NovoMetro

Education in Oakland

Oakland on $177 a day

Posted by novometro on June 30, 2006

The Oakland City Council voted to give itself a four percent raise this week. But it might not be enough. Oakland has a full-time council, whose members now make $5,460 a month, not including a $550 monthly car allowance. By comparison, council members in Long Beach – another port city of around 400,000 that’s part of a megalopolis – earn only $2,130 a month.

But according to records filed with the City Clerk in March, some Oakland council members apparently had a hard time making ends meet with the $64,000 they earned in 2005. Jane Brunner, for example, had to moonlight as a lawyer for a downtown firm as well as for the District of Columbia. Ms. Brunner’s work on the side earned her somewhere between $20,000 and $200,000.

Shouldn’t a city where crime is rising and city services are diminishing warrant the undivided attention of its City Council? Perhaps we should add a housing allowance into the benefits package. Or, like corporations seeking to keep the best talent in overseas posts, we could offer hardship pay. After all, the city is certainly more dangerous than Long Beach. In 2004, Oakland had twice as many murders.

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