From Oakland, Calif., the New York Times headline was as follows:
“Facing deficit, Oakland puts police force on chopping block.”
And the Times lead noted the following:
“Already saddled with a reputation as one of the nation’s most violent cities, Oakland may be forced to cut its police force by 10 percent under a budget deal struck Thursday night.
“Facing a $31 million deficit, the Oakland City Council narrowly passed a budget that includes layoffs for 80 police officers. Pink slips were sent out Friday. But the city has arranged negotiations with the police union in a last-ditch effort to avoid layoffs and reach agreement on pensions, which have been a sticking point.”
Then, ladies and gentlemen, there comes the name of that notorious far-left-wing black militant former congressman, who is now mayor of Oakland:
“Mayor Ronald V. Dellums said the police force would need to make sacrifices like all other city departments. ‘There are some voices that are saying, “No, before you cut one police officer, decimate the rest of government,”‘ Mayor Dellums said. ‘I reject that, I reject that out of hand.'”
Did Mayor Dellums offer to take a cut in pay from his substantial mayor’s salary and allowances in order, with other members of his administration also taking cuts, to avoid having to fire one-tenth of the police officers so desperately needed in his crime-ridden city?
On April 30 of this year, the San Jose Mercury News reported: “Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums told reporters last spring he would take a 10-percent pay cut as a small gesture to help the city balance its troubled budget.
“But records show he never did.
“Salary data obtained by the Oakland Tribune through a public-records request show that Mayor Dellums continued to draw his $183,397 base salary through the end of 2009 and is still doing so this year.
“The mayor’s office said in a statement that while Dellums committed at a June 16 news conference to taking a 10-percent reduction, ‘changed family circumstances following the death of a close family member made that impossible.’
“The statement noted that, unlike other elected officials and city staffers, the mayor is not allowed to earn outside income.”
But if there is anyone bemoaning poor Mayor Dellums having to survive on a mere $3,500 per week – consider that congressional pension of his, which, considering his 12 terms in the House, most probably amounts to the maximum of $60,000 a year, or more than $1,000 additional per week.
The Mercury News also reports:
“The mayor’s pay was raised from $115,372 a year to its current level after Dellums took office in 2007. Dellums’ personal financial problems came to light after he and his wife, Cynthia, were hit with a $239,000 tax lien in October for unpaid federal taxes, interest and penalties in 2005, 2006 and 2007. On Dec. 23, the Internal Revenue Service filed a $13,639 lien against the Dellumses for the tax period ending Dec. 31, 2008.
“Almost all city employees, meantime, took compensation cuts of roughly 10 percent last year, either through furloughs or cuts in pay and benefits. Most elected officials took voluntary pay cuts, but Dellums is not the only one who did not.”
The New York Times reported that Oakland, with a population of more than 400,000, is currently served by a force of 776, short of its target of 803. The police have been asked to contribute part of their salaries to their pensions. The police union said its force was already stretched to its breaking point on city streets troubled by an entrenched crack-cocaine trade, gangs and a large population of parolees and probationers.