Constituents Dole Out Advice For Oakland’s Mayor-Elect

OAKLAND (KCBS/AP) – Councilwoman Jean Quan has already begun making plans for her transition into the role of Mayor of Oakland. She indicated she would seek help from supporters of all ten candidates who ran in the November 2 election.

Oakland faced essentially a laundry list of problems – everything from its crime rate and a dwindling police force to a budget deficit. Friday, voters were not shy about suggesting where Quan should start.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

“Engage her constituents,” suggested one woman. “Particularly younger folks between the ages of 18 and 25.”

“The budget,” declared another. “She needs to figure out cuts but not always cutting the lower man on the totem pole.”

“People want to see jobs,” a man’s request was short and simple.

Residents made clear that they were looking for leadership.

“I’m really happy to have our first female and first Asian mayor,” offered one woman. “But I think that she can’t rest on those laurels alone.”

Some had a more skeptical tone.

“We always seem to have issues with our mayors, when they say they’re going to do something when they get into office and then it never materializes,” one voter suggested. “So I’m not excited either way.”

For others, it came down to finances.

“If they can somehow get a budget to maybe keep the police force from being reduced,” a man said hopefully.

“I know it’s a state and national crisis, but I think that the mayor’s got to be really tight on spending, but also be efficient. I believe in community policing and I think that’s got to be a priority as well,” summed up one woman.

Quan’s victory was announced more than a week after the Nov. 2 election, and put the city’s new ranked-choice voting system under a microscope.

The system allowed voters to list their first, second and third place choices.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Perata said he wouldn’t contest the election results, adding during a Thursday news conference that he had “no quarrel” with the results, but suggested the ranked-choice system should be given “a hard look.”

Election officials announced a day earlier that Quan received just over 50 percent of the votes, compared to 49 percent for the former state senator.

Perata had held a double-digit lead over Quan when first-choice returns were counted last week. He lost to Quan after votes for the third-place finisher were reapportioned.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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