(KRON) — Conspicuously absent from the list is the City of Oakland. The Board of State and Community Corrections confirmed to KRON4 that Oakland did not receive a penny of the grant money because the city missed the July 7 deadline for filing a completed application.
That has business and community leaders in oakland angry and wondering if anyone is in charge of the city.
“You didn’t have to be a rocket science to fill out the grant,” said Oakland pastor and community leader Bishop Bob Jackson. “You just had to do it in a timely manner. And because public safety does not seem to be a priority for the leaders in this city, it was not done.”
Jackson is angry. He says crime is as bad as it has ever been and he can’t understand why those who run the city of Oakland left millions of dollars of crime-fighting money on the table by not getting a grant application in on time
“That was free money for us to be able to abate a lot of the problems that we’re having centered on crime right now,” Jackson said. “We missed the opportunity because we were negligent because we what, we were reading our emails. What why did we do that? What was the what’s the problem leaders?”
Oakland business owner and restaurateur Chris Rachal owns Mimosa on Grand and For the Culture. He says everyone from the mayor to the city council to the city administrator must be held accountable for this at a time when rising crime is killing businesses.
“Is an embarrassment really. I mean, when you really think about it, it’s just an embarrassment,” Rachal said. “Oaklanders are scared to come out of the house. You know, for the most part. I mean, a lot of people just don’t even want to come out the house with the fear of someone, either carjacking them robbing them breaking into their car. And it’s done quite a quite a hefty job on businesses.”
KRON4 has reached out to Mayor Sheng Thao’s office but so far no response.
City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas did respond saying “Community safety is Oakland’s top priority, and I am extremely disappointed we missed a grant opportunity to bring more resources to our city. The city administrator is investigating what happened in order to prevent this from happening again.”