Mayor Quan reveals budget cut details

January 23, 2012 11:16:16 PM PST
In Oakland, Mayor Jean Quan is proposing a budget with millions of dollars in cuts to services and the elimination of more than 100 jobs.

According to city leaders, there's a little bit of good news. Monday evening, they unveiled a way to eliminate $28 million. These budget cuts are necessary due to the loss of redevelopment money. They say they can do that by cutting just 105 fulltime positions, which is 50 fewer than they were talking about last week.

This comes one week after 2,500 city employees received notices of possible layoff. With their proposed budget, Quan and city administrator Deanna Santana say by reorganizing and consolidating several departments, they'll be able to achieve that level of savings, with fewer layoffs than previously thought.

For instance, the proposal hose would merge the city's Human Resources and Parks and Rec Departments into one, a Community Services Department. That said, there will certainly be some program cuts and job losses, pretty much everything related to redevelopment, including a number of positions in public works.

"What you're seeing here is a proposal which has much fewer layoffs than you would expect just from redevelopment; that is why we organized it very broadly. So you'll see we're going to have less departments, we're going to have more emersion departments, we're going to have less administrators and in the end we did our best to make sure that there were no cuts, or there were minimal cuts, to core services," said Quan.

"I'm not going to criticize the city for trying to act in a responsible manner, but I don't think that Feb. 1, that money is just going to evaporate," said Linda Joseph, a union representative.

Besides pretty much everything to do with redevelopment, other programs that could be cut the budget proposes are reductions in some community center hours, city subsidies to Children's Fairyland, the Oakland Zoo and aquatics center to name a few.

What won't be cut are library services and services to the homeless and seniors. The proposed budget details can be found here. City council will hold a special hearing on all of this Wednesday night at City Hall.