Published October 29th, 2008
Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:
As Orinda City Council member the past four years, Victoria Smith has provided leadership and support to Orindans. In 2004, my husband Sarge and I recognized her commitment to the betterment of our community in a caring and fiscally responsible manner. I don't need to repeat her accomplishments -- if you are not already aware of them, you can read about these elsewhere.
What I must stress is that we need the benefit of her ongoing efforts today, and so I most heartily encourage you to join me in voting to return Victoria to the City Council to continue those efforts.
Sue Littlehale

Dear Editor,
Victoria Smith gets it! Her vision for Orinda is crystal clear- " safe roads ". She has worked tirelessly to improve the city's roads by being on the Campaign Committee for Measure Q and Co-Chair for Measure E to obtain funds to repave the city's failed roads. The repavement of Moraga Way happened during her watch!
I've known Victoria and her husband, Wick, and her two sons, Will and Daniel, for the last eleven years. I've known her as a leader in the Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. She has also been a leader in the Parent's Clubs in Sleepy Hollow,Wagner Ranch, OIS and Miramonte. Whether it's as a parent, Planning Commissioner or City Council member, Victoria understands the needs of our families and our community. We need someone in the City Council who understands the needs of our community and can find a consensus to tough problems. Victoria Smith's tenure as a City Council Member has been about bringing diverse groups together to find workable solutions! We have a long way to go to fix our roads and we need to trust people like Victoria Smith to work with different groups and achieve a solution. You can trust Victoria. Vote for Victoria Smith for City Council of Orinda !
Carlos Baltodano

Smith and Glazer are Keepers for Orinda City Council
We have had the opportunity to see both Victoria Smith (Orinda mayor) and Steve Glazer (Orinda City Council member and ex-mayor) in action, and we'd like to encourage our fellow Orinda residents to re-elect them for Orinda City Council.
After seeing the types of issues that they address, from city-wide projects and improvements to neighborhood planning issues, we realize that they have faced two classic problems: balancing interests that are sometimes conflicting and doing so much with so little. Both Victoria Smith and Steve Glazer have volunteered countless amounts of time and expertise, have done an outstanding job of improving our city, and have handled these tough problems with diplomacy, integrity, and ALWAYS the best interests of our special city, Orinda, in mind and at heart.
Please join us in voting to re-elect Victoria Smith and Steve Glazer for Orinda City Council on November 4th!
Allison and John Banisadr

Dear Editor
Orinda residents, please join me in voting to reelect Mayor Victoria Smith to the Orinda City Council.
I had the pleasure of working with Mayor Smith on the bond campaign to fund the repair of roads, drains and water lines in Orinda. I was impressed by her leadership which I was able to observe over many weeks. She demonstrated her concern over the issues raised by opponents to the bond issue and did everything possible to explain the necessity and feasibility of the proposal and to address the concerns of the opponents.
Although the bond issue narrowly failed, with Victoria's leadership Moraga Way has been restored, and a sound program for road improvements has been established with citizen participation and oversight. Road improvements are a major part of her agenda.
Mayor Smith has demonstrated her desire to be more responsive to citizens, to make city council business more transparent and to encourage citizen involvement in city government.
Mayor Victoria Smith deserves our vote to reelect her to the City Council.
Jack D. Wickware

What kind of ad is the Follow The Money ?
Somebody paid for it? Let's, as they suggest, FOLLOW THE MONEY.
I am an independent, undecided voter at this time, and I read the letters to the editor seeking information about the candidates. This kind of negative smear does not sit well with me. Why are the accusers willing to pay for what appears to be character assassination. In this country the law says we are entitled to know our accuser(s), to comprehend what we are being accused of, and to defend ourselves. Anyone can make any kind of claim, It may be true, or it may be totally without merit.
To publish what looks like an unsubstantiated smear is to slander the accused . If the charges are true, document them .
And the Lamorinda Weekly should allow the accused opportunity to defend themselves.
Penny Kermit

Dear Editor,
As you probably already know, Mayor Victoria Smith is up for re-election. As many people have already stated, she has done an amazing job and I would also like to urge you to vote for her in the upcoming election. It would bring great joy to me to see her in office for another term.
Joe Loudon
To the Editor:
Steve Glazer is a candidate for the Orinda City Council in this November's election. In Mr. Glazer's Candidate Statement in the Voter Information Pamphlet he lists his occupation as "Orinda City Council member." Councilmembers receive no salary; so how does Mr. Glazer support his family? The answer is that Mr. Glazer is a paid consultant for developers. Why does Mr. Glazer try to hide this from the voters? Also, why does Mr. Glazer not reveal his education as the other two candidates do?
On Mr. Glazer's signs he states "Fresh Ideas and Proven Record." One of the "fresh ideas" seems to be the concealment of the fact that Mr. Glazer is a developer's consultant. Part of his "proven record" seems to be the concealment of his developer connections. With such evasion can we trust Mr. Glazer in other matters?
Barbara Vaughn

To the Editor:
Novel and fresh ideas are desperately needed on the Orinda City Council. Dr. Robert (Bob) Larsen, now running for the city council, is Orinda's best hope for needed change. For years, Orinda has been governed by a entrenched group of fiscally reckless city council members. Larsen has promised to end the rancid tax-and-spend atmosphere pervading Orinda.
Larsen would be a dramatic improvement over incumbent city council member Victoria Smith, who is running for re-election.
Grotesque conflicts of interests permeate Smith's campaign. She has received campaign contributions from companies which she is supposed to regulate.
According to Form 460, which can be obtained from Orinda's city government, Smith has received significant campaign contributions from AWIN management and from Waste Management, two companies in the rubbish-collection business.
Smith is a member of the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority, the entity which sets Orinda's garbage-collection fees. On March 1, the solid waste authority raised Orinda's garbage-pickup fees by 14.7% (Contra Costa Times, Feb. 1). Smith supported the fee increase, an increase several times the annual rate of inflation.
Are Smith's campaign contributions a reward for her support of the higher fees? Instead of supporting the higher garbage fees, Smith should have opened Orinda's garbage-collection system to honest, competitive bidding.
Smith cannot be trusted to govern wisely. Please vote for Larsen, not for Smith. Larsen has not taken money from special interests.
Richard S. Colman

We enthusiastically support Dr. Bob Larsen for City Council for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that we have known him for twelve years. His intelligence and integrity is above reproach. He is able to solve problems quickly and efficiently while working with people of diverse backgrounds. He is an experienced business owner and an accomplished medical doctor, honored with many professional achievements. Last but certainly not least, his ideas for improving our community are long overdue.
Not only does Dr. Larsen support continued public school excellence and stepping up the repaving of our horrific public roads, but he sees a critical opportunity to improve our Orinda community tax base and retail experience. Have you ever asked yourself why there are so many retail vacancies and such high business turnover here? Why do businesses choose other small towns nearby to locate to? Ask any store owner. They will tell you that Orinda is nearly impossible to deal with. We all end up paying a very high price since we have to personally fund more of our improvements or not fund them at all.
Dr. Larsen advocates a healthy business environment not just for tax revenues but to improve the services and environment for citizens. The City Council needs to offer compelling incentives to attract and keep business here.
The downtown area of Orinda can be refurbished to look more inviting and more attractive. Our city looks like the far flung assortment of storefronts that clearly lack a guiding and planning hand. Residents rarely shop here and our kids have nothing to keep them here. It's a travesty.
The expectations of our elected officials must be much higher. With Dr. Bob Larsen our community will have a stronger voice to carry out a progressive agenda.
Rosarie Hartmeyer, Ph.D. and Bailey Hartmeyer

The Current Orinda City Council allowed The Wilder (formerly Gateway) Development to erect monstrous Power Towers on our beloved hills, destroying the "semi rural" nature of our community, and formerly pristine views from both public property (eg Orinda BART platform) and private property (many homes, including my own). There was no communication to citizens about this possible change to our Orinda landscape.
Clearly the incumbents do not abide by the definition of Transparency.
Thank goodness we have

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