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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Alameda County Grand Jury calls out supervisors

Uploaded: Jul 15, 2019
It's good to see one branch of government doing its job.

The Alameda County Grand Jury issued its annual report last month and ripped multiple government agencies for decisions, meddling and mismanagement.

It cited three members of the county Board of Supervisors (Keith Carson, Richard Valle and Wilma Chan) for voting to end the Urban Shield anti-terrorist training program that involved many jurisdictions over 12 counties. The three supervisors kowtowed to a small and vocal group of anti-law-enforcement activists who wanted the training modified to disaster preparedness.

It was paid for with a federal homeland security grant so that grant was withdrawn because the supervisors' motion did not allow the county to meet the terms of the grant. This was known before the vote, but the three went ahead and pleased the activists -- and left county and Bay Area residents less safe because of it.

There's a reason that the military drills all the time to prepare in case they are called into battle. It's no different for law enforcement, particularly when confronted with events that are outside of their normal experience.

The Grand Jury also appropriately took the Oakland Unified School District to task for its continued mismanagement of the finances. The report says the district spends less than the average amount on students compared to statewide averages while spending way more on administrators, central office staff, contractors and consultants. It also cites major problems with construction management and oversight.

Last year, the board halted nine building projects after cost overruns soared more than $160 million, according to the report. Before settling its teachers' strike last year, the district faced projected deficits of $9 million (midyear cuts reduced that number), $6.4 million in the current fiscal year and $15 million in 2020-21.

The expense of settling the teachers' strike with healthy raises exacerbated the shortfalls in the out-years.

The district has needed a top-to-bottom overhaul for decades, but it has suffered from poor board and senior staff leadership. It receives about 125% of the statewide average per student revenue so the money is there. It's how it's being spent that's at the core, as the Grand Jury pointed out for the second year in a row.

Perhaps, in Oakland's case, the best solution for students would be a state takeover that can establish fiscal discipline and truly put students first.
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Posted by Michael Austin, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Jul 15, 2019 at 6:53 pm

I am grateful to the sheriff or whom ever filed the complaint.

The Pleasanton Unified Scholl District Board should perk up and take some realization from this grand jury report.

Posted by James Michael, a resident of Val Vista,
on Jul 15, 2019 at 8:05 pm

James Michael is a registered user.

" ...three members of the County Board of Supervisors...kowtowed to a small and vocal group..." . Sounds a lot like the way the Dems in the House of Representatives have kowtowed to an even smaller group of freshman congresswomen.

Posted by Nicki, a resident of Jensen Tract,
on Jul 16, 2019 at 1:23 pm

Nicki is a registered user.

I agree James Michael..For many years I was a member of the Democratic party. No longer. The Democratic party of today is not the Democratic party I knew.

Posted by DKHSK, a resident of Bridle Creek,
on Jul 21, 2019 at 9:17 am

DKHSK is a registered user.

"Last year, the board halted nine building projects after cost overruns soared more than $160 million, according to the report."

I don't know why there were cost overruns, but there can only be three reasons: Government kept changing the terms of the contract; the contractor didn't bid it properly; and simple graft.

$160 million.

Look at that number and think about the roads that could have been repaired; the books that could have been bought for schools; the parks that could have been built...etc. This is only ONE of the areas our Government has failed us, there are certainly others.

And yet where are the Democrats on this? Where are the voters who voted for these incompetent boobs? They'll sing the praises of them for sure, but then when the results come in - $160 million in overruns - where are they?

I'll tell you where: they're at home calling Trump a Nazi.

Just watch and see. Not one of the democrat (supposed) regulars here at PW will come on and try and debate this, they know there's no defense. Nope, but they'll certainly opine "did you hear what Trump said about the SQUAD?".

Even those supposed never-Trump Republicans (and you know who you are) won't say a thing about this. They know where their bread is buttered.

Government does not do ANYTHING in the interest of its own citizens. It only responds to special interest.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jul 21, 2019 at 12:06 pm

Why does it matter that a few self-respecting Republican want to butter bread when tortillas are so available + reasonably priced? i don't get it?

What's going on in Plutonia? esplain....GRACIAS.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Jul 21, 2019 at 12:08 pm

Spelling correction: repubs

Posted by POLOLO MOLOLO, a resident of Livermore,
on Jul 21, 2019 at 12:16 pm

Web Link


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