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


The crematorium proposed for East Oakland
could incinerate 3,000 bodies a year.

ASHES TO ASHES Last year, East Oakland residents protested a planned “mega-crematorium” initially approved for 9850 Kitty Lane near the Oakland Airport. Last October, the City Council extended a 180-day emergency ordinance effectively putting the crematorium on hold. On Tuesday, city staff is asking to extend the conditional use permit another 180 days. The reason: city staff says they don’t have enough expertise in air quality issues to make a recommendation whether the property for the proposed crematorium is a legitimate use for the zoned area. An air quality consultant has since been hired, but the city needs more time. A city staff report could be ready for late spring or early summer, staff said. [Item 9.2]

WHAT IT MEANS The proposed crematorium may be able to incinerate up 3,000 bodies a year. Opponents and two memos from the Alameda County Health Services Agency believe the amount of toxic compounds from the crematorium will only add to the area’s historically high numbers of asthma sufferers and other air quality issues. Recall, the Oakland City Council approved the crematorium two years ago, but quickly switched gears. The city was subsequently sued by the parent company of the Neptune Society of Northern California and lost last August. Renewing the emergency ordinance is ultimately an attempt to give the city more time to figure out an end game for an issue deeply resented by East Oakland residents who feel their neighborhood is continually suffering two steps backward for every step forward.

BE AWARE He is currently the OPD’s independent monitor, but Robert Warshaw is set to add the title of compliance director for the Oakland Police Department. The contract, not put out for bid, is not to exceed $165,000, said a city staff report. Last Feb. 12, Thomas Frazier was relieved of his duties by Judge Thelton Henderson. Warshaw asked the city to pay him separately for his new duties. The contract is set to expire Jan. 20, 2015.

The City Council will reappoint Sokham Mao to the Citizens Police Review Board. Mao is also a candidate for the open District 2 seat on the Oakland City Council…New members to the Oakland Youth Advisory Board will be appointed Tuesday: Rebecca Dharmapa, Takai Ginwright, Mahlik Smith, Jamila Coleman and Eleanor Good.

Councilmember Noel Gallo celebrates Cesar Chavez Day. Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney proclaims April as Victims Support Month to acknowledge the impacts of violent crime in Oakland on victims and their families.

Mar. 18, tenants in Oakland received some help from the City Council after approving a compromise deal to cap annual rent increases to 10 percent after improvements to their dwellings. In addition, they limited the cost of capital improvements passed down to renters at 70 percent. The council also approved a settlement worth $3.25 million to a cyclist who was injured by a large pothole in 2011 on Mountain Boulevard. >>> SEE IT FOR YOURSELF