Council Majority draws line in the sand with Developers with Public Market Development Agreement Rejection

Published On July 24, 2015 | By Rob Arias | News & Commentary, Planning & Development

Despite a housing crisis fueled by low inventory, a unanimous planning commission approval, hundreds of man-hours by staff and their subsequent recommendation for approval, concessions of public benefit including inclusion of affordable units, public art and Christie park expansion, LEED Platinum Certification and following all the legal guidelines established by the city … the Public Market development agreement proposed by City Center Realty Partners was rejected by Council 3-2 on Tuesday. The Council Majority or “R.U.L.E. Block” ultimately deemed the project not affordable/family-friendly enough for them and sent the developers back to the drawing board.

CCRP managing member Mark Stefan seemed to be scratching his head while he sat through the discussion and ultimate rejection of the project that he and his team of 18 had spent the last three years on. “We feel we were blindsided and not dealt with in good faith” noted Stefan over email when I asked him if he was surprised by the decision and if he thought the city gave them a fair shake. “After extensive meetings and negotiations, we thought we’d finally come to a good, collaborative agreement. The Planning Commission voted 100% unanimously in favor of the agreement and the City Staff recommended the agreement. No, City Council did not give this collaborative agreement a fair shake”.

mayor-ruth-atkin-emeryville
Mayor Ruth Atkin, who no one would argue is “under the thumb” of developers, appeared frustrated by the Council Majority’s unwillingness to find compromise.

Is a Developer “win” a loss for the City?

The decision wasn’t really a surprise to those tuned in to this Council though. Emeryville Tattler editor Brian Donahue, who is part of the council majority’s inner political circle, screened their sentiment the day prior in his article “Public Interest Not on Display in Market Place Development Agreement“. Donahue relished the developer defeat afterward and demonstrated the satisfaction of someone who clearly has his fingerprints all over council. The nepotism between this Council majority, R.U.L.E. and The Tattler has been apparent to most since they seized control of council last election.

Early indication that the developers had a long night ahead of them came when the Council Majority of Asher, Donahue & Martinez voted against the standard reading of the agreement “by title only” [1:09:28]. This required City Attorney Michael Guinea to read the entire eight-page ordinance verbatim which took him nearly twenty minutes (he did it all without a sip of water!). It was basically a dramatic play by Council indicating displeasure with the project. Mayor Atkin was apologetic of the council majority’s decision to force this and admonished her colleagues. “Thank you very much for reading the bible” quipped longtime resident and council meeting regular Andre Carpieux.

This was not a contentious project by most political observers I spoke with. From all indications, City Center Realty Partners was responsive, took their time and engaged the community. They were diligent in soliciting feedback through public meetings and with staff and the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission ultimately approved this unanimously and there was a sense of collaboration, responsiveness and compromise from those I spoke with. This project didn’t appear to be an example of a developer just doing the minimum to get under the guidelines and have their way with the city.

The June 25th 5-0 Planning Commission approval can be viewed above courtesy of the EPOA

The rejection also seemed to stem around the idea that developments of this nature need to be a knock-down, drag-out battle between the city and developers. An approval of the project on its first pass would be a concession of the developer having “won” and the city had not put its best effort in negotiating the best deal for itself. They bought into the meme that The Tattler has spread that if you approve something on the first pass (despite an extensive vetting process), you didn’t ask for enough.

Council Majority Dynamic at Play

The outcome was revealing of the dynamic that exists within the current Council majority. Asher states her opinions & intentions, Martinez “echo’s” whatever Asher says and Donahue generally goes along with them. If Donahue steps up to challenge anything that defies Asher’s will, she quickly shuts him down (we saw this during the minimum wage discussion when Donahue tried to argue for a youth exemption). This was apparent to all observers on Tuesday when Donahue acknowledged the benefits of the street realignment and indicated a favorable vote [2:14:22]. “Well then your votes are kind of inconsistent, right?” scolded Asher. “To do this would undermine your earlier vote.” Asher then proceeded on a nearly five-minute reminder to Donahue of the R.U.L.E. political playbook that he was apparently contradicting. “You’ve made your point” interrupted Atkin to keep the meeting moving.

While the no vote and title reading fiasco among these political allies seemed orchestrated, it is unlikely as this would be a clear violation of the Brown Act. The Brown Act expressly forbids Councilmembers from discussing policy issues outside of public meetings. Doing so jeopardizes public trust and generating concerns about backroom deals at City Hall.

emeryville-city-council-jac-asher
Councilmember Jac Asher again exerted her will over Donahue & Martinez

If you build it, they will come … hopefully

Ultimately the project did not contain enough affordable, family-friendly units to appease the progressive majority of Asher, Martinez and Donahue. Council appears to be looking for a silver bullet for fixing decades courting young professionals, singles and retirees and trying to morph Emeryville into a family mecca overnight. Much of this stems from the dire situation with our schools and waning enrollment. You can build the most affordable, family-friendly complex imaginable but if the schools are underperforming like Emeryville’s are, no families will want to stay and we’ll continue to see the exodus of families of school-age children. There’s definitely a “Chicken or the egg” argument that family friendly developments will bring in families.

Stefan defended the merits of the projects family-friendliness. “What could be more family-friendly than a project that will double the park space and create safer, more pedestrian-friendly streets, with healthy food options including an organic grocery store? We offered voluntarily to significantly increase the number of two and three bedrooms and, most importantly, our units did meet the City’s Family Friendly Guidelines. We made sure they did through many hours of meetings with the City’s very own family friendly design guideline guru. The City’s own attorneys have been clear throughout that these family friendly guidelines do not legally apply to the Public Market, but we have been working cooperatively and voluntarily because we understood it was important to the Council. We felt we gave them everything they asked for, but they have not responded in good faith, which is very frustrating and disappointing.”


The City’s Family Friendly Design Guidelines

Stall tactic, negotiation … or deal killer?

The leverage that the City holds with the developer is the realignment of Shellmound that would enable the development of Parcel B (An even trade with the city in land). This would enable double-facing retail which creates a cozier, more appealing shopping environment and mimics a downtown feel. It should be noted that the street alignment comes at an significant cost to the developer and there’s a benefit to the city of improved circulation according to City Attorney Michael Guinea. The council is taking a gamble that the developer will come groveling back with more affordable units to get their street realignment and enable Parcel B. If CCRP decides to “call the city’s bluff” and opts to go with its existing entitlements, the city will in fact get zero affordable units and the council majority will have egg on their collective faces.

“We have voluntarily offered more and more” noted Stefan when asked about the future of the project. “At this point, the project cannot afford to give any more. The City is jeopardizing a thoughtfully designed, exhaustively vetted project that would provide market rate and affordable units in Emeryville. We had offered to provide 33 affordable units, double the number the City would otherwise get through the payment of fees under the municipal code. Now that the City has thrown the project into question, the City may not get any – affordable or market – units at all.”

epm-fdp-aerial-view

What’s next for the Project

Was it a perfect project? Absolutely not (You know where I stand on all rental projects) but by Emeryville standards it was as about as good as we’ve seen. Was it a car-less, ultra-affordable, coop utopia that seems to be the council majorities vision for the City? Definitely not. The Developer still has entitlements to develop Parcel’s C (Grocery Store & rental town-homes), D (Market Rate Apartments) and Parcel A (Mixed-used) was approved at last night’s Planning Commission meeting (This decisions can still be challenged by Council based on adherence to the General Plan and Public Welfare).

“The Mayor called this project ‘the pinnacle of smart infill.’ ” noted Stefan on the future of the Plan. “It would create a downtown, a mixed-use environment with heart and soul for Emeryville. This would bring in an organic grocery store; generate tax revenue; we would be thoughtfully expanding the Park and creating a play area for kids and a dog park. The project would contribute to impact fees and create jobs. This project would proceed with the highest quality, environmentally sustainable design guidelines. All that may be lost.”

Stefan seemed rightfully dejected but alluded to a possible legal challenge to the city. “The Bay Area is in the midst of a housing crisis. The City of Emeryville has now taken actions that are clearly contrary to its approved Housing Element and RHNA (Regional Housing Need Allocation) obligations under the State Housing Law”.

A Message sent to developers?

This Council majority has already sent the message to business that they are not welcome unless they want to play by their rules and appear to be sending the same message to developers. Council is banking on the idea that our location is enough of a draw to have the upper hand with businesses & developers. This may also been a message to the Sherwin-Williams project developers that they should be ready for a battle and any attempts to “low ball” the city would not go over in their favor. Just adhering to the guidelines was not necessarily a guarantee that their projects would gain approval for them (Will Restoration Hardware Outlet pull out of their development proposal because fear Council will reject their proposal because their furniture isn’t affordable or “Family-Friendly” enough? 😉

Insiders have indicated that the Council Majority’s hearts may be in the right place … but they’re lacking the savviness and outreach needed to get what they want. The sticking points for the Council majority continues to be the affordability and family-friendliness of developments and they have issued a statement that they will reject all projects that don’t meet this criteria. In the meantime, nothing will get built in Emeryville and there will unfortunately be no relief for the current housing crisis.

[poll id=”39″]

The Public Market’s complete phased plan can be seen online:

The public hearing for the project can be viewed above beginning at 30:00

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

46 Responses to Council Majority draws line in the sand with Developers with Public Market Development Agreement Rejection

  1. cheshireisaacs says:

    It’s almost like you didn’t even try to find out more from the other side. No, sorry, I misspoke: it’s completely like that.

    • E'ville Eye says:

      The council thinks it has leverage to negotiate more affordable/family friendly units. What else did I miss?

      • cheshireisaacs says:

        You didn’t try at all to find out what the council’s motivation was. You spoke at length with the other side but apparently made no effort to go deeper with the councilmembers with whom you strongly disagree. There’s obviously some more nuance to their decision that you’re not reporting. Your about page here says, “We strive to report facts and be as objective as possible,” but this article provided zero evidence of that. You also refer to this site as being journalistic, but that was lacking here too. Your bias is so obvious that I can’t trust that you’re giving both sides a fair shake.

    • Rob says:

      I think this is a fair criticism and I’ll take this into consideration. I watched the video and interpreted what I saw. To me, the story is the fact that all their advisors recommended a yes vote and despite this, this majority went with their alliances & ideologies and I’ve witnessed this several times. It’s hard to not have a pro-resident bias when you live here and this appeared to be a benefit to residents.

      • Anonymous says:

        Rob, what I think makes the Eville Eye the preferred choice is that, first, you don’t make up stuff and report it as news, and second, you allow and encourage both sides to offer opinions by not censoring comments. I guess they go hand-in-hand. You can’t allow unfiltered comments if you’re making up the news to suit your agenda. As long as you keep allowing everyone to speak their mind, the community will balance out whatever bias you have. Then again, when 90% of the community keeps voting that they oppose what’s going on, I think it’s safe to say that your ‘bias’ is less of a bias than common sense. So keep on truckin’. If you happen to find out what they were trying to accomplish by forcing the ordinance to be read in full, I’d love to hear their side on that one. If God spoke to them as has been suggested, then you’ve got a scoop.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Emeryville City Council rules require that, when voting on any motion, Davis gets one vote, Atkin gets one vote, Asher gets three votes, and Martinez and Donahue get a lecture.

    Next election, I’m voting for Mr. Carpieux.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Are we supposed to believe that Martinez, Asher, and Donahue all just decided independently to refuse the reading of the ordinance by title? Or, is it safe to say that this little show of force was planned before the meeting?

    If it was the latter, then the new council majority has completely abandoned even the pretense of abiding by the Brown Act.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Jac Asher exerted her will over two of her colleagues? Wow. That’s just what Nora Davis did for 27 years. Only difference? Nora Davis did it to benefit developers, Jac Asher is doing it to benefit us. Got a problem with this Arias?

    • Rob says:

      I’m trying to discern how this benefits us (By “us” I’m assuming you mean residents, not some social justice vendetta?). Sorry, I wasn’t part of that “Emeryville Boom” war and you know what they say about “an eye for an eye” …

    • Anonymous says:

      The difference is that they appear to be violating state law by discussing and deciding on policy outside of council meetings.

      Breaking the law is a BIG difference.

      The vote to require the full reading of the ordinance was clearly vindictive, childish, and idiotic. It was also pretty apparent that it was planned in advance.

      Does anyone believe this is being done for residents? The polls here suggest exactly the opposite. Instead, this is starting to look like one small, aggressive, angry group trying to exact revenge on the community for not doing exactly what they want. And the message is consistently “everyone else should be doing more for me”.

      Emeryville is about small businesses, residents, families, singles, developers, seniors, kids, and workers all trying to get along to create a great community. It’s not one of these fighting against the others.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Breaking the law”? Give me a break. We’ll see how much of the law was broken after the DA makes his charges (not). We’ll wait for that day and then you’ll be vindicated. This stupid story, one of many from this blog, says the councilors didn’t meet in a closed room because Jac Asher had to rein in the other two in front of everybody at the meeting. Then it goes on to imply they DID meet privately. If they had met, wouldn’t they have worked their disagreements in private?

        I don’t read the eville eye but I’ve got to hand it to you Rob, your readers are the most paranoid, stupid and conservative in town. Tell us how this project the council rightly shot down was going to be so beneficial to the residents.

      • Rob says:

        We were talking about the orchestrated vote against reading by title only. Sorry if this wasn’t clear. I think we went over the public benefits pretty clearly (As did 3 members of council). A larger, better park, Affordable units (that they didn’t have to concede), Grocery store, etc.. Again, not saying this was a perfect project. Unfortunately we saw the lack of business-savvy by the Council during the MWO and we’re seeing it again with this.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “Lack of business-savvy”? What the hell are you talking about? This project gives no money to Emeryville. It’s income neutral. And then it goes on and takes away from Emeryville park land per resident and affordability per resident. The town actually gets worse. We don’t benefit but we lose in terms of an all rental project that will add thousands of auto trips per day.
    We all know you hate the council majority and the Tattler but you really ought to listen because this has been made this clear and you lack a basic understanding of how development works. Just because the tattler and Jac Asher are for something doesn’t mean you have to automatically be against it. Reactionary- is that really the face you want to show your readers?

    • Anonymous says:

      It seems self-evident that Donahue, Martinez, and Asher decided in advance to buck protocol. Either that or God delivered a simultaneous epiphany to The Chosen Three that reading the Holy Marketplace Ordinance was His will.

      Our choices for this “miracle” are impossible coincidence, divine intervention, or Brown Act violation.

      My guess why Asher had to tell Donahue how to vote in public: they didn’t expect to have to vote on the movement of the road after the market project was rejected.

      Breaking the law is less of an issue than flaunting that you don’t care who knows it.

      • Anonymous says:

        “The Chosen Three”- Yes, chosen by the people of Emeryville! No god, just democracy.

    • Rob says:

      It sounds like you’re parroting what the Tattler wrote and if you believe everything you read from him, we have bigger issues here. I want affordable, for-sale housing as much as anyone but we’re lacking the leverage and legal enforcement to do this with this project unfortunately. If this tactic works, I’ll gladly give Asher full credit.
      I honestly think they’re sending a message to the Sherwin developers at the expense of the Public Market developers.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rob, don’t be too impressed if the developer offers up some small give. If they do, they will likely also quietly take something away.

      This will come at the cost of a loss of good faith, and that’s a huge cost. If developers can’t trust that their work with the Planning Commission and City staff will be respected, then, in the future, developers will hold back on their gives until they reach City Council defeating the whole process.

      The moment one party realizes the other is negotiating in bad faith, no further reasonable negotiation can take place. You cannot negotiate, reach agreement, then be asked to give again without something in return. In negotiating circles, when this is done with each level of authority asking for one more concession, it’s a bad faith negotiating tactic called “Defense in Depth”.

      The classic response to this type of negotiation is to walk away, sue, or swap one item for another to allow the person acting in bad faith to save face. For these developers, I would add “stall until the next election”. Things have to get better in 2016 because they can’t get any worse.

      The developer should take heart that there aren’t many people in Eville who are happy with the current City Council.

      • Anonymous says:

        Rob, don’t be impressed if the developer offers up some small give. We need you to always be unhappy with the pro-resident, anti-business council majority. We want you to always be aware Emeryville isn’t good enough to ask for anything from developers. We have to let them make the decisions for our town, you know that. The democratically elected city council should not be involved in this, only the unelected planning commission and the staff. People should not really be allowed to vote for change. Things have to get better in 2016 because they can’t get any worse…in Washington, the republicans will take back he White House and in Emeryville, developers will take back the city council.

      • Rob says:

        Anonymous 9:21 am,
        You keep going back to the “Democratically Elected” justification that this somehow gives the council majority carte blanche to violate the Brown Act, ignore their trusted advisors and constituency (Who clearly support this project according the poll numbers) and we somehow have no right to challenge this behavior? By this rationale, I guess we can’t complain about the projects that happened under the previous regime since they too were in fact “Democratically Elected”?

        Jac Asher can’t be trusted and she proved this when she said “if there’s some way to get a regional minimum wage, I’d be very supportive” and then promptly went against her word by sticking it to small business. How can we trust anything she does or says now? I know developers won’t trust her anymore after this so what incentive is there for them to offer their best deal up front in good faith when they know she’ll orchestrate a rejection so it looks like she’s playing hardball with them?

      • Anonymous says:

        Let’s be honest. Emeryville is now about the whims of three people. Our community is now very fragile. If you’re a resident, the price of food can jump 20% overnight. If you’re a small business, you can be given 2 weeks notice that you have to move out of the city. If you’re an employee, your employer may be forced to lay you off next week. If you’re a developer, you can’t just give the city what it asks for, but you must also cater to its ideological dreams. The city council doesn’t answer to anyone. They wanted to make this point abundantly clear, and with the help of a meaningless procedural vote, they did.

    • Anonymous says:

      – The Planning Commission that unanimously approved the project was appointed by City Council.
      – The City Staff that negotiated the deal was hired by City Council.
      – The family friendly housing guidelines that the developer exceeded were approved by City Council.

      The only part of this process that is undemocratic was when Asher, Martinez, and Donahue, under any believable scenario, met illegally and decided how to vote as we imagine they have been doing on every significant issue since they’ve been in office.

      The problem is not that they are trying to make changes. It’s that you need to do things legally, professionally, and with some respect for those who have to do the actual work of implementing those changes.

      You don’t tell businesses ‘hey, in two weeks you need a completely new business model that supports a 60% increase in labor costs or you’re out of luck’. You don’t tell your staff ‘hey, do something that you feel requires 5 months of work in 30 days because we said so’. You don’t ask a developer to negotiate under one set of assumptions for years only to, after he does everything he’s asked, say ‘No, we’ve changed our minds, we want you to do something completely different.’

      The new regime does not have a clue how to run an organization, how to build consensus, or how to achieve compromise. They have already alienated the business community, their own staff, most of the residents, now the developers, and with a few more pointless 20 minute forced readings of ordinances, anyone who attends a city council meeting.

      This is not about change. It’s about vindictive arrogance.

      The public flaunting of their violation of the Brown Act was really the last straw.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not fair! The city council isn’t working professionally or with enough respect! That’s why we voted for them after all, right? Not because we wanted a change but because we want them to be professional and respectful of the staff and the developers.

        Democracy:
        The developers = not elected
        The staff = not elected but three degrees from the electorate
        The planning commission = not elected but two degrees from the electorate
        The city council = directly elected by us.

        Mr Anonymous turns this upside down.
        It’s not fair! The city council shouldn’t have so much power!

        And re your “last straw”…so what’s going to happen as a result? Is this a last straw with no consequences?

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, we want them to be professional, respectful, and law abiding. Odd as it seems, change is possible in the presence of all three. Democracy doesn’t stop between elections. If three council members are meeting separately and deciding how to vote (and boy would it be hard to conclude otherwise at this point), then democracy ain’t happenin’ in Eville.

      • Anonymous says:

        Professional and respectful sure. But guess what? The people of Emeryville don’t think professional and respectful trump the possibility for change. You should try to get out of your own mind sometime. It must be kind of scary in there. It seems like you’ve got a problem with the people being able to make the city they want.
        And regarding illegal activity; go ahead and file your complaints with the city attorney of the district attorney. If you’re right, you’ll get your satisfaction. If you’re wrong you won’t. Now give us a reason why you can’t/won’t file charges while attempting to explain the rationality of that.

      • Anonymous says:

        Maybe, as you suggest, it’s time someone called the District Attorney. Maybe someone already has. But, in the meantime, we can discuss it here and at least make the city council aware that we are paying attention.

  6. Rob says:

    So “taxing” residents 20% who dine at our local establishment without asking us (or disclosing this to us) is “pro-resident” and democratic (The MWO)? Having a bunch of vacant store-fronts and empty plots is “pro-resident”? Just sounds like you’re content with Emeryville the way it is and enacting NIMBY policies is the best way to keep it that way. I don’t consider being pro-resident AND Pro-business totally incompatible. That’s a tired, idealogical view. Don’t be afraid of change man!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Interesting how you think; if we put developers in charge we end up being pro-resident. There’s no light between resident’s interests and developer’s. It’s kinda like the whole trickle down thing; tax cuts for the wealthy equals good jobs for everyone else, right?

    And regarding empty storefronts; that’s what you get when you put developers in charge, dude. Many developers have no interest in operating retail alongside their residential buildings. The retail is only there because the City forces that. The developers don’t care about it so it sits empty. Rented out retail spaces, especially small scale locally serving retail, is what you get when the city council negotiates with the developer. So it’s the opposite of what you say.

    Empty plots ARE pro-resident…at least more so than a pro-developer development. At least an empty lot doesn’t hurt us.

    • Rob says:

      Who’s putting them in charge? Seems like you’re in the “Developers are inherently evil” camp. I’d prefer if we were collaborative and not combative. To reject this project after getting consensus from staff and the Planning Commission not only undermines them, it’s basically a vote of no confidence of their insight and objective knowledge. The Council majority is basically saying “Thank you dedicated specialists for all your hard work, but we (an artist, TV producer and adjunct women’s studies lecturer) know better!” The council majority is high if they think they can raise the Minimum Wage to the highest level in the land and still think they can attract locally serving retail without incentives and subsidies.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not fair! The city council was elected by the people! When the people voted for this council who said they represent change, they really were voting to say yes to the developers, the staff and the planning commission just like it’s always been. That’s in effect what you’re saying.

        But guess what Rob? The people of Emeryville considered all the candidates and then they voted for an artist, a TV producer and an adjunct woman’s studies lecturer. And there’s nothing you can do about it. We voted for these councilors because those are the people we want representing us. It’s called democracy. You’re going to have to learn to live with it even if you think it isn’t fair.

      • Anonymous says:

        Out of curiosity, what’s your explanation for why they all, out of the blue, voted “no” to reading by title only? Are you suggesting this was just a really amazing coincidence? Or do you think it’s legal for them to meet and plan their votes like that? Or are you acknowledging it was probably illegal, but just don’t care?

      • Anonymous says:

        How stupid people attempt to win arguments: give your opponent choices that prove your point only. The most obvious reason is not presented as a choice thereby leaving your opponent with only the incriminating choices you’ve presented and he is then destroyed (in your mind). Since you’re stupid, you can’t imagine this is anything but what passes for devastating argument in grade school. I’m going to let you spin.

      • Anonymous says:

        In grade school, the most devastating argument was to call someone “stupid”.

        I get the impression that you don’t know what this “most obvious” reason is either. When three people simultaneously do something completely improbable that is never done (force an 8 page ordinance to be read in its entirety rather than having only its title read), then I believe the “most obvious” reason is that they decided together to do this in advance.

        I’m game. Give us a credible reason this occurred. If you can’t (or pretend that you can, but don’t), then I think we’ve arrived at the answer.

      • Anonymous says:

        I knew you would require this! Everybody but Mr Anonymous can move on, I’m going to have to get very rudimentary here, sorry.
        The most obvious reason three city council members would do something unexpected: One thought to do the action in question which caused the other two to realize the utility in that and vote for that thing.
        But this is not possible and you know best, right? So again, we’ll wait for the district attorney to make his findings, punishment is meted out and then we’ll acknowledge you were correct, just like Rob Arias said he is going to give Jac Asher credit if a better deal is brought by the developer (see above). We’re expecting Rob to delete his comment.
        So there you go Mr Anonymous, I gave you the most obvious answer but you can’t see the obvious, only the nefarious…so we’ll see if you’re right. Again, you should try to get out of your own mind and see the world as it is.
        Now we have to see if you’re capable of admitting you were wrong when the district attorney fails to take up the case. Something tells me you’re just a simple zealot and you won’t be capable.

      • Rob says:

        I’ve never deleted a comment other than the one time the editor from The Tattler wrote some bogus comment purporting to be from IHOP. Also, I don’t censor comments like the Tattler does (but reserve this right should things get malicious/hostile). Keep the dialogue civil E’villains!

      • Anonymous says:

        Nice try, but it was a voice vote, so everyone voted simultaneously. Atkin asks all in favor to say “Ay”, only Atkin and Davis say “Ay”, and then Nora Davis asks for a voice vote.

        Those following along can judge for themselves. It’s at 1:10 in the first video on this page.

        And if all three, without any discussion or rationale, reached the same conclusion that reading the entire text of an ordinance out loud for the next 20 minutes was a good idea and an intelligent use of everyone’s time…well, then we have a bigger problem.

      • Anonymous says:

        Really? So the part where they voted didn’t happen? Wow- OK! It’s incontrovertible! Now it just has to be cleaned up by the district attorney. It’ll be slam dunk because you’ve proved it. So when can we expect this to be resolved? When are the arrests of the council or any punitive action at all from the county coming? Please keep us informed. I’ll be waiting with bated breath.

  8. Adam says:

    Learn the lessons from the city of Bell and the shenanigans they got up to. That’s where I see this RULE contingent headed. Assume power, manipulate the levers of city government for their own agenda, use strong arm tactics to stifle dissent, etc.
    But they did end up in jail. So maybe there is hope afterall.

    • Anonymous says:

      After the Emeryville city council goes to jail, we’ll have a parade for Adam since he was so prescient. But we’re going to wait for them to go to jail before we start the parade just in case Adam is really just a hack with a computer keyboard.

      • Adam says:

        Dear “anonymous hack with a keyboard but without a name” –

        For my parade, I want a brass band, elephants (humanely treated), free cotton candy for the children, face painting booths, carnival games, earth- safe confetti, and a proclamation from the Attorney General (or special prosecutor – whoever is most apropos).
        And one more thing – a 5150 hold on Brian Donahue.

      • Anonymous says:

        OK, start the arrests and we’re ready to begin the parade. You first.

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