Suggestion: to have the 2/16 Rent Board not cancelled AND to be filmed on K-TOP.
In 2015 and 2016, what were the outreach activities to property owners actually conducted by the Rent Board? In 15 years, I have never heard of any outreach or education for property owners, despite 2 years ago $200K was allegedly set aside for this purpose as Council Member Washington mentioned on the dais recently. What did the Rent Board do with that money? Not all small property owners with rent controlled unit can pay for dues to the East Bay Rental Housing Association or for lawyers. Rebecca Kaplan needs to be aware that there has been hardly any outreach to property owners, no classes on how to calculate capital improvements.
Suggestion: To have all rent board hearings, with testimony under oath, and every meeting filmed by KTOP staff and at a minimum have these past meetings accessible via a link to archived meetings on the updated Rent Board website. Perhaps The City Administrator's office (Mr. Guy) may make this happen. This would be beneficial in complying with the Audit Report recommendations managed by Brenda Roberts, and allow needed transparency to the Rent Board.
By having rent board hearings available on line preferably live, or at least archived would be the first easy technological step towards having a trustworthy and responsive government that Libby Schaff claims to want. In this day in age, this should not be too hard to do as this capability is already possible for other city meetings but somehow not for the Rent Board. Sad. They could start with the Jan. 26th meeting, and that of 2/23. Let the sunshine in.
A simple website improvement to be made: Also, a correction neeeds to be made re: the (7) Rent Board members - only 3 names mentioned are correct. as per:
During the 2/23 Rent Board meeting, while the Mayor addressed the problem of missed meetings at minute 21 she said that the increased fees will pay for new staff. The RAP manager appeared doubtful about the back log of 90+ cases. Anyone with access to this hearing should watch at min. 55 to learn about problems with this board as illustrated by Case L14 - 0065. Atrocious abuse of discretion. Mr. Illgen a City Attorney mentions at 3:43 min. that all R. Bd. meetings are public, and all docs. are public record and are available with the Rent Board. I hope that the new CIO, Andrew "Pete" Peterson is given the Rent Board as his first assignment. Thank you Mayor Schaff for hiring him and for attending the Rent Board meeting!!
As a small property owner, in 10 years plus of renting out my house I have never been invited to any outreach events by the Rent Board to explain how to calculate capital improvements or anything. Today they finally have an event directed toward "Landlord Information Providers" however I could not attend. Could this 3 hour workshop be available on line as Karen Boyd suggests in terms of providing a service to residents? If rare workshop/presentation was not in a room that could be filmed, then why not? Pete Peterson to the rescue!! Even the Clerk, Ms. Simmons advocates that the voices of citizens should be heard, and thank goodness that she lead the effort to establish this communication platform, although I am not sure who reads it in The City of Oakland.
One example to allow more public feedback, would be to start meetings on time such as with the Rent Board. Time that board members spend getting their pizza, limits the time allowed to speak from 5 min. down to 2 min. because they sometimes are not ready to start their meeting on time. Sad.