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Saturday, April 20, 2019

City Council Moves to Stifle Public Debate on Uncomfortable Noise Ordinance Subject

City Council Asks, What Would Mitch McConnell Do?

New Tactic Seized Upon:
Disallow Public Debate

Uncomfortable Topics Will Now Go Straight to Vote
No More Presentation of Issues or Debate
Noise Ordinance Waiver Rubber Stamped, Not  Debated

Opinion / News Analysis
Faced with a large crowd and an uncomfortable vote on a developer's Noise Ordinance waiver request they'd rather keep quiet, the Emeryville City Council last Tuesday night employed a new tactic in their ongoing effort to assist developers seeking favors from City Hall.   After reading aloud a waiver request agenda item number (11.1), followed by an empty call for public comment, the Council moved straight to a vote; no staff presentation, no chance for the public to hear about the issues involved, no debate.  It's a tactic that Washington DC's most effective Senate Majority leader in years, Mitch McConnell, would approve of and one, whom Tuesday's spectacle invoked.   
When it comes to developer's requests for waivers to our Noise Ordinance, since 2010, the City Council has shown remarkable consistency for approvals, denying only four out of 19 requests up until last year.  The Tattler has long chronicled the pro-developer bias that exists at City Hall when it comes to these waiver requests, and the April 16th approval is just the latest in a long line, regardless of a new self proclaimed livability-friendly Council.

Charting new territory, on Tuesday, the new Council agreed that since they had already heard a presentation about the specific noise waiver request in question at a previous meeting,  they could dispense with another presentation and any public debate.  This reasoning, erroring on the side of opacity in City government, negated the room full of people at the meeting, most of whom had not been at the previous meeting and whom had an interest in hearing about the request and being given a chance to weigh in.

These are academic and picayune concerns for a City Council, wont to speed up government processes to help those who matter the most in Emeryville.  Avoiding civic and personal embarrassment was likely on their minds as well.  These tactics, the same as those taken up by the great turtle man in Washington notably also serve the same demographic.  It would appear like minds think alike. 
We're looking forward to much more efficient City Council meetings and the chance to get home at a reasonable time, all that uncomfortable public debate having been found by our City Council to be unnecessary.  The business sector helped, the public shut out, government streamlined....Mitch couldn't have done it better.

 The fun begins at 12:09


  1. This is a disturbing trend. The council got to have their say on the matter. I don't see why the public shouldn't also be allowed to have theirs. Slippery slope. What are they going to shut down next?

  2. What would Mitch do? He'd clear the room and then take the votes. These council people are amateurs in anti democracy.

  3. HAHAHA, Emeryville is, and has been run by Democrats for years, yet you compare them to Republicans. You're too much.

    1. The office of the Emeryville City Council is nonpartisan. Having said that, both political parties you mentioned are run by neoliberals and thus are for all practical purposes, one and the same. The Democratic Party IS in favor of gay marriage however.