City council postpones voting on contentious items with two councilmembers absent

on June 6, 2012

With two councilmembers absent, Tuesday night’s Oakland City Council meeting was brief, and much of the agenda was postponed.

With Jane Brunner (District 1) and Larry Reid (District 7) missing, the five other council members decided to delay voting on city staff’s recommendation to issue $250 million in taxable bonds to help fund the city’s Police and Fire Retirement System, and as well as put off voting on a report on the economic benefits of the city’s Zero Waste Strategic Plan, which was adopted in 2006 with the goal of having no waste by 2020 through the recycling of discarded materials. The council also shelved an item from Brunner’s office on the status of redevelopment funds.

The five councilmembers present did vote to reauthorize funding for the next fiscal year for 117 city children’s programs, for a total of $9.9 million. The funding comes from Measure D, passed by voters in 2009, which sets aside money from the general fund to pay for programs that help kids stay in school, eat healthy, become productive citizens and avoid gang activity. The money funds programs like after-school programs, early childhood development and youth leadership programs.

A large number of supporters of the programs attended the meeting. Spring Opara, the evaluation manager for Link to Children, a child therapy center with seven locations in Oakland, thanked the council and mentioned that her grandson worked with a Link to Children mental health consultant on speech therapy and separation anxiety. “I see the direct impact our services have provided to the children of Oakland,” Opara said, “and I’m all gung-ho we continue to provide good services.”

The next council meeting is June 19.

1 Comment

  1. Len Raphael on June 6, 2012 at 9:03 pm

    If you liked the city’s Goldman Sachs interest rate deal, you’ll love this pension bond refi.

    You couldn’t find a way to cozy up any closer to Wall St investment bankers than paying them to sell the bonds and then paying them to manage the investments the makes with the bond proceeds.

    Actually a useful technique if combined with a plan to repay the bonds without refi’ng again all of it plus losses in five years.

    That assumes Oakland can afford to play the stock market and take the very real risk that we lose tens of millions in the market again as we have twice before.

    If they understand the risks, our leaders sure don’t show any hesitation about making us take the plunge.

    Our council members and our Mayor are going about this backwards: they want to refi first and then figure out how to repay them.

    Considering they’ve done this some two or three times previously and failed to come up with a payment plan, the odds are not good they’ll do any better this time.

    For background see Borenstein’s Tribune piece or a short article recommended by City Auditor Ruby appropriately titled “Risky Business”

    http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_20550031/daniel-borenstein-latest-oakland-pension-plan-continues-fiscal?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com

    http://www.nasra.org/resources/gfoapob.pdf



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