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Published October 17th, 2018
Letters to the Editor

Teresa Gerringer for Lafayette City Council

I am writing to heartily endorse Teresa Gerringer’s candidacy for the Lafayette City Council. She will bring fiscal discipline, thoughtfulness, dedication and a wonderful ability to listen to, really hear, and bring consensus among diverse stakeholders. I saw this in action for 8 years when we served together on the Lafayette School District Governing board - nobody was as strong a representative as she was. From the day Teresa move here 22 years ago when she saw a need she jumped in offering her time and talents to help improve Lafayette; her involvement goes far beyond the school community. She made substantial contributions to LMYA swimming, Lafayette Methodist Church, the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, Lafayette Community Foundation, Springbrook Swim Club and Las Trampas Inc Center for Disability Services.
Teresa’s knowledge of our community is deep and her commitment is unparalleled. I would encourage my fellow citizens to vote Teresa Gerringer for City Council.
Ann Appert

Support for Gerringer

I am writing in support of the candidacy of Teresa Gerringer for Lafayette City Council.
I have known Teresa for over 25 years and have served with her on the Lafayette School Board where I found her to be an advocate for education and a collaborative colleague. Through her work on the Lafayette Community Foundation Board for the past 17 years and the Lafayette School Board for the last 19 years, she has shown an unselfish ability to work for the common good. She will serve as an excellent liaison between our City and our schools.
Teresa played an integral role in the conception and construction of the Lafayette Library and Learning Center, raising money to build it, and serving on the first Foundation Board to govern it. Lafayette citizens are fortunate that Teresa is once again willing to give of her time to make our community a better place for all of us.
Please join me in voting for Teresa on Nov. 6.
Mary McCosker

Beg to disagree about two council candidates

I’m replying to Ms. Ferree’s Letter to the Editor “The differences in Lafayette City Council Candidates” from October 3. I’m not a retired psychologist. I consider myself a critical observer of local politics. I too went to the Lafayette Homeowners Council meeting and listened to each candidate’s presentation followed by the Q&A. I completely disagree with Ms. Ferree stating that two of the five candidates were confrontational per her professional diagnosis as a retired psychologist. In her opinion, they seem to have not much respect for the process. I perceived them as very confident. They have experience collaborating with the citizens of Lafayette on essential issues like conflict of interest on public committees and controversial housing developments. They have volunteered their time successfully on councils, commissions, and boards. If being confident about current problems, being unafraid to state how you voted (even if you were in the minority at times), and forthcoming about your beliefs is disdainful, then showing disdain may become my new campaign slogan.
I prefer that any day over candidates who talk in vague platitudes in order to be liked and make the voter feel like they are a Gutmensch. Ms. Ferree likes the idea that the other three candidates advocate for collaboration and increased participation by community members. I don’t know if Ms. Ferree attends City Council meetings regularly. If she does, she should know that unfortunately very few of the many concerned Lafayette citizens actually participate in these meetings. Because of that, the Council does not always get the variable input they need to make better-balanced decisions. I prefer a diverse City Council made up of members who do not all agree with each other and/or City staff 100% of the time. Just like the citizens of Lafayette do not all agree all the time. To me, that seems like a nicely balanced representation for our Council.
Please vote for Ivor Samson and Susan Candell!
Anouschka Wardy

Who will serve best on the Lafayette City Council

At Lafayette’s Candidates Night, two candidates, Ivor Samson and Susan Candell, made personal attacks on their fellow candidates. We deserve better than that.
Samson tried to embarrass newcomer Dave Smith for stating his opposition to the 315-apartment project for Deer Hill. He said Smith would need to recuse himself and thus his constituents would have no voice on the project. Samson neglected to point out that Candell, in numerous writings on Next Door, indicated her own objection to the very same project.
And, as the former lawyer for PG&E, Samson has already recused himself, and will continue to recuse himself, from our second most controversial issue - PG&E’s wide-ranging cutting of trees and strategic replacement of neglected gas pipelines. By his own standards, Samson’s and Candell’s constituents would also have no voice on our two most critical issues.
We need positive, collaborative leadership. Teresa Gerringer and Karen Maggio offer just that. As women and community leaders, each has a proven history of bringing together disparate, sometimes passionate viewpoints and building coalitions to address challenging issues before our city. We need team builders who believe in a bright future for Lafayette, envisioned not by tribal instincts but by a common vision. For a stronger, cohesive Lafayette, Teresa Gerringer and Karen Maggio deserve our community’s support at the ballot box. Please take action and give them your vote!
Carol Singer

Uniquely qualified for council

It is not often that Lafayette voters can add the only uniquely qualified candidates, Susan Candell and Ivor Sansom, to fill much needed positions on the City Council. The current council members do not have engineering backgrounds, or legal expertise. Susan is a highly qualified Nuclear Engineer, with degrees from MIT and Cal. She is currently a Circulation Commissioner, Community Foundation Board Member and President of the Springhill Valley Homeowners Association. She has deep, local understanding of Environmental Impact issues, i.e. health and traffic safety problems. Ivor is a lawyer. But not just any lawyer. He has also been Lafayette Citizen of the Year, California Lawyer of the year, and a “three term” Lafayette City Councilman in prior years. He was also a founding member of the Lafayette Homeowners Council and has served on the Planning Commission.
As long time residents, Sara and I have worked on Lafayette issues with each of the candidates. We know them to be independent thinkers, who have invested their time tirelessly to understand the needs of our fellow citizens. And more important, taken action on those needs. They have certainly earned the trust and support of many of us in the community. Our city will almost immediately need the professional eye of Susan regarding new or updated Environment Impact Reports. If Mayor Tatzin is correct in predicting legal action against the city, it will be imperative that Ivor be right there, to play a significant City Council role. Timing is everything. This election is about selecting the right talent to build the strongest, formidable City Council to face, with confidence, the significant challenges before us. Vote Candell and Samson. We really need them!
Sara and Ron Brown

Candell and Samson for council

We write to endorse Susan Candell and Ivor Samson for Lafayette City Council. All of us taxpayers and voters know that Lafayette will be different in five years. AB 2923 is law, but we don’t know how its implementation will unfold. Steve Falk has resigned as City Manager, but we don’t know who will replace him. Whether those changes are for better or worse depends directly on the City Council we elect next month. As the saying goes, we live in interesting times.
Susan and Ivor share three crucial qualities. First, as a highly accomplished engineer and attorney respectively, they are professionally qualified to make sense of the complicated land use choices, and the countless overlapping regulatory and financial constraints, that Lafayette will face. Second, they are loyal to no one but the Lafayette voter. They fought an uphill fight to enact our new Conflict of Interest ordinance, to ensure that every voter in Lafayette knows that our City acts solely for us and our best interests. Third - just what are those interests? Reasonable people may disagree on every issue, and Lafayette’s homeowners’ associations are famously strong-willed, but that doesn’t make us wrong. Indeed we’re still blessed with founding members of our community, the generation who built the Lafayette we love and preserved it all these years - those folks’ voices must be heard in any discussion about the future. Susan and Ivor have the long robust histories of service to our community, and the established relationships with Lafayette HOAs, to understand what a “best outcome” looks like through the lens of our values and priorities.
Our City Council’s job is to get that best outcome for us from every opportunity and challenge that lies ahead. For that we need Councilmembers with the professional acumen to watch our back; the transparency and integrity to bargain for our side only; and the local wisdom to know what Lafayette voters want. On November 6, please vote for Susan Candell and Ivor Samson.
Cathy Beier, Secretary; George Burtt, Vice President ; Dr. Barbara Persons, Director; Peter Yun, Director
Acalanes Valley Homeowners Association

Trotter and McCluer for Moraga Town Council

Of the three candidates running for Moraga Town Council, Dave Trotter and Mike McCluer are the clear choice for those of us who value open space and want to preserve the look and feel of Moraga.
McCluer is new to the planning commission but prior to that as a private citizen he participated in the hillside/ridgeline project and supported stricter regulations.
I didn’t always support Trotter. As a planning commissioner in the 1990s he favored the Palos Colorados project which I and other open space activists opposed. We also opposed his first Council campaigns. But that was then and this is now. I haven’t changed much but Dave has. Beginning with his successful Council election in 2006 he’s become a strong proponent of open space issues in Moraga. The recently approved Hillside/Ridgeline Ordinance that he personally initiated five years ago is the latest example of his commitment to protect Moraga from unwise development.
Why is open space so important? Because our remaining open space and semi-rural landscape are the essence of Moraga. In the past I’ve called our community an oasis in an East Bay gradually choking on housing density and traffic. In the 40+ years I’ve lived here, I’ve seen gradual change in Moraga. That will continue, but it’s vital that we have council members who will stand up to the developers who are still banging on the gates, clamoring to build, build, build on lands that can’t handle building and ought to be left alone.
I don’t normally support long-term politicians, but in this case I’m making an exception. Trotter has served Moraga well on the Council. He’s been adaptive and creative and has accomplished much, but he still has one more BIG THING to do: Bollinger Canyon is threatened with a project that requires old-style massive grading to deal with the same landslide soil conditions that prompted the Moraga Open Space Ordinance (which I helped pass). Based on their records, Trotter and McCluer offer the best hope for extending MOSO-type protections to Bollinger Canyon. They deserve your vote.
Richard Immel

Clarification regarding signage for Moraga Council candidates

I’ve received some questions from members of the Moraga community regarding signs that have recently appeared asking voters to vote for myself and Steve Woehleke.
These signs were put up by a third party, but have given some the mistaken impression that Mr. Woehleke and I are running together as a slate. I want to state for the record that I’m running as an independent candidate, not as part of any slate.
I strongly encourage all Moraga voters to review the priorities and qualifications of all three candidates and vote for whomever they conclude will most effectively represent the best interests and values of Moraga.
Thank you,
Mike McCluer
Candidate for Moraga Town Council

Woehleke for Moraga Town Council

We are writing this letter to express our enthusiastic support for Steve Woehleke for Moraga Town Council.
We have known Steve and his family for a number of years and they have lived in Moraga for 31 years. Steve has extensive volunteering service having devoted 5 years on the Moraga Design Review Board; 10 years on the Planning Commission and 5 years on the Hacienda Foundation Board.
Steve brings 33 years of experience as an engineer where he gained extensive expertise in project management and organizational competency in decision making as it relates to project management. Steve also holds an MBA in Finance.
We live in a town with limited financial resources, witness the razor thin budgeted surplus expected this fiscal year. At the same time we also face substantial unfunded liabilities relating to needed storm drain repairs ($25+ million) as well as a $6 million (and growing) unfunded pension liability.
Recent history with the Town’s approach and overall strategy relating to the temporary Canyon bridge is not encouraging and is of concern - initial cost estimate of $2 million with a September 17th disclosure that the costs are now $3.7 million and perhaps more?
Moraga’s single largest immediate challenge is to address our needed storm drain system repairs. A funding plan and a prudent, cost effective and a thoroughly vetted project management approach needs to be developed - Steve has the engineering skill set to help the Town achieve these goals.
Steve will also act as a fiduciary for the Town. Witness the discussion at the candidate’s night presentation where the other two candidates were in favor of evaluating now the building of a community gym (and adding to the Town’s budget, the associated costs of carrying it) when we also face more significant resource needs for the storm drains and pension issues. At this meeting, Steve had the honesty and integrity to say “no” and not be in favor of a gym at this time (but not ruling it out permanently). We both are all in favor of adding facilities that would enrich our community but not when we cannot presently afford it. We need fiduciaries on our Town Council that say “no” when it is appropriate. We need the members of our Town Council to make better decisions - we need Steve in that room to help make this happen.
Moraga needs Steve’s skills on the Town Council and we enthusiastically encourage all of Moraga to vote for Steve!
Edward F. and Denise K. B. Silicani

Orinda City Council

Support Amy, Dennis and Nick for Council; Nathan, Lucy & Red MOFD; Christopher AUHSD
We are indeed fortunate there are several outstanding candidates running for local offices in this November’s election. Please join me in voting for these capable community members!
Orinda City Council
ú Amy Worth
ú Dennis Fay
ú Nick Kosla
MOFD Fire Board
ú Nathan Bell (Division 1)
ú Red Smith (Division 3)
ú Lucy Talbot (Division 4)
AUHSD School Board
ú Christopher Severson
I personally know all candidates and can highly recommend them as great community volunteers, fiscally prudent and welcome open communications. They all deserve your vote.
Sue Severson

Thank you, Amy Worth

We have lived in Orinda and Lafayette for 52 years, the most recent 33 years in Orinda. We are grateful for the quality of Orinda’s local government. We urge our fellow Orindans to vote to reelect Amy Worth.
Orinda has been financially well-managed and remains one of only a few California cities without an unfunded pension liability, allowing us to use all of our revenues to fund current services;
Orinda has creatively found a mix of outside grants, county and local sales tax revenues and bond proceeds to maintain our infrastructure;
Orinda built and secured long-term funding for our wonderful Orinda Library;
Orinda is one of the safest cities in California, with a City Council that pays close attention to public safety and partnership with our Fire District;
Orinda’s leaders have been dedicated to increasing the vitality of our downtown areas while preserving the semi-rural character of our residential areas;
Orinda has accomplished these and many other priorities by being led by City Council members in an open, transparent, thoughtful, collaborative way - attentive to community priorities.
Amy Worth deserves great credit and our gratitude for her years of service. We count on Amy to keep up the great work. Amy has our enthusiastic support in the November elections.
Bob Fisher
33 year Orinda resident
Mayor and Councilman, Lafayette, 1968 - 1976
Chair, Lafayette Fire and Police Service Commissions
Chair, Contra Costa County Mayors Conference
Chair, Contra Costa County Local Agency Formation Commission

Dennis Fay for Orinda City Council

I am writing to express my strong support for Dennis Fay for Orinda’s City Council. I’ve gotten to know Dennis as someone who listens respectfully, weighs decisions logically, and in the end just gets things done. We are extremely lucky to have people like him willing to give their time and expertise for the betterment of our city. I grew up in Orinda and am now raising my three girls in this lovely community - I put my full faith in Dennis Fay to represent us all on the city council. Please vote for Dennis!
Arran Schultz

I support Dennis, Nick, and Amy (“DNA”) for Orinda City Council

I will cast my three votes for Dennis Fay, Nick Kosla, and Amy Worth for City Council. Each candidate brings a different type of valuable experience needed to address the critical issues facing Orinda.
Dennis Fay is a retired transportation engineer with years of service on Orinda’s Citizens Infrastructure Oversight Commission (CIOC) which has overseen the renewal of our public roads.
Nick Kosla is an expert in municipal zoning regulations and entitlement law and has served as chair of the Orinda’s Planning Commission.
Amy Worth is respected for her many years of service on the Council and her connections and influence on regional bodies whose decisions affect Orinda.
All three candidates will listen closely to citizen views and through long residency in Orinda understand Orinda’s values and the quality of life that we all want for ourselves, our children, and future generations.
Please join me in voting for Dennis Fay, Nick Kosla, and Amy Worth for Orinda City Council.
Bob Burt

Vote for Jenkins and Phillips

I write to endorse Kathleen Jenkins and Eve Phillips for Orinda City Council. Here’ s why.
One of the most important issues facing Orinda is the future of our two downtowns. Of the five candidates running for the three seats that are at stake in this election, only Kathy and Eve have committed that any new development must be subject to the current height and density limits, and parking requirements. The other candidates have only made vague statements about preserving our village character.
Kathy and Eve have been the subject of false accusations that they are opposed to new development. Nothing could be further from the truth. Eve was the only member of the City Council to vote in favor of the conditional use permit for the two uses sought by the owner of 25A Orinda Way, across from the library. Kathy spoke out publicly in support of that project.
See the minutes of the June 6, 2017 Council meeting.
https:llcityoforinda.app.box.com/v/citycouncilmeetings/file/2138078866l 5
Kathy and Eve, unlike the other candidates, have not made a career of working for the bureaucracy or working as consultants to developers. They bring a breath of fresh air. Eve was the only member of the current Council to vote against the recent $250,000 streetscape consultant contract. http://www.lamorindaweekly.com/archive/issuel209/Eisen-Letunic-winsstreetscape-master-plan-contract.html Kathy has gone on record as in favor of fiscal responsibility and fewer consultants.
Please vote for Kathleen Jenkins and Eve Phillips for Orinda City Council.
Nick Waranoff

Endorsing Amy Worth

In the current political environment it is easy to feel that our elected representatives should change for the sake of change. However, some leaders only get better with time. Amy Worth of Orinda is one of those leaders.
Over and over, she has shown vision and clear decision-making capabilities as Orinda grapples with crumbling infrastructure, downtown revitalization and regional housing and transportation issues.
Her strong relationships with local, state and national leaders help Orinda on an on-going basis. When our city needs something, she knows whom to contact and they always respond. As a member of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, she is in a unique position to help drive the right balance between local and regional transportation planning interests and to help Orinda leverage regional programs.
Our community is fortunate that Amy has chosen to give her time and energy to us, rather than to the many other opportunities that she has. I look forward to voting for her for Orinda City Council and hope that others will, as well.
Paula Reinman

Eve Phillips Blocks Progress on Orinda’s Downtown and Roads

As I’ve observed our city council votes over the past four years, it’s clear that first-term council member Eve Phillips has consistently voted against progress on improving our downtown and roads. As examples, Eve was the only council member of five to vote against these critical items:
1) Sole vote against simply initiating a council discussion on ways to improve our downtown (July 21, 2015)
2) Sole vote against approving a small contract with experts on downtown improvement, which ultimately resulted in a useful report with action items that city staff has since pursued (November 15, 2016)
3) Sole vote against commissioning a plan to improve our public spaces downtown, including downtown creek restoration (June 19, 2018)
4) Sole vote against placing a bond on the 2016 ballot to improve our roads, going against the will of almost 70% of Orinda’s voters who ultimately approved it. The revenue has since helped repave pot-holed roads throughout Orinda (Feb 16, 2016).
On Election Day on November 6th, all Orindans who care about progress on downtown and our roads should be aware of Ms. Phillips’ voting record and vote accordingly.
Anthony Malutta

Nick Kosla for Orinda City Council

One of the best decisions our family has ever made was to make Orinda our home. Growing up, Nick was blessed with life-long friends, warm community, magnificent natural surroundings and a security that only a town like Orinda can provide through dedicated leadership. Nick, with his beautiful home-town wife and daughters will work hard to ensure Orinda continues down a path of responsible decisions ensuring all residents the confidence that the best is yet to come.
Grand/Mom Kosla will Pick Nick
Francine Kosla

Looking for leaders we can trust in State Assembly

I want to commend the East Bay Times for its endorsement of Catharine Baker in the 16th Assembly District race. I appreciate that it called out Bauer-Kahan for making several misleading statements about Baker. Dishonesty in politics is running too rampant and we need leaders we can trust. Moreover, when Bauer-Kahan was called out on her false statements, her reply was an uninspiring, “That’s what I was told.” We teach our children to do their own research and it is certainly reasonable to expect the same out of someone who wants to represent us in the Assembly. I simply won’t vote for someone who will distort the truth to win an election just because that’s what they were told to say. The Times nailed it: “voters deserve better” than Bauer-Kahan. Please vote for Catharine Baker.
William Weber

Rebecca Bauer-Kahan for Assembly

As a Lamorinda resident for over 30 years and an environmental scientist for almost 40, I used to take BART into the city for my commute. However, I have seen BART get more and more crowded, dirtier, and less safe, as BART’s infrastructure has just not kept up with the exponential housing growth in the East Bay, particularly the areas north and east of Lamorinda. As our housing crisis increases and affordable housing gets pushed further and further from the job hub in San Francisco, our transportation problems have gotten exponentially worse. Our local roads in Lafayette and Orinda are getting choked and polluted, as well, due to increased traffic in the area. I have seen cars exit Highway 24 and head parallel to the highway on surface streets, driving through Lafayette and Orinda merely to avoid highway traffic. We need to prioritize improving our public transportation options, not just for commuting, but to get people out of their cars and improve air quality. Rebecca Bauer-Kahan has pledged to accomplish these issues in the Assembly. She gets my vote.
Dr. Booker Holton, Ph.D. Ecology

A vote for Bauer-Kahan
Governor Brown has not endorsed the Republican Assembly representative Catharine Baker, although her mailer purposely misleads voters by making it appear that he did.
Catharine Baker’s assertion in her mailer that Rebecca Bauer-Kahan somehow made “secret promises” about future votes is patently absurd and not based on any facts. Rebecca has not signed any secret pledges or contracts about future votes - to the contrary, she is committed to her core values. To state otherwise is dishonest and underhanded, plain and simple.
During these turbulent political times, Lamorinda deserves to have a candidate that actually represents the values of our district. Rebecca Bauer-Kahan is much more representative of our district’s progressive values, and deserves the support of our residents.
Josh Norek

Vote for Baker and for education

Education is not a partisan issue. Assemblywoman Catharine Baker has been a champion for education issues and an ardent supporter of our schools and students. School funding remains insufficient and unstable, and our students need her continued vigilant advocacy on their behalf in Sacramento. Assemblywoman Baker does more than just advocate for better education funding; she is a visible, active, and engaged public servant who holds education workshops and town halls, promotes STEM learning and college preparation, leads child abuse prevention efforts, recognizes outstanding students and teachers, and is still an involved parent. She listens closely, asks critical questions, and makes thoughtful decisions on behalf of her constituents, even those who are not yet old enough to vote. Her actions have proven to us she is best suited to serve our students and the future of our children.
Join us to re-elect Catharine Baker for Assembly.
Suzy Pak, Clerk, Lafayette School District Governing Board
Mark Gundacker, President, Child Abuse Prevention Council of Contra Costa County

Vote for a healthy future with Bauer-Kahan

This is a frightening time when the Trump Administration is putting big business interests over the protection of wildlife and a clean environment, in spite of the warnings of reliable climate science. It is vital that we have someone representing our Assembly District who will fight 100% of the time for critical issues like (1) healthy classrooms free of chemical-based cleaners and (2) protecting people, our parks and wildlife. Catherine Baker may espouse her willingness to cross the aisle for our environment, but when I checked her record myself, it is far, far less than 100%. Baker voted against support for local agencies to use water more efficiently (AB1668), against setting new pollution limits for big polluters exploiting `cap and trade’ (AB378), against providing state funds to the low-income communities most harmed by pollution (AB523), and against mandating that all new developments undergo environmental review (AB890). I cannot support a record like that, so I will be voting for Rebecca Bauer-Kahan for a healthy future for all of our children and grandchildren.
Susan Forman


Concern over conflict of interest

As an MOFD Division 1 property owner and taxpayer, I am deeply concerned with the obvious conflict of interest that Greg Baitx will have if elected to the MOFD Board. He is an active member of Local 1230 - the very same union that negotiates with our MOFD Board for its firefighters’compensation including retirement. Clearly Baitx will have an interest in supporting his union versus the taxpayers of Moraga and Orinda. It baffles me how his candidacy is even legal, if in fact it is? Will Baitx have to recuse himself from all matters impacting the union? Why in the world would we elect someone with conflicts that would either preclude representing his constituents, requiring routine recusal, or voting notwithstanding such obvious conflicts.
I’m also greatly troubled reading that Baitx, one of three allied firefighter union candidates, in a union-paid advertisement in this publication’s September 19th edition, falsely claimed that the Moraga Town Council endorsed him for MOFD Board.
As an attorney, I know it’s illegal for government entities to endorse candidates for office. Yet, there it was, in black and white. We now learn by retraction that Moraga Council members have denied Baitx’s false endorsement claim.
Worse yet, uniformed MOFD employees cited Lucy Talbot, the competing non-union Division 4 candidate, issuing a retaliatory abatement notice demanding thousands of dollars of tree removal. Incredibly, they issued the same punitive notices to Talbot’s neighbors that dared host a “Talbot for MOFD” sign. We now learn that these harassing notices were not authorized by the Fire Chief or Marshall, yet exclusively targeted the non-union candidate and her supportive neighbors. Unsurprisingly, no similar violations were issued anywhere else in the Division. We cannot tolerate this kind of thuggery and intimidation by our fire union or its rank and file.
I ask a simple question to all MOFD residents: Do the citizens own the MOFD or does the MOFD own us? With the above antics and strong-arm tactics, it appears, sadly the latter appears to be the case.
I encourage a vote for the non-union candidates of Bell, Smith and Talbot for MOFD Board.
Larry Pines

Support for Baitx, Donner and Danziger

My name is Janet. I am a Firefighter that works for the Moraga-Orinda Fire District and a member of Local 1230 and a resident of Moraga.
In last editions Letters to the Editor, Carol Penskar claims the Moraga-Orinda Fire District is “technically insolvent ... will eventually go bankrupt ... (and) the union ran the show.” I couldn’t disagree more. Although we can’t find any official document to support $62 million in unfunded retirement liabilities Ido agree unfunded liability is a concern. To keep that concern in perspective the latest County Retirement Association Actuarial Valuation and Review shows the funding ratio of market value to actuarial liability is 90.8% funded. The MOFD Long Range Financial Forecast predicts continued revenue exceeding expenditures with the continual growth of reserve accounts. Both the community and your firefighters have a shared interest in being financially sustainable as our careers typically span decades. Therefore we support Greg Baitx, Michael Donner and Steve Danziger for the MOFD Board. Tackling unfunded liability and financial stability are all high priorities for Baitx, Donner and Danziger as well as their opponents. However, only Baitx, Donner and Danziger are able to provide a balance with their experience and expertise in fire service and public administration, which all of their opponents lack. We have been called a special interest group. In reality our firefighters are an actively involved component of this community with a unique perspective. We want the same thing that all of the community members want. That is to have a high level of firefighting, fire prevention and emergency services for a very long time. Therefore please vote for Greg Baitx, Michael Donner and Steve Danziger.
Janet Brandi-Routt

Severson for Acalanes Union High School District board

Please join me in voting for Chris Severson for the Acalanes Union High School District board. I’ve known Chris for many years. He is organized, smart, and collaborative. As an ER physician with teens of his own, he is focused on student health and wellness. I know how important it is for our schools to support our teens in their overall wellness, as well as academics. Chris will certainly help all our students to succeed.
Katie Solomon

Costa County Board of Education, Area 2

Sarah Butler for Contra Costa County Board of Education, Area 2.
Please join me in voting for Sarah Butler for the Contra Costa County Board of Education, Area 2. I have known Sarah for ten years. She has been a tireless advocate for education in our local schools, both as a parent and as an Orinda School Board Member, 2012-16. Sarah has the experience and qualifications to well serve our communities on the County Board of Education. As a teacher, I understand the role of the County Board of Education which is to serve as a link between their constituents and the County Office of Education and the County Superintendent. In that role we need someone with Sarah’s experience and knowledge of education, education policy, budget expertise, and student advocacy. The children of Contra Costa deserve the support of the most qualified representative. Vote for Sarah Butler for the Contra Costa County Board of Education, Area 2.
Colleen Sullivan

Hansen for Contra Costa County Superintendent

Thank you for your article on the upcoming election of Contra Costa County Superintendent of Schools. It is a little known and often misunderstood role that impacts our local districts, schools and children. I am a graduate of Miramonte High School, grew up in Moraga and had a wonderful career in education in Mt. Diablo Unified School District (retired in 2015). I am currently an elected Trustee for Mt. Diablo Unified. I am supporting Cheryl Hansen for this important educational leadership role. I am familiar with the careers of both of these candidates and know that Cheryl Hansen has the breadth and depth of experience and knowledge that is needed. I have seen how easy it is to mislead voters as to one’s actual experience, especially those unfamiliar with the positions and organizations. As voters are “hiring” the next County Superintendent, it’s important to drill down on the two candidates’ resumes and credentials. Cheryl Hansen is the only candidate who earned all her positions through a normal application, interview and selection process. Her resume represents authentic experience and proven leadership.
A key role of this position and the Office of Education is to support the 18 school districts throughout our county. That requires a leader who has walked the walk and talked the talk of school district educators and leaders. We need a change agent who has the ability to make the County Office of Education a `go to’ organization it was meant to be, a true service provider. Cheryl Hansen understands this. She also has the experience and knowledge to ensure fiscal accountability, provide critical services to students with special needs, leverage resources for the betterment of all school districts and students, and build strong partnerships with all stakeholders.
I strongly encourage you to vote for Cheryl Hansen.
Joanne Durkee
Pleasant Hill

Other letters

An Open Letter to the Lamorinda Weekly

As men who have followed the Kavanaugh Hearings either live on TV or through the media we disavow the implication by Senators, The White House and by Judge Kavanaugh himself that excessive drinking by boys and men is part of the male maturation process. We affirm that abusive behavior toward women and girls is never acceptable conduct, whether sober or under the influence of alcohol.
We praise Professor Ford for her courage in articulating the abuse she endured and affirm that we will work to effect change toward a more compassionate and equitable society by our example and actions through our schools and churches. We will never condone those traditions that have done so much damage to the health and aspirations of women and girls.
We ask the assistance of all people of faith to help us channel our resolve toward our vision of God’s justice for all.

Don Stump, Paul Bro, Ted DeAtley, Norman Bardsley, Richard Black, Joe Warren,
Frank Scudero, John Mendenhall
Members of The Men’s Breakfast Group of Lafayette Christian Church

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