Public Education To Remain At Child Center
After a five month roller coaster of a fight to protect public education at the pre-K level, pitting parents against the City Manager, the Emeryville City Council handed down their unanimous verdict Thursday night; the Child Development Center is to remain a public institution.
The council acknowledged the persistent work of the parents in letter writing, meeting attendance and contributions to the specially designated 'ECDC Task Force'. Supporters of the Child Center Friday were praising the efforts of one parent in particular, Jacqueline "Jac" Asher. Ms Asher, and her husband Brian Carver led the fight by organizing the parents into a united front of opposition to the outsourcing scheme.
One council watcher noted the unexpected unanimous vote, "I'm surprised Nora Davis voted for this" he said, adding his desire to remain anonymous. In fact several council votes have been made to weaken or degrade the Child Center over the years and Thursday was the first vote cast by Ms Davis in favor of supporting the Center.
It was a stunning loss for City Manager Pat O'Keeffe who threw the entire weight of his office behind the proposal to outsource the Center to the Berkeley/Albany YMCA. Many parents complained about Mr O'Keeffe's insolence and rudeness directed at them. "His comments about us being 'too emotional' were really offensive", one parent who asked for unanimity said.
Ms Asher tempered her victory letter to parents with descriptions of "hard cuts" to come at the Center including staffing reductions. She indicated it was time for her to take a break for a little while, after the five month ordeal, "I'm tired" she exclaimed.