Grand Lake Neighbors Meeting Minutes: 4/15/2015

Attendance: 23 neighbors, 4 OPD officers, Neighborhood Service Coordinator Renee Sykes, Councilmember Abel Guillen

There was no GLN meeting in March, 2015

    1. Crime Reports
      • Beat 14Y (Between Lakeshore Ave, Oakland Ave, I-580, Piedmont Border)
        • Beats 14X and 14Y have a new Community Resource Officer (CRO), Ken Bui.
        • Officer Bui has been with OPD for 2 years. He can be reached at
        • The former CRO, Officer Joel Warford, took a job in the newly reconstituted motorcycle group.
        • Armed robberies: from Feb 2015 to-date there have 2 versus 5 during the same period last year.
        • Auto burglaries, i.e. break-ins: from Feb 2015 to-date there have 40 versus the same number during the same period last year; especially high on Walker outside of the Walker Lot, and on Lakeshore.
        • People need to stop leaving valuables in their cars!
      • Beat 16X (Between Lakeshore Ave, almost Park Blvd, I-580, Piedmont Border), Office Madlansacay (Manny).
        • Stats from March to present
          • Robberies: 0
          • Auto Burglaries: 11 (mostly in Trader Joe’s lot)
          • Stolen Vehicles: 2
      • Area 3 Captain Rick Orozco has retired and has been replaced by Captain Freddie
      • OPD’s traffic enforcement group has been reconstituted
      • Also in attendance were the Officers for Beats 12 (Temescal and Rockridge) and Beat 17 (Bella Vista and Eastlake)
    2. Other Crime/Qualify of Life Concerns
      • Neighbors complained that it is very difficult to use the on-line form to report crimes. This likely contributes to under-reporting of auto burglaries.
        • Neighbors advocated for a SeeClickFix-type app for non-emergency crimes
        • Renee said there is also a paper form and suggested giving a copy of the paper form to businesses such as Safeway so they can hand out to victims. This was effective at Planet Fitness in the Laurel District.
        • Councilmember Guillen took notes about the complaints.
        • Eric Hughes volunteered to do a simple usability study of the form.
      • Neighbors expressed concern about abandoned buildings occupied by squatters, but it was unclear if the concern related to the GLN area.
        • Any suspected illegal activities should be documented by neighbors and reported so that squatters can be removed.
        • Should be reported to OPD and Code Enforcement.
        • City used to be able to place liens on properties but cannot currently. Apparently, once squatters are in a building for 30 consecutive days, they have some occupancy rights in California.
      • Neighbors expressed concern that a woman with a small child is frequently panhandling at Grand Ave under I-580.
        • Renee said call the non-emergency line. Pressing 0# gets you to the top of the queue.
        • A neighbor who formerly worked for Alameda County Child Protective Services said they would not intervene unless the child was in significant danger.
    3. Councilmember Abel Guillen
      • Budget
        • Mayor will submit a budget on April 30th.
        • Currently forecasting an $18m deficit this year and a $19m deficit next year.
        • Abel submitted his 7 to 10 budget priorities, which includes a focus on neighborhood services.
        • Abel wants to increase Code Enforcement staffing; currently only 4.
      • I-580 Repaving
        • Abel summarized recent discussions.
        • Some progress has been made but not all neighborhood concerns have been resolved.
      • Abel wants to increase the number of police who are from Oakland. He is looking for volunteers to help develop strategies.
      • Parking: Lakeside school parking lot will soon become available for Farmers Market days.
      • Abel is trying to accelerate Measure BB funding to repair Oakland streets.
      • Development projects:
        • Coliseum City will include office and hotel; has all city and county approvals. Abel does not support spending public money on sports teams.
        • E. 12th Remainder Parcel: 298 Units; 24 Stories. City will sell land at market rate. Property tax of $700K/year expected.
        • Henry J Kaiser Center: 2 proposals for redevelopment submitted will include performing arts space.
        • Brooklyn Basin: 3k units started construction; will include open park space.
        • 2 new hotels planned downtown.
        • Abel believes the city needs an Economic Development plan.
      • A traffic calming project will be implemented on Park Blvd below I-580 including making it more bike friendly.
      • Maintenance contract for Lake Merritt gardening ends May 2016. There’s no funding for maintenance after that.
      • Lake Merritt: weekend BBQ-ers and alcohol drinkers are being warned by OPD. Neighbors say more bathrooms needed at Lake Merritt on weekends; a safe place to put BBQ charcoal, too.
      • Neighbors concerned that businesses on Lakeshore continue leaving garbage cans out. Pamela Drake is working on this. Some have been removed.