City Clerk Fails to Accept Ballot Statement
by Ken Bukowski
Wednesday Aug 14th at 5pm was the filing deadline [for filing the candidate's ballot statement]. I waited till the last minute to see if there would be other candidates before deciding to file. At 4:15pm I stopped working on my ballot statement. When I went to print the statement, my printer would not print. I spent 15 minutes trying to get it to work. Unable to do so, I copied the file to a flash drive.
I arrived at City Hall at 4:40pm seeking to go right into the City Clerks Office. The receptionist stopped me and told me to wait for the City Clerk. Ten minutes went by. At 4:50pm I went into the office anyway.
I saw the Deputy City Clerk and we went into the office to process my papers. When we got to the ballot statement, I asked if he could print it out a copy from my flash drive. He responded, he would have to talk to Karen Hemphill (City Clerk) about it. When he left the room to ask her, I was sure she would say no. I decided to write a quick statement with no ability to use my prepared statement. When she came into the room, I was just finishing the hand written statement.
She immediately said she would not accept the hand written statement because I was writing after 5pm. She also said I was required to submit an electronic copy of my statement before I arrived at the office. I was not allowed to print my statement and she refused to accept my hand written statement. I think she acted unreasonably. She could have printed my statement and charged me for the copy. She did not want to be helpful.
According to the City Manager, Karen Hemphill is the Election Official. She did not want to be involved. I talked to my attorney and he said it would costly to pursue, and would have to be done immediately. It's just not worth it. As a result I have no ballot statement.
Mr Bukowski submitted the following as his Candidate's Statement that was intended to appear in the County voter's guide:
I served on the city council for 24 years from 1987-2011. During my tenure Emeryville was transformed from an industrial wasteland, into a vibrant community. We have a lot to be proud of. With the loss of redevelopment money, the city is undergoing tremendous change. The last three years of my life has also seen a dramatic change. My dedication to the community remains as strong as it ever was. I collect retirement money, and I work part time for a group of smaller Emeryville Property owners who discovered the importance of not paying attention to City Hall. I came to their rescue in Dec 2011, to help them defeat an unfairly created assessment district. Trying to do what's right is not always easy. In an effort to make the community and the region more aware of the meetings I became a videographer. I work full time full time posting and recording videos of Emeryville and regional public meetings for the public benefit. The meetings are on youtube. The result of this work has improved my awareness of the issues, both locally and regionally. I feel more qualified to serve than ever before. My work has also created the opportunity for the Emery Go Round to receive a portion of our sales tax money, to help insure continued service. With the new Emeryville Center of Community Life we have a unique opportunity to bring the city together for common benefit. I am a strong advocate I am a positive thinking and hard working individual who will always care about our community. Please allow my experience to work for you on the city council.