Lean and Mean leaves City of Oakley’s parents in a lurch. The City staff is reviewing ARPA money allocated to the City, the sum of which is over ten million dollars. A portion of that money is targeted for childcare so parents, especially mothers, can return to work. Yes, as predicted, childcare has become a severe challenge for parents of Oakley. Children are being sent home from schools due to COCID-19 exposure, with the stipulation the child should not return to school for a period. Parents are scrambling to find childcare for the child while continuing their employment.
Oakley City staff was to have recommendations for childcare prepared for August 10th. City Manager Joshua McMurray notified the council that the proposal required more time to prepare. When it became apparent that childcare was becoming an urgent matter in the City, I requested a special meeting to discuss the allocation. Mayor Higgins responded City staff would not have completed their work until September 14th.
Our City staff is professional but far too thin. The consequence is a lurch when a response needs to be immediate. There are not enough staff to complete the work. I will be looking for a new City manager who can build a prudent and wise workforce with enough personnel to fulfill the City’s most urgent needs.
Below is a URL that contains germane emails:
George Fuller, MPA, MA Councilmember, City of Oakley