Congratulations to Jean Quan, Mayor-elect of the City of Oakland. She’s the first Asian American female mayor among the Bay Area’s big cities, which is a huge achievement in and of itself. Now comes the hard part. Update 11/11 12:00 PM: Don Perata has chosen not to contest the election results.
Aside from budgetary concerns including a coming showdown with the police union, Quan’s biggest initial task will be to hire a competent, forward-thinking City Administrator to replace Dan Lindheim, the former CEDA head who has promised to stay on until a replacement if found and has essentially been a two-year acting administrator. As I understand it, Lindheim and other Oakland officials have done the necessary legwork to get information prepared for MLB’s panel. It’s difficult to assess City beyond that since there hasn’t been an official ballpark effort yet. Should that occur, it’ll be up to Lindheim’s replacement and CEDA’s Walter Cohen (or whomever replaces him) to push the process. After all, guys as gung-ho as Robert Bobb don’t grow on trees.
I discussed this further at AN yesterday:
1. One of the things that doesn’t get talked about is that there has been a severe brain drain in Oakland gov’t in recent years. Whether some of these people deserved to be employed is for another discussion, but from a practical standpoint, someone tenured and respected that isn’t an elected official will have to carry the water for a ballpark project. I have no idea who that person is.
If a ballpark process is to move forward (and with some alacrity), the ballpark champion will have to be found right quick. It’s possible that one of the reasons a plan hasn’t been cemented is the lack of a champion. The right person may be Planning guru Eric Angstadt, who deftly handled questions at the May 1st Community Meeting. Of course, if MLB makes a move towards San Jose in December it’s likely that a ballpark champion/new administrator will not have been hired yet. Regardless, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have someone willing to push for the A’s – as long as it doesn’t hurt day-to-day responsibilities – in place just in case San Jose falls through.