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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Former Councilman Files Accountability Initiative

Former Councilman Bukowski Puts 
City Hall On Notice

Former City Councilman Ken Bukowski has announced he will make City Hall more accountable to the people's interests via an initiative he's started called the Emeryville Public Notice and Accountability Initiative.  The initiative seeks to make City Hall more accountable to the people by requiring better notice of city action and improved access for average citizens in the government decision making process.   The initiative will either appear on a future ballot or be adopted by council fiat, depending on the number of resident signatures secured.

The former councilman first introduced the idea of such an initiative as part of his re-election campaign last year stating he would pursue the initiative regardless of whether of not he was elected to office.  "It's needed [in Emeryville]"  Mr Bukowski told the Tattler.  "We've evolved into an era where better notification is essential to protect the people's interests" he said.  He noted the proposed initiative will shine a light on government doings, "We will finally have a full accounting of elected officials votes made on the residents' behalf, something not available before."

The initiative must receive about 590 valid signatures of registered Emeryville voters to appear on the November 2013 ballot but some 900 signatures would force the city council to either adopt it outright or call for an earlier special election.  Mr Bukowski will have 120 days to acquire the requisite signatures, and he is requesting help from residents on this he said.

Ken Bukowski lost his bid for re-election last November but he has stayed in the spotlight.  He formed the Emeryville Property Owners Association, an interest group comprised of businesses and residents to counter the Emeryville Chamber of Commerce, a 'for pay' membership organization he says stopped working for most businesses in town.  The former councilman assured the Tattler he has no bigger plans by forwarding the initiative, "I want to make this clear, I have no intention on running for city council.  I'm doing this [initiative] because it's necessary."

Interested residents can call Ken Bukowski at (510) 305-0000.

The text of the initiative is HERE.


  1. Way to go Mr. Bukowski. I like the part of the initiative that reports on City Employee wages. The public should also know about and be aware of the liability this city has in promised benefits and retirements. Then you will be able to see why there is nothing left for its' public amenities.

    1. Maybe we should pay the City employees minimum wage. Just think how much money we'd save. I'm sure it would work out really good for us.

  2. Another desperate attempt from a man desperately trying to regain relevance.

  3. Did no one tell Bukowski that the voters stopped wanting him to legislate when we took away his power to do so?

  4. The power to legislate is provided to every voter, not just to elected officials. Maybe you should pay attention to the merit of the issues. Your personal opinion of Bukowski is irrelevant, since he is no longer in office. The proposed ballot measure protects your interests. The City does not notify people who are affected by City decisions. These protections exist in many other cities, and are long overdue for Emeryville. I support this measure, and I supported Bukowski. He challenged the people in power, and Nora Davis, in particular. and that was unacceptable.
    I think you should look at what is being proposed and evaluate it on its merit, regardless of the source.

  5. Actually, the Brown Act requires extensive noticing for all projects. This is a statewide law applicable to all governmental bodies in California. Few cities require noticing beyond that required in the Brown Act because it already required mailed and published noticed. I think the language in Bukowski's act is completely indefensible legally. It's way to vague. It will either be thrown out in court or the City will have to spend tons of money defending it. His proposal is very different then the few examples he offered. And we all know Bukowski too well. This is his last-ditch attempt to stay in the news. He wouldn't be doing this if he was still on the Council and we all know it. He's become a sad, sad man and that is relevant. His motives are relevant now just as they were when the voter overwhelmingly defeated his City Attorney initiative. People in this town aren't stupid. We can see through his charade.

    1. The Brown Act helps transparency in governance only insofar as it is enforced. Unfortunately, here in Emeryville, the staff and most of the elected officials haven't been too interested in enforcing the Act. I've had to remind them of their obligations vis a vis the Brown Act more times than I can remember. Usually, they are not amenable. I've heard other dissenters quote the Act at numerous public meetings. It's telling that dissenters in Emeryville all know the letter of the Brown Act and are fluent in its provisions.
      I'd say anything that can strengthen the public's rights as far as access goes, is all for the good here in Emeryville.