OAKLAND -- City Hall officials were reeling Thursday from the news that lawmakers in Sacramento had voted to eliminate the state's redevelopment agencies.

The idea to cut the agencies from the state budget has been around since at least January, when Gov. Jerry Brown included it in his earliest proposal to close a multibillion dollar deficit.

Wednesday night's news, which came as legislators also approved a budget package, threw many Oakland city staffers into survival mode and the city began moving more than $100 million around through property transfers, leases and project proposals, in hopes of protecting Oakland should the ax fall on the agency.

But it was not clear Thursday whether the two bills approved by the state Assembly and Senate would make their way to Brown's desk or if he would approve them, as redevelopment defenders threatened legal action. Brown immediately vetoed the lawmakers' budget package, saying "it continues big deficits for years to come and adds billions of dollars of new debt. It also contains legally questionable maneuvers, costly borrowing and unrealistic savings."

Mayor Jean Quan joined with the mayors of the 10 largest cities in the state in signing a public letter condemning the vote.

The lawmakers' "so-called remedy for the State's deficit is an illegal and indefensible shakedown of our cities," the letter reads. "Over the past several months, we have proactively worked with State leaders to create sound alternatives that keep redevelopment alive and solve the state's budget problems.

But rather than create sensible, long-term solutions for California's dismal financial problems, they sought to recklessly raid local tax dollars and kill redevelopment, our strongest, local tool to revitalize the economy and create jobs now."

The future of redevelopment is still hazy, but more concrete indicators could emerge next week as the state Legislature figures out what to do in the wake of Brown's budget rejection.

Steering food trucks

City Council members set a plan in motion Tuesday to expand the city's mobile food vendor program, which basically boils down to food trucks.

A pilot program active in the Fruitvale district since 2001 has been largely successful, and food trucks are a booming trend in Oakland and around the country. Twenty-five trucks have been licensed, and city staffers are asking permission to expand into other neighborhoods where they say they're seeing demand, particularly in North Oakland.

Also on the table is the creation of a new permit that would allow the trucks to form groups -- potentially leading to clusters of trucks or carts in the spirit of a famous collection of vendors in downtown Portland.

But Desley Brooks and Larry Reid, the council members who together represent all of East Oakland, are both opposed to having the program enter their districts.

The program has never paid for itself, Brooks said, and enforcement against illegally operating food trucks is at this point hugely ineffective.

Reid said other businesses are struggling to find their footing in his district and that freewheeling street vendors are no help at this point. Neither is anti-food-truck, but both said the problems that already exist need to be dealt with first.

Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente (Glenview-Fruitvale) said the program, on the whole, has been a boon to his district and is generally in favor of the expansion.

He suggested Tuesday that the city's parking enforcers be directed to target illegal food trucks by finding them where they park and issuing pricey tickets.

The council members appeared generally pleased to have a business sector in Oakland that's seeing significant growth. Brooks' and Reid's colleagues seem happy to respect their wishes and keep the program out of East Oakland for now, but city staffers are continuing to work up plans.

Contact Sean Maher at 510-208-6430.