At the Council meeting on July 17th, the City Manager announced the City will be able to keep approximately $20 Million of the redevelopment money the State was going to take away. This essentially means we can build the Pedestrian/Bike Bridge,& the Art Center or put all the money into ECCL.
There are lots of problems with ECCL:
They don’t have all the money. The Bond Counsel misled the community. Talk of having a phased project is a problem. It’s never going to happen..?
The Project was expected to earn some money. Most of those aspects of the project have been eliminated. Without redevelopment, new projects will be scarce, I believe we are the reason Jerry Brown has eliminated redevelopment. I know he feels Emeryville has robbed Oakland of opportunity. There is nothing unique about Emeryville. We had millions of dollars to offer developers, but that is all over.
The poinit is we are never going to see a phased project. We could have our pedestrian bridge, and the Art Center. Are those projects more important..? Are we even going to ask the Community. The District can rebuild the high school, and we don’t have to close Anna Yates, nor mix all the grades in one building.
Community input is always limited to the design element of ECCL. All policy decisions are made for us. The Board knows what is better for us than we do. Do Emeryville parents have the right to decide if they want their kid in a K-12 environment.? I guess we are going to find out. They should conduct a survey and ask the parents if they are willing to go along with it. If the enrollment drops they are going to have a problem. By then it will be too late.
With such a high percentage of teacher’s with no confidence, accomplishing a major change like mixing all the grades may be harder to accomplish. No confidence means lack of trust. They are just trying to do too many things at one time. Their addiction to carry this project out is blinding.
Now, the City is going to sue the State. Biddle is going to get the best of them. If the City wins, the State will change the law to perfect what they are doing. Suing the State is a major mistake. Thee City Attorney will burn up lots of resources, with Davis leading the charge against the State. She will spend any amount of City money on lawsuits,
We should closely watch the ruling of the court on this one to see just how foolish this exercise really is. You should never allow your personal emotions to make a judgement with taxpayer money. There is no real oversight of the City Attorney. Davis has actively challenged the opinion of the Oversight Board Attorney. Here we are going against our own good legal advice. The law firm leading the challenge is the same law firm who went against the Woodfin Hotel Some of the most embarrassing moments in the City history. The City Council unanimously told the City Attorney not to use them, but he ignored the Council, and got away with it. This time he missed the deadline to submit the information to Sacramento, and that goes unnoticed.
The School District should rebuild the high school and we should get our pedestrian bridge and the Art Center instead of putting it all into ECCL.