City Hall Insider: City Council agenda notes from around the East Bay, June 1-2

OAKLAND/June 1, 10 a.m.
Controversial issues, budget talks continue in Oakland

BUDGET NITTY-GRITTY The arduous tasks of listening to budget presentations from each of the city’s departments begin during a special meeting of the City Council on Monday morning. The agenda also includes discussion of Councilmember Desley Brooks’ proposed new city department on race and equity sure to contain heated rhetoric from its creator. Plan received only $150,000 in Mayor Libby Schaaf’s proposed budget.

June 2, 5:30 p.m.
12TH ST REMAINDER SALE The controversial $5.1 million sale of an acre of public land near Lake Merritt forced a council meeting this month to early adjournment. The shutdown led by BlackLivesMatter activist triggered a strong reaction from city administration in the form of stricter security measures at #oakmtg. The proposal is back for a vote Tuesday night. Still included in the proposal is 25 percent of proceeds from the sale be allocated toward the city’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Developers hope to build a 24-story market-rate luxury tower at the site.

DAC PRIVACY POLICY The long-awaited Privacy and Data Retention Policy for the city and port Domain Awareness Center (DAC) awaits approval from the Oakland City Council. Curiously, for an issue fraught with public skepticism by some toward its government, the policy names the city administrator as chief privacy officer. No data systems can be added to the DAC, without council approval, 40 cameras around the city will not be included in the data stream, which will be retained for two years. Information from DAC cannot be shared with other jurisdictions.

FBI-OPD COURTSHIP Meanwhile, a proposal to build a workspace at the Oakland Police Administration Building for 10 FBI agents comes to the City Council. The city administration says the workspace will allow for greater collaboration between the FBI and OPD and its Safer Streets Taskforce. It will also aid the department’s lackluster Criminal Investigations Division, says the city. The FBI is footing $110,000 of the build out and OPD allocating $63,000 for furniture and digital infrastructure.

ALAMEDA/June 2, 7 p.m.
Expensive APD Body Camera purchase, budget approval

$424K FOR BODY CAMERAS Alameda Police are seeking to receive approval for the purchase of 80 body-worn cameras for its officers. The proposed five-year contract with Taser International is for $424,752. The cost of the 80 AXON Flex body cameras alone are $39,221. Storage of data and other accessories boosts the first-year costs to $142,000 and the on-going costs at $62,000 annually. However, no policy for data retention exists yet.

BUDGET APPROVAL Alameda City Council is set to approve the biennial budget for FY2015-17. It’s the first time in three years that no cuts were made to city departments. The city’s non-existent Information Technology Department will receive two new positions as part of this two-year budget.

WATER REDUCTION Following Gov. Jerry Brown’s order to reduce water use by 25 percent due to the state’s continuing drought, EBMUD will provide a presentation on its water reduction efforts, but Alameda says it has already reduced municipal water usage by 29 percent between March 2014 to December 2014 over the previous year, or more than 120 million gallons of water.

SAN LEANDRO/June 1, 7 p.m.
Two-year budget set for approval; $4mil for roads

BUDGET APPROVAL The city’s two-year budget for Fiscal Years 2015-17 is set to be approved by the San Leandro City Council Monday night. The total budget forecast for FY2015-16 is $141.8 million and a general fund balance of $93.5 million. In FY2016-17, the total budget increases to $148.3 million; general fund, $95.2 million. An increase in revenues were derived from a pair of successful revenue-enhancing measures approved recently by city voters. Therefore, nearly $4 million in each fiscal year is budgeted toward rebuilding San Leandro’s woeful roads.

CCA A presentation will be given to the council on Alameda County’s efforts to potentially create a Community Choice Aggregation program (CCA), which gives residents an option to purchase energy from an entity other than the current provider, Pacific Gas & Electric.

HAYWARD/June 2, 7 p.m.
Break-even budget; water rate hike; new poet laureate

BAD TIMES BE GONE? After years of multi-million dollar cuts, Hayward projected budget for FY2015-16 is almost break-even. The City Council met for an all-day budget work session on Saturday, followed by another this Tuesday night. Hayward, however, is one of the few cities around who still attempt to calculate the often dubious 10-year budget projection. Whatever it’s worth–assuming the city did nothing over the next decade to avoid disaster–the shortfall for 2023 is still only $10.4 million.

3% RATE HIKE Water rates for Hayward resident could be raised, according to a proposal before the City Council . Rates for single-family, multi-family, mobile homes to those with limited incomes would rise by three percent across-the-board. Single-family residents, for instance, currently pay $28.09 a month, which under the proposal, would rise to $28.93.

POET LAUREATE NAMED Bruce Roberts will be named Hayward’s first poet laureate. The position is newly-created and labeled by city staff as a one-year pilot program. Roberts, an author and former educator, will not be paid for his work.

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