To the Editor: Emeryville Can be Creative, Smart in Using Staff, Saving Money. And Don’t Forget the Arts.

May 23, 2012
By

Re: “The City’s Financial Future” (May 8, 2012)

(City Council Special Meeting to Discuss the Budget 5:30 pm Today, Emeryville City Hall)

When I look at the staff cuts, I only see people in the front lines getting cut. Why does the city need a Director of Redevelopment at $180,000 a year when there won’t be a redevelopment agency?  A lot of smaller, innovative cities have combined economic development and planning. On Monday night, at an Emeryville budget meeting, the City Manager said he does his own clerical work. Get him some help and free him up to do some of his old duties as head of Economic Development. And he won’t be as busy because he won’t have the redevelopment funds to cut deals with developers.

I heard on Monday night that the two people who the Director of Economic Development wants to cut is Nancy Templeton, the person handling everything from graffiti abatement to community gardens and more, and another person who only makes $35,000 and whose job it is to run the public art program part-time. She has a background in the arts, and according to what I heard on Monday night, has taken the arts to a new level. The arts and a clean city will be important to economic development after redevelopment. How about eliminating the director position, and moving the few remaining economic development staff to other departments — Nancy Templeton to Public Works, the grants person to Public Works, the two housing and real estate staffers to Planning, and the arts person to the City Manager’s office?

It seems we ought to get the word out more for the arts. The city has a public information person and it seems like some of those duties could be given to the arts person, who spoke at Monday’s meeting and seems smart. That job was $80,000. So keep Helen Bean (Director of Economic Development) for a few months to wrap up the paperwork for end of redevelopment and create a new city that runs more lean, with more interdepartmental collaboration. That is what the private sector firms who pride themselves on creativity and innovation would do. I have to be out of town tonight, but I hope someone will say this to the City Council. OUR FUTURE IS AT STAKE. Thanks.

Joe (last name withheld)

(If viewing this story from the homepage: To make a comment, or to read the comments of others, click on the headline to go to the story page, then scroll down to the bottom.)


Tags: , , , , ,

6 Responses to To the Editor: Emeryville Can be Creative, Smart in Using Staff, Saving Money. And Don’t Forget the Arts.

  1. FanFan on May 23, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with this article… If Joe is a resident of this lovely City, i would encourage him to come forward and openly make this suggestion in front of the council because it simply makes sense to lower the salaries managers with less to do now that the RDA no longer exist.

    • Joe on June 13, 2012 at 4:35 am

      Come on out and speak your mind next Tuesday — June 19th at 5:30 pm at City Hall. LET THEM HEAR FROM US LOUD AND CLEAR: CUT THE TOP HEAVY MANAGEMENT STAFF AND KEEP THE WORKERS. WE DON’T NEED ANY MORE BOSSES WE NEED PEOPLE WHO WILL MAKE THIS CITY SAFE, CLEAN AND CULTURALLY ALIVE.

  2. Joe on May 28, 2012 at 4:24 am

    I am a resident, and think that this City Manager just doesn’t get it. I spent a lifetime running large companies, and you don’t save your expensive managers over the people who do the work. With all the problems that are facing Emeryville, if this City Manager is telling it like it really is, then just make some across the board changes — let the non essential (not police or fire or teachers) who want to work four days a week elect to come forward. Let them keep their benefits, but you could save a bundle and then everyone takes some of the burden. I am guessing that these older middle aged managers will fight that one all the way to the bank. And you know why? Their pensions are based on their last three years of service so they want to fatten their salaries so when they retire in two or three years, they can live the life of Riley. I am telling you — what I saw this week with this City Manager and the City Council who I thought was getting it on Monday, who just rolled over and let him walk away with the City’s future and piggy bank. In a few years, there will be mess when all the good people have gone. You think that the staff who are left aren’t going to be looking for other jobs? Ha, after the way those people were treated and all you heard from people was how great they were for the city, and the manager just pushed the City Council into doing what he wanted. It is just to protect his pension. Sure doesn’t seem like they have a real plan for city services delivery.

  3. shirley enomoto on May 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    joe makes some cogent and practical recommendations. i nominate him to join the finance committee, if only his, or other finance committee members’ suggestions were heeded.

  4. Joe on May 30, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Thanks, Shirley. I can’t make the meetings but I have been watching it. I am new here and am impressed by all the people who care for the town and came out for the meetings. But they weren’t heard so if something doesna’t change I think those politicians are going to face opposition next election. Seems as if the older lady aMs. Davis is a monarch and that everyone but Ms. Atkins does as she tells them. They need someone withsome management experience to step in. This budget crisis calls for some tough love for the City top staff and instead they are taking some steps to remove services like the code compliance person. She can do a lot of work that a police officer can’t do without warrants so those folks are instrumental during hard times for keeping blight, graffiti and nuisances down. We will notice her layoff within weeks maybe days. And that Beancharacter – if there is no redevelopment, why keep her on? Her economic development plan sounds like thea suburban city from twenty years ago. Don’t see her as a figurehead to attract cutting egde companies to town. I looked up her salary and it is over $200,000 I am guessing with benefits. There is another chance for people to make this right on June 6. The solution is fire Bean and offer all staff furloghs or close City Hall a few extra days. Make the managers work for their hefty salaries that citizens give them!

  5. Joe on June 13, 2012 at 4:36 am

    COME ON OUT AND CALL FOR BEAN TO BE FIRED AND KEEP THE TWO LINE STAFF. THAT IS THE UNION POSITION AND THE PEOPLE’S, TOO.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Upcoming Events

  • No events.

Event Calendar

October 2020
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031 

RSS The Emeryville Tattler

  • 27 Calls to Police, One Vehicle Ticketed: Why Our Bike Lanes Are Blocked October 20, 2020
    Blocked Bike Lanes:Emeryville Doesn't Care About Bike SafetyA Combination of Lax Enforcement and Low Fines is a Recipe For Injured/Killed BicyclistsNews AnalysisAmid a growing prevalence of bike lane blockages and in response to a Tattler public records request, the Emeryville Police Department recently released citizen complaint driven data on vehicles […]

Archives