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The City of Oakland is in such dire financial straits that it is planning to use $2.9 million from state gas tax revenues to keep the city's lights on, rather than using the money to fix pothole-riddled roads, for which the funding was intended. The San Francisco Chronicle reported Wednesday that the city is facing severe financial shortfalls, despite a booming economy that has seen wealthier households relocate from San Francisco across the bay to gentrifying neighborhoods. The problem is that the city's costs are rising faster than its growing revenues, thanks partly to pension obligations - an increasingly common challenge for large, Democrat-run cities that made ambitious promises to public sector unions.