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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Measure J Fails To Net Green Endorsement

Anti-Grass Roots Culture Cited:
City, School District Blocking Citizen Participation Says Green Party

The Green Party of Alameda County has announced Emeryville's Measure J, the $95 million bond for the Center of Community Life/schools will not likely not improve student academic performance, is too expensive, has no exemption for seniors, might not help attract families to move to the District and represents a top down anti-grass roots effort by the School District and the City to the exclusion the residents who will pay for the thing.

A position paper voted on earlier by the Green County Council and released over the weekend reserves the most blistering fire for "the city's failure to include its residents" in the decision process and elicited an anti-grass roots culture at the city that "runs counter to green values".

Further, the Greens question the dubious claims by the city that the Center of Community Life/schools rebuild project will attract new families to town; a requisite for success by the city's own reckoning, owing to the lack of family friendly housing here. The city's attempt to scuttle the Emeryville Child Development Center earlier in the year is cited as evidence that the city's new general plan's mandate for building such family housing may not be a trustworthy document.

The Green County Council advises citizens to give extra scrutiny to the measure noting how bond financing in general is essentially a wealth transference device from "middle and low income taxpayers to rich bondholders". The specter of a possible 30 year payback on the debt is raised but they obviously weren't privy to the recent "zero coupon " financing the city quietly announced that extends out the debt for at least 45 years, turning three out of four Emeryville tax dollars over to Wall Street types. The zero coupon bonds were featured in a recent scathing article by the Oakland Tribune's Daniel Borenstein, the $95 million cost of which was revealed to bloat to a budget busting $383 million price tag for Emeryville residents after finance charges are factored in.

The Green Party draws attention to the ironic nature of the proposed massive construction project; lamenting that the support of a so called 'community center' comes exclusively from the "City Council, the Board of Education and the Chamber of Commerce" leaving the citizens, those the Greens call "residents who are not in positions of power", voiceless.

1 comment:

  1. There are a number of things which concern me about this bond measure: certainly the lack of senior excemption personally affects my household, but that of many of my neighbors. Of the most concern is the disingenuous as best and deceiving at the worst of our elected officials not exploring the total cost of this measure, the cost per student, and the absolute lack of fiscal responsibility in a time where taxpayers are hurting, out of work or underemployed, and hitting us with this huge tax increase which can only be passed on through retailers with price increases and landlords with rent increases. It is fiscally irresponsible in a town whose leaders have prided themselves in the past with fiscal responsibility. Instead of pressing on with vague rationalizations of "seismic upgrades" (untrue) and "helping our young people" our officials should pull this measure and say to the voters that "we understand your pain and we will come back to you when we have a fiscally responsible plan to help our schools." I will support THAT measure.