Letter to the Editor: City Council Should Address High Cost, Job Performance of City Manager & City Attorney

May 24, 2011

Letter to the Editor re: Should Big Business Pay Their Fair Share? (May 16, 2011)

Once again, it is broken record time. While it’s true that great sums of money are involved when we talk about big business paying more of its share in taxes commensurate with profits  – and that’s a good idea – I do not want to lose sight of another important issue involving money: the City Council continues to ignore the excessive salary and benefits given to City Manager Patrick O’Keeffe and City Attorney Mike Biddle, and the question of whether their positions should be open to other candidates.

The fact is that the city’s budget deficit is the responsibility, ultimately, of O’Keeffe, and yet he steadfastly refuses to take on that responsibility. His poor performance is continually ignored by the City Council.

Neither Biddle’s nor O’Keeffe’s performance evaluations have been made public. Why hasn’t the Council allowed both positions to be posted so other, perhaps more qualified, candidates can apply? Has there been an analysis done of the salary, benefits, and cost reductions possible if the city allowed open competition for both positions?
These glaring budget-related issues continue to go unaddressed and citizens continue to pay for them. They have resulted in service and staff cuts that could possibly have been avoided had they been addressed.

I say again that given the City Council’s refusal to act on these possible budget-saving options, I offer to help candidates run for the three contested Council seats (Mayor Nora Davis and Council Members Ruth Atkin and Ken Bukowski). These candidates need campaign help to get their message out about the need to address the issues I describe.

Hopefully, there will be many citizens who will volunteer similarly, and perhaps those who comment in The Secret News and Emeryville Tattler incessantly, but anonymously, will decide to participate as well.

Walt Watman

Walt Watman has lived in Emeryville for 8 years. He believes citizens should speak openly about patent failures by the City Council to do the right thing, while recognizing the Council for their constructive actions.

(Photo of Emeryville City Manager Patrick O’Keeffe)

One Response to Letter to the Editor: City Council Should Address High Cost, Job Performance of City Manager & City Attorney

  1. Michael Webber on August 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Mr. Whitman, I would like to meet with you and hear what you have to say. I am running for City Council in November. I have 25 signatures on my nominating petition and would love to have yours. Please contact the Secret News for my email address, which I authorize them to release to you.

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