Wanted: Rational Public Policy For Emeryville
Emeryville's high school leaves much to be desired and we're good with bold, even out-of-the-box policy to correct the morass there but public policy should be transparent and above all rational; both missing in the November 2nd fix offered voters. What we got instead was a transmogrify of certain aging politician's ambition into a conspicuously embellished grand public edifice with a bronze plaque, glorifying their names chiseled therein for the ages.
None of this was directly apparent of course. But what else are we to make of a project sold to the voters as a place for Emeryville's kids when it demonstrably will be for Oakland's kids? The Tattler has inveighed against some resident's attempts to demonize Oakland children; after all a child is a child, all need quality education and they rightfully don't care if they live on the other side of some invisible political border. However, Emeryville voters should have been told the truth that there is no way to get the 700+ new Emeryville children promised by Measure J, needed for the school to function properly and that the new school they voted to build is really for Oakland's children.
The Tattler has shown how both politically and even geographically, there is no way for Emeryville to provide family friendly housing for the 700 children in the few years allotted, if ever. Further, the extraordinarily high cost of the money for the project, a shocking 1:4 ratio of brick and mortar school to Wall Street fat cat payout gives one pause, especially since the project was being shamelessly touted by budget hawk council member Nora Davis and her infamously tight purse strings, now transformed into drunken sailor's pockets by this project.
This is the kind of public policy a town gets when there is no newspaper providing for real accountability and politicians are re-elected over and over again, decade after decade passing from spry middle age into their dotage, still at the helm. At this point what they see is a large bronze plaque, front and center on a fabulous new public building, their names forever associated with governmental philanthropic largess flowing from their good graces and trickling down to future generations.
Unfortunately, this project has been promulgated with a scorched earth polity from the beginning, even still ultimately, a large conspicuous bronze plaque may be in order for the new school when it's completed but rational public policy for Emeryville should not be left in tatters to get from where we were to the day when the bronze plaque is affixed. At least Emeryville voters should have been told what they were really voting for, then maybe those council members could have engaged in the real politicking necessary to fairly deliver such a large public project. Had they done so, they would have properly earned their bronze plaque.