Frustrated by rampant crime and vandalism, the owner of one of Oakland's most popular Uptown district bars is exploring a run for mayor next year.
Make Westing owner Glenn Kaplan said Oakland needs a law and order mayor who won't tolerate window-smashing vandals or gun-toting robbers.
"I'm a liberal Democrat, but I feel Oakland needs some sort of Giuliani type to really crack down," he said.
Kaplan, who grew up in Oakland and returned home four years ago after a stint in New York City, said he was open to supporting the right tough-on-crime candidate, but might otherwise jump into the race himself.
"It's something I've been chewing on," he said. "If I were truly to commit to it, I would do everything I could to win."
Since Kaplan, 36, opened his Telegraph Avenue bar in 2011, he and other Uptown merchants have had to deal with a sharp increase in robberies and violent protests.
"Something needs to change," he said. "Oakland is an amazing place with incredible people coming in, but they're not going to stay if crime and lawlessness remain out of hand."
Should he enter the race, Kaplan would join a growing list of candidates all running to the right of Mayor Jean Quan. The two declared challengers so far are Port of Oakland Commissioner Bryan Parker, who has stressed his business background, and San Francisco State Professor Joe Tuman, who has emphasized public safety. Councilman Larry Reid also is mulling a run.
Delay in the hiring of 're-entry coordinator'
A power struggle between Alameda County officials is delaying hiring for a new countywide "re-entry coordinator" tasked with managing the transition of ex-prisoners back to civic life.
Alameda County Probation Chief LaDonna Harris wants the role to fall under her supervision. Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods believes the new hire should report to a committee of agency heads, not just the probation chief.
Nurturing convicted criminals back to civic life and out of trouble has taken on new importance since a 2011 state law shifted thousands of low-level offenders from overcrowded prisons to county supervision. The probation department already hired Neola Crosby to coordinate that effort, but some county officials and community-based organizations want an outside figure to take charge.
The two factions reached a stalemate Monday at the executive committee of the Community Corrections Partnership, a seven-member board formed in each California county under the 2011 realignment law. It's the same committee that Woods, the chief public defender, wants to oversee a new re-entry coordinator.
The committee voted 3-3 on a job description that takes the re-entry coordinator out of the probation department. Siding with Woods in favor were Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley and Adrianne Forshay, a court administrator who was representing Alameda County Presiding Judge C. Don Clay. Voting against the plan were Harris, Emeryville Police Chief Ken James and Alameda County Sheriff's Commander Carla Kennedy, who was representing Sheriff Greg Ahern.
The law enforcement chiefs believe the work should be managed under a "single reporting line," not by a committee, said Fremont Police Chief Richard Lucero, who also attended the meeting.
Missing from the meeting was voting member Alex Briscoe, director of the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency, who could be the deciding vote when the committee meets again in a few weeks.