So we all know the economy still hasn’t recovered from the Bush Presidency. And hey, while we’re at it, the California economy still hasn’t recovered from Ronald Reagan’s Governorship. Or something like that. Heck, the problems in the Golden State couldn’t possibly be the result of a zillion years of legislators that would have been right home in the 1950 Duma. Or a string of Democrat mayors of major cities at least that long.
Well hey, Fit, Meet Shan. Part Deux.
Let me be clear, I’m picking on Oakland. Just because they’re handy. This story could be headlined in ANY city in California. Or Arizona or Wyoming or any of the states arranged alphabetically in between. Bottom line is that municipal, county and state governments have been buying off public employee union “peace” with a combination of never ending salary increases, and underfunded pension and healthcare plans that have been threatening to bankrupt the benefactors but have been routinely ignored by elected officials who are more concerned with the fact that they couldn’t get a job as a WalMart greeter if they lost the next election because the unions would throw them out if they acted responsibly.
So, Oakland is running a little budget deficit. Like about $31MM. It ain’t a pretty picture. And to top off their financial problems, the Mayor of Oakland is one Ron Dellums, a former CongressCritter™ and one of the few peeps on earth who could possibly make B. Obama look like a qualified and effective leader. From the Mercury News…
Police and fire budgets represent about 75 percent of the city’s $400 million General Fund budget. The council has cut $140 million the past three years, but still needs to close a $31 million shortfall. In addition to the layoffs, on June 24 the council voted to trim $19 million from parks and recreation, human services, elected officials’ offices and other departments.
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums participated in the negotiations. He said it would have been wonderful if there could have been an agreement, but ultimately, the council had to make the hard decision that would protect the city financially.
The layoffs bring the number of sworn officers to 696. The department loses about five officers a month through attrition, and it could lose 122 more in January if voters reject tax measures headed to the November ballot.
Geez. Taking an axe to city services. Interesting. I wonder if maybe Chris Christie could have encouraged the Oakland cith council? Well, anyway, I actually think the City has really found a way to punish those pesky taxpayers who are objecting to being
screwed taxed to death. I’m sure everybody understands that the “we’re going to lay off cops and fire fighters (and teachers)” is the ultimate threat of the elected class. It has represented the ultimate scare tactic used to hammer the taxpayers into accepting increases in their tax bills so they aren’t overrun by the rif-raff. And guess what, even before the first cop had been officially RiFed, the Oakland Police Chief made this announcement…
Oakland’s police chief is making some dire claims about what his force will and will not respond to if layoffs go as planned.
Chief Anthony Batts listed exactly 44 situations that his officers will no longer respond to and they include grand theft, burglary, car wrecks, identity theft and vandalism. He says if you live and Oakland and one of the above happens to you, you need to let police know on-line.
There is an actual partial list of the crimes to which the Oakland Police will no longer respond at the link, so if you’re planning criminal activity anywhere around Oakland to help out in these tough times, check it out. This is better than a gun ban.