The Big Breakup
In January of 2000, Governing's cover story highlighted the miraculous relationship that Mayor Jerry Brown and City Manager Robert Bobb had forged in an attempt to revitalize Oakland ["Mayor Brown & Mr. Bobb"].
In January of 2000, Governing's cover story highlighted the miraculous relationship that Mayor Jerry Brown and City Manager Robert Bobb had forged in an attempt to revitalize Oakland ["Mayor Brown & Mr. Bobb"]. Brown's election in 1998 coincided with a revamp of the city charter that vastly increased the mayor's powers, creating the potential for conflict with a city manager who had built up a reputation for insisting on firm control over his city.
At the time, observers predicted that friction between the two strong personalities would doom the pair. Eventually, it did--but only after four years of working together, improving Oakland's crime rate, fiscal situation and business environment in the process.
The dissolution of the Brown-Bobb team was ultimately credited to a dispute over a new baseball stadium for the Oakland A's. Over Bobb's strenuous objections, the mayor approved the development of a housing project on the most likely site for a downtown ballpark. In July, Brown fired Bobb, saying that it was time for a change. Bobb was hired in September as the new city manager of Washington, D.C.
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