Oakland City Auditor’s Report: “A Culture of Interference”

The city auditor’s report on Non-Interference in Administrative Affairs Performance Audit found that five council members or their aides interfered in administrative affairs and violated section 218 of the Oakland City Charter, which states that council members or their aides cannot interfere with daily activities such as “contracting, hiring, appointing or firing City employees, or giving orders to City employees who are under the City Administrator’s supervision.” City Auditor Courtney Ruby called this provision “the underpinning of an ethical structure” that was created to protect citizens and businesses of Oakland alike. According to the report this ethical structure is being threatened, something that is troubling at a time when Oakland is working to earn the trust of its citizens.

The audit, conducted from 2009 through 2012, analyzed 27 anonymous reports, 67 hotline tips, 40 individual interviews, tens of thousands of emails and all applicable phone calls. The audit found that the administrative interferences originated from two council members’ offices and that those two council members “violated the law by exerting inappropriate influence in City contracting and operations.” The council members will remain on the Oakland City Council, but if they are found guilty of a misdemeanor crime for administrative interference they will be removed.


Make Oakland Better Now! members help Oaklanders Understand the Issues

Part of Make Oakland Better Now!’s mission is to help Oaklanders understand what all of us  are dealing with when it comes to addressing key issues like public safety, budget reform and responsible approaches to city budgeting.  This includes participating in media events.

In the past month, we have had two opportunities to provide our views on main stream media.  Make Oakland Better Now! board member Jim Blachman recently appeared on radio station KALW with Deputy City Administrator Scott Johnson and Bay Area News Group columnist Dan Borenstein to discuss the challenges for Oakland posed by unfunded pension and other liabilities.

And Make Oakland Better Now! board members Joe Tuman and Bruce Nye recently appeared with Bishop Bob Jackson of Acts Full Gospel Church of God In Christ on the Oakland Tribune’s web site to discuss the need for more police in Oakland.