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Measure NN's Rocky Road

Will this be the first time in Oakland's modern political history that all bond measures fail at the election booth? Given the rocky road of Measure NN, which doesn't seem to excite the same electorate that wants more police on the street, it seems that we may see a window to such a future.

On Tuesday, a proposal by Councilmember Pat Kernighan met its Waterloo, with opposition. Here's what happened according to the Trib:

No deal on Oakland landlord, renter tax split

By Kelly Rayburn
Oakland Tribune
Article Last Updated: 10/17/2008 04:55:22 AM PDT

OAKLAND — City renters will help decide Nov. 4 whether Oakland will create a parcel tax to give the police department a personnel boost — but, for now, those same renters won't be asked to share in paying if the new tax is approved.

A proposal from Councilmember Patricia Kernighan (Grand Lake-Chinatown) to amend the city's rental laws so landlords would have been allowed to split their portion of the proposed tax 50-50 with their tenants hit a wall this week when a council committee rejected the idea.

Councilmember Jane Brunner (North Oakland), head of the community and economic development committee, which considered the proposal Tuesday, said a number of developers who had been pushing for the 50-50 split are against Measure NN anyway, so it made little sense to adopt the idea.

She did say she'd be open to reconsidering after the election if the measure passes, but wanted to ensure exemptions would be made for low-income renters and seniors.

"I don't want to dismiss this completely," Brunner said. "I think this is an interesting idea that we may have to address at some point. But I'm not willing to do this in the middle of a campaign, particularly when "... the people who were pushing this have taken a very strong position against a proposition that I do support."

Measure NN would take a two-thirds vote to pass. It would add 105 police officers and 75 police-services technicians over a three-year period.

It would also mandate the use of CompStat, a crime-data management system used by a number of law-enforcement agencies. After three years, the per-unit charge to owners of multifamily housing would be $188 a year.

The council voted 6-2 in July to place Measure NN on the ballot. At the time, Kernighan said she would propose legislation to allow landlords to pass half the costs of the new tax to renters. But even Kernighan, who does not sit on the committee that considered her proposal, had her reservations about the idea Tuesday.
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