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Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Councilwoman Chastised Tattler: 4% Growth Is "Very Conservative"

Mayor Atkin Told Tattler To Get On The School Bond Bandwagon In 2010

At Least 4% Growth Promised: Actual Was Negative 6.8% 

Elected officials and staff at City Hall and the School District led Emeryville residents down a garden path with overly optimistic prognostications of the Measure J school bond in 2010.  'Don't worry' they told us, 'we know what we're doing and this bond financing is a piece of cake for Emeryville' and then when it all turned bad...poof...they're all gone...they've run for cover and there's no one around to take the blame.

We intend on rectifying this, here and now.  Get ready elected officials; it's accountability time.

Mayor Atkin & President Dwin
In the 2010 Measure J school bond juggernaut,
they were the tip of the spear:  Don't worry they
told residents, there's no way this can fail! 
The Tattler never did a high five victory lap...we never engaged in a proverbial 'We told you so' because besides being childish, we thought it wasn't necessary; after the economic slump, we felt hard lessons had been learned here.  Silly, silly us as it turns out.  Now, we see that hubris knows no limit in the corridors of power in Emeryville.  
We were right to sound alarms regarding the 2010 Measure J school bond, however it looks like even we underestimated the delusional mendacity of Emeryville's 'power elite'.  After the School Board and the City Council and their obviously overly optimistic predictions about Emeryville's economic growth were gobsmacked by the reality of negative 6.8% assessed valuation for 2011,  now they're planning to borrow more money by use of another horribly expensive bond scheme, again with assurances of high future growth.  As before, they're hoping residents aren't paying attention.  

This garden path leads to perpetual growth
for Emeryville.  "Just head on down there,

we'll meet you there"
Back in October of 2010, as voters were preparing to vote on Measure J in Emeryville, the Tattler interviewed Mayor Ruth Atkin and School Board President Miguel Dwin about the fiscal ramifications of the massive school bond in the Measure, then pegged at $95 million.  The Tattler was concerned that the bond analysis was too rosy given the collapsing real estate market in Emeryville.  We thought the 4% growth per year predicted by Ms Atkin and Mr Dwin was misguided and we worked to warn Emeryville residents in several stories.  Ms Atkin and Mr Dwin for their part were very irritated at the Tattler and they assured us that the 4% growth prediction was "very conservative".  They firmly stated the actual growth would likely be much higher than 4%.  They disapproved of the editorial stance of the Tattler and its 'glass half empty' alarmist positions.
We drew attention to two Watergate Towers buildings then in foreclosure.  Not to worry Ms Atkin and Mr Dwin chastised, "We're going to more than make up for that [assessed valuation drop] by the Pixar expansion".  They also indicated the Bay Street Mall would expand.  Future years would bring nothing but growth they assured us.

Who could have guessed these two dilettantes were wrong about their 4% growth assurances (besides the Tattler)?  The answer is; anybody that looked at the real estate situation in 2010 with a modicum of rational critical analysis instead of rose colored glasses.

As these two and their misguided colleagues on the city council and the School Board steer us into the fiscal morass of a Capital Appreciation Bond to fiance the move of the elementary school over to the new school site on San Pablo Avenue, entreating Emeryville to massive debt for generations, as they shut out dissent and engage in another round of chastising infidels, we would like to pause for a moment. We want to make sure everyone knows who is responsible for this mess so far, even if they lack the courage to fess up that they were wrong.

The 2010 Tattler interview with Ruth Atkin & Miguel Dwin may be accessed HERE.

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