I’ve yet to weigh in on Oakland’s latest mess, and I’m not sure I have much to say that hasn’t already been said. There’s been a lot of talk in the blogoaksphere this week about the Deborah Edgerly saga, and I’ve been really impressed by the reporting of dto510 and Zennie Abraham, who often shared updates before the mainstream media reported. So here’s what they had to say…
dto510 picked up the story first at FutureOakland, reporting last Wednesday that Edgerly might be on her way out. After Dellum’s stripped Edgerly of her powers and asked city employees to report directly to him, dto510 reported that Council Member Desley Brooks accused Dellums of violating Oakland’s Charter. A couple days later, dto510 explained that Dellums had backpedaled and was allowing Edgerly to stay on through July and to pick her own replacement. Today, he reported that Council Members De La Fuente and Kernighan had called for Edgerly to be placed on administrative leave, and soon followed up with the letter from Dellums that places her on leave.
Zennie Abraham also followed the story closely, though from a different perspective. He stood up for Edgerly from the beginning, arguing that the allegations of misconduct shouldn’t lead to her ouster. Zennie later pointed out that Edgerly’s alleged conduct was common practice and that favoritism in Oakland isn’t a new problem – it existed under Jerry Brown too. A couple days ago, Zennie argued that Edgerly’s image had been unfairly tarnished:
In the past, when Oakland City Manager Henry Gardner ran the City — we had a Council-manager form of government — and there wasn’t The Internet and the flow of ad dollars away from newspapers, the City Manager was profiled, followed, and respected, ..and male.
Now, the City Administrator is not profiled, seldom followed, mostly disrepected, ..and female.
Last night, Zennie was the first to share the rumor that Edgerly had been placed on administrative leave.
Though V Smoothe avoided the Edgerly story for several days, she finally gave in and gave us her take on the issue, which was essentially an argument that the Edgerly story is indicative of the bigger structural problems of Oakland, and we shouldn’t let this story distract us from these bigger issues. Today, she pointed out that the the person who Dellums chose as the interim city administrator, Dan Lindheim, refuses to write reports for the council, even when council members ask him to.
I think one thing that everyone in the blogoaksphere agrees on is that Dellums did not handle this situation nearly as well as he could have. He changed his mind every other day and showed no leadership in assuring that we could get out of this mess. While Dellums didn’t make me proud this week, my fellow bloggers did so at least something good came out of this situation.