Readers have come to expect me to poke fun at Oakland's city government, but even I base my commentary on the assumption that they are at least trying to do what's best for those who elected them.
Now I'm starting to question that very basic assumption.
Take a look at the latest article from the East Bay Express about the LLAD tax increase.
For those of you who don't know the back-story on this, the tax increase passed by a disputed mail-in vote of property owners. To their credit, the City Council rescinded the increase a couple weeks ago, citing a recent court ruling.
The entire core of the dispute over the LLAD increase related to the fact that the city allowed government-owned properties to vote on the tax. The problem there is that, since taxes are paid to the government, it doesn't really mean anything when the government-owned properties must pay a tax.
This trick was used, in part, to pass the 2004 Wildfire Prevention District. So, I didn't find it that surprising to see it return this time around.
What I do find surprising, however, is the Express' well-researched allegation that Dellums lobbied the Peralta school district to vote yes on the LLAD measure by essentially promising that they would not have to pay the tax.
This move goes beyond mere campaigning or even trickery to out-and-out deception. Dellums appears to want to sidestep the entire democratic process to achieve his objectives.
At this point I wonder whom Mr. Dellums even claims to represent.
He obviously does not hope to represent the citizens of Oakland, or its property owners. He's shown that by actively working to subvert the popular will, apparently going so far as to try and steal money from us via a sham election. And what for? He doesn't even have any concrete plans for spending the money. I don't even think he lives here.
He doesn't appear to represent himself. These past two years he's made a complete fool of himself. Not one single action he has taken as mayor has brought credit on himself. Whatever legacy he might have had from his days in Congress is now destroyed.
He doesn't even appear to represent the status quo and the bureaucracy. Otherwise, he would have found some way to collude with Deborah Edgerly and avoid firing her.
Not to say that he didn't try. The man did try to do the wrong thing. Unfortunately, he failed at that too.
In fact, I doubt I've ever seen another political leader who was such an utter and total failure. This man reminds me of the Coyote in the Road Runner cartoons, repeatedly scheming against his citizens and constantly too stupid to actually carry out his plans.
His only redeeming value lies in watching him jump off the cliff, slam to the desert floor, then have a conveniently placed boulder fall on top of him.
Well, here he goes again.
If the man had a shred of decency or pride, he would resign. But he will not. Like most charlatans, he'll play his part until the final scene of the final act, then bow out.
Perhaps Oakland doesn't deserve any better than this sad, sad, pathetically sad little man.
Still, those of us who remain here can wish for something more.