Dellums Has a Rough Week

Rare appearance at City Hall by Ron Dellums brings bad tidings

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Mayor Ron Dellums is a rare sight at Oakland City Hall, but will show up to the City Council's budget discussion this week for a few minutes at least.

    As the Oakland City Council prepares to debate the finer points of the city's beleaguered budget, Mayor Ron Dellums showed up to work this week to present the plan that he prefers.

    A press conference Tuesday came as a surprise to Police Department Chief Anthony Batts, who was notified only two hours beforehand.

    Even if Batts had shown up -- he reportedly had a doctor's appointment he couldn't cancel -- it would have just been to hear bad news.

    Namely, that in Dellums proposal the OPD is facing at least 53 layoffs, and depending on how voters act in November, many, many more -- up to over 200 of 774 officers.

    Not that Dellums was directly involved in negotiations with the city council members, who were already considering a similar budget, or the police management or unions.

    Instead, City Administrator Dan Lindheim has been handling all the details and then briefing the mayor, according to Dellums.

    The press conference came after a report by KTVU's Randy Shandobil that left Dellums asking Shandobil "Who the f**k are you to decide my role?"

    Dellums proceeded to assert that he was "CEO of the city," arguing that thanks to cell phones and email he could keep tabs on the city while shopping on a weekday afternoon at the grocery store or attending prizefights.

    "[President Barack Obama] does not sit and negotiate with unions. I have a staff to do that."

    Dellums is expected to make a brief appearance at Thursday's council meeting to discuss the $30.1 million hole in the city's budget and what he feels should be done about it.

    Jackson West loves Oakland, but would never want to live there again.