Make Oakland Better Now! will be present at the next Oakland City Council Meeting on June 13th at 6:30pm to urge the City Council to adopt the Mayor’s proposed budget with Council President Kernighan’s proposed changes.  This post is the second in a series to look at the budget amendments proposed by Council President Kernighan and those proposed by Council Members Brooks, Reid and Gallo.  We encourage all Oaklanders to join us at council in urging your representatives to adopt a budget reflecting the city’s need for public safety and fiscal responsibility.

Make Oakland Better Now! was set to publish a post today that costed out the City Council President’s proposed budget amendments (we’ve been calling the proposal “APB1”) and the proposed amendments to the budget by Council Members Brooks, Reid and Gallo (“APB2”).  We had reached the conclusion that APB2 would result in a city budget out of balance by millions of dollars.

But last night, the Budget Director and City Administrator issued a report that did the same analysis – and reached the same conclusion.  The short version:

  • 3% COLA’s don’t cost $3M per year–the cost is about $8M.
  • There is no “double counting” in the budget with respect to the Fire Department’s $7.8M grant or IT expense.
  • The City has received $9.5M in “boomerang funds” related to dissolution of the Redevelopment Agency, but this one-time revenue cannot be encumbered at this time.
  • There is no confirmation that the three city center buildings are going to be sold, so the City cannot count on the $2.7M in real estate transfer tax projected by APB2.
  • APB1 results in a two-year surplus of $280K.
  • APB2 results in a two-year shortfall of $8.7M.

The long version is here.

In our next budget post, we will be looking at a third approach, being offered by Oakland’s Budget Advisory Committee.


Reminder to Oaklanders:  Would you like to help us help our neighbors?

The West Oakland Green Initiative (WOGI) maintains many of the over 500 trees they have planted in the last year.  They need some help from volunteers in the community.  What would be better than Make Oakland Better Now! lending a hand in making a corner of our town a little more beautiful? Most of our board will be there Sunday afternoon, June 16, and we would LOVE to have you come and join us. 

What: West Oakland Community Clean up and Tree Maintenance

When: Sunday, 6/16, 1 – 4:30 p.m.

Where: Raimondi Park, 18th @ Campbell, Oakland 94607 

We will be involved in basic tree maintenance, placing some new soil around the base of the trees, and cleaning up litter around the park.  WOGI is donating all the material and tools needed to perform the work.  All we need is you and a handful of your friends eager to lend a hand.  

If you plan on attending, have any questions, or need help with a ride, please e-mail [email protected]  We hope to see you there.

By MakeOaklandBetterNow

Make Oakland Better Now! is a citizen advocacy group supporting public safety, accountability, transparency and budget reform in the City of Oakland. More information at and Like us on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @makeoakbetter

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