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City of Oakland stupidity: parking meters cost more than revenue gain

In this dramatic example of City of Oakland fiscal stupidity: the proposed 250 parking meter locations for new meters will cost more to install than the $146,000 revenue gain expected.

The previous Oakland Parking blog post on this focused on this email sent out by Oakland Councilmember Nancy Nadel's (District 3 - downtown Oakland, West Oakland) Office:

From: Todd, Amber On Behalf Of City Administrator's Office
Subject: RE: Locating additional parking meters per Council direction on
October 6, 2009

Dear Council Members:

To realize $146,000 in additional revenue in FY 2009-10, the Oakland
City Council directed staff at the October 6, 2009 meeting to identify
250 possible locations to install additional parking meters. Staff in
Parking Administration and Public Works worked together and produced the
attached list which suggests possible locations where additional meters
could be installed. To give flexibility in generating revenue, the
attached list contains 470 possible locations for additional meters.

Staff plans to return to the Finance and Management Committee in
February to obtain approval for installing additional meters. During
the month of January, Parking Administration and Public Works staff
would like to work with members of your staff to reach out to and seek
feedback from potentially impacted merchants and other stakeholders.
Parking staff will contact members of your staff this week to discuss
the development and implementation of outreach efforts related to
installing additional parking meters.

Should you have any questions, you may contact Tom DiSanto in Parking
Administration at 986-2687.


City Administrator's Office

At the same Oakland City Council meeting of October 6, Councilmember Desley Brooks asked for an estimate of the cost to install parking meters; she did not receive an answer to her question that night.

Here's the answer:

In 2007 the City of Oakland arranged $4.8 million in financing to purchase 500 parking meters. At $4.8 million, it costs $2.4 million to install 250 new parking meters. That means the City of Oakland will spend $2.4 million just to raise $146,000.

That's stupid.  There's no other kinder word for this, and its time for tough, no-holds-barred talk here.  If the City has $2.4 million to spend, that means it does need to raise $146,000, it just needs to reassign the $2.4 million in spending.   What's going on in Oakland City Hall?

Stay tuned.
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