OAKLAND -- Faith in Mayor Jean Quan's leadership and her handling of the Occupy Oakland protests continues to deteriorate as business leaders, the City Council and her own crisis communications adviser all distance themselves from her.
A new poll commissioned by the Oakland Chamber of Commerce found that 73 percent of 1,100 city voters surveyed disapprove of the way she has handled Occupy Oakland.
At least one council member has requested a vote of no confidence in Quan's leadership, according to Council President Larry Reid.
And to top it off, Nathan Ballard, a respected crisis communication expert hired by Quan in the wake of police Chief Anthony Batts' departure last month, quit his post as adviser to the mayor.
Quan declined to comment on all the issues confronting her Thursday, saying the chamber survey and council no-confidence vote was political. Quan also said it was her decision to get rid of Ballard.
Quan's refusal to answer questions Thursday illustrates her lack of leadership, many said.
"It's very frustrating," Reid said. "The camp keeps growing, it keeps getting filthier, and they think they have the right to do whatever they want to do."
Thursday evening, a man was shot and killed just outside the camp, police said. It remained unclear if the shooting had any connection with the protesters.
Echoing Reid's frustration was the chamber of commerce, which released details of a survey it commissioned this week that asked Oakland voters their opinion on the Occupy Oakland encampment and Quan's handling of the situation.
In addition to finding that a majority of voters disagreed with Quan's decisions, the survey also found that 60 percent of the 1,100 voters questioned thought the camp should be dismantled.
Whether Quan can continue to lead, however, remained an open question Thursday as Reid revealed that other council members don't think she can.
Reid said a fellow council member called him Thursday asking that he place an item on the council's next agenda that would allow council members to vote on whether or not they support Quan.
As council president, Reid has the power to bypass normal procedures and place an item on the agenda with the approval of the city administrator.
Reid said he would not grant the request.
Such a vote would be purely political and have no bearing on the mayor's tenure, Reid said. Reid refused to reveal who made the call to him, and several council members who have been outspoken against the Occupy movement did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, an unapologetic critic of Quan, said he was not the person who asked for the no-confidence vote but said Quan is not leading.
"I don't think she is capable of making a decision; she just cannot do it," De La Fuente said. "I've been clear for the last three weeks. Where is the plan? You are the mayor; you cannot hide."
In a letter to the mayor last week, Ballard said he could not work as a consultant to the city. Ballard, a former spokesman for former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and an aide for two former presidential candidates, refused to say why he decided not to accept the offer to serve as an on-call consultant. Sources at City Hall said Ballard was hired by Quan to help the mayor navigate through the controversy surrounding Batts decision to leave Oakland.
Ballard declined Quan's job offer last week, the same day as Occupy Oakland's general strike, indicating that it might have had something to do with the movement and Quan's reactions to it