The City of Oakland is facing a very challenging situation for the FY
2023-25 budget. The Mayor’s recently released the FY2023-25
Proposed Budget . Included is the General Purpose Fund, which
supports key city services. It achieves a tenuous balance thru a series of
Here is the budget:
To know how various programs will be affected use the service impacts
Following are some of the more significant proposed budget actions:
-Freezing a number of unfilled positions including 92 in OPD.
-Increasing the proposed revenues as previously estimated in the
5-year forecast by $76 million.
-Transferring numerous positions from the General Purpose Fund to
various specialized funds.
-Delaying the rollout of a 25 th fire engine for the Fire Department for
two years. It would also “brown out” one existing fire engine on a
rotating basis, meaning the chief of the Fire Department will have to
suspend the operation of one engine
-Adding $10 million over the next two years to upgrade and harden the
city’s cybersecurity protections.
-Delaying implementation of the recently approved Democracy
Dollars program. Last November, Oakland voters approved a ballot
measure to encourage civic engagement authorizing $4 million in
vouchers to support candidates in city elections. The budget proposes
to delay the program until the 2026 election cycle.
-Using the $12 million in the Vital Services Stabilization Fund
(Rainy Day Fund) thus totally exhausting the fund.
-Freezing the hiring hundreds of positions paid for through the General
Purpose Fund to save approximately $133 million over two years.
This will not affect hiring in departments that are funded from special funds.
The budget proposes to fill more than 600 positions in Special Fund departments,
including the new Planning, Building and
Economic Development Department, Transportation, Housing, and
Public Works. The proposal also calls for the creation of a “Vacancy
Strikeforce” to focus on filling vacancies in these departments.
-Maintaining baseline funding through the general fund for the
Department of Violence Prevention but the department’s overall
budget would shrink to $41.8 million from $48 million. The budget
also proposes to expand investment in the Mobile Assistance
Community Responders of Oakland (MACRO) program, which
allows civilian response to non-emergency 911 calls.
-Proposing merging several city departments to eliminate redundancy
and reduce administrative overhead. It would combine the
homelessness and housing departments; fold parks into a new
children, youth and family department that also includes services
from the city’s existing Human Services Department; and combine
planning and building into the Economic & Workforce Development
Department. These mergers could save the city approximately $2
million over the next two years.
The Council is required to adopt a balanced budget by June 30th . A
number of meetings of both the Council and individual Council districts
are scheduled over the next two months :
MOBN!’s recommendations on the Proposed Budget will follow soon.