Letter to the Editor: New City Manager Must Live in Town; Pay More Than Lip Service to Needs of Residents

February 4, 2013

To the Editor (Re: Help the City Council Hire the Best City Manager, Jan. 30, 2013):

For very understandable (and even laudable) reasons, the path Emeryville is on, has gotten out of balance.

In the 1980′s and 1990′s, the town’s obvious and desperate need to renew itself (including the need for revenue to do this job), led to a decidedly pro-business stance which attracted new businesses, new revenues, a tax base, and many physical improvements.

However, being “pro-business” has turned into a religion in Emeryville town management. All while the city, ironically, has (thanks to its tax-based financed physical improvements), become one of the most desirable, close-to-San Francisco places in which to life and/or work. Yet our present City Council majority (abetted by a similarly “religiously pro-business staff), has not noticed this huge shift: Namely, what we have achieved in the town NOW MAKES IT NOT ONLY UNNECESSARY, but an anachronistic “give away” to continue over-incentivizing developers and businesses to participate here. If we continue mentally living in the 1990′s, do not change this “religion” or bias, and keep on over-incentivizing business — developers and business will of course KEEP TAKING (and expecting) the over-generosity that is offered.

SO, my first criteria for a new City Manager: Someone with new vision for a prosperous town who ALSO PAYS MORE THAN LIP SERVICE to citizen lifestyle and cultural needs. Money is NOT the only “religion” that should drive Emeryville. How about a new City Manager with more balanced values?

Secondly and lastly — it MUST be a non-negotiable requirement of the new manager who LIVES IN EMERYVILLE. Being physically part of the community will help the new manager “remember” that quality of life is as important as apparent physical prosperity.

I would be very pleased to discuss this further in person.

Berkeley F. Fuller
Park Avenue
Emeryville, CA

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