Petrograd to Leningrad
to St Petersburg
More than five years after its inception, The Emeryville Center of Community Life (ECCL) is undergoing a name change; for now it's being called the Joint Use Facility (JUF) until presumably a different name can be agreed upon by those in power. ECCL watchers have pointed to the extreme sensitivity shown by the Council and the School Board to negative public association for the expensive community project as a reason for the name change, especially since a $95 million bond initiative for the project is looming.
Council members and the School Board, together called the City Schools Committee, have noted they want to do everything in their power to increase the chances that the bond initiative will pass. They are very sensitive that the freshly released survey by the Lew Edwards Group, an Oakland political consulting firm commissioned by the city, has indicated that the Emeryville Center of Community Life is a losing idea and that the voters should be told they are voting simply on a school bond. Lew Edwards' information shows school bonds generally are looked at with more favor by voters and the school/community social services project presented previously by ECCL, is a loser in November.
Further, the political consultants are also pushing earthquake safety as a way to spin this massive project. Unspoken is the fact that any building more than five years old is not up to currant seismic codes and it's not fiscally prudent or even possible to be continually tearing down schools and rebuilding them as seismic codes change.
So it's going to be all about a school bond on the November 2 ballot and the need for seismic upgrading because that's what will sell this project according to the consultants.
We feel this project, now slated at almost $120 million, after $25 million kicked in directly from Emeryville taxpayers, is too important for trickery like this. The people should be allowed a real debate about a public project this massive for our town. We are chagrined the City Schools Committee has decided to engage in a game of three card monte rather than leveling with the Emeryville people about what the real stakes are.