Search The Tattler

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Letter To The Tattler: Ken Bukowski

City councilman Ken Bukowski responds to the Tattler story on Emeryville's odd year elections.  The Tattler advocated for moving city elections to even years to save money and increase voter participation. 
.                 .                 .                 .

Moving the elections to even numbered years means: 
  1. As a candidate for city council you would have to raise more money to compete with a barrage of other candidates and issues, which would totally dominate the media, the mail and the phones. 
  2.  Campaign consultants would be more expensive, giving the business community greater advantage.
  3.  Odd year elections allow the voters to only focus on Emeryville, and that's a better idea. We may get a smaller turnout but they are more informed on the local issues than they would otherwise be. 
  4. The council adopting this Plan would also have to automatically extend the terms of all 5 members for an additional year. 

-Ken Bukowski 


  1. I think Mr Bukowski raises two good points here:
    -Campaign consultants would likely be more expensive (because of increased demand)
    -The terms of the existing council would need to be changed (they could be shortened)

    The other two points are less salient: I'm not sure how State, County and Federal candidates and issues on the ballot would make Emeryville candidates spend more and I think Emeryville voters can focus just fine on local issues even though they may also be voting on external issues and candidates. I just don't think it's that perplexing.

    The two good points Mr Bukowski makes I think would be offset by the beneficial civic effects of increased voter participation.

  2. In response to your comments. You are not showing much appreciation for the ability of candidates to reach the local voters. The attention span for most folks on political issues is limited.

    Most voters are only going to deal with a few phone calls before burnout. Most of them don't read all the material, there is so much of it. Our goal should be to give advantage to our local resident candidates, to give them maximumn opportunity to reach local voters.

    It is also better to get voters in the habiot of voting every November. Ads for President and Governor will dominate voter attention. More corporate money than ever is being spent. If you want to learn about corporate power in elections check out the below link to a cartoon video....

    Also... you can't change the terms of the city council members. All general law cities in Californa have a minimum four year term. You can't make it shorter. We would be forced to extend all the terms for the whole council for another year.

    It already happend once in Emeryville. We used to have city council elections in April. But when LaCoste was in power he moved the elections to November, and thereby extended the terms of all those council members for another 7 months.

    During that additional time the city council approved two more 30 story office buildings at the Marketplace, where my business was located.

    They made their mistake by not bulding all three 30 story towers at the same time.

    When the people saw the size and mass of Pacific Park Plaza, that was the end of the other twin tower project. Pacifc Union had to get out of town quickly because of all the corruption with the approvals. David Martin came along and obtsined all the options held by Pacific Union for all the bayfront property. (the area between the railroad and the freeway) PPP was supposed to be the first building in a series of planned new high rise towers for the Bayfront. The Chief planned to wipe out almost all of East Emeryville, and redevelop the whole city.

  3. Notice:
    I take Mr Bukowski at his word that it is illegal to shorten the lengths of city council members (or presumably school board members). I stand therefore corrected in my above comment.

    BTW, Ken Bukowski is a great source for Emeryville history. His library of political literature, defunct Emeryville newspapers, etc, itself is extremely comprehensive.

  4. Oops- It is surely illegal to shorten city council member's lengths as I said above. As Ken Bukowsi says, it's also illegal to shorten their length of terms...

  5. I think Mr. Bukowskis comments also reflect a disdain for his electorates intelligence.
    Something most politicians can't hide.