You are here: Home » Community » Oakley


The population was 35,432 at the 2010 U.S. Census. Oakley is part of the East Contra Costa Bicycle Plan, which has existing facilities in Oakley as well as plans for further expansion.

Geography and environment
The Oakley areas offers access to the Delta de Anza Regional Trail. According to reports provided by CNN Oakley experiences 21.16 inches of annual rainfall with high temperature in July of 96.0 F and low temperature in January of 40.0 F. Oakley experiences 52% clear days throughout the year.
The City of Oakley is located in the eastern region of Contra Costa County and is within the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Oakley’s west border is situated at the intersection of Highway 4 and Highway 160, which provide access to San Francisco, San Jose, Sacramento, and the Central Valley. To the south is the city of Brentwood and to the east is the Central Valley. Oakley is a Delta community with the San Joaquin River on the northern border. The southwestern skyline is dominated by Mt. Diablo.

This isolated 3,849 feet peak is visible from most of the San Francisco Bay Area and much of northern California.

Prior to 1963, creating a new city in California only required a petition, a public hearing (where 51 percent of the landowners could approve the desire to incorporate) and an election. During the 1950s over 50 new cities incorporated, and in Los Angeles County alone, 10 new cities incorporated in 1957. Interestingly, no thought was given as to how or who would pay the costs for the necessary services needed to sustain a city. Fire, police, water and sanitation services were often provided by a number of different and overlapping entities.

In an effort to gain control over this kluge of overlapping services and control the proliferation of incorporations, Governor Edmund G Brown, Sr. created the Commission on Metropolitan Area Problems, in 1959. The Commission was given the task of studying and making recommendations on the “misuse of land resources” and the growing complexity of overlapping local government jurisdictions.
The Knox-Nisbit Act of 1963 contained the Commission’s recommendations on local government reorganization resulting in the creation of the Local Agency Formation Commission or LAFCO, operating in every county. Additional powers were given to LAFCO in the District Reorganization Act of 1965, the Municipal Organization Act of 1977, the Cortese-Knox Local Government Reorganization Act 1985 and the Cortese-Knox-Hertz Local Government Reorganization Act of 2000.

One of the services mandated to LAFCO was to create a Municipal Service Reviews (MSRs) of all local agencies. An MSR is a comprehensive study designed to better inform LAFCO, local agencies, and the community about the provision of municipal services. Service reviews capture and analyze information about the governance structures and efficiencies of service providers and identify opportunities for greater coordination and cooperation between providers.

The last MSR for Oakley was created in 2008 and can be found here

The City of Oakley is a General-Law City, as opposed to a Charter City, formed under State legislative statutes and governed by a body of laws in the State Constitution. As of July 1, 2008, there are 479 cities in California, 372 general law cities and 107 charter cities. Of the 19 cities in Contra Costa County, Richmond and San Ramon are the only cities with a charter. Only 147 of the cities in California elevate the position of mayor to a public electable position. In Contra Costa County, Antioch, Brentwood, Martinez, San Ramon and Richmond are the only cities that have chosen this route.
Oakley operates under a council-manager form of government. It was developed in an effort to avoid the corruption and inefficiency surfacing, at that time, in some eastern cities in the latter part of the nineteenth century. It has proved to be the most successful and popular model of local government in most communities across the United States. It currently represents over 100 million citizens in over 2,500 cities in the U.S.


The Oakley City Council consists of five non-partisan council members elected “at large” for staggered four-year terms each. Oakley’s City Council (as well as those council members from the other 19 cities) are considered part-time because, aside from being council members they have full-time jobs. This part-time nature of the council opens up opportunities for ordinary citizens who are working in the private sector to participate.

Annually, at the first Council meeting in December, the Mayor is selected by a majority of the City Council from among currently serving Council Members. At this time a Vice Mayor is also selected. This is the standard method among general law cities. Cal. Govt. Code § 36801: “The city council shall . . . choose one of its number as mayor, and one of its number as mayor pro tempore.” However, a general law city is permitted to have a mayor that is directly elected by the voters, if certain procedures are followed.

Oakley’s mayor presides at council meetings, appoints council members to various internal and external committees, attends community events as the council’s representative, and performs other ministerial duties. The vice mayor presides in the mayor’s absence. California’s Constitution establishes that every council member, including the Mayor has only one vote. Even a directly elected Mayor can only have one vote.

The name Oakley is of Old English origin and its meaning is “meadow of oak trees.” This aptly describes the area when first settled and to some extent even today. However, if not for the flip of a card and cribbage board the community may have been named Dewey. Instead of the Oak Leaf logo it may have been a dew drop. City founder Randolph Marsh wanted to name the city Dewey, after Admiral Dewey. Mr. Marsh was impressed with the exploits of Admiral Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. His friend J.T. Whitman preferred the name “Oakley” because the terrain was largely meadows and oaks. To determine which name would prevail they battled it out over a game of cribbage. Marsh may have lost the game and the right to name the city but he ensured his immortality by choosing downtown street names whose first initials spelled “Marsh” — Main, Acme, Ruby, Star and Home.

Oakley’s first post office was established in 1898, and Oakley only became an incorporated city a full 101 years later, in 1999.

The city’s motto is, “A Place for Families in the Heart of the Delta.”

Police Services
Oakley currently contracts with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office for police services, which include personnel, forensics labs, dispatch, evidence inventory, SWAT team and helicopters. The officers patrolling the streets are actually members of the Sheriff’s office wearing Oakley uniforms and driving Oakley Police cars. There are 28 full time sworn personnel (1 Chief, 5 Sergeants, 14 patrol officers, 2 traffic officers, 2 Problem Oriented Policing officers, 1 K-9 officer, 1 School Resource officer and 2 detectives). We operate with an approximate .8 officers per 1000 residents. The goal is 1.1 per 1000. There are also 2.5 non-sworn personnel assigned to the Police Department. Over the last three years we have added 9 officers to Oakley’s Police Department. For our small community this growth has been unprecedented.

Traffic enforcement is the primary responsibility of all patrol officers. With the addition of two motorcycles to our mobile fleet we have two officers specifically assigned to traffic enforcement. Juvenile matters are handled by a full time School Resource officer. Major felony investigation, excluding narcotics, sexual assault and homicide cases which are handled by the Sheriffs investigations unit, are handled by Oakley detectives.

Major accident investigations in Oakley are handled by our IMPACT team which is made up of traffic investigators from Oakley, San Ramon, Danville, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga and the Sheriff’s Office. CHP handles collisions in the unincorporated area and major crashes involving police vehicles. The Sheriff’s Office rotates in as “mutual aid” when we have a major incident. This happens fairly often because of the proximity of the Sheriff’s Delta Station on O’Hara. We have also had Antioch and Brentwood in on various mutual aid incidents, but that has been rare.

Through some reorganization done in the last couple of years, funding has been made available for additional personnel at the Police Department. Two of these positions now make up the City’s “Problem Oriented Policing” (POP) team. POP Officers generally do not have “beat” responsibilities (i.e. they are not responsible for handling routine calls for service). This frees them to address other quality of life issues within the City. POP Officers will generally be assigned things like homes where drug dealing is suspected, chronic locations of parties, searching for wanted suspects, and addressing neighborhoods where the police department receives an inordinate number of calls for service. Working in partnership with other City Departments and law enforcement agencies and using both traditional and non-traditional law enforcement techniques, the goal is to mitigate these types of neighborhood problems and find long term solutions. The non-emergency dispatch number for the Police Department is 625-8855.

The cost of police services is basically the cost of an officer charged by the Sheriff’s Office. Revenues to pay for police services are paid primarily from the General Fund. Funding for police services consumes over half of our General Fund. To ensure that our department continues to grow, without raising additional fees or taxes, we need a vibrant commercial/retail environment. Revenues from sales tax currently sit at about 8% of the General Fund. It should be between 30% and 50%.


The 2010 United States Census reported that Oakley had a population of 35,432.

As of the 2006 demographics report produced by the City of Oakley[9] there were 33,250 people and 10,523 households residing in the City.

With 99.6%, nearly all students living within the City of Oakley are attending a public or private school located within City limits. The City is mainly served by Oakley Union Elementary School District (K-8) and the Liberty Union High School District.

Elementary schools

  • Oakley Elementary School
  • Gehringer Elementary School
  • Laurel Elementary School
  • Vintage Parkway Elementary School
  • Iron House Elementary School
  • Orchard Park School (Educated K-6 and adding 1 new grade each school year until the school reaches K-8.) (Antioch Unified School District)
    Almond Grove Elementary School has been constructed on Carpenter Road between Brown and Empire. However, due to the downturn in the housing market, the OUESD board of trustees has decided to postpone the opening of Almond Grove and shall reconsider opening the school in the spring of 2009.

Middle schools

  • O’Hara Park Middle School
  • Delta Vista Middle School
  • Orchard Park School (Educated K-6 and adding 1 new grade each school year until the school reaches K-8.)
  • A third middle school is proposed for the area along the south side of Brownstone Road. If the project ensues, it is proposed to be named R.C. Marsh Middle School.

High schools

  • Freedom High School

Public libraries
The Oakley Library of the Contra Costa County Library is located in Oakley.[10]

Return to top of page

Contact Us

  • Sharp Realty
  • 320 Fairview Ave.
  • Brentwood CA 94513
  • P: 925.240.6683
  • F: 925.524.2302
  • E: info@SharpHomesOnline.com
  • DRE# 01858431