Oakland City Council gets back to business

September 16, 2008 2:57:40 PM PDT
The Oakland City Council will face a full agenda tonight when it returns to work for its first meeting in nearly two months.

The council will discuss two measures proposed this summer after former City Administrator Deborah Edgerly was fired amid allegations of nepotism and interfering with a police investigation.

One measure would fund a $330,000-a-year whistleblower protection program designed to encourage city employees to report fraud, waste and abuse. The other would authorize the spending of $235,000 to hire a consulting firm to conduct an audit of the city's hiring practices going back to July 1, 2003.

Next week the council will consider an anti-nepotism ordinance proposed by City Council President Ignacio De La Fuente and analyze a report issued last Friday that states city officials spent at least $1.2 million on travel expenses for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

On Sept. 30, the City Council will hold a special meeting to discuss the city's budget deficit.

Edgerly said last spring that the deficit was about $15 million, but Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said at a July 23 news conference that it's much more than that.

Acting City Administrator Dan Lindheim and a team of advisers headed by former City Manager Robert Bobb are in the process of evaluating the city's budget situation and are expected to issue a report soon.