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Published September 5th, 2018
Letters to the Editor

Dear editor,
I am a homeowner in Orinda and definitely not an engineer. We have been pleased that our road is currently being resurfaced and we’re thankful to our city for making this happen. That being said, I have a serious question about the best practices used by our road contractor with the resurfacing and whether our city or EBMUD understands the process enough to mitigate the expense either to EBMUD rate payers or the city of Orinda.
Specifically, after our road was scraped a heavy vibrating steam roller compacted the soil prior to resurfacing. My neighbors and I all felt it, as if an earthquake rocked us for 30 minutes or more. No problem with that, but the next day we had a major water leak from our main water line in the street. I called Orinda and someone showed up for the city who marked out gas and water lines. He told me this happens a lot. EBMUD showed up and they’ve been here with excavators, etc. for 10 hours and I know this has been an expensive repair. My neighbor and I think this must be at least a 50K repair job given all the heavy equipment and manpower.
I spoke to the EBMUD foreman and he said this is an EBMUD expense because “We can’t prove how it happened”. OK, that’s not my venue, but the fact is, the steam roller rolled right over many times the cap of the main water line and there’s no question it busted all the water connections under the street. I asked the EBMUD foreman if that makes any sense, and he said it was crazy because of course, that will destroy all the connections.
Like I said, I’m not an engineer, but the EBMUD foreman and I both questioned why the main water connections to the street couldn’t be handled uniquely prior to compacting. I am a residential builder, and I am trying to understand the thinking that doesn’t consider how to minimize this kind of damage. If the thinking by the city and contractor is that EBMUD just absorbs this practice I think it should be called out. We are all paying for this, one way or another.
David Kirk

MOFD board of Directors election
Elect independents for MOFD Board
It is encouraging that so many citizens are standing up to run for the MOFD Board which directs our emergency services provider, managing over $25 million tax dollars each year. In the last issue of the Lamorinda Weekly retiring Director Famulener pointed to the improved condition of the Pension by $12 million, and that is good news. But it mostly was the result of a robust investment economy, not MOFD economies. In 2008, MOFD’s Pension assets lost almost 30% of their value. That would be a $50 million loss today. MOFD retirement plans are still $75 million underfunded. Yet the employee’s union is demanding that less money go to reduce this debt so that more can go to salaries which currently average $150,000 including overtime but excluding $200,000 in benefit costs. While our firefighters provide us great service, the management of MOFD has to remain independent of their union. This is why it would be dangerous to elect any of the three union supported candidates for the MOFD Board: Baitx, Danziger or Donner. Please elect the independent candidates (Bell, Anderson, Smith and Talbot).
Steve Cohn
Lucy Talbot is BEST choice for District 4
We endorse Lucy Talbot for the Board of the Moraga-Orinda Fire District (MOFD).
We've had the pleasure of knowing Lucy for thirty years and believe she is the best representative for the challenges facing MOFD. Lucy brings a combined business and philanthropic background with experience working closely with fire districts (in her previous career), being a small business owner with a track record of strong fiscal responsibility and serving as an active community volunteer.
She understands the importance of strong, community-minded representation in order to manage the services so critical to Orinda's daily operations. Lucy is never afraid to get involved; we know many people in the community have had a firsthand opportunity to experience Lucy's commitment to making Orinda a better place. Both of us have enjoyed working with her throughout the years on various local projects (including many at various schools) where we observed her positive, professional attitude and collaborative nature. Lucy's ability to carefully listen to the issues and develop a measured strategy for a path to solutions is critical to an organization's longevity. We are confident that Lucy understands the concerns of Orinda's citizens because she is focused on fire prevention plans as well as seeking solutions to reducing emergency response times and unfunded pension liabilities.
Please join us in voting for Lucy Talbot for MOFD Board.
Jane and Mark Zuercher

Lucy Talbot for MOFD Board!
We have known Lucy Talbot for 35 years. We are delighted that she has made the decision to become a candidate for MOFD Board. We support her in this role because she is dedicated to the community, she is energetic & enthusiastic about our beautiful neighborhoods, and she is a hard worker who does her homework and researches issues carefully. She is a dynamic businesswoman, wife, and mother. She is thoughtful and articulate. Lucy is an independent thinker. As a graduate of UC Berkeley and a lifelong resident of the Lamorinda area, she is deeply concerned about fire prevention, fiscal responsibility, and emergency response times. I know that these issues concern us all as we experience the changing weather including an increase in the number of days with high fire risk.
We ask our friends and neighbors to please give Lucy your vote!

Joan & Frank Maxwell
Orinda residents
Dear Editor:

Nathan Bell for MOFD Board

I write in support of Nathan Bell for the Moraga Orinda Fire District Board. I have known Nathan for well over 25 years and have worked with him in various volunteer capacities and have been impressed by his integrity and his consistent generosity of time and resources in support of community organizations. He and his wife, Melanie, have raised a fine family of five children, sent them all to Moraga schools and have been good community citizens. I have every confidence that he will represent the citizens of Moraga well as a member of the MOFD Board which oversees the affairs of the District. He will be fair in his dealings with the firemen's union and in representing the financial realities of the District. I enthusiastically recommend him for your vote.

Marlene Jex

Dear Editor:
Nate Bell for MOFD Board
Passing onto the next generation of Moragans what the Contra Costa Times called a "humongous retirement debt" is simply not right. I've known and worked with Nathan for over 25 years in business. He has an excellent understanding of complex financial matters. I have every confidence he will strike the right balance between providing adequate emergency services and managing down the burdensome debt of the MOFD.
Bill Wright

Dear Editor:


My neighbor and good friend, Nathan Bell has volunteered to run for the MOFD Board of Directors, an unpaid community service position. This is so consistent with Nathan and his wife's personalities to give back to the community. Over the past 30 years they have raised their five children here in the community where they attended Moraga schools and have given hundreds of hours of volunteer service. His wife, Melanie, has coached on a volunteer basis the Campolindo HS girls tennis team for six seasons. Both Nathan and Melanie have been exceedingly kind to my children and it is evident they truly care about our community. Nathan will bring the same love of community to the position of Director for the MOFD. I urge your support and vote for Nathan Bell.

Courtney Johnson

To the editor,
We would like to strongly endorse Red Smith as a Board Director for the MOFD, Division 3.
We have known Red for over two decades and have witnessed his complete and thorough involvement in the Moraga community. With four children participating in all aspect of what Lamorinda has to offer (dance, baseball, football, girl scouts, boy scouts, dance, and more) Red has been a vital part of many community activities. In turn this has made the Lamorinda community a vital part of the entire Smith family.
Red has served on the school board, volunteered with the boy scouts and girl scouts, lectured at Cal and St. Mary’s, and with his business background, knows about working in teams, leading teams, and effectively delivering the oversight and safety that we all need. With his knowledge of tech, business, and the community, Red is well positioned to help focus on emerging technologies for emergency services and fire prevention.
I hope your readers will join us in supporting Red Smith for this position.
Thank you,
Eileen Hoffinger
Scott Hoffinger

This is to support the candidacy of Red Smith for Division 3 representative on the Board of Directors for the Moraga – Orinda Fire District (MOFD). We have known Red for over 20 years. Throughout that time, Red has been an energetic community supporter. He has served many times as a Board Member/Advisor of local schools, has been an ardent supporter of Boys Scouts and Girl Scouts, having raised three boy scouts and a girl scout, and perhaps most memorably, served enthusiastically for many years as a coach for youth baseball. Red is an accomplished finance, technology, and marketing executive. For the past two decades, Red has successfully lead young technology companies through financing, technology development and marketing. He has been a guest lecturer on entrepreneurship at Cal and St. Mary’s. One of Red’s many strengths as a leader has been the ability to recognize and reconcile the needs of diverse interests and to channel them toward a common vision. We are confident that Red has the drive to leverage his leadership and entrepreneurial skills to contribute to community safety by evaluating emerging technologies to identify risks and to take precautionary steps required to make residents more secure. We are confident that Red will act in a fiscally responsible manner while ensuring appropriate budget management not only for current operations but also for future pension and medical obligations.
Stephen & Rosemary Durant

Dear Editor,
This is a letter endorsing Red Smith, an outstanding and respected community member and friend, who is running for a position as a Board Director for the Moraga-Orinda Fire District. (MOFD). Red is well qualified for this post for many reasons including; his professional experience as a CEO in technology and finance, his deep roots in local community service with youth baseball, scouting, and various boards, and his passion for serving people in our community. We’ve had the fortunate experience of knowing Red though the Haas School of Business MBA program and as a supportive “dance dad” at CAPA. Many people in the community know Red and his wife Gina of over 30 years due to their involvement in the community and their hard to miss four red headed young adult children. Red’s warm personality, easy laughter, ability to listen and collaborate, as well as his boundless energy and ability to inspire others, make Red Smith a valuable team member and leader. Red’s goals for the MOFD include focusing on fire prevention, assisting with emerging technologies for emergency services, and to prudently manage the budget. If anyone can make a difference it is the dynamic and passionate Red Smith! Please consider joining our family as we endorse Red Smith to serve on the MOFD.

Lori and Mark Oczkus

Orinda City council election



I strongly support Dennis Fay for Orinda City Council. In his capacity as Chair of the Citizens Infrastructure Oversight Commission he was instrumental in developing the program to repair Orinda’s roads that is now being implemented. He is dedicated to completing that plan and to finding sufficient revenue to maintain the roads in good condition in the future. Dennis is an excellent listener and knows how to develop consensus on complex and divisive issues. As a long time Orinda resident he understands the needs of this beautiful small town as well as the economic and fiscal issues that confront it. He brings experience that will assure that the city is well managed and retains its excellent credit standing. He will also work to preserve its essential character as a charming family-oriented small town with a human scale while striving to revitalize our downtown. I urge all Orinda citizens to vote for Dennis Fay.

Brad Barber

I strongly support Dennis Fay for the Orinda City Council and believe he will be an effective and collaborative leader for our City. I have known Dennis both professionally and personally for many years and served with him on Orinda’s Citizens’ Infrastructure Oversight Commission (CIOC). As Chair of the CIOC, his leadership was instrumental in developing the comprehensive program to repair Orinda’s street system that is now successfully being delivered for our residents. He is dedicated to completing the repair of our roads and finding revenue to maintain them once the repairs are complete. Dennis knows how to bring people together and develop consensus on complex issues and projects involving diverse viewpoints. As the former Executive Director of what is now the Alameda County Transportation Commission, he achieved positive solutions while demonstrating great fiscal responsibility.
Dennis is a long time Orinda resident who understands the needs of our community and the issues facing our future. He brings an extraordinary level of knowledge and experience that will be a huge asset for Orinda. I am confident that Dennis will work to assure the character of Orinda is retained while striving to revitalize our downtown. I hope you will join me in voting for Dennis Fay, a proven leader for Orinda.
Darlene K. Gee

Dennis Fay for Orinda City Council
Orinda is very fortunate to have a candidate for the Orinda City Council with Dennis’ background and experience. He has served Orinda as chair of the Citizens’ Infrastructure Oversight Commission (CIOC) and was instrumental in developing the recommendations for the City’s ongoing road improvement program. Dennis is a long time Orinda resident with a distinguished professional career in transportation management, most recently as Executive Director of what is now the Alameda County Transportation Commission. He embodies the spirit of volunteerism by Orinda citizens with a professional expertise they are willing to share for the betterment of our community. Please join me in voting for Dennis Fay on November 6.
Tom Trowbridge

I’ve known Nick Kosla since we were children, when we both attended Santa Maria Church and Orinda’s local schools. I have been delighted to keep the friendship continuing as our children now go to Wagner Ranch Elementary and Orinda Intermediate School together.
I am passionate about making Orinda a better place to live. Nick and I and our families have had numerous conversations on this topic. Recently, we’ve had a couple break-ins on our street, and it’s very concerning. Safety should be one of the top concerns for our City Council, and I know first-hand it certainly is for Nick Kosla. I believe Nick will be able to draw on his experience working with local police and municipal governments around California to make all Orindans safe. People come to Orinda for the serene and safe way of life, and we should vote for Nick to maintain these qualities – vote for Nick for a safer Orinda!
Leigh Fortune Feusier – Orinda

I just heard today that Nick Kosla is running for City Council in Orinda! This is great news for all of us. Some things I know about Nick -- he is genuine, transparent, capable, passionate, and trustworthy. His heart is in the right place. He cares. He is someone you want on your team. Nick will follow through with what he sets out to do, and he will take simple and effective approaches to getting things done. Nick will draw on his passion and robust professional background in community planning to focus on revitalizing downtown, protecting and improving our public spaces, and promoting the sense of community in which Orinda prides itself.

Tamra Aguinaldo

Nick Kosla for City Council will mean an investment in our roads.
Nick Kosla's experience in community planning will be a huge asset to the City as Orinda continues to make an investment in infrastructure and road improvements. For over a decade, Nick has professionally negotiated engineering and construction contracts throughout the Bay Area and Northern California. His understanding and experience working with developers and contractors will provide Orinda with the best contractors at the best price. The improvements made in my neighborhood have been a welcome change to the pot holes and sink holes that have been created over time. It will be extremely important for the city to manage this process well and Nick Kosla has the experience to do so. Please tell your neighbors to vote for Nick Kosla for Orinda City Council. On November 6th, be sure to get out and vote!

Tanya Caragol

Nick Kosla will bring vision and expertise to the city of Orinda

We are writing to express our support for Nick Kosla for Orinda City Council. We have known Nick and his family for several years through Wagner Ranch, the school our daughters attend, and know he cares deeply about Orinda, where he’s grown up and is now raising his family. We need someone with both vision and expertise to revitalize our downtown; Nick Kosla brings both to the table. As Chair of the Orinda Planning Commission, he’s gained the knowledge necessary to move forward and actually make some positive changes to our downtown. We’ve lived in Orinda for almost nine years and are tired of doing so much, from eating out to grocery shopping to gym membership, in neighboring towns. It’s time to breathe some life into our downtown so the wonderful community we have can also shop, dine and play locally. Nick Kosla has the drive and expertise to lead revitalization in our town. We give him our enthusiastic support and urge others to give him their vote.

Jack & Kiley O'Meara

Nick Kosla for Orinda City Council

One of my favorite times of the day is taking my chocolate lab for a walk down my street during the magical “golden hour” and watching the sun cast it’s glow over the rolling hills that are classically Orinda. I often find myself smiling as I look out, thinking about how lucky I was to grow up surrounded by such beauty and now, fortunate to return with my husband to raise our own family here. It delights me that my children visit the same library and play in the same community park that I ventured to as a child. I also can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia as we dine at the same eateries and shops like Village Pizza, Nation’s Hamburgers and Loard’s Ice Cream that I frequented as a child. There is so much to love about Orinda and yet I know there is much more work to be done to keep our beloved town thriving. This is why I was thrilled to hear that Nick Kosla is running for City Council. Nick also grew up in Orinda, as did his wife, Larissa. They too returned to Orinda in order to raise their family here. He is the perfect addition to the City Council as he knows and respects Orinda’s history, but also understands that growth and improvement are necessary to secure the future of our town. As former Chair of the Orinda Planning Commission, Nick has the experience needed to help revitalize downtown Orinda and bring in additional restaurants and shops. Keeping Orinda safe is also at the forefront of Nick’s agenda. Funding for our public services is especially important in light of the fires that have devastated many nearby areas and the knowledge that our town borders major fault lines. These are just a few of the key issues Nick intends to address if elected. Orinda needs Nick. Please join me and your fellow neighbors and vote for Nick for Orinda City Council on November 6, 2018. (If you vote by mail, please vote for Nick in October when you receive your ballot.)
Regina Gordon

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