Officials begin work on Oakland budget

January 13, 2009 6:47:35 PM PST
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said today he hopes an outside review of the city's services will lead to a "leaner, meaner, more transparent and more accountable" city government.

At a news conference late this morning at City Hall, Dellums released a report by the Philadelphia-based consulting firm PFM group, hired to assess and help restructure Oakland city government.

Dellums said he had asked the group to conduct a thorough study to clarify the role of the mayor's office and other city positions under the "strong mayor" form of government approved by Oakland voters in 1998.

He said that after he was elected mayor in 2006, he noticed there were inconsistencies in the city's charter regarding certain roles.

Report author and former Oakland city manager Robert Bobb said the report, which is more than 100 pages long, has three main goals: to create order, structure and discipline in city government.

Bobb said that under the "strong mayor" form of government, the mayor should be the main person setting policy goals and other city officials should implement them and be held accountable.

Dellums said he has been interviewing candidates for several important city posts, including city administrator, but that he won't make any announcements until the week of Jan. 26.