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Thursday, August 15, 2013

School District Goes Rogue Over Bike/Pedestrian Path

Bike/Pedestrian Path Putsch

School District to Emeryville Residents:
You Are Not Respected, 
"Bike/Ped Path Never Rose to a Level of Priority"

Emery School District's chief architect for the Center of 'Community' Life, Mark Seiberlich, said it all on July 25th when, speaking for the District, he told Emeryville's Planning Commissioners the bike/pedestrian path associated with the project "never rose to a level of priority" for the District.  Meaning that they never took the required ECCL path seriously when they designed the school/community center.   

That quote, seemingly innocuous in its banality, hidden amongst more demonstrative testimony at that meeting, was really a remarkable admission.  It was an admission of insubordination from a retrograde public agency.  For those paying attention to Emeryville politics, hip to Emery's intransigence, it was like one of those incriminating utterances, an ah-ha moment picked up from a bugged East German dissident's apartment a Stasi official might listen years for. 
Mark Seiberlich's utterance about the bike/ped path not rising to a "level of priority" is remarkable in that it gives up the game, really.  Because all this time, the School Board has been assuring us that they want what we want; they're working in the community's interests.  But Mr Seiberlich tells us all what the real program is with the Center of 'Community' Life: Emery is not really legitimate, it's a rogue independent agency, driven by something not known but not good, posing as a school district.

Everyone Has Told the District to Comply
Emery School District to the people of Emeryville:
It's our way can go here
How rogue has the School District gone?  Consider that they have totally snubbed all the authorities in Emeryville; everyone and everything charged with deciding about this issue.  Emeryville's new $200,000 Pedestrian/Bicycle Plan and the $4 million General Plan requires the ECCL path, but the District challenged it..... and then they got their answer: The Bicycle/Pedestrian Committee twice voted unanimously for the path...and then the Planning Commission twice voted for it...and then the City Council voted for it.  The insolence is astounding; they were officially told by the City Council to build the path but obliviously onward they march.   A real public agency working on behalf of the public, at this point would comply, but not Emery.  They're moving forward with the Center of 'Community' Life without the ECCL path, the democratic institutions and the people of Emeryville can all go to hell.

Our School District thinks its not beholden to the people of Emeryville.  They think they're above the democratically institutionalized deliberative process.

School District to the people of Emeryville:
'We got your bike/ped path right here'
It's now obvious that School Board members together with District officials met in private and schemed this plan, now turned into a putsch, many months ago.  They added up their votes on the City Council, 3-2 they figured.  They calculated the Council majority would give in to their commands to not force this path.  But they miscalculated.  The Council voted 3-2 alright but three said NO to the School Board and yes to the path.

As City Hall prepares to give the School District $21 million of our money to build this Center of 'Community' Life, we need to push back.  We need this bike/ped path built and all the other things the School District is taking away like the 53rd Street Greenway and the 47th Street 'Green Street'. We'll have our chance when the Planning Commission meets again to see the latest anti-bicycle & anti-pedestrian ECCL design on August 22nd.   Perhaps the Planning Commission will have the fortitude to again one more time, tell a brick wall to build the ECCL path and respect the people of Emeryville. 
Group Photo:
(left to right) The Emery School Board,
 the Superintendent of the Schools and the
management staff of the Emery School District 



  1. golly, gee, brian. i used to read your articles for the color pictures but after this one, I will have to start reading the words. and I think I understand your captions for the accompanying photographs.

  2. This is really getting out of hand. The School District needs to join the 21st Century already and stop acting so immature. Bikes and pedestrians are not the enemy.

  3. The more we learn about evasions by our school district, the better the chances the culprits will be held responsible and their misdeeds corrected. Kudos to the Tattler for bringing these offenses to light.