Mayor Sheng Thao today released her “One Oakland” Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-2025 Proposed Budget. Despite the largest deficit in Oakland’s history, the Proposed Budget closes the gap and makes much-needed investments in key community priorities while making City government more effective and efficient.
“We inherited the largest deficit in Oakland’s history. But thanks to the ingenuity and hard work of our City staff, we have found a way to not only close that gap, but actually lay the foundation for Oakland to be stronger in the future,” said Thao.
Proposed Consolidated Departments
The Proposed Budget for FY 2023-2025 lays forth a plan to make the City more effective by consolidating certain departments to allow for improved coordination and communication.
- Homelessness services will be merged into the Housing & Community Development Department to allow for improved coordination.
- Intergenerational family support programs provided by our Parks, Recreation and Youth Development Department and Human Services Department will be combined into a new Department of Children, Youth and Families to provide more seamless services for families in all walks of life.
- The Department of Economic & Workforce Development will be merged into the Department of Planning, Building and Economic Developmentto provide a more streamlined approach to housing production and major project development.
Each of these new departments will have a clear mission related to community priorities and the reorganization will save up to $2 million per year due to the consolidation of related services under one strong management team.
Proposed Organizational Channels
This reorganization will be buttressed by an improved management structure in the City Administrator’s Office. Departments with related services will be grouped into “channels” and report to or coordinate with a dedicated Deputy or Assistant City Administrator:
- Community Safety: Comprised of public safety departments such as Police, Fire and the Department of Violence Prevention. This channel will be focused on providing real and lasting community safety for all residents.
- Infrastructure and Economic Growth: Comprised of built environment departments such as DOT, OPW with community development departments such as Planning, Building and Economic Development. This channel will be focused on rebuilding and revitalizing Oakland’s infrastructure and economic growth.
- Community Services: Comprised of the new Housing Development and Homelessness Department, Department of Children, Youth & Families, Library Services and Animal Services. This channel will be focused on transforming the delivery of community services in Oakland.
- Internal and Compliance Services: Comprised of internal departments including Finance, Human Resources and Information Technology. This channel will be focused on supporting more efficient and effective government.
This reform will help resolve cross-departmental inefficiencies and improve accountability.
“Our dedicated City staff work hard to deliver for Oaklanders each day. Our Proposed Budget will help them work together more efficiently, save taxpayer money, avoid layoffs, and, ultimately, minimize or avoid disruption to service delivery,” said Mayor Thao.
Further savings will be gained through freezing currently vacant staff positions and delaying the implementation of some city programs.
While the General Purpose Fund faces a large deficit, other revenue sources for the City do not. The Proposed Budget leverages these funding sources to help us make significant investments in Oakland’s future including:
- THE LARGEST INVESTMENT IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN OAKLAND’S HISTORY: The Proposed Budget allocates over $200 million over the next two years for the creation and acquisition of affordable housing.
- EXPANSION OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION: The Proposed Budget uses federal, state and local funds to allow for the expansion of hours and services at Oakland’s Head Start and Early Head Start program.
- INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS: The Proposed Budget includes more than $106 million in funds to build, repair and upgrade parks, recreation facilities, libraries, storm drains and non-road infrastructure. And it includes $87 million to f continue street repaving as part of Oakland’s 5-year paving plan.
- SAFER STREETS: The Proposed Budget includes more than $9.1million in programs to calm traffic, improve intersection safety and provide safe routes near schools to help us reduce traffic violence and save lives. It also includes $3.2 million over the next two fiscal years to implement the bike and pedestrian plans.
- REIMAGINING PUBLIC SAFETY: The Proposed Budget also continues Oakland’s efforts to civilianize certain functions of the Police Department by moving the responsibility for Internal investigations from OPD to the Community Police Review Agency. This will allow civilian investigators to look into matters related to internal affairs while the trained investigators currently in the IA unit can transfer to, and focus on, other critical community safety units in need of officers.
- INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY: The Proposed Budget adds $10 million over two years to upgrade and harden our cybersecurity protections.
“We had to make some tough choices in this budget but in the end, we not only avoided catastrophic closures and cuts, we made real investments in our shared future,” said Mayor Thao. “This is a roadmap to weathering this crisis, making us more resilient to future challenges, and emerging stronger as a City.”