Courtney Ruby: Oakland’s newest
OAKLAND | MAYOR | Telling it like it is got Oakland City Auditor Courtney Ruby in trouble with two of the city’s black council members. Despite protestation against her scathing audit last year alleging Desley Brooks and Larry Reid violated the City Charter and race-baiting comments lobbed towards her, the veracity of Ruby’s report was never debunked. In fact, both council members had egg on their face when Ruby showed up to a subsequent council meeting with her two children in tow–both of color.
So, it’s no surprise, Ruby’s run for Oakland mayor, announced Wednesday, features the tagline, “Time to tell it like it is.” As city auditor, Ruby has not only called out violations by various council members over the often abused non-interference rules laid out in the City Charter, but uncovered wasteful spending by the Oakland Police Department and returned $2.3 million in overpaid parking tickets to residents.
A strategy of stretching the budget for additional city services is a topic Ruby can plausibly argue. On her campaign Web site, Ruby says she identified $6 in waste for every $1 spent by her office. “That’s money that can be used for priorities like public safety and infrastructure,” she said.
Ruby’s audits over her two terms in office, not surprisingly, have won few friends at City Hall. Her campaign to unseat Mayor Jean Quan may ruffle more feathers. “The simple truth is, if Oakland had more inspired and ethical leaders focused on results,” said Ruby, “we wouldn’t be in so much trouble in so many areas.”