A Fresh Start: The Wesley Replacement Search

September 9, 2008

by Brian Donahue

Now that Stephan Wesley, Emeryville’s disgraced School Superintendent, has resigned after news broke of his faked resume, the critical question is how will a replacement supervisor be named?

Despite attempts by Mayor Ken Bukowski to downplay the severity of Wesley’s offense, referring to a possible ‘rallying around’ Wesley by the School Board and City Council, the Board appropriately accepted Wesley’s resignation. Here’s the coverage in the SF Chronicle:

It is hoped that the same flawed process often used by the City of Emeryville when selecting city staff and school officials will be abandoned for a more transparent and professional process. Historically, cronyism has been the driving force in the political culture here and is often how City officials move up the ranks. Two years ago, $20,000 was spent by the City Council on a nationwide search for someone to replace outgoing City Manager John Flores. But it appeared that the Council planned to select Flores’ number two man, Pat O’Keeffe (who was serving as interim City Manager), all along. The nationwide search was just a show, at taxpayer expense.

This pattern repeated itself when Maurice Kaufman, a Public Works Department employee, was appointed Director of the Department after another nationwide search at taxpayer expense. It should be noted that Wesley served as Assistant Superintendent before being promoted to the top position — after a nationwide search that cost the City $7,000.

Emeryville residents deserve a REAL search for qualified administrators at the school district and at City Hall, not the sham searches we too often get. A higher level of transparency and professionalism and the elimination of cronyism is required here.

Brian Donahue has lived and worked in Emeryville for 28 years. He and his wife, and young daughter, live in the Emeryville Artists’ Cooperative. Brian has been a longtime activist, working for transparent government and better of quality of life for the residents; he’s not very popular with the City Council majority.

One Response to A Fresh Start: The Wesley Replacement Search

  1. Anonymous on October 5, 2008 at 3:38 am

    The search cost the School District $7,000, not the City.

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