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Published April 20th, 2016
Letters to the Editor

Voters Shouldn't Approve L Without More Discussion

Dear Editor,

Orinda's bad roads need to be fixed, but they need to be fixed properly.
In June 2014, Orinda's voters approved a $20 million bond for road repair. As of late March 2016, only $2.5 million of the $20 million were spent.
Now, Orinda's voters are being asked to approve a $25 million road-repair bond - Measure L - at the June 2016 election. The measure needs a two-thirds vote to pass.
Voters should be given a chance to see how well the $20 million from 2014 are spent before approving any more money. Holding off additional spending in June 2016 is wise because in November 2016 there will be, on the fall ballot, a large number of competing, tax-raising measures.
The Orinda City Council has refused to hold town-hall meetings (or press conferences) on Measure L of 2016. When so much of Orinda's future - in terms of roads and money - is at stake, the city council should make a special effort to meet with and educate voters. However, the city council, with the notable exception of council member Eve Phillips, refuses to meet with Orinda's taxpayers. Why is the majority of the city council unwilling to have an open and public town-hall meeting about an expensive, $25 million road bond?
For the 2014 bond measure of $20 million, Orinda did not appoint a special project manager. Orindans must be assured that if Measure L of 2016 passes, a qualified and experienced project manager will be appointed. There is no guarantee that, with the passage of Measure L, such a manager will be appointed.
I urge Orindans to vote NO on Measure L. Voters must have a sensible plan for road repair before providing Orinda's government with more money!

Richard S. Colman
Chairman, Orindans for Better Roads

Measure L Will Not Do the Job

Dear Editor,

On the June ballot, the Orinda City Council will ask the voters to approve a $25 million property tax increase to repair Orinda's roads. This is the third time the city has come to us for money for this project and it will not be the last. The total cost of repairing all of Orinda's roads will be roughly $80 million. To date the city has raised only $35 million, and even if Measure L passes, the city will be still be $20 million short. The city council is kicking the can down the road hoping they can to come back to the voters again when the city runs out of money. This approach presents a big risk to the 20 percent of families whose homes will remain on poor roads.
How can they be sure that the 80 percent of lucky voters whose roads are fixed will vote for yet another tax increase?
At a city council meeting in January, State Senator Steve Glazer made an appearance to urge the council to go for the $25 million rather than be up front about the true cost. Why would he do that? People who follow city politics think Mr. Glazer is afraid that a $45 million measure for Orinda would reduce the voters' appetite for another tax measure that he is supporting on the same ballot. Furthermore, admitting that the city has been fooling the voters about the true cost of fixing their roads reflects badly on the job he and the council did while he was the city's mayor.
Don't take the risk that your road will not be fixed. Vote NO on Measure L and send a clear message to the city council to come back in November with a comprehensive tax measure that repairs all our roads and provides funds for their long-term maintenance.
For more information go to: www.orindaroadfacts.info.

Roger Squier

Vote Yes on L

Dear Editor,

We moved to St. Stephens Drive nine years ago and appreciate living in this beautiful community. However, in the time we have been here many of Orinda's roads have deteriorated badly. We are grateful that our road has been repaired, but we know that the current funds will not stretch far enough to fix all the roads that need it.
Other Orinda residents are desperately waiting for their roads to be repaired as well. Our roads are the foundation of our city, and all of us who live here share the responsibility of keeping them in good shape.
Measure L is necessary in order to continue the progress we have made repairing our roads. We know that Orinda cannot fix all the roads that need repair without additional funds. If we don't finish fixing the roads in Orinda now, the delays will lead to much bigger issues and more costly repairs in the future. Measure L continues the work to restore Orinda roads to a good safe condition. We all need to take responsibility for making sure the roads are repaired. I urge you to VOTE YES ON MEASURE L!

Jay Solmonson & Le Tran-Thi
PG&E Says Thank You

Dear Editor,

Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Company would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the community for its support during the recent gas outage caused by the sinkhole in Moraga. Mother Nature can often create significant weather-related challenges, including gas and electric outages, and we know how tough this can be on families and businesses. In these situations, a coordinated response is key to safely and quickly restoring service to the communities we serve. I personally was in Moraga and saw firsthand the hard work and collaboration between the town and first responders, including the fire department.
As soon as we learned that a stop light severed our gas line, our crews immediately went to the scene and worked through the night to restore gas service to the 2,500 customers who were without service. I stayed with our team through the night to ensure that we were prioritizing the safety of our community and effectively coordinating our work.
When gas service is lost, it takes two visits to every residence and business. During the first visit, we gain access to the meter and shut off the gas. Once we have resolved the issue, we then revisit each customer to safely restore service by turning the gas on at the meter and relighting pilot lights. When restoring service during an unplanned and immediate response, customers may not be home or available, delaying completion of the restoration process.
During the outage, I met with some of the local leaders and residents who welcomed more than 200 PG&E employees from Northern and Central California to assist in our restoration and customer outreach efforts. We received very positive feedback from Moraga officials and members of the community, and I would personally like to thank you again for your ongoing support. You can be confident that in an emergency situation, we will be there to support our communities. For us, our customers are also our family members, friends, neighbors and colleagues, too and we are proud to serve our community.

John Higgins,
Vice President of Gas Transmission and Distribution


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