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Wednesday, July 7, 2010


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.


  1. Council Member Bukowski's debt is in no way germane to the Center for Community Life. I recieved his email and read it. His letter conveys something very different than the "180 degree turn" you characterize. Council Member Bukowski says that he had concerns about the project, but that these concerns have now been addressed. That's reasonable considering how much this project has been refined over the years.

  2. Councilman Ken Bukowski, integrity that can't be bought (because it's already been sold).

  3. It may not be "germane" to the CCL, but I certainly think it would be germane to the community of Emeryville. 11 campaign violations? And all the rest of his history? Can anyone tell me why he is still in a council seat and able make decisions affecting our community? Why wouldn't anyone suspect something knowing those facts.

  4. Thanks Anonymous! I am far from liking the usual business of the Council in E'ville, but the Tattler's way of "exposing" seems very biased towards sensationalism. C'mon.

  5. Bukowski's debt IS germane to the center for community life because he needs money and he has something to sell; namely, his support for the project. Somebody ought to watch and see if Bukowski makes big payments on some of his debt after this flip-flop of his.

  6. It seems there's no stopping the Center for Community Life if you believe what the people in control say. The actual residents of Emeryville are another matter. I don't think they're going to be willing to spend so much money in this economy.

    I got the new "community survey" in the mail today. It looks like they are scared about this thing not passing so now they're saying it's for earthquakes. They keep changing the reasons for why we need this. Shameless.