Oakland Mayor Dellums delivers State of the City

February 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Crime is a constant concern in the city of Oakland. On Monday night, in his State of the City address, the mayor warned the city could face higher taxes and fewer police.

Mayor Ron Dellums claims Oakland has seen economic success during this recession because he helped deliver $19.3 million in federal stimulus to the city.

"The highest grant received by any city in America," says Dellums.

He says more than 30 restaurants opened in the city last year and green jobs are blossoming.

"When the greater Bay Area was losing jobs at 5.3 percent, Oakland actually increased by 2.8 percent for a net total of over 5,200 jobs," says Dellums.

Dellums announced that crime is down 10 percent from last year, but he hinted that preventing police layoffs will be difficult.

"We have roughly $40 million to fund all of general government, for which we had $100 million just two years ago," says Dellums.

The mayor said taxes may be necessary for survival and he joked about his own situation. Dellums and his wife owe more than $252,000 in back taxes to the IRS.

"I know people don't like to be taxed. I know, you know, I do," says Dellums.

And the mayor said he actually helped prevent an early exodus of the Oakland A's to another city. He is expecting a call from Major League Baseball.

"I believe, based on how we conducted ourselves with dignity, respect, and confidentiality, that we will still be in the game," says Dellums.

Dellums spoke for two hours and 20 minutes, but he did not address the one thing many people wanted to know -- whether or not he will run for a second term as mayor.