Published December 9th, 2009
Letters to the Editor
What a wonderful front page photo with the Lamorinda area Mayors and story about the upcoming Holiday season on the Nov. 25th edition. Directly below is an article that highlights "Police Costs Becoming Unsustainable, Lafayette and Orinda Consider Alternatives."
The picture of three local Mayors tells the story, a catastrophic story on why Cities are experiencing revenue problems. Last I checked, the Lamorinda Loop is about 15 miles and can be easily covered by bicycle. Though the overall square miles of the area is a bit larger it's quite small overall. Let's start to add this up on what politicians fail to do for the people all over California and the US; reduce the size of government and reduce and or control expenses. Though articles are floating around to combine fire departments in the area, why not create a single (1) Lamorinda government body? Why does Lamorinda require three of the major functions in local government for such a small area? I'm sure this idea has been discussed before but no politician will stand up and fight for this worthy cause. Oh, I'm confident the pundits will say that such an initiative is impossible. When you look at all the pensions, offices, benefits, overtime (I could keep going), it's easy to see why Cities are out of money and then say let's tax the people and by the way, we are going to reduce services. Bottom line; until small cities like the ones in Lamorinda can put their "nimby" attitudes aside and start working for the average American taxpayer, more taxes and unsustainable pensions whereby government workers retire at 55 and drain the system simply cannot continue.
Dena Martine

So, I made an already long day even longer and attended a recent Moraga Planning Commission meeting. I must say, like most of you, I'd been too busy to attend most Town Council and Planning Commision meetings for many years, but am glad I went on 11/30. On the agenda was a proposal by out of town developers to replace an orchard with high rise, high density housing with questionable commercial buildings.
One of the reasons my family and I moved to Moraga almost 25 years ago was to enjoy the semi-rural nature of the town, and the fact that an individual's voice would be heard in a such a small town.
Well, even in Moraga, one voice is not enough. It's time for us Moragans to wake up and raise our voices. If we don't, out of town, special interest, and short term gain developer centric concerns will push their way through. We must remain vigilant in order for democracy to thrive. Our hard working and capable officials are crying out to hear what we, the citizens of this quiet little town at the end of the cul-de-sac, want the future of our town to be. They ask for and deserve our input and support.
Do we want high rise, high density, high rise housing? Do we want more empty store fronts and increased traffic, congestion, overwhelming our minimal town services? Or, do we want to preserve our quality of life and the reasons most of us moved here?
Regardless of how you feel, now is the time to wake up and make your voices heard. Otherwise, the future of our little town will be determined by a determined and organized minority, and democracy will wither in our silence.
For starters, please try and read the gist of the Moraga Center Specific Plan, For me, I see this as a veiled, self serving view by an outside concern of what our town should be. It threatens to open the flood gates of high density housing. As many may recall, to prevent becoming a large, noisy city and to retain our town's character was the main reason Moraga incorporated 35 years ago. High rise, high traffic, and high density housing we did not want then, and we do not want it now. The applicants want to change our semi-rural housing density to dozens of units per acre, alluding to State mandated low income housing requirements which most communities cannot possibly meet, at the expense of due process and carefully thought out and enacted local building codes and zoning ordinances.
Most of us favor appropriate, controlled development in our area and welcome our out-of-town wealthy landowners to develop their property, but only if they abide by the rules and guidelines everyone else does. Attend a Planning Commission and Town Council meeting or two! Send them an email expressing your concerns and dreams. Speak up now to help preserve our quality of life and at the same time allow peace and prosperity. Concerned citizens of Moraga and all of Lamorinda, speak up!
Ferenc Kovac

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