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Friday, October 21, 2011

From The Tattler Achieves

Below is a Tattler news story and editorial from May 14th 2010, posted now for voters consideration.  People voting on November 8th would have interest in this recent Emeryville history:

May 14 2010-

Public Education To Remain At Child Center

After a five month roller coaster of a fight to protect public education at the pre-K level, pitting parents against the City Manager, the Emeryville City Council handed down their unanimous verdict Thursday night; the Child Development Center is to remain a public institution.

The council acknowledged the persistent work of the parents in letter writing, meeting attendance and contributions to the specially designated 'ECDC Task Force'. Supporters of the Child Center Friday were praising the efforts of one parent in particular, Jacqueline "Jac" Asher. Ms Asher, and her husband Brian Carver led the fight by organizing the parents into a united front of opposition to the outsourcing scheme.

One council watcher noted the unexpected unanimous vote, "I'm surprised Nora Davis voted for this" he said, adding his desire to remain anonymous. In fact several council votes have been made to weaken or degrade the Child Center over the years and Thursday was the first vote cast by Ms Davis in favor of supporting the Center.

It was a stunning loss for City Manager Pat O'Keeffe who threw the entire weight of his office behind the proposal to outsource the Center to the Berkeley/Albany YMCA. Many parents complained about Mr O'Keeffe's insolence and rudeness directed at them. "His comments about us being 'too emotional' were really offensive", one parent who asked for unanimity said.

Ms Asher tempered her victory letter to parents with descriptions of "hard cuts" to come at the Center including staffing reductions. She indicated it was time for her to take a break for a little while, after the five month ordeal, "I'm tired" she exclaimed.

May 14th 2010-

All Hail Jac Asher
Brian Carver

Last Thursday's stunning council vote to save the Child Development Center couldn't have happened without the organizing skills and plucky persistence of wife and husband team, Emeryville parents Jac Asher and Brian Carver.

City Hall is legendary in it's ability to fight off resident's concerns, however over the last five months City Manager Pat O'Keeffe and his staff withered under the barrage laid down by the parental onslaught brought by Ms Asher and Mr Carver. They did not shy away from this fight and our kids are the beneficiaries.

Some have noted the fact that the Child Center still faces deep cuts and that the quality of the program will surely suffer and there is truth in this, but the weight of what has been accomplished should not be diminished. Indeed, such a spectacle is rare in Emeryville. Only the superb job done by private citizen John Fricke, battling the staff's insistence that bikes not be permitted on the proposed pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks at Bay Street, has equalled the performance by this wife/husband team. Mr Fricke's popularity rose to such an extent over that fight, he was able to win his subsequent council bid in a landslide.

One wonders in happy anticipation, what else Ms Asher and Mr Carver might have in store for us. We hope they continue to use their formidable organizing skills and admirable dogged persistence to the betterment of our town. We are lucky to count them as fellow residents.

1 comment:

  1. I have to point out, I was very instrumental in this effort. It was clear to me that both Brinkman and Davis intended to vote againt maintaining ECDC. It was clear to me that Ruth let them off the hook by revealing her vote before the roll call essentially letting Davis and Brinkman know they were going to lose the vote to outsource ECDC. Davis quickly jumped at the opportunity to stay on the right side of the issue, and so did Brinkman.