Expert called upon to counteract questionable advice Mayor has gotten
By Post Staff
Mayor Ron Dellums has announced a top to bottom review of the City’s organizational and management structure, hiring policies and financial status. A team led by former City Manager Robert Bobb has been hired to execute the review and report back within 90 days.
Citing inaccuracies in the fiscal information used in the City’s mid-cycle budget review, Dellums estimated the revenue shortfall to be “in the tens of millions of dollars.” He has implemented a selective hiring and travel freeze, and a review of credit card expenditures by City employees and officials. Hiring for public safety positions will not be impacted.
A national search is underway for a new city administrator who will represent “the brightest and the best person to achieve a seamless form of government,” Dellums stated. The current parallel structure suggesting two independent functions (Mayor and City Administrator) has been “wrong, inappropriate and ineffective,” and runs contrary to the “strong mayor” City Charter amendment adopted by the voters in 1998.
The review will “leave no stone unturned, no option unexplored and [have] no sacred cows,” Dellums added.
Bobb’s team includes former Oakland Budget Director Marianna Marysheva-Martinez, who will serve as an advisor to the Mayor.
One City Hall source said that Dellums “was being sandbagged by politically motivated” advice from the City Attorney’s office. He said “when you have a City Attorney who’s running for Mayor while advising the present Mayor and Council, the taxpayers will need a second opinion to get the true picture.”
The City Attorney never cited or took action against former Mayor Jerry Brown for destroying vital financial documents that Mayor Dellums needed to make a smooth transition.
Former Mayor Brown is now the State Attorney General and is responsible for prosecuting those who destroy public records.
Next week the Post will begin the Transparency in Government series on the use of credit cards and an update on the City Attorney’s office and its role in the firing of Deborah Edgerly and the legal advice given to the Mayor and Council.