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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Rationality Mysteriously Missing From Public Policy

Wanted: Rational Public Policy For Emeryville

Emeryville's high school leaves much to be desired and we're good with bold, even out-of-the-box policy to correct the morass there but public policy should be transparent and above all rational; both missing in the November 2nd fix offered voters.  What we got instead was a transmogrify of certain aging politician's ambition into a conspicuously embellished grand public edifice with a bronze plaque, glorifying their names chiseled therein for the ages.

None of this was directly apparent of course.  But what else are we to make of a project sold to the voters as a place for Emeryville's kids when it demonstrably will be for Oakland's kids?  The Tattler has inveighed against some resident's attempts to demonize Oakland children; after all a child is a child, all need quality education and they rightfully don't care if they live on the other side of some invisible political border.  However, Emeryville voters should have been told the truth that there is no way to get the 700+ new Emeryville children promised by Measure J, needed for the school to function properly and that the new school they voted to build is really for Oakland's children.

The Tattler has shown how both politically and even geographically, there is no way for Emeryville to provide family friendly housing for the 700 children in the few years allotted, if ever.  Further, the extraordinarily high cost of the money for the project, a shocking 1:4 ratio of brick and mortar school to Wall Street fat cat payout gives one pause, especially since the project was being shamelessly touted by budget hawk council member Nora Davis and her infamously tight purse strings, now transformed into drunken sailor's pockets by this project.

This is the kind of public policy a town gets when there is no newspaper providing for real accountability and politicians are re-elected over and over again, decade after decade passing from spry middle age into their dotage, still at the helm.  At this point what they see is a large bronze plaque, front and center on a fabulous new public building, their names forever associated with governmental philanthropic largess flowing from their good graces and trickling down to future generations.

Unfortunately, this project has been promulgated with a scorched earth polity from the beginning, even still ultimately, a large conspicuous bronze plaque may be in order for the new school when it's completed but rational public policy for Emeryville should not be left in tatters to get from where we were to the day when the bronze plaque is affixed.  At least Emeryville voters should have been told what they were really voting for, then maybe those council members could have engaged in the real politicking necessary to fairly deliver such a large public project.  Had they done so, they would have properly earned their bronze plaque.


  1. Written down and posted what many people think but none have said...good job.

  2. you see the world through psychedelic glasses.

  3. The psychedelic glasses comment may be more cogent then it may appear at first blush. Rationality has gone missing from public policy in Washington DC for years. Indeed the new normal seems to be the total absence of reason and rationality. Against this backdrop, it's easy to see how a dissenter could be characterized as out of touch.

  4. To me its this blog that represents a departure of the Enlightenment ideal of Reason that I cherish so dearly.

    The school district is ours regardless of where the children come from. As citizens of the Emery Unified School District, it is our responsibility to provide quality schools.

  5. To the above commenter-
    Perhaps you missed this sentence from the story:
    "The Tattler has inveighed against some resident's attempts to demonize Oakland children; after all a child is a child, all need quality education and they rightfully don't care if they live on the other side of some invisible political border."

    You may wish to re-read the story since I clearly state that if Emeryville residents wish to build a new school for Oakland kids, then that's wonderful but they should at least be told that's what they're voting on. It's all about transparency.

  6. No, I read that sentence and the whole post. I know your position regarding Oakland kids in Emery Unified and I commend it as rational.

    I still, however, find this blog largely unreasonable and I still stand by my above comment whether it agrees with your position or not. It is not so much a comment on your post as it is a comment on the issue at hand.

  7. I don't know what the residents of Emeryville expect when they keep voting the same douche bags into the city council time and time again.
    And now they got hoodwinked again, and voted Brinkman on.
    Good job, suckers, that man will bleed the coffers dry if he can.