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Edgerly's letter raises charter issue

The media searched the ramifications of Deborah Edgerly’s drawn-out departure today. The Chronicle delivered a triple-whammy: Chip Johnson, the editorial page, and political blogger Big Vinny called for major changes at City Hall in both personnel policy and leadership. Yesterday, Deborah Edgerly wrote a letter that was hand-delivered to select officials (but not to Mayor Dellums, sources say). The Trib indicates the saga isn’t over yet:

Edgerly’s letter to council members also questioned whether Dellums had the authority to name Dan Lindheim, the former head of the Community and Economic Development Agency, as acting city administrator. Her letter said that under the city’s charter it was her responsibility to appoint an acting city administrator in her absence, and that she had already appointed Assistant City Administrator Cheryl Thompson to the post.

Monday, however, agencies and departments were reporting to Lindheim, said Dellums spokesman Paul Rose.

City Attorney John Russo could not be reached for comment Monday evening, but the letter Dellums sent appointing Lindheim included language from Russo’s office saying, “the Mayor has the authority to authorize Mr. Lindheim or another City employee to serve in an ‘acting’ capacity” as city administrator.

The argument is that Dellums does not have the authority to appoint an acting administrator. Edgerly’s letter points out that the charter says that an acting administrator is to be named by City Administrator in the advance of an absence. The charter’s definition of Acting City Administrator, first published by OaklandFocus:

Section 502. Acting City Administrator. The City Administrator shall designate two or more of his assistants or department heads, in the sequence in which they are to serve, as Acting City Administrator to serve as City Administrator in the temporary absence or disability of the City Administrator. (Amended by: Stats. November 1988 and March 2004.)

In a relatively daring new-media move, the Trib’s online article (headlined: Edgerly Aims to Postpone Retirement”) includes a poll asking its readers whether Ms. Edgerly can “run the city” (which seems moot). Polls hint at not only the sentiment of the online community but how many readers a site has.

In other news, The DTO ♥ DeLauer’s.

Posted in california, citycouncil, dellums, edgerly, news, oakland.

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4 Responses

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  1. Ernie says

    Sheesh. She was FIRED. She has no authority.

  2. Robb says

    I really enjoy everything you have posted on your website. I have also taken a very strong interest in Oakland politics. Although the general election is not for another 2 years, I have already started with intent to campaign to run for mayor of Oakland. I look forward to reading more postings on your website. Take care.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Edgerly finally fired « FutureOakland linked to this post on July 1, 2008

    [...] Shaping a city « Edgerly’s letter raises charter issue Edgerly finally fired July 1, 2008 The City Council was notified shortly before 5pm that [...]

  2. Appointment puts Oakland on the brink « FutureOakland linked to this post on January 30, 2009

    [...] aide, Interim City Administrator Dan Lindheim, permanent City Administrator. Nevermind that the interim appointment of Mr. Lindheim was illegal, or that Mr. Lindheim has no experience as a city manager, or that his seven months as interim [...]