How Do Oakland’s Mayoral Candidates Plan To Set Peformance Metrics And Benchmarks?

Make Oakland Better Now!’s Mayoral Candidate Questionnaire was answered by 8 of the ten candidates.  All of the completed questionnaires are available for viewing at our web site, here. Since some Oaklanders may want to compare candidate responses to each of the questions, we will be publishing the responses sorted by question here at Oaktalk over the coming days.  You’ll find these posts for the first twelve questions directly below this one.

In our last post, we asked candidates how they would ensure their agenda was followed by the city.   Here, we post their answers to a question about performance of benchmarks for city department heads and communication with Oaklanders.

Question No. 13: What metrics or benchmarks will you establish for your performance and the performance of City department heads?  How will Oaklanders know whether benchmarks are being met?


We are in the process of developing an online system like Baltimore. The process has been slow and arduous. As Mayor I will probably develop no more than 5 for each department.


Here are the initial benchmarks I will set for myself: a) within the first six weeks of my election victory (in November) I will begin a system-wide audit of city government; b) within that same time period, I will have hired a new city administrator, and made personnel decisions regarding department heads and new hires; c) by January I will be involved with negotiating and navigating my way through the city’s deficit challenges; d) by February I will attempt to have implemented my new staffing policy for police hires costs; e) by mid-February I will have introduced my new policies regarding business development and new jobs.

As for my department heads (new or old), I will expect all to have participated in decisions about staffing change, cost-saving, and measures to close our deficit. Deficit reduction will occur. In this initial period, Oaklanders will know that benchmarks are being met by evaluating whether the above deadlines have been met. I intend to communicate as much in my inaugural address, and to make these goals accessible in the new and redesigned website for the Mayor’s office.


Meeting the financial goals of the various departments, as well as serving the community with excellent customer service, will be the benchmarks I will establish, also never done before in our city. I will be judged on how effective my programs and program staff are. If you have no programs, you cannot be judged.


Percentage of kids graduating the amount of new business coming into the city and cutting the homicide rate below 50% where is it at now. And by having my town hall meetings monthly by monthly if needed, to keep my finger on the pulse of the moral and where the support is needed.


Each department head will prepare a plan outlining major goals and benchmarks. I along with the city administrator will monitor those plans and benchmarks. I also intend to encourage close scrutiny by all citizens and will on a regular basis publicly report to the city at large.


I agree that benchmarks should be established and the public should be informed of progress meeting these benchmarks. Some of the benchmarks are obvious, such as miles of roads repaired or bike lanes striped, and others are yet to be developed. As Mayor I will work with the City Administrator to develop clear expectations for department heads and to share these expectations with the public. These will include measurements for business attraction, permit simplification, blight enforcement, and treating the public with respect. In addition to performance benchmarks, I will implement accountability measures and deadlines for City staff,
such as a time limit to respond to permit applications and questions from the public.


The next mayor has to fix the budget. All Oakland will know how well we do.

They will also know how safe the streets are.

They will know if they have jobs.

And they will know how well the schools are doing.



Make Oakland Better Now!

OakTalk Here is the blog of Make Oakland Better Now!, an Oakland community grassroots group of a grass-roots group of voters, volunteers, and policy advocates committed to improving the City of Oakland by focusing on public safety, public works, and responsible budgets. Founded in 2003, we’ve researched, lobbied, and successfully campaigned for a number of new, impactful policies, including the city’s Rainy Day Fund, Measure Z and Operation Ceasefire.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Nour

    Lame, pseudo rofrem.Why are you wasting our time?A 3 term limit is no limit at all. If one really thought term limits would reduce the advantages of incumbancy, you should have stuck to your original proposal of two terms.But term limits don’t touch the source of the bad government problem in Oakland where a disinterested and uninformed electorate faces politicians whose election and re-elections are determined by volunteer muni union labor and pac’s funded by muni unions and real estate developers.the only thing that term limits will do is possibly stimulate the local economy by pumping more money into printing, advertising, and poliical consultants’ businesses.Rainy day fundGreat idea but considering we’re facing a fiscal hurricane that could last for two decades, what’s the point of this when what we need is serious, deep, fiscal rofrem that restricts the power of unions to influence elections and gives leverage to officials to get significant wage and vested retirement benefit concessions from existinig baby boomer employees. That’s spelled amending the charter to allow for outsourcing everything except safety to non profits and for profit companies. Repeal binding arbitration for public safety. -len raphael, cpaVote No on Quan’s H, I, JRecall Quan

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