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Measure Y Oversight Committee

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Measure Y Oversight Committee

Violence Prevention and Public Safety Oversight Committee Draft Minutes, February 23, 2009

    VIOLENCE PREVENTION AND PUBLIC SAFETY

    OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE

    “SPECIAL MEETING”

    February 23, 2009

    6:30 P.M. TO 9:00 P.M.

    Hearing Room 1

    City Hall, Oakland, California 94612

    DRAFT MINUTES

Item 1: Roll-Call was commenced by staff at 6:40 p.m.

    Oversight Committee Members Present: Blevins, Brown, Carter, Dorado, Johnson and Chairperson Dillard Smith.

Six members were present. The required quorum of seven members was not achieved.

Item 2: Open Forum

There were two speakers on this item.

    - Jim Dexter

    - Sanjiv Handa

    Member Johnson requested an agenda building item placed on each agenda item in the future. Secondly, that staff provide information and reports forwarded to the Oversight Committee earlier in order to be included as part of the agenda building process.

    Chairperson Dillard Smith added that the Oversight Committee should set up an ad hoc committee to identify how to best interact with various Measure Y stakeholders, e.g., City Council, Public Safety Committee, City Attorney, etc., so that all are adequately informed. At one point staff convened an “All-Hands” meeting – a coordination meeting

    to ensure one hand knew what the other was doing. I’d like to propose that the “All-

    Hands” meeting be re-convened and if necessary, members of the Oversight Committee convene these meetings. I’d like to propose that a small group of Committee members get together to provide to the larger (Oversight Committee) group recommendations as to how we can participate and better communicate with the Public Safety Committee and the City Council and that may mean that at every other Public Safety or City Council meeting we report out our recommendations on items heard before the Oversight Committee.

Member Johnson responded that he’d prefer not to convene another subcommittee. The

    matter of subcommittees should be deferred to a time when Oversight Committee membership is up to capacity. Presently the Oversight Committee has a direct line to Public Safety and the City Council that ought not be lost to an additional “subcommittee

    layer.”

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Violence Prevention and Public Safety Oversight Committee Draft Minutes, February 23, 2009

    Member Brown added that to be more effective representative to the city as well as the appointing councilmember, we need to know what the city, all agencies and council members are doing as it relates to the subject matter of this Committee, I’m going to

    make a motion that at our next meeting we have a discussion of the recommended ways that information out of this committee is forwarded to city department and agencies in a timely fashion.

    Chairperson Dillard Smith noted that she and staff met with members of the East Palo Alto staff regarding their Measure C which is based almost identically on Measure Y of Oakland. The first convening of the Oversight Committee occurred on last Thursday. East Palo Alto has in place a very clear, transparent, well articulated definition of what qualifies programs for funding, what it means to have an evaluation and how the various bodies that have anything to do with Measure C funding interact with each other. The administrative regulations may be a good tool for this body. Palo Alto has conducted a lot of advance thinking that will save them a lot of lessons learned that we are presently encountering. I’ve asked East Palo Alto to share that information with us.

    Item 9. Status Report: Measure Y Violence Prevention Program Deliverables, First and Second Quarters, FY 2008-2009, Department of Human Services. Sara Bedford, Department of Health and Human Services provided the report. The Committee requested information that could be provided on a regular basis of our program deliverables. The document in your agenda package is a draft, provides two quarters of deliverables and is provided for your review. These deliverables are linked to program payments.

Member Brown stated that the format is good. I’m interested in the deliverables. In most

    cases the number of client hours or sessions is exceeded. It also strikes me that the number of hours or type of sessions is comparably low considering what the agency is contracted to do. Maybe you could clarify for me?

    Sara Bedford responded that if you start with the first agency, ABASE youth case management program, for example, the key deliverable is case management clients which is a high number while the number placed in employment is a lower. This is an example where benchmarks are part of keeping track of deliverables but not a specific part of the actual contract.

    Member Brown stated that her preference is to have monthly program numbers connected with the monthly budget statement. We receive monthly revenue and expenditure reports with a description of the program attached.

    Chairperson Dillard Smith stated that typically what happens is that since programs are billed on a quarterly basis the monthly expenditure reports disclose the monthly personnel costs and each quarter month report includes the program and personnel costs.

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    Member Brown asked what are the interventions for a project that misses some or all of their benchmarks?

    Sara Bedford responded that DHS withholds funding if the benchmarks are not met. We factor in all extenuating circumstances and additional factors and in the past have provided technical assistance to agencies struggling and have recommended de-funding to agencies.

    Member Brown asked whether the Committee would receive this report for the first quarter, (January March) by the next Committee meeting?

    Sara Bedford responded that DHS would provide the next report by the Oversight Committee May meeting.

    Member Blevins asked whether the deliverables in the column are for a six month period and the actuals are what is actually accomplished in the six-month period. Typically what I’m accustomed to seeing is the percentages that disclose what was achieved.

    Sara Bedford responded that she has asked staff to show the full annual percentages and in most cases the numbers are consistent across the four quarters. In a more finished product we could show the full year.

    Member Blevins asked where payment is based on performance, do you change the deliverables- in some cases the deliverables are exceeded by 200% - maybe the deliverables are set low.

    Sara Bedford responded that DHS does change deliverables (both up and down) however we try not to racket them down. There are cases where we think the cases are not counted properly. There are places where numbers are high, such as events, where the agency conducts a huge number of events however, something not high on our deliverable list. Our focus is on deliverables linked to payment.

    Member Carter asked if there are any qualitative program measures? If a contractor is in trouble on the qualitative side are there measures in place to detect this? Do you receive input from stakeholders from in the community as to how well the programs are performing?

    Chairperson Dillard Smith added that we have not received stakeholder evaluation on the program services, that is hearing directly from clients, in their own opinion, whether services provided by agency where good and quality.

    Staffperson Baker noted that the present evaluator, Resource Development Associates, has undertaken client service surveys to obtain information directly from clients regarding their assessment of the effectiveness of services delivered.

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Violence Prevention and Public Safety Oversight Committee Draft Minutes, February 23, 2009

    Chairperson Dillard Smith added that the richest source of information is from participants who left the program. While it is important to hear which programs are working well, it is equally important to hear the program areas that need improvement.

Member Johnson noted that the YouthUpRising Teen Center Support and the Mayor’s

    Re-entry Program are not part of the DHS report without a reason explaining why.

    Sara Bedford answered that the YouthUpRising Teen Center Support is baseline support and does not have services deliverables, rather deliverables such as development plan meant to stabilize the platform in East Oakland. The Mayor’s Re-entry Program is

    refining the data in the database. We have a hundred clients in the database but we don’t have the type of service delivered. We are working with the Mayor’s Office to enter the

    data correctly.

    Chairperson Dillard Smith asked whether the Re-entry data will appear in the May report?

Sara Bedford responded yes.

    Member Dorado noted that a problem area is putting people to work and keeping them there. What is being done to address the drop-off?

    Sara Bedford responded that the hardest part of re-entry is keeping persons employed. DHS has provided extensive technical support to Allen Temple and had similar discussions with WorkFirst who ended up meeting their benchmarks.

Chairperson Dillard Smith stated that the key areas to revisit in May are the Mayor’s Re-

    entry Program including a review of the retention data and sexually exploited minors. We may want to invite service providers to give insight of the challenges of the work.

Member Brown requested that providers from the Mayor’s Re-entry employment, Allen

    Temple and other re-entry providers present at our next meeting to speak about the challenges to their work.

There was one speaker on this item:

    - Sanjiv Handa

Member Lee arrived at 7:40 pm. There is a quorum of the Oversight Committee.

    Item #4: Discussion: Pending Measure Y Litigation re Augmented Recruitment of OPD Officers.

    Marlene Sacks, Petitioner in Measure Y Litigation, made the presentation. The following is a verbatim record of Ms. Sacks’ presentation:

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Violence Prevention and Public Safety Oversight Committee Draft Minutes, February 23, 2009

    “Good evening, my name is Marlene Sacks. I’m the concerned citizen that filed the lawsuit against the City over the community policing aspect of measure Y. Ms. Dillard Smith asked me to be here tonight to talk about the lawsuit. So, if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them. I wanted you to let you know that I have created a blog, which is at, there is no www, its just Defending Measure Y.blogspot.com. I

    created that blog because I wanted to put in one place that was easy to find and easy to access information that I thought was relevant to the media and to the public to people like you. I tried to write it in very plain English so that everybody could understand exactly what my lawsuit was about, why I filed my lawsuit, who I am, what my motivations were and I think a lot of the information that you might be interested is on my blog so I would definitely encourage you all to visit that site and get that information and you can leave comments and I will respond in writing if you leave me a comment on that website. I appreciate the opportunity to come here and speak to you today. I have to tell you that I’m a little bit disappointed that it has taken so long for this to really get your

    attention, get the public’s attention, get the city’s attention, because these were all issues all of the issues that I raised in my lawsuit were not new issues. They were all issues that were identified either in the RAND report, or by members of this Committee, or by various news sources. I didn’t really have to do a lot of digging to figure out there were a lot of messes with Measure Y and the way it was being administered. So, none of this should come as news. If you read my lawsuit, if you look at my blog all of those issues were flagged before and I’m really sorry that it took a lawsuit to get the city’s attention on these issues and I’m also really disappointed that this Committee did not require the annual audits that are clearly specified in Measure Y. I do think that’s one of your main

    functions is to read the statute, understand what it says and realize that the city was required to do an annual audit, and they didn’t do that, not in any year. And I think that had the City done those audits as they were required to do a lot of these errors would have been flagged, or even highlighted more than they were and maybe we could have prevented some of the draining of money that we now know occurred. I don’t know how many of you are aware of this 40% formula that has been applied retroactively ever since 2005 which I believe cost the Measure Y Fund about $11 million dollars. I think it was just a blatant theft of money by city officials and fuzzy accounting and fuzzy math and it was allowed to continue. If the tentative ruling is affirmed and the City is required to reimburse Measure Y there is going to be a dispute about how much money is actually owned because the City is going to try to downplay the amount that it has used and they’ve already tried to do that. I’ve got such conflicting information from city officials on how much money that was…

    Member Brown: Excuse me, I have read the tentative ruling. Do you have any idea what the judge projected…is he accepting motions… is there some sort of motion schedule

    that he has set out in his decision that I didn’t see in the tentative ruling and if so, what is that and when do you expect a final order?

    Ms. Sacks: By law the judge has ninety days to issue a final decision. This judge has been fairly prompt in issuing rulings. I think he’s a very careful judge. He has ruled

    against me on a few things. Looking back in retrospect I don’t disagree with any of his rulings. There is an appellant court case that holds that lies told by politicians cannot be

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    considered as evidence in interpreting a statue and he’s required to apply the law. So when I lost that motion I’m not going to fault him for that. So I think this judge takes the lawsuit very seriously. I don’t expect him to take the full 90 days. I would hope to get a

    decision by the end of the week, but I can’t really predict.

    Chairperson Dillard Smith: Can you summarize just for folks what the tentative ruling says?

    Ms. Sacks: Well basically the tentative ruling says that the City illegally used Measure Y Funds to fund generalized recruitment and training of police officers. Recruitment, academy training, these are very, very expensive things. Basically, what I realized during the course of researching my lawsuit was that the City had been using Measure Y Funds to pay for the recruitment and academy training of officers who were never placed in Measure Y positions. And what really prompted the filing of my lawsuit was when the Mayor’s plan out came and was very highly publicized to take $7.7 million dollars of Measure Y money for generalized recruitment and training and by reading all of the literature that went along with the proposed resolution it was very clear that this was generalized recruitment and training of police officers not recruitment and training of Measure Y officers. And there’s an issue as to whether or not Measure Y money can actually be used for recruitment and training of Measure Y officers. I would argue, and I did argue initially…

    Member Brown: I’m sorry, I think the question was could you summarize for us. It’s in our materials and I’m sure we’ve all read it thoroughly but its always good to hear specifically from a person who was that involved in the case as certainly you are. So there were two affirmative holdings…

    Ms. Sacks: I was trying to explain a little bit of the background. But basically the ruling was that the city has to repay that money. The judge also ruled that the City failed to conduct the mandatory audits. Those were the two substantive rulings. I raised about three other issues that the judge didn’t really get at in the tentative ruling and he took those matters under submission at the hearing.

    Member Johnson: I just want to interject here because I beginning to wonder whether this conversation should be deferred until the ruling has been affirmed. So if I could ask Ms. Sacks to return when the ruling becomes final.

    Chairperson Dillard Smith: Here is my take on it…we have been fairly silent on this issue out of deference for letting the process take its full course. Many of us are fully aware of the issue at hand. There were those of us who argued virgoursly against the use of the fund because we did interpret it as an illegal use of funds. We shared that with members of the City Council and the Mayor. Some of us also did say that even if they went ahead with using the money that there would not be money to repay when the time came if someone were to lodge a lawsuit. I thought it was important to give a platform for a concerned resident who has taken all of her time and energy to defend Measure Y on behalf of citizens and we are a citizen’s oversight committee. And while I recognize

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    that it puts the city in a very awkward placed because of the litigation, there is very limited things they can say, I thought it important especially since it has been in the media since the judge did issue a tentative ruling for there to at least to be some consideration from this body. I’m completely open to having a fuller discussion once the

    final ruling does come to us but I thought it important for us to give a platform for there to be at least some conversation about why the lawsuit was brought forth and the stage as to where the lawsuit is.

    Member Brown: I concur with Member Johnson. I think we need to see what the final ruling of the Court is. Many of us who have been involved with the courts know that the tentative ruling is a strong indication of where the court is going, however, there may be other outstanding issues that may best be considered all at one time to see what the actual impact is on our role and Measure Y. I ask that we defer any discussion until after we receive the final decision from the court.

    Member Blevins: I remember after the discussion on the $7.7 million dollar, a few weeks later the City Auditor said that she was going to conduct an audit. Do you or Mr. Baker know what happened to that audit?

    Chairperson Dillard Smith: That audit was due in January and the City Auditor was on the violence prevention side. I will defer to staff…when do you expect the City

    Auditor’s audit of Measure Y?

    Staff person Baker: I expected the City Auditor’s report by the end of February, however, I have yet to receive it. I can, however, make an inquiry to ascertain when it will be delivered. For the record, Madam Chairperson, I would like for the record to show that no where in the tentative decision is the word “illegal” used. The word used by the judge was an “impermissible use.” There is a big distinction between the two.

    Chairperson Dillard Smith: I really appreciate you being here this evening Ms. Sacks. I would like to take a vote of the members on a motion to defer the item until the after the final ruling.

There were two speakers on this item:

    - Sandjiv Handa

    - Jim Dexter

    The motion by Member Brown is seconded by Member Johnson. There were four votes to defer (Brown, Blevins, Johnson and Carter); three votes to continue discussion of the issue (Dorado, Lee and Dillard Smith). Motion to defer passes.

    Item 5. Discussion: Measure Y Oversight Committee Options for Legal Support.

    Mark Morodomi, Office of the City Attorney, provided the report. Morodomi stated that according to the City Charter, Section 401(6), Powers of the City Attorney, the City

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    Attorney shall serve as Counsel to the Mayor, City Council and each and every department of the City. He or she shall advise all officers, boards and commissions and other agencies of the City on legal matters referred to him or her. He or she shall act as Counsel in behalf of the City or any of its officers, boards, commissions or other agencies in litigation involving any of them in their official capacity. On the basis of that, and I think its very strong, there is only one city attorney for all the department and entities in the City of Oakland.

    Member Brown noted that the Charter goes on further to say that in the case of conflict of interest, the department or entity may select or elect special legal counsel at city expense. So there has to be circumstances in the past where there has been a conflict between an elected official or a city employee that amount to a conflict of interest between that individual and the exercise of their professional duties.

    Staff person Morodomi responded that there has to have been a confrontational situation where there is potential or actual litigation between the two parties. It happens somewhat often when the City is sued and one of the individual officers is sued. I don’t see that situation ever arising with the Oversight Committee. There have been instances where the Public Ethics Committee has sued the City of Oakland. But they have independent enforcement investigatory authority that this body does not have. This body is an advisory body to the City Council. Advisory bodies are subsidiary to the rest of the city. Our client is the City of Oakland; not the Oversight Committee, not the City, Council, not the Mayor.

    Member Brown made a motion that the City Attorney provide the Oversight Committee a “closed session” on the pending Measure Y litigation. Motion seconded by Member

    Brown. Motion passed by consensus.

    Member Brown made a motion that the closed session occur prior to the next meeting of the Oversight Committee.

    Staff person Morodomi responded that he was unsure the Oversight Committee possessed standing under the Brown Act to convene a closed session.

There was one speaker on this item:

    - Sandjiv Handa

    Motion seconded by Member Johnson. (There was no vote taken on this item)

    Item 7: Technical Report: Community Policing and Crime, RAND Corporation in Association w/Berkeley Policy Associates.

    Staff person Baker provided the report. Section 3, Use of Proceeds, Subsection 4 of the Measure Y Oversight Initiative, provides for an independent evaluation of the violence prevention programs, including the number of people served and the rate of crime or

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    violence reduction achieved. It is in this light that an evaluation of our community policing efforts were conducted by the RAND Corporation. This summary is directly from RAND’s report. In short, RAND’s finding were that “…Much progress has been made in implementing the PSO program in the second evaluation year, but such progress has not been associated with a reduction in violent or property crime. Overall there was no statistical evidence that the PSO program is associated with reductions in crime and violence. There are four possible explanations; (1) the program is not effective; (2) there re positive outcomes that the evaluation does not capture; (3) the program is associated with an increased propensity to report crime, thus off-setting crime reductions; or (4) implementation challenges preclude the program’s ability to be effective. There were six

    policy recommendation made by RAND; (1) assess the adequacy of staffing to determine the extent to which OPD needs additional staff or whether some other kind of reallocation of resources might improve problem-solving; (2) create a uniform problem-solving tracking system and monitor problem-solving efforts to promote problem management and evaluation; (3) actively consider ways to stabilize the PSO assignments and work with communities to soften transitions when they occur; (4) maximize stakeholder involvement and the use of existing resources, given that community participation in the problem-solving process continues to be less than ideal; (5) maximize incentives for PSOs with the goal of improving productivity and reducing attrition, thereby contributing to PSO stability, problem-solving effectiveness and improved police community relations; and (6) find ways to leverage Measure Y dollars to equip the officers with vehicles as quickly as possible.

    In conversations with OPD regarding these findings, the City Administrator’s Office raised several other concerns for review and remedy, e.g., most PSO reported there was little or no training in areas such as prioritizing problems, time management, using crime data, giving crime data to citizens, assessing local non-city services and organizing community groups. We felt these issues go to the core of community policing itself. In addition, one-half of the PSOs reported they spent 50% of their work patrolling beats in cars. We were somewhat concerned since this goes to issue of engagement. When PSOs were asked how much time spent performing a list of tasks, the least amount of time was spent in engagement activities, e.g., door to door contact, working with local businesses, soliciting help from local businesses, answering questions at neighborhood crime prevention council meeting, reporting on a criminal case or crime issue at a watch meeting, working with community on fix-up/clean-up projects, assisting in community organizing, attending meetings with other city/state workers, attending other community meetings outside the NCPC meetings or attending the NCPC or Neighborhood Watch meeting. All of these are important elements of community policing and I must say we were rather surprised to find in the evaluation by RAND that OPD was lacking in these engagement areas. The last concern by the City Administrator’s Office was that the PSOs reported little contact with other Measure Y funded groups which means there is

    no real connection (at least the time of this evaluation) between our problem-solving officers and other violence prevention programs funded by Measure Y. As members of the Committee are aware, there is an expectation that there exist a nexus between the two, the violence prevention programs should be tools in a tool box carried by every problem-

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    solving officers. Thus it came as a surprise to read PSO officer reports that they had little contact with other Measure Y funded programs.

    Member Johnson commented that earlier this month DHS came before this committee with funding recommendations. Given the purity of this report and if we were driven by it, I’m not so sure that the proposal would have gone forward as it did. I wish we would have received this report in time to inform our decision on the DHS recommendations.

    Member Blevins commented that he questioned whether the PSO training was effective and I turned to the page on interaction with other Measure Y stakeholders. Half of the PSO did not know of the existence of a city recreation program. There are a lot of city programs that the officers are unaware and there appears to be a total disconnect between the officers and the programs which perhaps explains the poor outcomes. Another thing I noticed is that some of the officers are relatively new to the PSO position. I am hopeful that if we give them a little more time, we’ll see better outcomes.

    Deputy Chief Kozicki noted that he considered the comments of the RAND report to be on point on several topics for the time period covered, 2007 through early 2008. OPD is well aware of the challenges some still exist today. There is the challenge of PSO

    familiarity with Measure Y programs I consider that a two-way street. I think we have

    done quite a bit to build a stronger bridge with the DHS side of Measure Y. We meet regularly with the DHS staff at the command level and we have an excellent working relationship with the Measure Y Outreach Team and Kevin Grant. We generally and frequently refer work to them. I would like to say that we are doing their work and they are doing our work. While each PSO may not be familiar with each Measure Y program, their Sergeants are familiar with the programs. I agree with RAND that we do not have a consistent city-wide tracking method, however, we are working with Mr. Baker and Resource Development Associates and am sure the system will be built in short order. We continue to be challenged by the issue of cars and the necessary equipment by which to fulfill the vision of police officers solely to serve the residents of a neighborhood, however, I can say that in at least one area of the city, Area 1, Captain Toribio has been somewhat successful in getting more cars so that more PSOs are deployed on a one-officer/one-beat ratio. I am concerned that most officers are not engaged in out-of-cars activities. I have mandated that officers spend at least a portion of their time on foot or on bicycles. We are going to move forward on the RAND recommendations where we can and implement them and consider the report valid considering the timeliness of the

    report and the time in which the data was gathered.

There were three speakers on this item:

    - Jim Dexter

    - Marlene Sacks

    - Sandjiv Handa

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