Published June 24th, 2009
Moraga Movers to the Rescue
By Sophie Braccini
Sylvia Tobias (left) and Kelly Clancy hard at work in the Town office Photo Sophie Braccini
Sylvie Tobias always wanted to give back to the town where she's lived since the 70's, so when Kelly Clancy, from the Moraga Planning Department, asked her if she could help with clerical work she immediately accepted. Tobias' volunteer experience was the first time that the Moraga Movers' database, which lists each member's skills, was put to the test. George Fisher, President of the Movers, believes that the skills base of the group's members is an under-utilized resource in the town.
The 377 members of the Moraga Movers are listed in a file maintained by Fisher. On a suggestion by Darlene Haffner, he added a category listing professional qualifications. "Most of our members are retired," says Fisher, "but their professional experience is very diverse and they love to help." Among the qualifications listed are accounting, computers, crafts, clerical, musician, gardening, legal, medical, sales and marketing, web master, woodwork and others.
Tobias, who volunteered to help the Town, had a job there in the past. "I used to write the minutes as a contractor for most of the commissions and Council meetings," she explains. "Staff used to give me a tape and I typed the minutes from there." Tobias remembers the office she worked in at 329 Rheem. She continues to feel close to the town and enjoyed coming back to lend a hand. "Everyone was so easy to work with and friendly," said Tobias, "I will go back whenever they need me."
By the same token, Clancy was very pleased with the help. "Sylvia Tobias came in last Friday and was here from 10 am until about 4 pm," she said, she was a trooper! We had a mailing that needed to be folded and sealed and stamped for postage for 1559 addresses. I could not have done it without her." Clancy adds that as staff move to the Hacienda while the building at 329 Rheem undergoes construction work, she will most probably need help with a myriad of tasks. Planning Director Lori Salamack agrees, "Yes, we will use the Moraga Movers again when we have an appropriate project."
Recently Verna Osborne took the minutes at the Moraga Liaison meeting, replacing Susan Sperry who's been the notes-master for years. "I had to follow up to check names and background information," said Osborne, all the people I phoned and emailed were very gracious and helpful." Before retirement, this 17 year Moraga resident used to take notes at legislative hearings in Sacramento, so the fast flow of information was not a problem for her. She reported enjoying discovering this monthly meeting and getting to know all the town's officials.
George Fisher hopes to promote the Movers' skills with other departments and organizations. "Jay Ingram, the Parks and Rec Director, works closely with us and knows what we are doing," said Fisher. "He told Kelly about us. With our very wide range of skills we can help ourselves first; of course, town departments and other community groups can always contact us and have a discussion." The best way to reach the Movers is to call 376-6622.

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Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA