Tuesday Must Reads: Deanna Santana Out as City Administrator; Quan Names Fred Blackwell to Replace Her



Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Deanna Santana is no longer Oakland’s city administrator, but it’s unclear whether she quit or Mayor Jean Quan asked her to leave. The Chron, which broke the story of her departure, reported that Santana resigned, although the paper also quoted Santana as saying that she and Quan had “agreed on a mutually beneficial exit strategy.” The Trib$, meanwhile, reported that Quan asked Santana to step down after Santana had unsuccessfully sought jobs in Dallas and Phoenix. Santana had become a polarizing figure in the city — she was well liked by moderates but progressives and organized labor couldn’t stand her.

Fred Blackwell
  • Fred Blackwell
2. The mayor also announced that she has appointed Assistant City Administrator Fred Blackwell to take over for Santana, pending confirmation from the city council. Blackwell, a native Oaklander with deep ties to the city’s African-American community, is well liked in City Hall and has been leading the efforts to keep Oakland’s professional sports teams from leaving town. Blackwell, a progressive former top city official in San Francisco, also was instrumental in the launch of the $500 million Oakland Army Base redevelopment project.

3. The gap between the poor and the super-wealthy continues to widen, as Oxfam International reports that the 85 richest people on earth have as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population, the LA Daily News$ reports (via Rough & Tumble).

4. In the Bay Area, Silicon Valley is ground zero for super-wealth, and the cost of living there now is 87 percent higher than the rest of the country, the Silicon Valley Business Journal$ reports (via Rough & Tumble).

5. The salmonella outbreak linked to Foster Farms, which operates factory farms that breed diseases, apparently is not over, the LA Times$ reports. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 51 new cases of the type of salmonella linked to Foster Farms between mid-January and late February, and 44 of the cases were in California.

6. And a jury convicted a former Alameda County anti-poverty official of falsifying official documents, but acquitted Nanette Dillard of the more serious charges of using public money for personal gain, the Bay Area News Group$ reports.

$ = news stories that may require payment to read.