Kaplan, like Quan, unfit to run Oakland
Recent news coverage has highlighted Rebecca Kaplan's inability to take a stand on issues. In my mind, this equates to an inability to govern a major city.
Before considering voting for Kaplan for Oakland mayor, please remember she was the person who colluded with Mayor Jean Quan to use the ranked-choice voting system to get Mayor Quan elected. I think most of us realize by now what a lack of judgment that decision demonstrated.
The one stand Kaplan did take was to join hands with Mayor Quan and the Occupy Oaklanders against the Oakland police. Is that the image you want in the public domain to portray your city's mayor?
I suggest not voting for either Kaplan or Quan in order to avoid the inadvertent election of either of them under ranked-choice voting.
Focus on lessons of Measure H loss
I am surprised that The Piedmonter chose to publish the statements of the PUSD Board President and Vice President which were clearly made under the spell of disappointment resulting from Measure H's failure. Both of these officers know better as they have always been driven by the best interests of our students. The Piedmonter's journalists should have ignored these first emotional reactions and instead probed into the "lessons learned" from this vote.
I applaud the foresight of our superintendent for notifying the private donors "that they could not get their money back no matter the outcome of Measure H." In my opinion, the board should never have committed to the architect an additional $360,000 past the initial $100,000 before the community had the opportunity to vote on the bond measure.
Hopefully, the board of directors instructed the superintendent to issue a "stop work order" to the architect once it became clear that significant opposition existed in the community, thereby reducing the financial liability of the parents' club and educational foundation. If not, this should be cause for the parents' leadership (parents' club presidents, education foundation, board members) to question whether the current structure is too inbred and whether the use of a whip has become counterproductive in our diverse community.
Why does the mayor need a luxury SUV?
I just read today's front page article about Mayor Jean Quan's fender-bender and possible cell phone involvement. Perhaps the real story here is that the Mayor has been issued a Lexus SUV. This seems to be an extravagant expense in a city with so many financial obligations. How many other city officials are issued luxury vehicles on the taxpayer's dime? Incredible! Where is the city auditor and common sense?
A's lease extension proposal a raw deal
The reported 10-year lease extension for the A's is really a year-to-year deal. Lew Wolff and John Fisher can break the lease anytime with a year's notice. The deal allows Wolff and Fisher to keep $5 million in parking revenue they still owe, essentially taking $5 million from taxpayers and putting it in their pockets.
Wolff and Fisher give only one thing to the Joint Powers Authority: a new scoreboard. Wolff and Fisher make no commitment to Oakland. They agree to nonbinding contract language saying they will make a "good faith effort" to find an Oakland site for the A's. This is nothing but lip service.
If the Raiders strike a deal for a stadium at the Coliseum site, then Wolff and Fisher can break the 10-year lease, presumably with no buyout fee.
This is a raw deal for fans and taxpayers because it gives away millions of dollars to billionaires. This is a bad deal for everyone except A's ownership. I strongly urge the JPA to renegotiate the proposed lease extension terms. If the deal can't be revised, they should reject the extension altogether.
Costs of going to A's games not worth it
Going to an A's game is no longer fun or worth the headaches.
Trying to get to the A's-versus-Yankees game June 14 was a disaster and is the fault of the A's and the city of Oakland traffic officers.
At the 66th Avenue exit, we saw one Oakland police officer sitting in his car. There was no traffic control at all. It took 30 minutes to get through the offramp and over the overpass. On the other side of the overpass was one officer standing who watched the cars, and that was it.
The parking lot was closed even for us who had VIP parking passes, and we were directed to an overflow lot that was almost full. It was then the second inning, and we weren't even close to our seats.
As season ticket holders, we have put up with old, dirty, flooded bathrooms, bad food and service, but this parking disaster was the worst. A's fans have been complaining for a long time, yet our voices seem to go unheard. Yes, we have a choice where we spend our entertainment dollars and this fan has had enough of the A's and Oakland.