2017 Annual Community Meeting

  • WHEN: Mon, Jan 30, 2017, 6:00 p.m. (registration, purchase Warriors raffle tickets) Meeting 7 -  9:00 p.m.
  • WHERE:  Skyline High School, 12250 Skyline Boulevard, Oakland, CA 


  • Teresa Costantinidis, PPNA president:  Welcome
  • Department of Transportation Director Jeff Tumlin - potholes, traffic and parking issues, utility undergrounding
  • District 4 Councilmember Annie Campbell Washington
  • Mayor Libby Schaaf
  • PPNA business briefs: finance, elections, organized neighborhoods
  • Golden Pine Cone Award
  • Warriors tickets drawing


Meeting Notes written and posted on Nextdoor by Craig Petersen, copied here with permission, with minor edits for clarity.


Nancy Bloom, Co-Principal of Skyline High School: welcoming remarks.

Jeff Tumlin: Interim Director of Transportation remarks - parts of Oakland received over 10 inches of rain in a one month period. More than 20 mudslides. Thornhill Ave is so bad it cannot be repaired. It needs to be rebuilt. If you see a pothole, most efficient if you contact us via mobile app through "See Click Fix" application that includes a picture.

Parking - neighborhood streets are clogged with street parking. We will start cracking down on enforcement in March as part of an Oakland Hills pilot that covers 4 streets.

Utility undergrounding - Engineering Assessment firm to determine costs per property for Phase 2 [2/2/17 update: firm hired; contract to be finalized 2/27/17].

Questions - bike lane on Park Blvd? Planned for 2018. Looking at different segments but no fixed plan yet. Individual expressed opposition which sparked applause from audience. Park Blvd is prone to speeding. Part of the solution includes better pedestrian management, especially around the restaurant area.

Q - Can you provide an update on the sinkhole on HWY 13. 
A - Not an Oakland DOT issue but a CalTrans project. Issue is the area was a dry stream bed that got really wet.

Q - an owner has a property line adjacent to the street. Who is responsible for upkeep in that area? PG&E trimmed trees but did not clear debris.
A - PG&E Should clean up after themselves.

Q - do you consider new bike lanes on upper Broadway, lower Telegraph, and upper Grand streets to be successful projects? If not why continue with park blvd project?
A - pedestrian traffic is up and accidents are down. So yes it is a success. Even though parking citations are also up.

Annie Campbell Washington-City Councilwoman for District 4 - Airplane noise - working with Save Our Skies to identify new pathways for aircraft to fly. NextGen has designed Super highways, some of which heavily impact our neighborhoods. New plan will be submitted to FAA with mayors endorsement soon.

More on street parking in the hills - unacceptable and issues arose during the storm. An issue happened on Westover Drive due to on street parking in December. Ambulance could not get through to respond to a medical emergency. A 14 year old girl died. While delayed response probably did not contribute to her death in this case, it still highlights the issue. Four new street areas will be test "no parking" zones, including Westover Drive.

Vegetation management - there will be public input in March. Feb 25 public hearing with the Wildfire Prevention District.

Small business task force - sensitive to problems that plague small businesses starting up in Oakland.

Q - How will Feb 25 meeting input be folded into the vegetation management discussion?
A - We will follow closely.

Q - how can we complain about Park Blvd?
A - She will forward any comments she receives to city staffers.

Q - how come the staffer doesn't know the timeline for the utility undergrounding project?

A - Because there is not yet a precise timeline. Awaiting city council approval after the engineering report is delivered in March. Balloting will occur in July.

Comment - individual thanked Public Works for storm clean up.

Mayor Libby Schaaf - Graduated from Skyline HS. She's halfway through her term. Heavy turnover in city leadership - new city administrator, new police chief, and more.25% of workforce had been laid off during recession.

Safety - 2016 was safest year in Oakland since 2005. Violent crime is down more than 20%. Residential burglaries are down by 50%. Encouraging but not enough.

New Police Chief has lots of experience as a Chief in two other localities. She wanted this job and she will help bring the Oakland Police Department into the 21st Century.

Jan 2013 there were 630 police officers. Now there are over 700 and they are more qualified.

We are looking at root causes of crime.

Introduced the new Director of Community Engagement and Director of Public Safety.

City infrastructure - the I Bond has passed to allocate funds to improve city streets. State and Federal funding for road maintenance has not kept pace with cost to repair.

Affordable Housing - we are building affordable housing in Oakland. More than 2000 units under construction- that's more than in the last 5 years combined.

Office space - Uber is moving in. Oakland had a net increase of 1100 new businesses last year. Oakland was number 1 in the world for office square footage demand last year, ahead of Stockholm, Dubai, and others.

Education - launched a cradle to career education initiative, Oakland Promise, focused on college or quality vocational skills. Offering $500 college "starter" scholarships to kindergarten students to initiate a culture of education.

Questions - Fire Safety inspection is underfunded. How will you address this?

A - She has issued Executive Order to prioritize work of a Fire Safety Task Force. Requiring internal inspection of properties, not just a walk around the perimeter.

Q - Fire Safety in the Hills - will the false reports be addressed?
A - Inspections are now being audited.

Q - can warehouses and other properties that fail to comply with fire safety regulations be taken over by imminent domain?

A - City cannot take over personal property without paying fair market value. City does not have the funding. But a bond could be passed to raise funds if 67% voted for it.

Q - what are you proposing to keep the Oakland Raiders in town?

A - She will not put city funding towards building the stadium. (Applause) She will defer the cost of the land and give some incentives but will not pay for it.

Q - how can Oakland control blight without raising taxes?
A - Two issues - illegal dumping which is on the rise, and increased homelessness. There is a reward program to turn in illegal dumpers. Currently more than 50% of temporary shelter beds are vacant. The homeless want permanent housing.

Q (more like a statement) - as a homeowner one person said she can no longer afford to pay the taxes and the new bonds that come out each year. Bonds are assessed against property owners even though many that vote for new bonds aren't property owners and thus don't have to foot the bill. Response - Well, that's one of the problems with referendums that need to pass by public vote.

Q - are we at risk of losing federal funding by being a sanctuary city?
A- There is no real guideline for what it means to be a sanctuary city. We do not collect info on immigrants and so we can't share info that we don't have. Our biggest risk would be if we lost funding for Head Start.

Q - Piedmont Pines does not have street sweeping. Can that be changed?
A - Piedmont pines actually voted against street sweepers. Primarily because there aren't as many curbs. Be careful what you ask for, because street sweeping then further impacts on-street parking problem on sweep days.

Q - can we loosen requirements to add secondary units to existing property to help alleviate housing shortages?
A - That is being approved when property is close to mass transit sites. But it will not be approved if an extra vehicle does not have off-street parking.

Q - will the trees on Mountain Blvd and Skyline that were cut and moved from the roadway eventually be removed?
A - Yes they will.

Q - who pays for lawsuits that the city loses (like Ghost Ship and the Police Sex Scandal).
A - Part is self insured, part is liability insurance.

Q - how can you compare recent peaceful women's March with previous malicious protests? Did the city do anything different?
A - That march was permitted, allowing us to plan resources. Consent decree requires we allow unpermitted protests--big challenge managing those. Women clean up after themselves (laughter). There were 40 marches last year. Those that are unpermitted run the risk of police intervention. We do arrest those we catch vandalizing property.

Q - more on undergrounding - same dead horse.

A - We need to hold public utilities more accountable to clean up after they finish.

Q - need better enforcement to prevent illegal dumping.

A - We are doing this already. You should require proof of dumping receipt of any contractor doing demolition work. One of the worst offenders was one of the "starving student" hauling companies.

Q - revenue for city on marijuana sales. What's the plan?

A - It will be a good source of revenue for the city and we have infrastructure ready to move forward when the law enacts. We will try to take advantage of this opportunity to raise additional funds while still enabling the legal drug to be available to all who can legally purchase it.

Montclair Organized Neighborhood (MONs) - sub sections of Montclair. Encourage neighborhood organization and spirit. Promote an annual MONs picnic in each neighborhood. Benefits: Safety, crime prevention, social, property values

Piedmont Pines - financial statement. Appreciate the voluntary dues.

Piedmont Pines - new board members sought. Elections held

Golden Pine Cone Award - acknowledge community support by individuals. Winner is Nicki Kaiser, who jumpstarted the Piedmont Pines Nextdoor group along with her husband, Rick Sayres. Nicki manages day to day operations of our listserve.

Raffle to win 2 Warriors seats - Chris Scrivani won.

Overall a polite audience. No temper tantrums.

Meeting over at 8:55pm.