kalb’s resolution supporting statewide legislation for cell phone kill-switches to combat rising theft; and it approved $177,000 to fund an external police academy in conjunction with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department; .>>> READ THE MINUTES >>> SEE IT FOR YOURSELF