That Old Time Feeling
Council member Ken Bukowski is a man, by his own reckoning, beset with debt. He owes thousands of dollars to developers all over town and he also owes $15,000 to the state for 11 campaign violations of the Political Reform Act in 2009, determined by the Fair Political Practices Committee. To call Mr Bukowski a desperate man would not be an exaggeration. And yet, Ken Bukowski is also a man, who until recently, was in possession of something extremely valuable to certain members of the Emeryville Power Elite.
Council member Bukowski has been the lone holdout among elected officials in Emeryville, against the Emeryville Center of Community Life. We use the words 'has been' since Mr Bukowski shocked ECCL watchers last week when he announced in a June 29th letter to residents that he is now a total supporter of the $120 million project, a complete reversal of his longstanding opposition to the controversial school rebuild proposal.
Previously, Mr Bukowski did not keep his disdain for the Center of Community Life secret. For more than three years he has railed against the project both publicly and privately. His opposition has centered on the extreme cost of the proposal and the incompetence and lack of forthrightness of the people pushing the project. It is indeed surprising to see a sudden 180 degree turn in Mr Bukowski's opinion especially since the reasons for his previous opposition have not been rectified and his previous criticisms still stand.
Change of Heart? Really?
The flip-flop comes at a critical time for the Center of Community Life. The City/Schools Committee will soon vote to place the issue before the voters in the form of a $95 million general obligation bond initiative in November. With the bond vote looming, Mr Bukowski's obstinacy has been a source for worry for the backers of the project.
We are chagrined at the prospect of mutual back scratching going on. We have never been comfortable with Mr Bukowski's prodigious back room finagling and this sudden change of heart on the Center of Community Life only adds to that old time feeling that Ken Bukowski is up to his old tricks.