The California Legislature voted today to abolish Redevelopment Agencies statewide with certain provisos. Emeryville could be on the hook for $13.2 million as a result. Below is a story re-printed from the Oakland Tribune:
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Sunday, June 26, 2011
The ballot initiative petition to change the way the city handles its legal affairs is being distributed around town for residents to sign. Signers must live in Emeryville and be registered to vote here. Many citizens are helping to solicit signatures for the possible November ballot. These petition carriers have indicated that helping to circulate the petitions is open to all residents and Council Member Ken Bukowski can be contacted for those wishing to sign the petition or to help circulate one. Mr Bukowski's contact number is in the letter (below) that was received today for posting in the Tattler:
To the Tattler:
The ballot initiative concerning the at City Hall is important for the city's financial health. Many cities our size and larger don't have City Attorney departments but instead contract out their legal work with specialized law firms, depending on the case. Emeryville has also contracted out many legal firms for various legal issues in the past and continues to do so. The Redevelopment Agency has finished the bulk of its work and is likely to shrink in size and as a consequence it is not warranted at this time to carry the kind of overhead we have with our legal department. This ballot initiative would put the issue before Emeryville voters and will permit both pro and con arguments to respond and these will be printed on the ballot.
It's important to resolve this issue. Signers of the petition for the ballot initiative will remain anonymous to all but the Alameda county registrar.Please sign this ballot initiative petition.Contact me at or Joan Strasser at and we will make the petition available for you. Council member Ken Bukowski also can be contacted at 305-0000 and he will bring the petition to you.
Friday, June 24, 2011
The Emeryville Government Accountability Project
As part of the on-going effort to strengthen democratic institutions and citizen involvement in Emeryville, the Tattler will publish the telephone numbers of elected officials as they become known. For decades here politicians made their phone numbers public and would take calls from constituents. Sadly, this tradition has been waning, and citizen access has eroded. Meanwhile, developers routinely meet with politicians and city staff in closed door sessions. We are dismayed to see this weakening of citizen access to the levers of power even while corporate access has never been stronger. Accordingly, we now add the unpublished telephone number of school board member Miguel Dwin to the list of published numbers of Emeryville's elected officials.
Future would be politicians should take warning: If you win office and try to keep your telephone number confidential, the Tattler will publish it if we can find it.
Here then is the newest contact-
Miguel Dwin, School Board Member:
Here is the list so far:
Nora Davis - (510) 652-2199
Ruth Atkin - Unlisted
Ken Bukowski - (510) 305-0000
Kurt Brinkman - Unlisted
Jennifer West - (510) 420-5795
Josh Simon - (510) 601-1480
Cheryl Webb - (510) 654-6012*
Melodi Dice - Unlisted
Pat Hooper - (510) 384-7882*
*unlisted but obtained by the Tattler
Emerville's Ralph Hawley Middle School on 61st Street has been rented to another City of Piedmont public school. Beach Elementary School will lease the former Emeryville school now that that Piedmont's Wildwood Elementary School has left. Emery Unified School District abandoned the Ralph Hawley school in a money saving consolidation bid several years ago.
Re-Printed from the Peidmont Patch:
Beach Elementary Packs Up
Thursday, June 23, 2011
City Lowers Fine On Tree Cutter, Cites Compelling Ignorance
In a daring, possibly precedent setting move Tuesday night, Emeryville's city council reduced a fine of a man caught illegally cutting city owned trees by some 36%. The man, Rick Gerow of Gerow Properties, a Lafayette California based real estate firm said in his defence he was unaware that Emeryville has a tree ordinance and that of the three trees he cut, one was dead, one was injured and one had damaged the sidewalk in front of his Park Avenue property.
Mr Gerow noted that because the trees in question were originally planted by him as a condition of approval for a 1990's remodel construction project at the Park Avenue address, he was simply maintaining the trees when he cut them and had every intention of replanting.
Cities, it should be noted, commonly make applicant tree planting a condition of approval for construction projects however the city becomes the rightful owner of any street trees in the public right of way as is the case here with these three street trees.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Emery School District: Lowest On 'Bang-For-Buck' ScaleThe following story validates an earlier report from the Center for American Progress, a Washington based progressive think tank regarding school districts and a quality they call "productivity". That report released in January 2011 and reported on by the Tattler on February 8th shows Emery Unified School District among the lowest in the region in a critical performance criterion, productivity, which measures academic achievement relative to school spending. The story below is a simple combining money spent against number of pupils as it relates to test scores and is not scientific per se. It is noteworthy that it supports the more scientific Center for American Progress report however. The February 8th Tattler story is called School District Fails 'Productivity' Test
Re-Printed from the Contra Costa Times: