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Oakland, CA Is Now ‘Mulling’ Bankruptcy

From a seemingly surprised San Francisco Chronicle:

Budget woes have Oakland mulling bankruptcy

Chip Johnson

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Even though city officials would prefer to avoid a public conversation, behind closed doors the Oakland City Council has discussed filing for bankruptcy protection in the midst of a $100 million budget deficit.

"We have asked the (bankruptcy) question because we wanted to know the impact," said District 5 council member Ignacio De La Fuente. "In closed session, the question has been asked, and an answer was given." He would not elaborate…

Consider the city’s cash position: Out of next year’s general fund of approximately $415 million, police costs are estimated at $212 million, fire protection service $103 million and $41 million in debt service payments. That leaves about $60 million to pay for everything else, from library services to recreation centers to public works.

And that calculation doesn’t include $50 million more in deferred debt service in a budget proposal presented to the council last month by Mayor Ron Dellums

Alameda County Assessor Ron Thomsen said tax assessments fell $13.6 billion in the fiscal year that will end June 30. "Our assessment roll will go down 2 percent, and we’ve never had a year-to-year drop ever in stats going back to 1958," he said.

Like a rock rolling downhill, those reduced property-tax revenues will be passed onto cities by a state government facing its own economic calamity created by a mammoth $24 billion budget shortfall.

That will leave Oakland, which receives about 15 percent of the county’s annual property-tax revenues, in an even deeper hole. And with half of 2009 already in the rear view, the estimates on next year’s property tax revenues are even lower, Thomsen added.

For the City Council, which is expected to present more budget options next week, it is the end of the line.

It is faced with three choices: drastic pay reductions across the board, including police and fire services; massive layoffs; or bankruptcy.

It has been a great run for municipal employees in Oakland and across the state, who have been the beneficiaries of one of the most generous civil service systems in the nation.

Since the late 1940s, California municipal governments traditionally have employed fewer employees, who have been paid substantially more than other civil servants, Ellwood said.

Add to the economic mix the union labor contracts in Oakland, which have provided city employees with high wages, good benefits and generous pension plans, and the problem is clear.

Barring a substantial cash transfusion in federal aid, the Oakland Police Department will lose close to 200 officers next fall unless Dellums, who’s in Washington, D.C., this week, succeeds in securing more than $60 million over the next three years

Any Oakland resident will gladly tell you that the possible loss of 200 police officers on the streets of this city is a bone-chilling thought

Because in the absence of a federal bailout package, De La Fuente said no formula for success would be achieved without making cuts to the Police and Fire departments.

If the city adopts Dellums’ budget recommendation and lays off 140 police officers, it would dip below the minimum requirement of 739 officers and would trigger the loss of bond-measure funds that pays the salaries of an additional 63 police officers. Adding further woes to the budget, the police officers have negotiated a 4 percent pay raise scheduled to kick in July 1.

Given the city’s economic limits, De La Fuente said the city can’t honor the pay raise and maintain the force at its current size.

"We’re required to give them the (salary) increase, but it will require us to do other things within the budget to achieve the savings we need," he said.

How can a city run by someone as competent and honest as Ron Dellum ever be in trouble?

Because in the absence of a federal bailout package, De La Fuente said no formula for success would be achieved without making cuts to the Police and Fire departments.

What a surprise. It’s the same tune we always hear.

Of course one can’t expect Oakland to cut back on its funding of such worthy recipients as the murderous thugs who run Your Muslim Bakery.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, June 9th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

10 Responses to “Oakland, CA Is Now ‘Mulling’ Bankruptcy”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    Fire everyone and I mean everyone on the take. Then rebuild with a sense of common civility and do away with all the freebies to deadbeats and lazy asses!!

    I lived in Oakland in ’79 and it was a slumdog armpit then! The CWPA building was burned down once a week and liquor stores on every corner. They owe it to themselves and us to do the right thing and go bankrupt before the obamatrons seize them and sell them to Ferrari of Italy for 8 cents on the dollar!

  2. Steve says:

    Mr. Limbaugh just referenced this thread.

  3. proreason says:

    Other than Detroit, Oakland is probably closest to the future of the Obamanation.

    Oakland is what happens when incompetance marries ideology, just as is happening now in Washington.

    And one has to wonder why, when there is still 60 million left after police, fire and debt service, why the city doesn’t just shut down all the other crap and give the 60 million back to the people.

    But the article also illustrates another of the looming issues facing the country as a whole. The burden of Civil Service pensions is taking a larger and larger share of the Federal budget as well. Now, I’m excluding the military from this comment…..why on earth should do-little government workers have gold-plated inflation-adjusted pension after working 20 years when the free economy stopped doing that long ago (with the exception of the auto mfgrs – surpirse)?. Of course, the problem fades into nothingness compared to Medicare.

    So what is going to happen in the US. Why, OF COURSE, Medicare will be extended to everyone, and The Moron is padding the Civil Service roles with 600,000 new do-nothing jobs.

    Remind me again what the definition of insanity is.

    • U NO HOO says:

      “Remind me again what the definition of insanity is.”

      Insanity is the repeated defining of insanity.

      “Remind me again what the definition of insanity is.”

      Insanity is the repeated defining of insanity.

      “Remind me again what the definition of insanity is.”

      Insanity is the repeated defining of insanity.

      “Remind me again what the definition of insanity is.”

      Insanity is the repeated defining of insanity.

  4. caligirl9 says:

    Oakland needs a nice visit by the National Guard to help remove the thugs and illegals that abound. The fact that the mayor and elected officials even consider cuts to police and fire is asking for a disaster.
    Of course don’t cut gov’ment checks and cheese programs, ’cause the baby mamas need that for their anchor babies and mini-gangstas. Gotta raise the next generation, ‘ya know?

    My father was born in Oakland in 1929. He left in the 1950s as the decline began. It broke his heart to go back or drive through the area … it was ruined.

    Law-abiding people aren’t going to live there, period, until the parolees and gangstas are rounded up. For some reason Oakland’s mayor finds them charming and worthy of saving. Sad really, because it’s in a great location… nice weather and a unique mixture of hills and ocean/bay.

    • silver charm says:

      Oakland has been a violent 3rd world poo hole as long as I can remember. My first child was born at Alta Bates Hospital in 1973 and I did live down there for a short time. Egads what a place. Ok if you lived up in the hills but its prolly just as bad now.

      I used to live in Berkeley early 70’s and one of the favorite passtimes of the thugs in Oakland was to drive up to Berkeley on warm summer nights and shoot at the hippies. I don’t think they actually hit too many just had fun watching the hippies squeal and dive for the bushes.

      Infact they ought to pull the wellfare/illegal immigrant plug on both of these places.

  5. MinnesotaRush says:

    “It has been a great run for municipal employees in Oakland and across the state, who have been the beneficiaries of one of the most generous civil service systems in the nation”

    It’s been a good run!?!?!? A good run!?!?!?

    So it’s never been about “public service” there either! It’s really all about havin’ a good run .. stealing as much as you can from the public purse for as long as you can!!! Havin’ a good run ….

    These despiccable phony “public servants”! The whole lot of ’em .. city, county, state, and federal .. need a huge come-uppence!!!

    Hot tar and feathers anyone???

  6. canary says:

    They should build a muslim prison there. Make it self-suffient, tents, camils, goats. Make it a tourist attraction to show-off their culture. They can have their own punishment system. Have executions, whippings, stoning, events that the public and pay to watch.
    Dedicate and name the prison after Obama. The Obama Muslim Prison. Has a nice ring.

    • caligirl9 says:

      First there needs to be a big old fence and moat built around the remains of Oakland.
      But there needs to be a gate between Oakland prison and Bezerkley. The libs should welcome their new neighbors with open arms.

  7. neocon mom says:

    Giving Detroit, New Orleans and D.C a run fo’ tha money!


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