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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Outrage Erupts: Property Owners Association Forms

Lack Of Transparency At City Hall: New Group Forms 

Former city councilman Ken Bukowski recently announced the formation of the 'Emeryville Property Owners Association', a group risen up organically he says, in response to a lack of transparency at City Hall. The organization, meant to serve as a conduit of information between property owners, the School District and City Hall is so far made up of property owners in the north Hollis Street area and is concerning itself at the onset with the North Hollis Underground Utility District.  The District is a new special tax assessment area set up by City Hall, effecting property owners there.  Mr Bukowski explains the organization is attracting property owners, many of whom are business owners, who's interests have been under-represented by City Hall and the Chamber of Commerce.

The North Hollis Underground Utility District has been set up to get rid of unsightly power lines along Hollis Street primarily by Wareham Development, a well connected prime mover and shaker developer in that part of Emeryville.
Mr Bukowski noted that a special assessment district such as North Hollis must be initiated by property owners in a democratic fashion but a lack of transparency from City Hall combined with a desire to help Wareham has resulted in a steamroller project.  Mr Bukowski claims the proposed undergrounding work will be a costly tax for a majority of property owners in the North Hollis area, some of whom were caught unaware by the whole deal until the recently sent city notices of the amount each owner will owe.

Mr Bukowski also noted the interest to be charged the property owners for the undergrounding work is onerous: 6-8% and this is unwarranted.

In the case of North Hollis, Wareham's holdings are so vast that only one other property owner's OK was needed, combined with three holdings of the City of Emeryville, to greenlight the whole undergrounding project.  The city's assessment to itself for the undergrounding work would amount to more than a million dollars, paid from the General Fund according to Mr Bukowski.

The former councilman said out of 21 owners, as few as two were aware the special assessment district was being created and that these affected property owners are clamoring for the collective representation that the Property Owners Association will bring.

At their first meeting, the Property Owners Association also discussed the Emeryville Center of Community Life and the Measure J bonds they must pay.  Mr Bukowski told the Tattler that of the 16 property owners that attended, only three had even heard of the Center of Community Life and the tax they'll have to pay for the bonds.  "This organization is going to be all about transparency" he said, "The people that pay the money should be appraised of the situation" he added.

The group will be open to all Emeryville property owners and will have a website opening soon.


  1. "a group risen up organically he says", what does that even mean?

    No, this Ken getting his panties in a wad for getting the boot and finding a way to annoy the hell out of the city. I swear, the Emeryville politicians all act like a bunch of spoiled children.

  2. I salute former Councilman Ken Bukowski for caring enough to see through the crap that the City Administration is mired in. The Bureaucrats are extracting from the pockets of Taxpayers to support themselves. An "Owners Association" will watch out about the MONEY; and seek proper investment limited to that which is really beneficial, and FAIR, to the paying public. If Ken has an agenda here, that's a different issue.

  3. how is it i did not hear about this meeting? i am a property owner, albeit a small property. is this restricted to north/north emeryville only? (65th to 67th street?) i consider myself north of mid emeryville. i guess it depends on where you are standing.

  4. There are great benefits to having all of Emeryville's utilities underground. Why can't there be a larger discussion about this and lets find out how much on a whole would this cost for all property owners here. Also, this type of project should be bid out to many company's and not just one. A project like this would set Emeryville apart from the rest, visually. As a property owner, I would be hesitant to be involved in a property owner's association headed by the former councilman who is a rent control advocate and abuser to his previous landlord.

  5. How can you 'salute' Ken Bukowski when he was so much a part of that 'crap' for so many years?

    Boggles my mind, don't you see he doesn't give a shit? He just wants to piss of the city council cause he's butt hurt he got the boot. He didn't grow conscience all of the sudden.

    This is why the crap keeps going, these people know how to play you like a fiddle.

    1. Let me answer you this way:

      When my Republican friends query me incredulously (yes I have Republican friends), I always tell them the same thing; it's not so mysterious...when it comes to public policy, I always advocate in my own best interests. So in the national debate, my interests are those of the (formerly great American) middle class.

      Here in Emeryville, my interests coincide with the interests of the residents. That's what informs me in all public policy debate here and I forward my interests assiduously. Why would I not? In fact I'm always amazed that people in general don't protect their own interests more as they're being eviscerated by government (and corporations). You've got the right to do it, so why not use the right?
      I hope that answers your questions.