I didn’t have enough time/space in the story to drive home this point, but the city is definitely moving ahead with a $3.5 million study for its plan to turn the coliseum area into a sports-entertainment complex with new buildings galore for the Warriors, Raiders and even the A’s.
There is some question about where the money for the study will ultimately come from. The city had approved using redevelopment dollars, but the state killed that program last year, and it’s unclear whether the Controller John Chiang would challenge that as an improper use of funds. But even if he does, city officials say they will move ahead with the study and find other sources to pay for it.
In fact, in a statement released Monday Mayor Jean Quan noted that Oakland has a $45 million reserve — for now. It’s still unclear whether the state will challenge Oakland’s nifty accounting last year that netted it $28.3 million for selling the Kaiser Convention Center to its now defunct Redevelopment Agency. If the state nixes that deal — the wording in a recent letter from the Controller seems to indicate that it’s a decent possibility — Oakland would have a much smaller reserve fund.
According to that Tramutola poll most Oakland voters support limiting council members and the city attorney to just three terms. But according to Councilmember Jane Brunner’s recent op-ed in the Chron, most of her colleagues feel otherwise and would vote against her proposal to bring the issue to voters in November.
Brunner has spent most of her 16 years in office in the anti-term limits camp, but had a change of heart this year while watching candidates jockey to replace her as she sets her sights the city attorney job. The state’s open meeting law is supposed to prevent Brunner canvassing a majority of her colleagues, but in this case the math is pretty clear.
She needs five votes to get term limits on ballot, and of the eight council members Larry Reid and Desley Brooks are publicly opposed and Nancy Nadel is a long-standing term limits opponent. That means Brunner needs the backing of every other council member, and she’s done enough homework to know she doesn’t have it.
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the struggling effort to recall Mayor Jean Quan, and a recent poll commissioned by political consultant Larry Tramutola, that found that two thirds of likely Oakland voters would oppose a recall. Tramutola, who ran Don Perata’s losing 2010 mayoral campaign, concluded that a recall vote was doomed to fail.
The poll, conducted in mid-April by EMC Research has a 4.9 percent margin of error. Tramutola didn’t release all of the data, but did send us a memo with the following information: