AUCKLAND — Mayor Libby Scharf has less than two weeks left in office. She insists she spends no time thinking about anything other than serving in the city’s top political office.
At her final press conference on Wednesday, Schaaf offered few hints about her next big career move after two consecutive terms as mayor.
“I am 1000% focused on being Mayor of Auckland until the last second,” Schaaf said. “I’m going to decide what to do next in my career next year.”
The mayor Wednesday celebrated a new education partnership paid for by the parcel tax that she and other city officials won a three-year legal battle to secure after 62% of voters approved it in 2018. celebrated.
The $198 annual tax on single-family parcels lasts for 30 years and pays $34.5 million to the nonprofit First 5 Alameda County and Oakland Promise to facilitate preschool access for low-income children and colleges. so that they can go on to higher education. Part of the “cradle to career” path.
The tax was challenged in court by property owners who believed the language needed to be passed by two-thirds of voters, but an appeals court ruled last winter that state precedent ruled the policy by simple majority vote. Decided to allow it to move forward.
It’s another political notch for Schaaf to reach his education policy goals after raising a $50 million donation for another Auckland Generations Fund earlier this year.
The mayor is known for chasing money to support her policy goals, through both philanthropy and tax initiatives, and the education sector could be part of her future plans. suggested.
“You can see that I am passionate about what I do. Don’t be surprised if you find ways to remain involved in supporting cradle-to-career initiatives in Auckland and possibly other communities. Please give me.
Schaaf leaves the office during volatile times in Auckland. The pandemic appears to exacerbate everything from violent crime to the health of local businesses, and the looming economic downturn threatens to exacerbate the city’s unruly homelessness problem.
One of Schaaf’s favorite projects to pursue, the new waterfront ballpark at Oakland A and a massive residential development near Jack London Square, is out of balance and the team’s future looks bleak even when she leaves office. Still unstable.
When the Commissioner of Major League Baseball suggested in October that the A’s time at Oakland was likely to be limited, Scharf swept to smooth things over, and the deal was on track shortly thereafter. assured the public that
Schaaf said Wednesday that he had “every confidence” that Mayor-elect Shen Tao could reach an agreement with the team, not thinking that she would remain involved in the negotiations even after she left the mayor’s pulpit. I keep my distance.
“I’d like to think I’m leaving them with the bases loaded,” Scharf said of the A and the new mayor, who takes office in the first week of January. “We have come a long way[and]solved the tremendous aspects of complex transactions.”
Schaaf did not endorse Thao, a critic of the union-backed mayor, and instead named now-defunct Alderman Lauren Taylor as her preferred successor. Afterwards, she said she was pleased that the mayor planned to store all the furniture she had purchased for the office.
After Taylor lost the Nov. 8 election to Thao, his criticisms received less sympathy from the outgoing mayor when he attacked the city’s ranked-choice voting system as a factor in his defeat. did not. problem.
“Everybody criticizes the process when they lose,” she said.