Dear Emeryville Tattler,
This morning I saw a four-page, full color, glossy campaign brochure dedicated solely to attacking Ken Bukowski. In a nutshell, the brochure called Ken “corrupt,” demanded his removal from office in this election, and had Jac Asher’s, Ruth Atkin’s, and Nora Davis’s pictures on the back.
I stand by Ken’s efforts to rehabilitate himself after the events of the last term.
I would like Ken to publicly state that he has put all the events of the last term behind him and to pledge that he is clean and sober and will avoid even the APPEARANCE of any conflict of interest in the future.
I object to the use of the word “corrupt” in the campaign brochure, since that implies criminal activity.
As an aside, the committee name identified in the small print under the recipient address indicates I can expect some attacks too, since the committee is to defeat me as well as Ken.
What is most unfortunate about the campaign brochure is not that it attacks Ken personally, but that it wastes 4 good pages where real campaign issues could be addressed.
Emeryville is not quite the perfect little community that Jac, Ruth, and Nora would like to present in their Pollyana-ish, four color campaign pieces.
Not everyone who disagrees with their policies (although I have been hard-pressed to find any published policies or issues from Jac, even this late in the campaign) is evil, corrupt, stupid, deaf, or a rude gadfly.
Some of us have simply noticed that things aren’t quite as “right” as what the official face of the City Council would have you believe.
Like those early pioneers, Ken and Nora, who started out just like me, I just want to roll up my sleeves and become a citizen volunteer working on behalf of this community.
For this basic civic-minded motivation, I should not merit a committee dedicated to defeating me, and which will probably try to do it with low-blows instead of honest discussion of the issues. I think I can deal with other candidates attacking my principles, that is fair game, but is a separately funded “hit” committee the right way to conduct politics here in Emeryville?
When Sean Moss at the Andante community asked me last year if I would step aside as President of the homeowners association, I did so - because it’s good to have more than one person experienced in that job, and it’s good to let others have their term. I had already served for five years from inception through conclusion of construction defect litigation, it was time to let Sean have a turn.
What we have in Emeryville is just the opposite - an entrenched, entitled, even arrogant power structure that thinks the only reason to have new blood is to defeat an opponent, and then selects the least offensive person they can find to replace Ken.
I think it’s much healthier for politics in our small town to dig up issues, debate them, and leave personal attacks out of it.
From day one I have published my blog on questions, concerns, that I have as an ordinary resident. As people came forward with problems and issues, I learned that all is NOT well in Emeryville - particularly, why are we about to “out source” the Fire Department, why was an effort made to do the same to Police, why is Anna Yates, the one gem in the often troubled Emeryville school system, going to be shut down? (I have been told that shutting Anna Yates is a school district issue, not a City Council issue, but where are the funds and plans for the ECCL coming from? It is a joint project, not just a school project.)
Given more opportunity, who knows what I will unearth in Emeryville? Does Emeryville support or oppose this type of resident-level interest and activism? Is Emeryville run by disconnected City Council members who have forgotten about the actual residents living here?
I hope that you ask Jac, Ruth, and Nora whether and to what extent they authorized the “hit” piece, and whether and to what extent they agree or disagree with it. A very simple question, even for an issues-averse, lull-the-voters, ticket.
Thank you for your time and doing your best to serve Emeryville.
William Michael Webber “Michael”
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Letter To The Tattler
The following is a letter to the Tattler from city council candidate, Michael Webber, received today and printed in its entirety: