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Mayor Dellums’ first crisis

In a development that surprised no one, the police union today declared that contract negotiations with city officials had reached an impasse. The city hasn’t responded yet, but the dispute isn’t expected to be resolved for at least a year after arbitration.

That could put a serious crimp in Police Chief Wayne Tucker’s plan to radically reorganize the department in accordance with Mayor Ron Dellums’ demand for real community policing.

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Surprise, surprise

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack announced today he is abandoning his bid for president, saying he has not been able to raise enough money to be competitive.

Vilsack, you may remember, spent the very day he revealed his plans to run for president in Oakland, hobnobbing with developer Phil Tagami and other bigwigs.

Coincidence? We think not.

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Money, money, money

The City Council gave Mayor Ron Dellums a belated Christmas present Tuesday night — a 59 percent raise.

Councilmember Patricia Kernighan (Grand Lake-Chinatown) made the proposal to pay Dellums the maximum amount allowed by the City Charter.

“We should not nickel and dime our new mayor,’’ Kernighan said.

The charter calls for the mayor’s salary to be reviewed at the start of a new term and in odd-numbered years, and should not be less than 70 percent or more than 90 percent of the average salaries of the chief executives from Long Beach, Fresno, Sacramento, Santa Ana, Anaheim and Bakersfield.

The council’s Rules Committee, led by Councilmember Henry Chang Jr. (At-Large), recommended Jan. 25 Dellums be paid $163,000.

Chang said Tuesday he changed his mind after reading in the Oakland Tribune that 1,158 employees made more than $100,000 and 42 made more than $200,000.

“If (Dellums) is going to turn Oakland into a model city, we need to pay him well,’’ Chang said.

The last time the mayor’s salary was adjusted was 2001. Former Mayor Jerry Brown, who is independently wealthy, declined annual cost-of-living increases.