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The race for a key Oakland City Council seat that could profoundly affect the city’s fiscal future was upended in mid-October when Charlie Michelson abruptly withdrew because of a “deeply personal matter” that he has not explained.
At the time, Michelson was considered one of the front-runners in Tuesday’s election for the District 4 seat currently held by Annie Campbell Washington, who opted not to seek re-election.
Pamela Harris (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)
Michelson had been endorsed by Campbell Washington, Mayor Libby Schaaf and this newspaper. During our candidate interviews in September, he was by far the standout candidate, best understanding the financial challenges the city faces.
His withdrawal prompted us to re-interview the three current leading candidates. And what we found pleasantly surprised us: Two candidates who were weak on important city finance issues when we last talked had done a lot of homework in the intervening five weeks.
As a result, we now recommend that voters in District 4 — which stretches from Montclair to the edge of the Fruitvale District — elect Pamela Harris, an accounting consultant and filmmaker.
Harris has intriguing ideas for encouraging more home construction and increasing efficiencies in city operations. Most significantly, she recognizes that the mayor and City Council must make tough choices as Oakland faces a $100 million projected shortfall for the next fiscal year and a nearly $2.8 billion shortfall in the city’s public employee pension and retiree health programs.
Nayeli Maxson (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)
No. 2 pick: Nayeli Maxson
Under the city’s ranked-choice voting system, our second recommendation is Nayeli Maxson, an attorney and executive director of a non-profit that helps small businesses run by women, people of color and veterans raise money. …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Politics