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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Maurice Kaufman 'Resigns'

Nora Davis' Star Begins to Set

Two Down, Two More To Go
News Analysis/Opinion
Long time Emeryville Public Works Director, Maurice Kaufman surprised many in town Monday when he announced he intends to quit effective in May, giving no reasons other than his desire for a new direction in his life.  This resignation of a department head at City Hall leaves speculation open that the major change in elected public officials in Emeryville last November, the election of three new progressive Council members, is the driving force behind this major shake up.  Given the particulars, we can say with few reservations that Mr Kaufman, hired by and the champion of former Councilwoman Nora Davis, was likely forced out.  This being a personnel matter and therefore not subject to public scrutiny, it’s all tight lips among the Council members and City Manager.  But to this consequential change we say: it’s about time and don’t let the door hit you on the way out Maurice. 
 Some were surprised as noted but not us; a severely out of balance polity can only continue to exist for so long before one way or another a correction is bound to take place. What is surprising is why it took so long to push Maurice along towards the exit.  

Primarily a traffic engineer, Maurice Kaufman had his time here but now he’s a dinosaur, a left over relict from the Nora Davis years when developers (and the cars they bring to a community) were king.  We remember when Maurice told us he's fine with traffic calming for bike safety as long as it doesn't impede car traffic.
Traffic Engineers Like Efficiency
Maurice Kaufman likes cars moving quickly
and efficiently.

Mr Kaufman was selected by Ms Davis to support her pro-business/developer philosophy, a role he performed quite well over the years.  It’s just that the people of Emeryville finally decided they’d had enough of that and they ‘voted with their votes’ for a change.  So slowly (very slowly) now the staff at City Hall is starting to finally show signs that the will of the people is being placated. With the head of Public Works gone it’s two down, two more to go on that account. 

Keeping on Nora Davis’ staff at City Hall with the new City Council was/is a piece of regrettable Californication in Emeryville.  A little have a nice day, we could never do anything so harsh as to fire somebody flawed public policy.  And the City Council continues to leave the remaining Nora Davis selected department heads on at their continuing peril.  For surely as night follows day, the will of the Council has been and will continue to be subverted by such a staff.  Want evidence of that? 
Here’s a little taste down through the years of Maurice Kaufman, Nora Davis’ favored City Hall staff manager (partial list): 

Imagine if there were ever another Democratic President elected in Washington (that would mean Donald Trump decided to allow it, admittedly a stretch) imagine if she decided to leave in place Trump's staff and cabinet and tried to govern.  That's what's been going on in Emeryville.  Elections as they say are supposed to have consequences.  
To the City Council: We're finished with Council member Nora Davis...she had her 30 year run and now it's time to move on.  Insofar as you gave Maurice Kaufman the heave ho last Monday, let's keep that momentum going.

So long Maurice Kaufman. We wish you all the best and no hard feelings… it’s just your time has passed in Emeryville.  Next!


  1. There IS a particular odor to this that the official explanation brings forth.

  2. Leave it to Brian to inaccurately malign one of the most approachable and helpful City employees. If those are the worst disagreements you've had in 28 years, then I would consider his employment a success.

    1. Maurice is approachable...sure...a pretty nice guy...especially if you're not suggesting the Bike Plan be followed. But if that's the case, then well, not so much.
      Did you read anything I wrote about how Maurice isn't 'approachable'?

      RE; the 'disagreements'- You're letting your bias show mister. That being your bias in favor of reveling in a government bureaucrat that's an ideologue that's willing to subvert the will of the elected officials. Pretty strange definition of "success" but if that's your thing, then I guess Maurice is your guy. And he's approachable.

    2. Oh and please show where I've been 'inaccurate'.

  3. Resigns or retired? Why would the council be tight lipped about it? What is the taxpayer price tag on this one? When Bryant retires next, what will this cost us? Who is the 3rd one going? Inquiring minds want to know.

    1. Resign is the word City Hall uses even as it's most likely a euphemism. He didn't retire...he's too young still. Tight lips because the City could be sued if they said he was fired. The price tag is depends on whether he quit or was fired. RE next two to be forced out; We just have to wait and see...we have our ideas but we'll let you guess.