Talk about not being able to get anything right! First, the City drafts a proposed new parcel tax that is in blatant violation of multiple laws. I addressed those numerous violations in a previous post, and sent an email to the entire Council, as well as the City Attorney’s office, outlining all of the defects, prior to the Council meeting. Throughout that meeting, the deputy City Attorney was scrambling around making last minute changes, and by the end of the meeting, they had taken all of my legal advice, and it was barely legal. The Council, knowing full well that a June special election was still up in the air, and that the cost of the special election would be close to $1 million, decided to put forth the new parcel tax proposal only if Jerry Brown got that June election to happen. Last week, it was clear that the special election wasn’t going to happen, so I was hoping the parcel tax would be DOA.
It was resurrected at the last minute earlier this week. Only hours before the meeting, I looked at the agenda and saw that Quan was pushing for an election by mail, to be held on July 12. Given the short notice, I wasn’t able to make it the meeting, but fortunately, three council members prevented the discussion from even getting off the ground, because doing so would have violated Oakland’s own Sunshine Act. See, under Oakland’s own rules, for regularly scheduled meetings, the materials need to be available at least 10 days in advance, unless 2/3 of the Council finds there to be some sort of emergency. As Libby Schaaf pointed out, the Council was well aware over a month ago that the June special election might not happen, so this whole “let’s do an election by mail only in July” was not an emergency. Nancy Nadel called this a “tyranny of the minority.” Quan called it “parliamentary procedure.” (She might want to check the dictionary on what “parliamentary procedure” means). In the end, reason prevailed, and the Council moved on.
But Quan just won’t let that parcel tax die. It’s like Glenn Close in “Fatal Attraction.” Just when you think she’s dead, she jumps out of the bathtub with a cleaver! But unlike Michael Douglas, I knew there was a possibility that she might do just that. So I checked the website periodically today, for any signs of a newly special noticed meeting, and there was none. By around 3:30, I figured the issue was dead.
But then I saw a post by Bruce Nye of Make Oakland Better Now that a meeting had been posted, but no agenda, and that the City had missed the 4 p.m. deadline. So I started watching to see if and when the agenda got posted. It made it up by somewhere between 4:45 and 4:50. Too late. Why? Because the meeting was noticed for 4:00 p.m., and under the City’s Sunshine Ordinance, 48 hours is required. They blew it again! Fortunately, somebody must have realized that two botched meeting notices would just be too embarrassing (or maybe they realized the 4:00 p.m. meeting time on Friday would interfere with their Happy Hour - not to mention everybody else’s!) So apparently the meeting was canceled shortly thereafter. Hallelujah! Hopefully Glenn Close will be declared officially dead, and we won’t have to worry about any more boiled bunnies.