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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Defunct Chamber Newsletter Gets School District Nod

A Weird Way To Look For A New 
School Board Member

Opinion / News Analysis
After the May 10th resignation of Emery School Board president Cheryl Webb, the School District went to work distributing notice of the vacancy in area newspapers including the defunct Chamber of Commerce newsletter the Emeryville Connection the Tattler has learned.   The public notice of a school board vacancy and search for replacement is mandated by the State Board of Education for any school board that would appoint a replacement of a resigned board member; it's part of the requirement to "widely circulate" the search for a viable candidate.  The Tattler received a document that shows Emery School District sent request to advertise in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Oakland Tribune and the Chamber of Commerce defunct news blog.

A review of the Emeryville Connection shows that the newsletter stopped publication in April 2009 but it briefly started back up in March 2011 after the Chamber of Commerce received $25,000 from City Hall in early 2011 to advertise the city's Economic Development Program in the news letter blog.  The Emeryville Connection has not published any material since March 2011.  The newsletter has a circulation of zero.

If the School District's goal is to widely circulate the search for a new School Board appointment, as the law requires, we wonder why they selected an organization with a defunct news blog with no circulation.  We wonder why, if the School District is not just playing politics, wouldn't they advertise the search request with the news blog with the largest circulation in the city?  Is it because the news blog with the largest circulation is also the one that has been critical of School District policies?  Is it because the proper news blog to sent notice of the search is the Emeryville Tattler, and the School District is ready to subvert its mandate to properly conduct the search instead of heaven forbid, acknowledge the existence of the Tatter?  We think that's the case here.

The Chamber of Commerce, a private company, has received money from the city for many years including $40,000 per year to produce The Emeryville Connection and ten years of free rent for their office.  In May, the city council gave the Chamber another $15,000.  They've obviously earned the respect of this council...enough to engage in a little mutual pay to play.

It's illuminating that of the two Emeryville organizations, the Chamber of Commerce and the Emeryville Tattler, the one that carries water for the city council majority, the one that gives re-election money to the council majority through its political action committee, versus the one that's critical and offers a dissenting view; it's the one that's a sycophant for the council majority that's routinely offered cash from the public coffers by this council.  That political patronage model may be an efficient way to maintain power for the council majority but it's not a proper way to conduct a widely circulated search for a school board appointee.


  1. I'm sure if they felt you could be objective about it, they might have given your blog consideration.

    1. Yes, I agree the School District, the source of much (deserved) scorn here thinks they're doing great and the criticisms are unfair. However, they're not free to wallow in their subjective view of the world like that here...the State of California has tasked them with "widely circulating" the search. The School District, in their hubris, can't redefine "widely" to mean "narrowly" however. They're required to do as the State mandates.

  2. I think it would cost the School District nothing to give your blog a chance to publicize the search for a replacement. Certainly in this modern electronic media era you are as real and valid as the Huffington Post and the Drudge Report. Disagreeing with your politics and positions is one thing, but if a reader strains out the 10% of hyperbole he or she is left with 90% of, sadly, accurate news.

    1. Other way around, Webber.

    2. Webber, it's the other way around: the Drudge Report and the Huffington Post.

    3. It is the other way around with this blog, 90% hyperbole, 10% slightly accurate news.
      And the argument "They do it too, so it makes okay if we do it" is bogus.

      But lets look at this story. The superintendents secretary sends an email to Bob Cantor about helping to get the word out. For whatever reason, Mr. Cantor inadvertently includes the defunct Emeryville Connection, and suddenly it's spun on the tattler as proof of the districts inadequacies, and back room dealings? Really? Is that the most pressing thing going? Where are the facts in this story? You don't even know the chain of events that led to this. You should change the Opinion tag to Rumor Mongering.

      You want hyperbole? You can find it here, at the Tattler!
      Reference the article posted on Sundat June 17th, 2012, in big bold letters:
      "Elementary School To Be Torn Down Sold To Highest Bidder"
      Then, in the article, he posts a snippet from the document he pulled this article from, which includes this little tidbit:
      "the City’s existing recreation facility along San Pablo Avenue may likewise become surplus. While neither the City or EUSD have made any decision regarding the future use of these properties, if these sites are declared surplus and were disposed of for redevelopment, the City’s current general plan and zoning regulations would allow..."

    4. We're happy to see School District officials (alongside City Hall people) read the Tattler!

  3. We should allow some democracy to play the game. Why don't we poll the families of all the students and see if they want to have a K-12 school...? My problem is there has never been any open demonstration of support for K-12. The School Board is saying they know best, and they need to make sure parents agree..?

    Without the City Redevelopment money, this is a new project, and this is the new prospective. The Bond Counsel misled the voters and the district. Sitting there with $30 Million in unsold bonds will kill any effort for more tax money for the school.