Don’t Forget to Register to Vote
This election year in particular I am reminded of the importance of the voice of the people. I’ve seen some of my fellow citizens become very politically active with a deep desire for change. I’ve also seen many so exasperated they want to throw their hands up and forget about this election season altogether.
Fellow citizens, do not to give up. Your voice matters in the presidential election and in our local elections, where you have the possibility of seeing the most immediate change.
Oct. 24 is the last day for voter registration. If you have not already, please visit www.cocovote.us/voter-registration/register-to-vote, or obtain a form at an elections office, public library, post office or DMV. By boosting voter turnout we boost our democracy.
Registering not only gives you a voice, but it is a vehicle for knowledge on the issues. The public data you provide when you register not only allows for information on California Propositions to be sent to you, but it also allows you to interface with your candidates. Each candidate can communicate her or his ideas with you through mailers, phone calls or email. Without this ability for a candidate to speak directly to voters, only those who shout the loudest or have the most money would be empowered. Our democracy would be skewed and would not allow for equality among candidates.
Registering to vote creates a two-way line of communication directly between voters and candidates! Democracy is in your hands. Register and then take the time to look at that mailer or door hanger. Take the time to open that email. Empower yourselves.
The Lamorinda community is truly a special one. People are involved. People care. Let’s keep it that way. See you at the polls.
Lafayette School Board
Sturm Has Right Qualities to Lead Lafayette Schools
People, schools, and the Lafayette community are ingredients to our dynamic culture creating a common thread binding each Lafayette resident. Rob Sturm’s experience as a leader, exposure to our schools and education establish a foundation I believe we can count on to favorably impact how Lafayette has been touted over the years and could continue to count on – preeminent schools.
Children and our Lafayette schools directly and/or indirectly contribute to the community we have come to love and envision far into the future. Ensuring financial viability and solvency of our school district require leadership with intent and purpose to influence and drive lasting behaviors. It requires understanding actions that are “for” the community.
I have been a Lafayette resident for over 25 years, raising four sons who attended all levels of Lafayette schools. I am an Emeritus Trustee and inaugural Board of Trustee for the Lafayette Library and Learning Center Foundation.
The integration of professional and personal connections illuminate my exposure and experience with Rob. In everyday as well as specific situations, opportunities, or challenges he has demonstrated the ability to sustain focus on a clear vision aligning actions along the way. Whether many, a few, or no people are watching or listening, he has shown up and performed doing the right things to realize that vision.
I offer this endorsement of Rob considering my professional experience as a leadership consultant enabling development and growth of leaders to realize individual, team and organization results – and perennial nationally awarded leadership program. And personally, as the leader of multi award-winning non-profit organization (The Nicholas Colby Fund) helping uplift the spirits of children with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses via personalized events and experiences. The experiences afforded children are encamped around my heart!
Rob has a clear set of values including diversity and inclusion, fundamental fairness, financial stewardship as well as cultural/community stewardship. President John F. Kennedy said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” Rob’s experiences and continuous learning enable increased insights and innovative approaches that should favorably impact people, schools and the Lafayette community.
Kindhouse for Lafayette School Board
My name is Kathleen Rose Crenshaw. I’m a retired K-12 school educator who has lived in Lafayette for my entire life. When my grandchildren were born, they made our family a fifth-generation Lafayette family. We have been, are, and will be Lafayette residents through and through.
I’m writing to endorse Mark Kindhouse for Lafayette School Board. Yes, he is extremely qualified to serve by using his engineering and management background to provide good governance for the recently passed Bond Measure C. But more than that, I’m writing because of his good character. I urge you to vote for him not only because of the unique qualifications you can read about on his website, but because he is a true, invested member of this community.
Mark is a leader within our local Cub Scout pack. He has also served for two years on Lafayette’s Capital Projects and Assessments Committee. He has taken the time to get to know our teachers, our special needs parents and our PTA. He was even out at the Lafayette Art and Wine Festival shaking hands and connecting with people.
I have seen board members come and go. I have seen concern over the school district budget. I have seen various figures endorse candidates they barely knew simply for politics. I’m not a politician. I’m not interested in alliances. I’m interested in Lafayette.
Mark is growing roots here for his two young boys, just like my family did 100 years ago. I have witnessed his honest desire to serve this community.
When you open your ballot, select the first name on the ticket for Lafayette School Board: Mark Kindhouse. He’s good for our school district, and he’s good for our community. I trust him.
I have too much invested in Lafayette to want it any other way.
Meredith Meade for Lafayette School Board
When my wife and I enrolled the first of our three children at Lafayette Elementary School ten years ago, we were greeted warmly by Meredith Meade from Lafayette Elementary School’s PTA Executive Board. Understanding that Lafayette’s schools were highly regarded due in no small part to the involvement of dedicated parents, we knew immediately that - with Meredith at the helm - Lafayette Elementary was in good hands. I am thrilled she is now running for the Lafayette School Board. I support her candidacy unequivocally.
Meredith knows Lafayette schools, and is uniquely qualified to serve on the School Board. Her experience is unmatched. She was a member of the Lafayette Elementary School PTA Executive Board for five years, including its president in 2011-2013. She was the president of Lafayette Partners in Education (LPIE), Lafayette’s education foundation which raises millions of dollars for Lafayette’s schools. She was a member, and former chair, of Rapport, Lafayette’s district-wide education advisory committee. She has volunteered tirelessly for recent parcel tax campaigns and the bond measure in support of our schools. Indeed, having worked with Lafayette schools at every level, Meredith has the experience and perspective to represent us as the District embarks on the Prop C $70 million upgrade and retrofit.
In addition to her devotion to Lafayette’s schools, Meredith has deep ties to the Lafayette community, and has worked with families from all over Lafayette in her role on the Rancho Colorados Swim Team and Tennis Club Board of Directors, and as secretary of the Lafayette Swim Conference.
As the President of Lamorinda Rugby Club and a member of the MOL Flag Football Board of Directors, I understand the need for a leader with a proven track record and a commitment to our children so that our schools maintain their reputation as one of the best in the state. I recognize that leader in Meredith. Please join me in voting for Meredith Meade for the Lafayette School District Governing School Board.
Measure C Lafayette
Apology for ‘No on C’ Typo
I would like to apologize for my typo on the No on Measure C flyer sponsored by Save Lafayette distributed with the Oct. 5 Lamorinda Weekly. Scott Sommer, a former Lafayette School Board member and longterm Lafayette resident, graciously agreed to add his name to the opposition to Measure C, the Lafayette 1 percent sales tax measure. When the flyer came out, the word “Former” was missing — my mistake.
I apologize to both Mr. Sommer and to Jean Follmer, the current Lafayette School Board President, for the mistake.
No on Measure C
Lafayette voters are being asked to approve a sales tax increase by Measure
C. There are three simple reasons voters should vote No:
1) The city doesn’t need the money;
2) I feel the hidden agenda is to build fancy new city offices;
3) These are the same people who REFUSED to put the Deer Hill homes
project before the voters!
Conclusion: The city government can’t be trusted. Vote No.
James P. Tuthill
Vote No on Measure C
I am a finance professional, and like to delve into the numbers. I am voting against the massive sales tax increase that is Measure C, and urge other taxpayers to do so as well. The reason is very simple--Lafayette clearly does not need the money. Looking at the city’s own budget projections, they show zero need for new funds, in spite of ongoing large increases in personnel costs of between 4-6% each year. The city is healthy and not in need of taking more money from residents. Higher taxes should only occur when there is a clear need for revenues after cost efficiencies have been exhausted, and that is just not the case here. A tax increase would also hurt our city’s businesses, making shopping in Lafayette more costly than in many other local towns. ‘Love Lafayette’ is not a reason to pass a tax increase. It is patronizing. Vote no on Measure C.
Vote No on Measure C
The premise and justification to increase sales tax is to fund the projects that were determined to be priorities for the citizens of Lafayette by survey. There are just under 16,000 registered voters in Lafayette. How many people actually submitted this survey? 724, seven hundred and twenty four people, that sample size is statistically irrelevant yet they are going to tax and borrow against that tax? Vote No. They suspended negotiations to buy the land for the new civic buildings until after the tax measure passes. (source: city memo) They were advised to remove that language from the ballot because it doesn’t poll well. In other words if you tell people what you are really going to spend the money on you might not get it. So they pulled the language. (source: http://lafayette.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=3&clip_id=3022&meta_id=60639) Vote No. My suggestion is to come back to the table with a real proposal to address the real concerns of the people of Lafayette in an honest and transparent manner. 1% is too much, for too long, it’s bad for local business, the people of Lafayette generally agree we don’t need or want it. Vote No on Measure C.
N on Measure C
Lafayette Measure C is an unnecessary tax premised on dubious claims. Given the absence of any requirements how the funds it will raise must be spent, Measure C is an irresponsible effort to give the City wide latitude to spend $100 million dollars. The City staff have not put the best interest of Lafayette’s citizens ahead of their career enhancement priorities. If the way they’ve handled the Homes at Deer Hill debacle is any indication, they’re more interested in having growth “achievements” they can cite than managing pressures that regional growth puts on the quality of life in Lafayette. Were the City to bring forth a tax measure with clear requirements on how the money were to be spent and the spending made sense, I could get behind it. But Measure C does not meet that criteria of accountability. I hope my Lafayette neighbors will join me in voting against Measure C.
Reject Measure C
• Lack of transparency
• Use of a General Tax to avoid a two-thirds vote; which the City Council knows would not pass
• Hidden plan to subsidize the building of a new city services offices
• No proven need for the six items listed in the ballot; based only on a wish list of a few citizens
The Lafayette City sponsored Measure C to increase our sales tax rate for 29 years should be rejected Future City Councils could spend this huge amount of money; perhaps as much as $100 million on anything they want including:
• Operating expenses for the City
• Increasing further salary shortfall for City staff
• Increasing the City Manager’s salary and benefits, which are already $350,000 annually
Join us and our neighbors as well as the editor of the East Bay Times in opposing this tax increase for the many reasons listed above.
Please Vote No on Measure C
Paul and Roni Melmed
Help Preserve Lafayette Open Space
Lafayette has long enjoyed its beautiful open hills and ridgelines. But with land becoming scarcer, there is more pressure to develop our hills and ridges. Much land that we have long taken for granted as open space is in fact privately owned, with private rights to develop the land. One needs to merely drive the freeways of Los Angeles to witness what happens to hills and ridges that aren’t publicly protected.
We have the means to preserve our open space around and above Lafayette. Land can be purchased, scenic or conservation easements can be negotiated, or partnerships can be formed with park districts, foundations or other cities. It is a simple fact that all of these means of permanently preserving open space require money, and often not small amounts.
In Lafayette’s “Community Conversations” and community survey taken to understand the Citizen’s Vision for Lafayette, preservation of open space has been the top priority for that vision. However, although Lafayette has balanced its budgets for many years, current City revenues are inadequate to make major investments in open space, or even to act as seed money for such action.
Measure C proposes a 1% local sales tax increment. The proceeds will be used only in Lafayette, monitored by a Citizen Oversight Committee. All members of the City Council have pledged to make the elements of the Citizens’ Vision for Lafayette the priority use of the new revenues, and open space is the first of those priorities. If we want our children and grandchildren to continue to enjoy our green and golden hills and ridges, Measure C is our chance to do it.
Please vote Yes on Measure C.
I Expect Better from City and Staff
I Love Lafayette. But I’m voting NO on Measure C, the proposed 1 percent sales tax for Lafayette. Why? Our city is currently experiencing unprecedented growth in housing, retail and new restaurants. Adding new housing, especially senior housing and new housing near BART, is good policy as well as being required by our regional and state housing quotas.
What is NOT good policy is how our city and staff has repeatedly failed to address even the basic increases in infrastructure needed to handle this new growth. In fact, they have done the opposite of this, and on purpose. On multiple occasions, they have intentionally slowed down traffic (“traffic calming,” numerous medians, not implementing improvements suggested by traffic consultants), reduced the amount of parking spots (reduced the number of parking spaces required per housing unit, taking the stance of ‘the city is not responsible for parking’), and refused to implement even the simplest of solutions for many of these problems. We now have gridlock and no parking. Why? Our city and staff is adopting policy AS IF we were a larger city, with goals and ideals meant for an urban environment, considered “popular” and “forward-thinking.” However, we are still the semi-rural community that we boast about in our city correspondences.
Until our city and staff start to even consider that unfortunately our citizens still need our cars for the foreseeable future, and urban solutions are not appropriate probably for the next 10+ years, I will not support them. We need these cars to navigate a city that is semi-rural, sprawling and hilly. I especially will not give them money without forcing them to spend on money on infrastructure that they have so glaringly ignored. Our city and staff blame the gridlock and no parking on our “recent successes” in growing businesses and restaurants, but they need to look in the mirror and blame themselves. The analogy of “living on an all-sugar diet” is appropriate – all growth and no infrastructure.
I expect better from our city and staff. I’m voting NO on Measure C.
Orinda Council and School Board
Weiner, Hoxie for OUSD
As a current Orinda school board member, I know the qualities that are important in a trustee: the ability to listen to all viewpoints, to work together collaboratively and without a personal agenda, and to always keep in mind the best interests of the students. Hillary Weiner and Cara Hoxie embody these qualities and deserve your vote in November.
Both Hillary and Cara have volunteered in our community on behalf of children for years. Hillary has served as a parents’ club president, is currently on the board of the Educational Foundation of Orinda, and has served as the auction chair for the Children’s Health Guild. Cara was co-president of EFO and has years of experience leading a non-profit. Both Hillary and Cara are level-headed, fair and thoughtful, and are strong believers in the importance of a quality education for all children. They know the importance of working as a team, and of keeping the focus of the board where it belongs: on teaching and learning.
Hillary and Cara are committed to maintaining and improving upon the excellent education our schools provide. I urge you to vote for them for the Orinda School Board of Trustees.
Vote Weiner, Hoxie, Miller and Gee for Orinda
Every time we have a local election, friends and acquaintances ask for my opinion on the candidates. I take these elections seriously and do research to determine which candidates I think are best.
My criteria include a lack of a personal agenda (that is, having an open mind and no connection with groups that push a specific agenda), previous relevant volunteer service, professional backgrounds that provide a specific skill set, the candidates’ public statements, and what I know about them personally, if I’ve met them or know people who know them well.
I also take into account that school boards and city councils need both longer-serving individuals with institutional memory, and a periodic influx of new people with fresh insight and different skills. Ability to get along well with other board or council members and be a productive member of the group is also important.
Based on these criteria, I am voting for Hillary Weiner (whom I know personally) and Cara Hoxie (who comes highly recommended) for the Orinda school board. They are both long-term volunteers with the Educational Foundation of Orinda and in Orinda schools. The district has a new superintendent, and dedicated, thoughtful board members are important.
For Orinda City Council, I am voting for Inga Miller (whom I have met and talked with) and Darlene Gee (whom I have also talked with). Darlene is currently an appointed councilmember filling out Steve Glazer’s term after he was elected to the State Senate. They both have good backgrounds and, important to me, have been strong supporters of the city’s road improvement program. They are both balanced, thoughtful candidates and will work well with the other city council members.
Local elections are extremely important to our community. Please vote!
Darlene Gee for City Council
I am writing in support of Darlene Gee for the Orinda City Council. Darlene is the only person running for the city council who has an engineering background and fully understands how to keep us on track in fixing our roads. Although Darlene has served on the city council for about a year since she was appointed last July, Darlene represents the new generation of leadership which Orinda needs.
Darlene is truly an impressive person. She has been willing to take time from a very successful and high-profile career in engineering management to devote to public service, serving as a role model for others to get involved. Importantly, she is an excellent listener, values the contributions of others, is open-minded, integrates new learning with her existing knowledge to find effective solutions that work, and really believes in effective communication. She is a very clear thinker and is always disciplined in her approach to problem solving. These are all skills that the city badly needs to bring us together as a community and make Orinda an even better place to live.
I came to know Darlene through her work on the Orinda Roads Commission. Darlene made very significant contributions there, both as a member of the commission and as its Chair. Please join me in voting for Darlene for the Orinda City Council.
Opinions Are Fine --- False Statements Are Not
As one of the candidates for the Orinda City Council in this November’s election, I take serious exception to Mr. Owen Murphy’s comments in the 10/5 edition.
While Mr. Murphy has every right to endorse and support the candidates of his choice, he does not have the right to put forth false information with no basis in fact.
While I don’t agree with how he portrays my thoughts for the future of Orinda, my serious objection is his implication that I have a conflict of interest in regards to downtown development.
No such conflict exists. The only property I own in Orinda is my own home where I have lived for 27 years. My employer has never done business in Orinda and has no interest in doing so. I have absolutely no business or personal ties to any developers or real estate interests that have current positions or future interests in Orinda’s downtown. None of my campaign contributions are from development interests. If anything changes in downtown Orinda, I will not realize any financial or material gain.
If Mr. Murphy believes he has evidence to the contrary he should produce it rather than making misleading statements to the residents of Orinda.
Darlene K. Gee
Orinda City Councilmember and Candidate
Miller, Gee for Council
We have been residents of Orinda for 42 years. In that time, other than Theater Square and the Library, few of Orinda’s commercial buildings have been renovated. But time marches on and our city’s commercial streetscape has aged greatly. Meanwhile, neighboring cities in the county, including Lafayette, Walnut Creek and Danville, have seen investment capital flow into their commercial buildings. The resulting charm and vibrancy in those cities’ downtowns is palpable. So, why is Orinda lagging behind? First and foremost, Orinda needs a new General Plan; the current Plan is over 25 years old. Developers and investors are not drawn to a city where to do virtually anything significant they have to seek a General Plan amendment. This is costly, time consuming and full of uncertainty, which developers abhor. The city does not currently have the money to update the General Plan. Effective leadership is needed to resolve this dilemma. Inga Miller and Darlene Gee are forward looking and possess the skills and commitment to help Orinda reach its potential. Both are listening to the citizens of Orinda, What’s Up Downtown Orinda and OrindaVision. Inga and Darlene understand that it’s possible to create an Orinda for the future that will capitalize on its wonderful location, climate, schools and people while retaining its small town charm. We encourage you to vote for Inga Miller and Darlene Gee for Orinda City Council on November 8, 2016.
Bill and Nath Schmicker
Hillary Weiner for OUSD Board
Hillary Weiner has demonstrated a strong commitment to school and broader community volunteerism. Among her many volunteer commitments: Co-President of the Glorietta Parents’ Club; EFO board member; parent representative on the Fiscal Advisory Board of OUSD; Orinda Parks and Rec Commissioner; and chair of the annual auction for the organization Children’s Health Guild. Hillary has stepped up as a leader in our community in a big way, and she has done it all while balancing the demands of raising three OUSD students along with her husband Brett.
Hillary is a steady and thoughtful person. As an OUSD Trustee she will do her homework and understand the issues. She will be objective and analytical. She understands that effective leadership requires an inclusive approach to building relationships with the school community and its many partners. She will respect and value the views of her fellow board members and the governance process. She will be guided by the best interests of all OUSD students.
Please join us in voting for Hillary. She’s an excellent choice for OUSD Trustee.
Jennifer and Jason Lurie
Don’t be fooled. Check the record
In previous editions, this column received letters from two concerned individuals serving on the Moraga Planning Commission. The count is now up to three.
A newly appointed Planning Commissioner has made a name for herself and appears to be carving out a niche for her Town Council Campaign by giving false hope to individuals opposed to the Moraga Town Center Homes (MTCH) Project.
This project was one of the first medium density projects in the Moraga Center Specific Plan (MCSP) area. It is being considered under the three-step Planned Development approval process in MMC 8.48, requiring Conceptual, General and Precise Development Plan approvals. On June 6 and July 18, Public Hearings were held by the Planning Commission on the second step, the General Development Plan.
According to this commissioner, two substantive issues existed. One, was an “overdeveloped” Conceptual Development Plan approval binding? And, two, were the correct development standards applied? This commissioner is astute and these issues were very good points for consideration. However, all comments, both substantive and procedural, were considered, including the thirty minute “public record” she created at the 7/18 Planning Commission meeting (see July 18 PC meeting livestream video, 2:47-3:17).
What is her real motive? Is she, as she says, “simply trying to do (her) due diligence?” Possibly, but her insistence on continuing to argue points that have been refuted by staff and the town’s legal counsel go far beyond her role as a Planning Commissioner. This has contributed in large part to the $50K in legal fees incurred for this application. In her 18-page Aug. 18, letter to the Town Council she repeatedly questions why the Planning Department will no longer answer her questions, though even she concedes “my activities may well be viewed as disrespectful, insubordinate, presumptuous, and otherwise offensive.”
I have served a combined 11 years on the Moraga Planning Commission and Design Review Board. I offer this commentary as a private citizen.
If, after reading this and checking the record, you still support such a candidate, then and only then does she deserve your vote.
Correcting “Clarifying Korpus’s Points”
This corrects several inaccuracies in Stephen Huxley’s Letter published in the October 5 Lamorinda Weekly (LW) issue.
I support the democratic and town government processes, and respect the right of all to express their opinions. I provide this input as a private citizen.
The Huxley letter wrongly states that at the Aug. 24 Town Council (TC) meeting, Mayor Metcalf acknowledged the accuracy of Kymberleigh Korpus’ core point that the Municipal Code (MC) was violated by early definition of project characteristics. In-fact, Huxley took a small piece of Mayor Metcalf’s remarks and misrepresented the complete communication (see Moraga web site Aug. 24 TC meeting live steam video, timing starts at 02:17:30). Reality is that the MC does not prohibit earlier definition of project characteristics, and environmental permitting requirements and public desires can drive such. Mayor Metcalf has confirmed that the Huxley letter misrepresents his communication.
The Huxley letter wrongly states that I repeatedly tried to “shut her down” at the July 18 Planning Commission (PC) meeting. Kymberleigh’s input was atypical, and she did not inform the PC ahead-of-time of her intentions. As Chair of the PC, I appropriately did a process check and later a time check. Kymberleigh was allowed to complete her 30 min. of input (see Moraga web site July 18 PC meeting live stream video, timing starts at 02:47:00).
The Huxley letter wrongly states that I made the motion to approve the Moraga Town Center Homes Project (motion made by Tom Marnane, see July 18 meeting live stream video, timing starts at 03:24:40), and wrongly infers that my Sept. 21 letter was driven by the motion failing. My motive for the Sept. 21 letter is clearly evident in that letter (available at the LW web site with other Sept. 21 letters-to-the-editor).
I choose to not address other inaccuracies in the Huxley letter.
I commend and value Kymberleigh’s participation as one of seven diverse Moraga Planning Commissioners, and she and I are usually aligned on PC actions.
I again offer to meet with any individual or group about the Sept. 21 letter, which I fully stand behind.
[Editor’s Note: Lamornda Weekly received confirmation from both Mayor Mike Metcalf and Tom Marnane that they agreed with the facts as presented in this letter.]
Korpus for Town Council
On Nov. 8 I will be voting to elect Kymberleigh Korpus to the Moraga Town Council. Why? Because the Planning Process in our Town of Moraga has gone badly off-track. As a direct result, the Semi-rural character of Moraga and the scenic vistas that originally drew our family here 44 years ago are at serious risk of being irretrievably lost. Kymberleigh is committed to preventing that outcome. Her actions as a recently appointed member of our town’s Planning Commission offer clear proof of her intent, her talent and her ability to follow through on that commitment.
Evidence of the growing threat to our community’s character is readily visible. You see it in the densely packed, oversized houses being built across from Starbuck’s on Moraga Road. You can see the threat in the massive homes under construction off Camino Ricardo that are completely out-of-scale with the adjoining neighborhood and in the scarring that project’s extensive grading inflicted on the adjoining hillside. You see the risk to our community’s future in the City Ventures Townhomes project next to the firehouse that will seriously encroach on the Moraga Way Scenic Corridor. After that project’s story poles went up, over 1,500 Moragans signed a Referendum Petition requesting a public vote on that project. Instead, a majority of the current Town Council approved it. Be assured: Kymberleigh would not have approved the designs of those projects.
The preceding examples are only “tips of the iceberg.” Coming next is implementation of the Moraga Center Specific Plan. It envisions up to 630 additional units in the very heart of Moraga with densely packed buildings up to 45 feet tall and zero setbacks. The mass of those structures would render the Moraga we know and love unrecognizable. It would also further exacerbate the severe commute hours congestion we already experience on Moraga’s roadways. Kymberleigh wants the Town to reevaluate the MCSP before it is ever implemented.
If you love Moraga as I do and want to see our community’s Semi-rural character and beautiful vistas preserved, our best hope is to elect Kymberleigh Korpus to the Moraga Town Council.
Wykle, Korpus, Fritzky for Town Council
Moragans who want to protect remaining open space are urged vote for Wykle, Korpus, and Fritzky for Town Council.
This election comes at a key moment for Moraga: the council will soon decide on new development regulations that will determine the fate of vulnerable hills and ridgelines for decades. Adopting robust new protection measures requires a council able to act decisively despite strong developer opposition. Three candidates appear prepared for this task.
Councilmember Roger Wykle, seeking re-election, has a well established pro-open space record. He voted against the Hetfield Estates development citing inconsistency with the Moraga Open Space Ordinance; he voted against Via Moraga (now under construction across from Starbucks) because its two-story houses so close to Moraga Road block views of Rheem Ridge and mar the scenic corridor; and he voted against Harvest Court, currently being built off Camino Ricardo overlooking Moraga Center, citing environmental impacts. In addition, he has proven highly competent on budgetary, infrastructure, and governance matters as well.
As a Planning Commissioner, Kymberleigh Korpus has been dedicated to the faithful implementation of Moraga’s regulations, including those aimed at preserving its scenic beauty and semi-rural character. She said “no” to a massive proposed home that would have dwarfed existing homes in the neighborhood while obstructing public views of Campolindo Ridge, and she pushed the town to rethink the controversial Moraga Town Center Homes development, offering detailed analysis arguing that its approval process lacked the rigor required by the Municipal Code.
Jeanette Fritzky chairs the Parks and Recreation Commission, and although it doesn’t handle land-use decisions, she has expressed her commitment to preserving open space and her sense of responsibility to the majority of Moragans who have repeatedly stressed that core value. As a candidate, she has studied open space issues thoroughly so she may effectively fulfill that responsibility as a Councilmember.
For 15 years I’ve attended public hearings, advocating meaningful protection for Moraga’s remaining open spaces. I strongly recommend Wykle, Korpus, and Fritzky as the best candidates to ensure that Moraga’s hillsides, ridgelines and scenic beauty are preserved for the benefit of generations of Moragans to come.
Founder, Preserve Lamorinda Open Space
Three Candidates Support Open Space
Of the four candidates running for three Moraga Town Council seats, three–Roger Wykle, Kimberleigh Korpus and Jeanette Fritzky–either have strong track records or have expressed firm support on the open space and hillside preservation measures so vital to Moraga’s future as a semi-rural community. The exception is Graig Crossley.
Crossley is a throwback to the old days and the old ways in Moraga, when the town was run by a clique of hand-picked politicians who thought they knew best – and lost touch with the community. He was a council member for 10 years during which time he consistently favored what he calls property owner rights over community rights. For example, back in 1985, Crossley’s own Rheem Valley neighborhood was threatened by a plan to build 110 hillside houses. Massive grading would have carved up Mulholland and Campolindo Ridges, destroyed the contiguous Scofield, Rheem and LaSalle neighborhoods, and opened the floodgates to similar ridge destruction across Moraga. A group of us met with councilman Crossley, our Scofield neighbor, asking for his help to stop or at least significantly modify this development abomination. He turned us down flat; as he left the meeting I remember vividly his parting words: “You’ll think of something.”
Well, we did think of something. We mounted a town-wide, grass-roots initiative to help protect ALL of Moraga’s remaining open space. It was a hard fought campaign that was vigorously opposed by every member of the town council, including Crossley. But it passed and we now know it as MOSO.
Today, 30 years later, Crossley’s vision for Moraga is unclear. He remains reluctant to support open space and hillside preservation. In a July interview in this paper, he conceded that MOSO “probably was a good thing,” but his campaign statements are silent on Moraga’s vital look-and-feel issues. Nov. 8 we have a choice of returning to the past with Crossley, or choosing three fresh, energetic, forward-looking candidates: Wykle, Korpus and Fritzky.
Moraga School Board
Severy for Moraga School Board
I enthusiastically support Richard Severy’s election to the Moraga School District’s Governing Board on Nov. 8.
Last January, the MSD Governing Board voted to appoint Richard Severy to an open position. Since then, he has proved himself to be an extremely important board member. As a former school board member, I can see how his strong commitment to promoting the district’s mission is improving the learning experience for our children.
Richard immediately grasped the importance of improving and upgrading Moraga’s school facilities and creating an enhanced learning environment. He volunteered to co-chair the Yes on Measure V campaign committee, and is working diligently to secure voter approval of this critical school improvement bond that will fund necessary repairs.
Richard also understands that, as Moraga continues to roll out new curricula and programs for our students, it is important that our teachers are provided meaningful professional development opportunities so that they can provide our students with the best classroom experience.
And Richard is committed to addressing the educational needs of our students in a holistic sense. He supports programs that promote safety and focus on students’ social and emotional well-being.
Public schools in California continually face financial challenges and Richard is committed to managing Moraga’s finances in a prudent manner. Significantly, he has explored means of leveraging other funding sources, such as matching state funds and additional federal special education funding, to enhance the district’s financial posture.
Richard brings his extensive professional public policy experience, and a long record of working collaboratively with others to achieve common goals, to his participation on the Moraga School Board. He is committed to impartially representing the interests of the entire community -- most of all, the needs of students -- in a positive, collegial manner.
Moraga schools need Richard Severy for four more years. Please join me in voting for him on Nov. 8.
Severy and Rosenbaum for Moraga Schools
Please join me in supporting and voting for two candidates for Moraga’s School Board: Richard Severy and Joe Rosenbaum.
Both Richard and Joe are long-term residents with a proven track record in our community. Involved Moraga citizens, they have repeatedly demonstrated the capacity for intelligent and thoughtful decision-making, the ability to serve the interests of our community fairly and judiciously, and the facility to bring initiatives to fruition through collaborative work — all critical skills for a School Board Member.
It is my strong opinion that our schools and our community will be best-served and poised for the future if Richard Severy and Joe Rosenbaum receive your vote.
Richard joined the School Board in January, bringing with him a passion for education, years of community service and a strong legal mind. His judgment, reasoning abilities, and capacity to understand the intricacies of the education code, coupled with his strong commitment to serve our community, have already made Richard a stellar school board member. Our designee to the Contra Costa County School Boards Association, Richard has worked to ensure that the needs of our students and our community are heard within this broader context. As one of the co-leaders of the Measure V campaign, we have seen Richard quickly and credibly establish relationships throughout the community.
Joe has served the Moraga Community in a multitude of leadership positions. Working with the town, the school board, and representing the Moraga Sports Alliance, Joe played a key role in upgrading the Camino Pablo fields and improving the recreational space currently enjoyed by our students and families. His strong financial background (CPA, MBA, JD), proven leadership in our community, and professional commitment (Joe serves as the Chair of the California Board of Accountancy’s Enforcement Advisory Committee) will make Joe an excellent addition to our School Board.
Our schools are one of our town’s greatest assets. Who we elect to steward their continued success is a very important decision. It is with first-hand knowledge of their character and motivation that I whole-heartedly endorse Richard Severy and Joe Rosenbaum for the Moraga School Board.
Moraga School Board President
Jorgens Will Protect Orinda
I support Craig Jorgens for MOFD Director. I have talked to him about his concerns for undertaking mitigation efforts in Orinda to reduce our risk of a catastrophic firestorm. He is aware of the dangers we face living in the wildland-urban interface and is ready to take action with regards to vegetation management. We need proactive people like Craig helping direct our fire protection.
Jorgens for MOFD
I strongly support Craig Jorgens for the MOFD board. I worked with Craig for over 10 years, most recently as the head of Strategy and Development for ICO Global Communications. I know Craig to be a quick learner, who makes well informed, fact-based decisions and uses his broad background in finance, engineering and operations to develop fiscally responsible, creative solutions to complex problems. Craig does a great job of seeing both sides of an issue and applies strong cost / benefit analysis to his decisions. He was a pleasure to work with and is well respected by both his former employees and the managing board. Craig will make an excellent MOFD Board member.