Oakland City Council Preview
1 Frank Ogawa Plaza
Tuesday, Feb. 18, 5:30 p.m.
Twitter hashtag: #oakmtg

THE DAC IS BACK City staff needed more time to determine whether Schneider Electric is eligible under Oakland’s Nuclear Weapons Free Zone ordinance to build the second phase of the Domain Awareness Center (DAC). At stake is a $1.6 million contract. Their conclusion? We think so to the “best of our knowledge,” said a supplemental staff report. “It is unknown whether there is additional information that could have been evaluated, but some key indicators suggest that Schneider Electric is in compliance and eligible for award of contract.” In a committee meeting last week, a few council members registered doubt over Schneider’s eligibility.

WHAT IT MEANS Opponents of the citywide surveillance center have circled the date in anticipation of fighting off a second contractor from constructing the Domain Awareness Center by employing the city’s Nuclear Weapons Free Zone ordinance, passed by voters in 1992. The first was found in violation of the city law prohibiting companies with ties to nuclear weapons production from receiving city contracts. If the City Council finds Schneider Electric is also ineligible for the contract, the city will have to go back to the drawing board a third time and repeat the process. An attempt by the city administrator to bypass the process of consulting the council before another vendor is selected was removed by the Public Safety Committee last week.

RADIO LEASE DEAL In another instance of the City Council limiting the power of the city administrator, it will approve negotiations for the purpose of procuring a lease deal for $27 million to replace its aging public safety radios. Last week, the Council’s Public Safety Committee inserted language in the resolution that directs the deal back to the Council for approval before entering any contract. WHAT IT MEANS A recent report found while Oakland’s much-maligned public safety radio system has made great strides in its effectiveness, but its radios need a major overhaul. The expenditure is large and facilitates a leasing program. However, keep an eye on the council’s move to again marginalize City Administrator Deanna Santana’s power. In the past few months, she has shown eyes for the same job in Dallas and, last week, her name was included in a list of finalists in Phoenix. Can you say, lame duck?

BE AWARE The council may approve a $2 million settlement with Wanning Qian following an accident in September 2012 which a city employee struck and injured the plaintiff…A timeline for placing the reauthorization of Measure Y, the city’s public safety parcel tax, on the November ballot will likely be approved by the council along with a schedule of public meetings…Mayor Jean Quan will appoint Gwen McDonald to the Chabot Space & Science Center Joint Powers Authority Board of Directors and Lanenna Joiner to the Violence Prevention and Public Safety Oversight Committee…Two contracts, both no-bid, will be awarded to Townsend Public Affairs to serve as the city’s state ($304,500) and federal lobbyist ($168,000).

Councilmember Noel Gallo continues his recent string of resolutions praising community leaders and local businesses. This week he honors Isaac Ruelas with a resolution and the Dreisbach Warehouse Company. Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney declares March 8-15 as Hepatitis C Awareness Week in Oakland, so plan your celebrations accordingly.

This Tuesday night’s meeting should be a classic Oakland City Council barn burner. One of those that gobbles up all of your primetime viewing pleasure. The last meeting on Feb. 4 was the exact opposite. With the postponement of the DAC item to this week, it rivaled the sleepy San Leandro City Council in terms of excitement and government deliberation. >>> SEE IT FOR YOURSELF