Things just keep getting curiouser and curiouser. Suddenly, two Oakland salary surveys have gone missing! It's time for Miss Marple and Nancy Drew to put their heads together and solve this one!
Last week, I wrote a post about how inflated Oakland salaries are. http://defendingmeasurey.blogspot.com/2010/02/why-is-oakland-so-broke-heres-clue.html and cited to a 2008 “comparability Wage and Benefit” analysis. An anonymous poster at ABO wrote that the City Administrator’s office was contemplating removing it, because it was “inaccurate.” Lo and behold, within a week of my post, it was gone. Fortunately, you can still find it here. http://www.abetteroakland.com/documents/salarysurvey.pdf
Now, what kind of knucklehead City officials would commission a detailed salary survey of 70 positions that is “inaccurate?” And since when did “inaccuracy” bother City officials so much that they had to take something off the internet? My favorite “inaccurate” website is the “FAQs” page for Measure Y, sponsored by the City of Oakland, which you can find here. http://measurey.org/index.php?page=measure-y-faq
It states at the bottom of the page: “…two specific guarantees were put in the measure: 1) that the City will maintain a baseline of 739 police officers in addition to the 63 new officers….” Oh really? Guarantee, huh? Then why is the City still collecting the tax when we’re way below 802? And during the early stages of my lawsuit, the City claimed that this wasn’t what Measure Y said at all. So that means it’s “inaccurate.” So, Dan, when are you going to correct that “inaccuracy?”
The next missing salary survey is even more of an embarrassment for the City. As noted in my post last week, in 2002/03 the City signed a contract “not to exceed $100,000” to conduct a salary survey of top management positions. I tried to find a version of the survey on line, with no luck. So I did a public records request to the City to get a copy and to find out when it went to the City Council, as well as find out how much the salary survey actually cost us taxpayers. Get this - the City can’t “find” the survey. Oh, and then I find out that the survey cost $113,000! Can you frickin believe that? $113,000 to conduct a salary survey of only 200 positions? That is just shocking! And to add insult to injury, this exceeded the maximum amount by $13,000. Oh, and it gets better. There’s no indication that the salary survey was EVER presented to the Council. To date, the City has been unable to locate any documents indicating it was ever given to them. Gee, I wonder why? Maybe because the people responsible for presenting it are the same overpaid upper management that the survey was supposed to study?
You want to know why Oakland is broke? They agree to pay $100,000 for something that should have cost a tenth of that. They don’t bother to notice that they overpay by $13,000, in violation of the contract. They pay $113,000 for a survey that either was never done, that was lost, and/or that was never even presented to the Council! This is just the height of ineptitude! And they want us to pay more taxes to cover these types of mistakes? Get real.