Oakland City Hall
Tonight's City Council meeting will conclude with the final reading of the hotly debated zoning and building height update. Here are five less well known decisions to watch:
7.4 Locations of New Parking Meters
This is the second and final reading of this ordinance to "add street segments to the established parking meter zones," or in other words: allow the city to charge for parking on more streets. The first reading was on March 1 and because this item is now on the consent calendar, one can reasonably expect it to pass.
In a move expected to generate an additional $267,000 per year, the city will vote between two plans to add parking meters throughout the city. No more than a quarter of these new meters are allowed to be placed in District 1 (North Oakland, Councilwoman Jane Brunner's District), to ensure the districts bear a more proportional burden of these new fees.
Areas under consideration for additional parking meters:
Free parking and access for residents are typically positioned in contrast to sorely needed city revenue. District 4 Councilwoman Libby Schaaf wrote an editorial in the Oakland Tribune, all but challenging the city of Oakland to think beyond this zero sum game. She discussed the usefulness of parking meters to keep parking available where demand exceeds capacity and how little sense it makes to meter parking on streets with lower parking demand.
Do you think people should have to pay to park on these streets?
S-7.19, S-7.20 Purchase of properties in East Oakland for redevelopment
This item will allow the City Redevelopment Agency to move forward and purchase two properties from private owners. The properties are:
3550 Foothill Blvd.
711 71st Ave.
Do you think the city should spend this money with so much uncertainty surrounding redevelopment agencies? What would you like to see happen to these spaces?
S-7.21 Broadway Street Car Transit Study
What began as the independent study project of a Stanford University student is now ready to apply for a $300,000 study from the California Department of Transportation, or CalTrans.
Ultimately the street car is intended to connect Jack London Square all the way to Piedmont Avenue or MacArthur BART along Broadway. The interim Free Broadway Shuttle (the "B"), is in many ways a proof of concept model for the proposed Oakland Streetcar Project, and more than 2,000 people road the B every weekday. Supporters claim that a more permanent service would attract more serious investment along the corridor. Also, after construction, a street car is cheaper than a bus.
S-7.23 Overtime Usage - Oakland Police Department
A few recent East Bay Express articles (Feb. 23 and March 9) discuss the Oakland Police Department charging event coordinators and business owners steep rates to have officers at their events, even though the number of officers required for each event is determined (without oversight) by the Oakland Police Department.
In the online agenda packet, this Council item includes a report of overtime pay for four departments from the middle of 2009. Perhaps the wrong report was attached and we can expect more recent figures soon? In any case, this likely won't be the last we hear on this issue.
9.1-9.3 Assessment of Liens
Only three items are on the consent calendar portion of the agenda - meaning they will require a vote tonight. Each item asks the Council how to proceed with businesses and individuals who are behind on a specific type of payments.
The payments are:
The Council will likely vote to conduct a public hearing and let the public help it decide how to proceed with these businesses and property owners. The city will probably decide to place a lien on each offending business or property. A lien means that if the business or property is ever sold, the new buyer has to pay these backed taxes and fees.
How to get involved
The City Council meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. on the second floor of City Hall at 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. You can also watch the meetings on KTOP (local channel 10) and streaming online.