City Hall Insider: City Council agenda notes from around the East Bay, June 8-11

ALAMEDA COUNTY/June 9, 9:30 a.m.
County eyes $65m deficit; Santa Rita fills its cells

BALANCING THE BUDGET Alameda County Administrator Susan Muranishi will present the board with a budget proposing to balance a $65 million budget shortfall reported last April. While daunting, the gap is the lowest in Alameda County since before the onset of the Great Recession in 2007-08.

GIVE US YOUR TIRED AND CONVICTED A week after approving an agreement to house inmates from Sonoma County at Alameda County’s Santa Rita Jail, there is still more space in Dublin. Another deal, this time with Monterey County will extend a contract due to expire at the end of the month for another year with an option for 2017. The highest daily rate offered by Alameda County is $125.

OAKLAND/June 8, 4 p.m.
Housing equity roadmap; Henry J. Kaiser’s future

MORE BUDGET HEARINGS The closer Oakland gets to the June 30 deadline for approving its biennial budgets for 2015-17, the more irritable councilmembers will become. The City Council will continue the long slog Monday afternoon toward tweaking Mayor Libby Schaaf’s budget and inserting some of their own pet projects.

June 9, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
HOUSING EQUITY ROADMAP An elucidating report on Oakland’s worsening housing equity problems will be delivered to the Oakland City Council Community and Economic Development Committee Tuesday afternoon. Few details in the report are new, but the compilation, in itself, reveals a city struggling to maintain its current residents and character. Oakland’s median rental prices are skyrocketing, as are the cost of new ownership, says the report. Home ownership in East Oakland, for instance, has plummeted by 25 percent from 2006-2013 and the current numbers are certainly higher. In addition, during the last Census, the number of young people in Oakland dropped by nearly 17 percent. By comparison, the entire county only lost 4 percent of its youth population. The “Housing Equity Roadmap” comes on the heels of Councilmember Desley Brooks’ proposal to create a Department of Race and Equity in Oakland that would deal with most of the issues detailed in this report.

HENRY J. KAISER DEVELOPER In another Community and Economic Development Committee agenda item, the potential for rehabilitating the historic Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center near Lake Merritt has captured the imagination of residents. But, there are some in the community who question the city’s proposed Exclusive Negotiating Agreement with Orton Development. At a committee meeting two weeks ago, some councilmembers questioned whether inclusion of a hotel in the project is prudent for the site or another location nearby. The committee is also seeking additional information about the proposed developer’s financials. The developer, according to a supplemental staff report, has the requisite amount of equity and liquid assets to fund the job.

HAYWARD/June 9, 7 p.m.
No money for paying down unfunded liabilities

UNFUNDED LIABILITIES Hayward has one of the largest concentrations of union residents in the East Bay. But, its City Council has also been one of the most aggressive in terms of pay and benefits for its public employees. The council will hear a report on the city’s unfunded liabilities that shows its proposed fiscal year budget for 2015-16 barely balanced, but without doing much to lower its future obligations. The city’s finance director says, although the budget is balanced, its teetering on the edge of falling into the red with any changes before its approval. Regarding CalPERS, the city is proposing to allocate the minimum required payment, while paying nothing toward retirement and health care benefits. Essentially, it’s how the budget pencils out, its finance director said last week.

ALAMEDA/June 11, 7 p.m.
Documented homeless on the Island: 17

HOMELESS SURVEY A report on the state of homelessness in Alameda documented a grand total of 17 people, but only 8 were interviewed. Three indicated they were veterans. Half of those interviewed said they had previously accessed the Alameda Food bank, while several told canvassers they had used local emergency room services several times in the past.

LAURA’S LAW The council will decide whether to send a letter to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in support of implementing Laura’s Law. The county supervisors have discussed for more than a year whether to approve an ordinance that would allow for care of documented mentally ill patients without their consent. The issue has strong ties to Alameda following the killing of a Berkeley man by Daniel DeWitt, a mentally ill patient who had repeatedly decline treatment for his ailment. Daniel DeWitt is the grandson of former Alameda Councilmember Al DeWitt.

SAN LEANDRO/June 8, 7 p.m.
Will that medical tank make S.L. safer?
WORK SESSION San Leandro Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli offers the City Council an overview of the city’s emergency operations and preparedness during a work session Monday night.