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Sunday, April 15, 2018

School Board Calls Meeting About How to Select New Superintendent

The Emery School Board is announcing they will allow the public to weigh in on if the public should be allowed to help select the next School Superintendent by actually meeting the prospective candidates, one of whom will replace the vacating John Rubio.  The Board gave the minimum Brown Act dictated notice for the meeting to take place tomorrow evening.
If it is decided to not allow an advisory committee help in the search, then the current School Board will decide themselves.
This School Board has stood by Mr Rubio and renegotiated his contract and it could be fairly surmised anyone selected by them could have similar qualities as Mr Rubio.  Superintendent Rubio has been at the helm for four years during which time the District has faced a dramatic downturn in teacher retention and academic ranking and teachers en masse testified as to Mr Rubio's incompetence during his rancorous tenure.

If an advisory committee is not allowed, the community will not be permitted to meet the prospective candidates for Superintendent.

Special School Board Meeting:
Monday April 16th
6:00 pm
K-8 School Multi-Purpose Room
1125 53rd Street

Friday, April 13, 2018

The Tattler Presents the Document The City Doesn't Want You To See

To the Emeryville City Council:
Here's the Document Your Staff 
is Withholding From You

In a surprising turn of events, the Emeryville Planning Department has opted to withhold a critical document from the City Council as the Council decides whether to cut down publicly owned street trees on Horton Street, a move that is counter to the Department’s charge to provide pertinent and accurate information to the Council so they can make informed decisions. The document entitled Trees at Old Sherwin Williams Site, was written by SBCA Tree Consulting, the City’s official arborist and commissioned by the Council to determine the health of the street trees bordering the future Sherwin Williams apartment housing development. However the Planning Department feels the Council should not be able to see their own document as they decide the fate of the people’s street trees and so they have left it out of the packet slated for Tuesday’s Council meeting.  
Realizing the importance of transparency and objectivity in City Council decisions, especially those that impact the public’s assets so directly, the Tattler hereby presents to the City Council the document the Planning Department doesn’t want them to see.  

This valuable document will inform the Council the majority of the trees in question are found to be healthy, the opposite of what the staff told the Planning Commission at their March 15th meeting as reported by the Tattler on April 6th.

Even though they didn’t provide the document at the time, the Planning Department staff told the Planning Commission at the March 15th meeting, the health of the trees at the Sherwin site should be considered as that body weighed in on cutting them.  Another consideration brought to the Commission by the staff was whether there is room under the street to underground overhead utility wires or if they should put the wires under the sidewalk making saving the trees more expensive.  Regardless, the staff told the Planning Commissioners the health of the trees is not good and a majority of Commissioners used the poor health as the primary reason for their vote to cut the trees.  The staff never did inform the Planning Commission the arborist had found the trees to be healthy.  

The Planning Department staff has prepared their report for the City Council Tuesday advising them to cut all the trees but they once again have left out the document that proves the trees are healthy.  The newest arborist report the staff did include in the Council’s packet doesn’t report on the health of the trees but rather just gives their monetary value; money the developer normally would have to reimburse to the City as determined by Emeryville's Urban Forestry Ordinance but which the staff incidentally is recommending waiving.

Sherwin Street Trees Also
Informatively,  the Planning staff also recommended to allow the developer to cut down two existing trees on Sherwin Street, trees in no way impacted with under grounding of utility wires. At a December 14th 2017 Planning Commission meeting, the staff said the trees should be cut down regardless but in the case of these Sherwin Street trees, the reasons presented were: A more unified look could be had if all the new trees along the street were lollipops of the same size and species, better soil would be provided and that “significant sidewalk displacement” is presented by both trees (even though new sidewalks will be poured by the developer).  Working within a theme, the staff saw fit to leave out the fact that the official arborist report only noted “sidewalk uplift” with one tree, the other displaying “minor sidewalk uplift”.
Following staff's recommendation, in addition to the waiver of fees recommended for cutting the Horton Street trees, the Planning Commission also voted to cut down the trees on Sherwin Street and waive the fees that would normally be levied there as well.

It is hoped the City Council will make good use of their own arborist’s document meant to gauge the health of the trees the staff is recommending be cut down. 

From City Arborist Report 'Trees at the Old Sherwin Williams Site':
The staff says the decision makers should know about the health of the street trees but they told
them the trees are "unhealthy" regardless that 12 of the 14 in question are fair to good health.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

History of Bad Bike Policy Nets the City of Emeryville a Countdown Clock

The 53rd and 45th Street Bike Boulevards 
Countdown Clock

City Council: Be Warned

The policy makers at Emeryville City Hall have a way of forgetting about programs they don’t much care for and insofar as these programs are mandated by the General Plan and have a prescribed implementation timeline therein, the Tattler has always been there to gently remind them.  However, even our rigorous oversight has not been enough to coerce the decision makers to implement the Bike Plan, the part of the General Plan that City Hall historically has had the biggest aversion to.  
Owing to this intolerable situation, the Tattler now introduces the 53rd and 45th Street Bike Boulevards Countdown Clock.  The clock will be located at the bottom of the front page of the Tattler (phone users will have to load the web version to see it).  It will remain until the City places the traffic calming measures on these two streets the Bike Plan mandates.  Alternatively, the City Council could amend the Bike Plan to remove the traffic calming requirements for these two streets and then the Clock would be taken down.

Every Two Years
The 53rd and 45th Street Bike Boulevards Countdown Clock is set to run out to zero on September 14th, 2019 at 5:00 pm, the latest possible time the City has to implement the next required level of traffic calming measures placed on the two streets.  The clock began on September 14th, 2017 after the required official traffic count was completed when the City became aware that there is too much vehicle traffic on the two streets.  The City conducts the traffic counts on every Bike Boulevard every two years as the Plan stipulates and if an “overage” of traffic is found, the City is required to emplace traffic calming measures, after which a new countdown begins.

It is hoped the City Council will look to the Tattler 53rd and 45th Street Bike Boulevard Countdown Clock in place of their staff who has been negligent in reminding them of their duties regarding the Bike Plan.  Since the staff has opined that temporary traffic calming measures need to be emplaced for at least six months before a new traffic count can be considered reliable, the Council is reminded the clock only records the actual time when the measures need to be on the roadways and it doesn’t take into account any internal scheduling policies.  
The City needs to do its due diligence and make sure the clock doesn’t run out without the next traffic calming measures in place on 53rd and 45th Streets.  Additionally, the Clock will not be reset except insofar as duly prescribed Bike Plan traffic calming measures are implemented.  And warning to the elected officials: the Clock will help serve as the people’s accounting device at election time.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Planning Commission Votes to Kill Trees Without Critical Arborist Report

City Hall Staff Withholds Critical Document from Planning Commission 

Healthy Trees Called "Unhealthy" by Staff

Commission Voted to Cut Trees Without Knowledge of Arborist Report

Ten trees fair to good, Two fair to poor = "Unhealthy"

The Emeryville Planning Commission, siding with City Hall's Planning Department staff, PG&E and the developer of the Sherwin Williams project voted unanimously March 15th to overturn the City's Urban Forestry Ordinance and to kill every street tree on Horton Street fronting the incipient apartment project slated to break ground later this year.  The unanimous Planning Commission vote was based on staff recommendation the trees be removed, putatively to accommodate the under grounding of overhead utility wires based on a dubious claim from PG&E and owing to their unhealthy status, a finding counter to an earlier City sanctioned official arborist’s report.  The staff did not inform the Planning Commission before their vote about the document from the arborist that said the majority of the trees are healthy.
The vote prepared by the staff March 15th was to decide if the Planned Unit Development (PUD) agreement earlier made should be amended in order to facilitate the cutting of the trees.  The Planning Commission vote overturns that earlier (unanimous) 2016 vote by the City Council directing the staff to save the trees on Horton Street when they approved the Sherwin Williams PUD. 

Emeryville's Appointed Planning Commission
A majority found the "unhealthy" state of the trees
on Horton Street to be reason to cut them down. 
The staff never told the Commissioners
about the arborist's report that found

a majority of the trees to be healthy.
The final decision about the trees and the integrity of the Urban Forestry Ordinance (UFO) will be decided by the City Council on April 17th when they consider allegations made by the staff at the March 15th meeting that the trees in question are “unhealthy” as well as dubious and not proven claims that PG&E will "not allow" the overhead wires to be placed under the street, necessitating the cutting of the trees according to the staff. 

The PG&E claim is especially questionable owing to the fact that the staff told the Planning Commission that the utility company “does not allow joint trench boxes [wires] in the roadway and it needs to be routed to the sidewalk”, an eventuality synonymous with cutting the trees they said while at the same meeting they also said that it is “likely” that some of the trees will need to be cut.  
Further, PG&E has already been caught lying to the City of Emeryville about cutting our street trees in the past when Councilman John Bauters found the company making false claims in furtherance of the utility company's zealous efforts to cut 30 trees in our town as part of a program to keep roots away from underground utilities last year.  Mr Bauter’s diligence ended up saving 21 of the trees and net an apology from PG&E for their misrepresentations to the City.

From the Official Arborist's Report on the
Sherwin Williams Trees on Horton Street
7 fair-good to good with 2 fair-poor to poor
and 3  fair equals "unhealthy trees" 
status according to the City of Emeryville.
The Planning Commission never saw 
this report before their vote.

Perhaps most damaging for City Hall in this escapade is their insistence that the Planning Commission see the trees as “unhealthy”, a direct contradiction of the professional arborist retained by City Hall who characterized the trees as being in good health and the fact they kept the tree report from the decision makers. The report prepared for the City Council by SBCA Tree Consulting on December 29th 2014 found of the 14 trees along Horton Street four are ‘good’, two are ‘fair-good’ , four are ‘fair’, one is ‘fair-poor’ and one ‘poor’.  Predictably, the Planning Commission seized on the claim of the trees being unhealthy and a majority of Commissioners cited that as a reason for their vote to cut them down. 
The 2014 tree report was conducted to inform the City Council as they voted on the approval of the Sherwin Williams project's PUD and the healthy state of the existing trees as shown by the report was instrumental in the subsequent unanimous Council vote to save the trees. 

The staff also recommended to the Commission the 
fees normally paid to the City by a developer seeking and receiving permission to cut our street trees be waived based on two non-sequiturs: the fact the replacement trees will get "better soil" and inexplicably because the trees on the other side of the street will not be cut.  The Planning Commission found nothing untoward or unreasonable about those two findings.

Regardless of the staff reporting as a fact there's no room under the street, an Emeryville Tattler Public Records Request revealed the City of Emeryville in fact has no documents that would confirm their claims that PG&E says the underground wires cannot be placed in the Horton Street roadway.  Even if the utility company told the staff this, the company's credibility has been damaged due to their previous false claims.  A map of Horton Street showing pipes obtained by the Tattler Public Records Request suggests there may be plenty of room to place the underground utility wires in the roadway but is ultimately inconclusive. 

A group of residents living near the Sherwin Williams site Park Avenue Residents Committee (PARC) also encouraged the Planning Commission to vote to cut the trees because of their "unhealthy" status. 

The Planning Commission, cited in addition to the "unhealthy" status of the trees, their opinion the trees should be cut because the existing sidewalk isn't safe (also cited by PARC) and that replacing them with 24" box lollipop trees would make for a "more uniform street". 

The City Council takes up the issue on April 17th however Mayor Bauters must recuse himself, his residence being in close proximity to the project.
The arborist sees the tree on the left
but the staff sees the tree on the right.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Emeryville's Greedy Business Sector: No Support for Schools

Emeryville's Stingy Business Sector 

Emery Schools Left in the Cold

Tightfisted Businesses Extract From Community,
Don't Support the Community

Wareham One Bright Spot

Emeryville’s growing business sector, an economic engine that funds City Hall with a workforce that more than doubles the town’s population each work day, is nonetheless extremely stingy when it comes time to help fund Emery’s schools according to a document recently released by Emery Unified School District.  The document, obtained by a Tattler public records request reveals that only one business, Wareham Development, donated anything beyond a pittance to the schools during the last three years.  

Despite occasional claims to the contrary, corporate philanthropy to Emery schools has been anemic over the three years we checked; the top ten major corporate employers in Emeryville were all shown to have given the schools nothing or almost nothing.

Sad that Pixar is so miserly.
And Grifols...and Leapfrog...and
the Oaks Club...and Peet's Coffee...
Only San Rafael based Wareham and its CEO Rich Robbins, Emeryville’s largest developer, gave any substantial donations to Emery Unified, breaking the $10,000 mark three years running.
Major corporations in town have long made public claims of support for Emery schools but only Wareham and Mr Robbins have followed though, the document shows. 
Perhaps the other corporate actors in our town meant they support the idea of supporting the schools.  Or they support the schools in saying the word support is itself 'I support the troops'.  

A District spokesperson has noted in addition to the large donations from Wareham, some small non-monetary donations have come in from some businesses during the three years.

Also of particular note is the penurious parsimony of Pixar, a Disney subsidiary that has earned $11 billion for its parent company, itself a nine billion dollar a year corporate entity with a youth oriented focus.  Pixar has led all Emeryville penny pinching corporations in cupidity by offering virtually no support at all to the schools or the community.  Other than in 2004 when it needed Emeryville voters to support a major campus expansion and when it stated categorically it would be a continuing major benefactor for Emery schools, Pixar has never felt any need to share its good fortune with the education of the children of our community who pay to watch its films.  Pixar supports the troops and maybe they'll offer Emery schools their thoughts and prayers.
Chart courtesy of City of Emeryville and EUSD
Emeryville's Biggest Employers Number of Employees 2014-2017 Donations to Emery Schools  (10K or greater value)
AC Transit
Oaks Card Club 
Clif Bar
AAA of Northern CA,NV,UT
Peet’s Coffee & Tea
Fiscal Year Donor Amount
14-‘15 Wareham Development
15-‘16 Wareham Development
16-‘17 Nancy & Rich Robbins

Grossly Overstated: Emeryville's former City Manager goes to bat for Pixar in 2004 with effusive public testimony as the citizens prepare to vote on Measures T&U; permission for a major corporate campus expansion.  They will be a "major benefactor to the schools" the City Manager said of Pixar.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Breaking News: Schools Superintendent to Quit

Schools Superintendent John Rubio 
Calls it Quits

Breaking News
Embattled Emery Unified Schools Superintendent John Rubio has announced to the School Board of Trustees he plans on quitting his position with the following statement released today to the public from Emery Unified:  "Dr. Rubio has sent a letter to the board indicating his desire to not complete the 5th year of his contract, and instead move to a larger school district."  Mr Rubio's two year contract had been re-upped in December 2016 and it is presumed he vacates Emery at the end of this term on June 30th of this year.  This would make the forth Superintendent in 10 years for the tiny school district that has slid in academic performance since Mr Rubio took over in 2014.
The Tattler will report as details come in. 

Thursday, March 15, 2018

RULE Meeting Called

Residents United for a Livable Emeryville

Hello Friends and Neighbors!
Please join us Saturday, March 17 for the next meeting of RULE. Share a late breakfast and coffee, meet your progressive neighbors, and speak your mind! 
Tentative agenda items include:
  • The School Board and City Council elections coming up in November 
  • Plans for a new Emeryville Art Center 
  • Efforts by some California tenants' advocates to strengthen rent control regulations amidst the current affordable housing crisis.  
10 AM to 12 PM  Doyle Street Co-housing 5514 Doyle Street (Common Room, first floor) 

Please spread the word. All are welcome! 
Hope to see you there!
Doyle Street Co-housing
Common room is through the trellis and
behind the stairs.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Bike Plan Reinterpreted: 45th & 53rd Street Bike Blvds Languish

Bike Plan Unilaterally Reinterpreted

City Hall’s New Vision Means Traffic Calming Must Wait for Bike Boulevards

1,143 Cars Per Day Over the Allowable Limit

City Council Refuses to Protect Bicyclists

Level Four Goalposts Moved 

The City of Emeryville Public Works Department has announced it is unilaterally reinterpreting its Pedestrian/Bicycle Plan, adding additional procedures and making it more difficult to protect designated bike boulevards from excess vehicle traffic.  Elucidated in a recent letter to the Tattler, the City Hall staff generated reinterpretation changes the traffic calming ‘level’ system in the Bike Plan, adding many more steps to each level before a designated bike boulevard can move forward to the next level of traffic calming.
The new policy, revealed by the Public Works Department, states that “multiple iterations”, of a particular traffic calming level should now be conducted before the Council would be advised to consider raising the street to the more rigorous next level, theoretically adding decades before a bike boulevard would reach the highest level of protection (Level Five).

At stake is bicycle safety on our Bike Boulevards as the new interpretation hamstrings the City in effectively dealing with an unsafe amount of vehicle traffic sharing the road with bicyclists that the Bike Plan was formulated to protect against.  By adding new steps for each level of traffic calming, the staff presumes to speak for the Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) and the City Council that certified the Plan (without the stringent new metrics) in 2009.  It is informative that before the new staff interpretation, bike boulevards were moved up in level without these extra steps for each level. 
Indeed, several streets in our town have moved up from Level One to Level Three traffic calming over the years, where they now appear to be stuck, as is the case with the 45th Street and 53rd Street Boulevards. The new tougher policy now effecting these two streets will require more iterations of Level Three traffic calming elements be installed before they can move up to Level Four. 
If the City Council really wanted to implement
the Bike Plan, they could do it.  It's the

'stick to it' step they can't seem to accomplish.
It's either Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) or 
Developer Surplus Disorder (DSD) indicated.
Symtoms are the same.
Remedies would be Ritalin or 
Electorate Reckoning respectively.

A recently conducted traffic count reveals those two streets are shown to have 1,143 (45th St) and 638 (53rd St) too many cars in Average Daily Trips (ADT) to be considered bike boulevards by the Plan.  But regardless of the excess traffic on these specific streets, the staff has ruled neither street is ready for a level ‘upgrade’ because of the new metric of “[up to] five elements” of Level Three traffic calming measures have not yet been installed.  
For a complete description of each traffic calming level, please see the chart below. 

The 45th and 53rd Boulevards join the former Horton Street Bike Boulevard in languishing; all three hitting a wall at Level Three traffic calming regardless of their excess vehicle traffic.  Notably, the previous head of the Public Works Department Maurice Kaufman and the previous City Council member Nora Davis both declared Level Four calming for any Emeryville street a ‘no go zone’; being too onerous for vehicles as described by developers wishing to build auto-centric projects near the Boulevards.  Accordingly, an earlier traffic count conducted by the developers of the Sherwin Williams project that also showed too much existing traffic on all three streets, was ignored by Ms Davis and the rest of the City Council.  Later, Mayor Dianne Martinez steadfastly and unilaterally refused to move the two streets, 45th & 53rd, to Level Four as the Tattler reported in 2016.
On Horton Street,  the City Council refused to institute Level Four traffic calming elements and instead issued a ‘Statement of Overriding Considerations’, stating the Sherwin Williams project is more important than the Horton Street Bike Boulevard and that the City would ignore the Bike Plan remedy for excess vehicle traffic.  The Statement of Overriding Considerations signaled to the community that the City Council has no intention of supporting bike boulevard status for Horton Street.  Regardless, before they were elected, both Dianne Martinez and Scott Donahue promised Level Four traffic calming for Horton Street.

The 45th and 53rd Street Bike Boulevards have not been subjected to a statement of overriding considerations but the City Council is continuing to let them languish, unrealized as bike boulevards.

The Bike Plan calls for traffic counts to be conducted every two years, a fact the Public Works Department now acknowledges even though the Department was caught lying to the City Manager about that in 2014.  The Tattler uncovered an internal document by use of a Public Records Request that showed how the Department was going to extraordinary lengths to prevent a street moving to traffic calming Level Four by attempting to get the newly hired City Manager Carolyn Lehr to ignore the Bike Plan.  In the memo, the Public Works staff told the new City Manager the Bike Plan says traffic counts are not to be conducted every two years, but rather only if a substantial construction project happens on the street in question or if a large number of citizen complaints are registered; an outright falsehood.  The Bike Plan is very clear that traffic counts must be conducted every two years without conditions.

The new interpretation of up to five required applications of Level Three elements (up from one) being ‘required’ may be the latest attempt by the City to stall implementation of Emeryville’s Bike Plan.  The City has felt no compunction against moving any Bike Boulevard speedily forward through Levels One to Three but they haven't thus far been able to make the breakthrough to Level Four, forwarding different reasons that change over time as to why it can't be done.  The latest prohibition against Level Four in the form of the unilateral Public Works reinterpretation seems to be just the latest blockage offered up by an ignominious City Hall.  It would seem the admonitions against Level Four traffic calming by the assailing Maurice Kaufman and Nora Davis made years ago are still the modus operating principles at City Hall.  

Bike boulevards are supposed to be "cars allowed but bikes preferred" streets meant to maintain bicycling as a safe and convenient form of transportation by discouraging motor vehicle use.  Developers and the business community have long tried to dissuade the City Council from enacting effective traffic calming on Emeryville's Bike Boulevards.

From the Emeryville Pedestrian/Bicycle Plan
Level Four=street narrowings, Level Five= full and partial closures
Level Four (and Level Five) have been determined to be too effective 
so the City has resisted implementing them on any street.  The City Council however has not 
seen fit to amend the Plan to remove these two highest levels they don't like, probably because 
they don't want to be perceived by the public as anti-bike.

From the Bike Plan
53rd Street is at the top of the photo, 45th on the bottom with Horton Street to the left.

North is up, east right, south down and west is left.
The Average Daily Trip (ADT) is supposed to be no more than 1500 for the eastern sections of
45th and 53rd Streets.

53rd Street From the Latest Traffic Count
The eastern section of 53rd Street has 2138 Average Daily Trips or
638 over the maximum allowable amount.  Since the street is now at Level Three, 
that should mean 53rd Street is a candidate for Level Four traffic calming elements.
The Public Works Department says NO however.

45th Street From the Latest Traffic Count
The eastern section of 45th Street has 2,643 Average Daily Trips
or 1,143 over the maximum allowable amount.  A City Council
that cared about bicycling would impliment
Level Four traffic calming elements for the street.
A traffic count from years ago east of San Pablo Avenue
showed 45th Street with more than 3000 cars per day.
Note the vehicle speeds are too high also.

Earns Two Smiling Nora Davis's
Nora Davis smiles down on
the Public Works Department 
and the City Council!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Breaking News: City Manager Announces Her Resignation

Carolyn Lehr, City Manager, Announces She Will Quit in June
Carolyn Lehr in June 2015 being
sworn in as Emeryville City Manager.
 In a tersely written letter to her staff, Emeryville City Manager Carolyn Lehr announced this afternoon she will retire from her position at the end of this fiscal year.  After only three years managing Emeryville City Hall, Ms Lehr will quit June 30th, with 33 years serving in local government she told her employees. She informed a "surprised" Mayor John Bauters a week ago she's now 65 years old and no longer wishes to work "full time".
She said working for Emeryville has been "dynamic and fulfilling" but she felt a need to reconsider her options in anticipation of negotiating the terms of her next employment contract with the City Council.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Emeryville Police Excoriates E'Ville Eye Blog

Police Officers Release Letter Refuting 
E'Ville Eye Editor

A recent smear campaign directed at the Emeryville City Council and the Emeryville police from the E'Ville Eye blog has prompted the Emeryville Police Officers' Association to release a letter defending the rank and file against the attacks on their officers, what they refer to as "negative posts" made by Rob Arias, the editor of the blog, and several of his readers.  The letter released to the Tattler late Friday evening refutes claims made by Mr Arias that the EPD is being manipulated by the Emeryville City Council, an alleged conspiracy he says that is responsible for what he calls a spike in crime, caused by the City Council members directing the police away from enforcing the law. 
E'Ville Eye Editor Rob Arias
Alleges the City Council is
manipulating the police.  The police
deny Mr Arias's "negative posts".

Mr Arias has directed the E'Ville Eye, Emeryville's pro-business news blog, in a conspiratorially minded direction with a recent flurry of stories blaming the City Council for driving businesses away and driving up crime because of their support for Emeryville's Minimum Wage Ordinance.  At the same time he is also asserting that back room dealings by the Council have laid plans to stamp out what he calls "police instincts" to quell law enforcement.  Without offering evidence, Mr Arias has informed his readers the Council wants Emeryville's police to be councilors for criminals instead of law enforcement agents because he says the City Council has made an  agreement that arrests are not necessary, rather "criminals will self-rehabilitate if we give them enough chances."   He has called upon the City Council to "stop undermining the force and let them do their job.", a charge specifically refuted by the police officers in their letter.

Any private agreements among the City Council members as Mr Arias suggests would be a violation of the law owing to the California code known as the Brown Act that requires public business to be conducted in public.  The Brown Act, also known as the 'sunshine law',  is clear, especially where a quorum of elected officials occurs behind closed doors as would necessarily be the case if Mr Arias' claims of conspiracy to manipulate the police were true.

The Emeryville Police Officers Association (EPOA), the public service union that represents the rank and file at EPD, is a natural adversary for Mr Arias it should be noted, who has long used his blog to rail against unions, including specifically Emeryville's public service unions.

Here is the letter received from the EPOA:

February 16th, 2018

Emeryville Police Officers' Association Supports Elected Officials

It was recently brought to the attention of the Emeryville Police Officers' Association Board off Directors that certain social media posts attributed statements to unidentified members of the Police Department which in some respects were critical to the relationship between the Emeryville Police Officers;' Association, the Mayor, and the City Council. 
While we continue to build upon our excellent relationship with the City and the community, we are not insensitive to the fact that members are always engaging in conversation with members of our community on various issues.  Some members of the community have their own set of beliefs that may influence their account of contact with our members.  We believe that our members exercise great restraint and discretion in engaging in conversation on topics that may be controversial.  It is our belief members will avoid disparaging our City government or the Police Department. 
Although we do not have any specifics on what was actually said or who may have said it, we have reached out to all our members asking them to be judicious and respectful in conversations about our Police Department and the city's elected officials.
Our police officers have always had a great relationship with and support from our elected city officials.  The police officers, sergeants and elected officials of Emeryville share interest in the safety of the community and are committed to working together to fight crime.  In a small City like ours, EPOC membership has a unique opportunity to make a significant contribution towards a better quality of life for our residents.  It is only in continued cooperation and collaborative effort between the Mayor, City Council, and the Emeryville Police Officers' Association that we will be able to realize Emeryville's true potential.  It is in this unified effort that we believe: Our size is our strength.
Finally, we want to acknowledge that our membership has thousands and thousands of contacts with citizens each year.  These recent negative posts represent a fraction of the number of comments made by citizens about us.  By far and away the majority of our contact with our community is very positive and social media reflects the professionalism and integrity of our members.
We look forward to working with residents, Mayor and the City Council to continue growing the quality of life in Emeryville.
Emeryville Police Officers' Association