For too long Oakley residents have been forced to drive to other cities for most of their shopping and dining. This has been not only inconvenient; it’s hurt the city budget in lost sales tax revenue. Big-box retail at River Oaks Crossing and on the four corners of Laurel and O’Hara avenues will help greatly – we hope they’ll break ground this year.
Save Main Street.
Don’t forget the mom-and-pop shops that line Main Street and that will no doubt face increased challenges for survival as the new shopping centers develop. Cut the red tape and provide tax incentives to bring in new stores.
Hire more police officers.
Fortunately, Oakley is not a hotbed of crime – yet. But it is currently underserved by an understaffed police department, a situation that will worsen as the city’s population grows. It’s much better to be proactive when it comes to crime rather than reactive. Don’t let Oakley become another Antioch.
Provide more access to the Delta.
One of the things that makes Oakley such a great place to live is its proximity to this beautiful resource. Great progress was made last year with the long-delayed opening of the Delta Science Center land – now the facilities need to be built. And construction of the shoreline trail and park off Cypress Road should be a priority.
Provide more recreational programs.
Brentwood and Antioch have had robust leisure services classes and programs while Oakley has provided very little, especially for teens and seniors. Fortunately, that’s starting to change, and we say the more the better.
Turn the council chambers into a community center.
When the chambers are not in use for government meetings, they could and should be used for concerts, movies, classes, dinners, celebrations, etc.
Hold a competitive City Council election.
In 2006, no one except the incumbents ran for the two seats that were open, so the election was canceled. Three seats are up for grabs this November. New people on the council bring new ideas and energy. At the very least, a competitive election will provide a much-needed civic discussion and choice on where this city should be headed in the coming years.