Election open thread

24 Oct

UPDATE: I’ve posted my endorsements for the ballot measures.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting my endorsements for Oakland’s November election, but before I do, I thought I’d create this space for Oaklanders to discuss the election and the three ballot initiatives – Measures H, I and J.

Feel free to share your opinions, and if you have questions, please ask them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them in tomorrow’s blog post.

And whatever you do, don’t throw away this piece of mail when it arrives at your house:

Since this election is being conducted entirely by mail, every voter should be receiving one of these, even if you’ve never voted by mail before. This envelope contains your official ballot so don’t lose it!

7 Responses to “Election open thread”

  1. James Willer October 24, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    I would vote no on the ballot proposals especially on the taxes. Oakland does not know how to run its finances properly. I dont think by giving them more money that they will change their ways. We will still have multimillion dollar budget deficits for years on end even if it does passes. You have structural deficits with politicians that have been in office for decades. Those same politicians (Nadel, Reid) have been promising salaries that are unsustainable. 70,000 dollars starting for a police officer; especially when the city has double digit unemployment – estimates range from 13-16%. In addition to that: 12,000 homes sit vacant. Oakland is on a top 10 list of cities that will go bankrupt within in the next 5 years. One of the cities, Harrisburg, PA just declared bankruptcy.

    The city is not willing to sell assets especially ones that have not been in use such as the Henry J. Kaiser Arena and the Oakland Naval Base. They are just sitting there basically rotting. (So many homeless are on the steps around the HJK Arena) In 2009, The Wayans Brothers and investors wanted to turn that base into a movie lot which would have created a solid movie industry not just for Oakland but for the Bay Area. However the city rejected their offer to buy the base. Now most movies are made in Canada.

    Also I feel that people who doesn’t own property (skin the game) shouldn’t vote on increasing taxes on people who do have property. Its easy for politicians to say that 80 dollars a year is nothing. However there are many low income homeowners in Oakland that cannot afford an 80 dollar per year increase based upon them either being on fix-income or they might be on the cusp of being foreclosed upon or that they have families which they must care for.

  2. Naomi Schiff October 24, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    We all have skin in the game! (Renters end up paying the tax bills of their landlords, in their rents). And we all need to have a livable city. I am voting yes on the taxes even though I do own my home and do pay the property taxes directly.
    The Wayans deal did not get real enough to go forward; they kept extending it asking for delays and not really making the investment. Developing the base is tough; the present proposal seems to be having trouble getting off the ground. As to selling off city assets, does it make sense to do that when the market is at its lowest? I’m not so sure.California cities, and cities nationwide, are in trouble. We do need to cut where we can cut, but we also need to fund services adequately in order to attract business and residents, and keep the ones we’ve got.

  3. tdlove October 24, 2011 at 9:12 pm #

    Honestly, I see the POV of both commenters, but still want to vote NO on Measure I. I mean, does this tax really solve the problem?

    Are we going to be having the same issue 5 years later? Are we really going to be able to hire more cops with this..and will the amount of cops hired be enough to handout our public safety issues? Jordan says he needs 1,000 cops. Will this tax hire 1,000 cops?

    I am not a homeowner, but I am a renter and I can ill afford to pay another fee. Residents have to balance our budgets with this new economy..how come Oakland can’t seem to?

  4. Dan Kalb October 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm #

    I voted No on Measure H, and YES on Measures I and J.
    Measure I–the temporary parcel tax–is vital to ensuring that our public services are not cut any further. In fact, most of the funds will be used to restore services–primarily police–that had been cut.
    No one is saying that this measure will solve all the problems. But it will help make sure that, while we are trying to engage in longer-term solutions, we have funds to deal with immediate needs. For renters, the maximum you will pay is $2.25 per month for this city services tax.

  5. Rich Ozer October 25, 2011 at 9:52 pm #

    I was inclined to vote no on all the measures. After today’s police action, I’ll do so for no other reason but to show opposition to Oakland’s current leadership.

  6. Joe Tuman October 25, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    Here is the second of my recommendations for our ballot measures in Oakland: NO on Measure I I am not opposed to raising revenue through taxes to support city services—especially for public safety; quite the contrary, I would support a tax measure that funded a comprehensive public safety plan that actually reopened our police academies and helped to bring our police force closer to one thousand officers. This measure, however, does not do that. Measure I was created only after Mayor Quan received the results of a poll earlier this year which sought to determine what the average voter might be willing to pay in a parcel tax—in effect, what was and is our threshold for yet one more tax. The poll indicated $80 as the magic number. When members of the mayor’s transition team (who included my campaign manager Tod Vedock) questioned whether voters would really put up with another tax, the mayor responded by suggesting that she would tie this to police and children, and people would support it. Instead of assessing what our real needs are—and how much they cost—and then asking voters to pay and meet that need—she went about this in a way typical for Oakland government: she identified a dollar amount she wanted people to pay and then manufactured a justification (AFTER THE FACT) to rationalize the tax. Worse, this justification only addresses public safety or other needs in piece meal fashion. To compound that error, the measure leaves any decision making about exactly how much to spend on any program to the City Council, whose record (after Measure Y) is spotty at best. The language in the measure does not guarantee that any amount will be spent in a very specific way. My belief is that we must reject this measure and try again—this time beginning with an honest evaluation and discussion about what we need for public safety and other programs and determining their costs. Only after this assessment is made, should we then assess a possible parcel tax—and construct a new measure with language that unequivocally spells out exactly how each dollar would be spent, with a promise of tax rebate if the money is not spent for specific programs and outcomes. For now, I urge you to join me in voting NO on Measure I.

  7. Leonard Raphael October 28, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    NO on J.

    If you’re a woman over about age of 65 or a man over the age of about 60, you should give a big hug to Councilmember Libby Schaaf for putting J on the ballot and vote yes.

    Measure J will “enable pension reform” that will make your kids and grandkids pay for this old pension obligation instead of you.

    Everyone else should vote NO on J.

    Measure J is the kind of pension “reform” that the SEIU and the Firefighters union liked so much they paid for an expensive mailer that went out to all of Oakland to :Vote yes. (look at the tiny letters at the bottom of the mailer and google it)

    Mayor Quan personally marched into the Trib’s office the other week and bumped our No On I group out of our 9am appointment with the Trib editorial staff, to lobby for H,I,J.

    Quan’s support for H,I,J should be enough reason to Vote :No.

    -len raphael, cpa

    Vote Yes on Oakland
    by VOTING NO on H, I, J
    Recall Quan

    other info on J:
    Tribune editorials on H
    http://www.insidebayarea.com/opinion/ci_19157172

    and on I,J
    http://www.insidebayarea.com/opinion/ci_19207560

    http://www.NoOnOaklandParcelTax.com

    http://bit.ly/nSHKDr (my Dummies Guide to J)

    the discussion thread on the EbayExpress after their simpleminded endorsement of H,I,J

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