Published November 30th, 2016
Letters to the Editor
A Letter to the Residents of

Dear Editor,
When I was mayor last year, long before we proposed Measure C, we asked Lafayette's citizens to discuss what they wanted the city council to work on for the coming decades, researched the cost of those projects, and developed options to pay for the resulting Citizens' Vision of what Lafayette should be in coming years. Measure C was the resulting effort to raise revenues for that Citizens' Vision.
For most of the past 15 years I have been balancing my work for the Lafayette City Council, the law practice I share with my wife Patricia, and raising two children, just 8 and 12 years old when I joined the council. I have put off too many important projects for too long. I recently decided that Measure C - win or lose - would mark the end of my tenure, so I resigned before the election.
Developing the Citizens' Vision for Lafayette's future has been a key accomplishment. Even without the additional Measure C funds, Lafayette will find a way to pursue our Citizens' Vision. The council has achieved other significant milestones during my tenure:
 The Lafayette Library and Learning Center is a beautiful building, with incredible diversity of programs that are using every corner of the building and redefining the role of the modern library. It is the civic, social, and cultural center of the city, the focus of Lafayette civic pride and identity.
 Rebuilding all of the public roads in Lafayette, a Herculean effort by 50 years of city leadership, will be complete in a year or two.
 Our Downtown Specific Plan, the work of many citizens and endless meetings to preserve the city's character while allowing it to grow into the beautiful, vibrant city center we see maturing today.
 The Crosses of Lafayette were addressed in a calm, professional, and respectful way, diffusing a potentially explosive situation.
I am particularly proud of the leadership I provided to restore fire service to Western Lafayette by the reconstruction of Station 16, providing options to finance individual energy improvements through the PACE program, joining Marin Clean Energy to allow a choice of renewable electricity, creating the Downtown Creeks Master Plan, and inventing the Lamorinda Loop bicycle and pedestrian trail.
I leave the city council with no concern for the quality of leadership. Council members Don Tatzin, Mike Anderson, Mark Mitchell, Traci Reilly, and council member-elect Cam Burks are a finer and more talented group of local leaders than you will find in any other city. They will choose an equally qualified replacement for me. Lafayette's staff is second to none in its dedication and commitment to improving our community. Our commissioners and other volunteers provide the effort and depth of expertise other cities simply cannot match.
Of course, it is Lafayette's citizens that make Lafayette the special place it is. If you stay involved and respect one another, Lafayette will meet any challenge.
Thank you for giving me the honor of serving you.

Brandt Andersson

A Roundabout to a Roundabout

Dear Editor,
For the past 20 years I have been writing about how America, California and Lamorinda would have fewer problems and be better places to live if they had fewer people. I even wrote a book about it, "The Population Fix." But I was wrong! I have finally seen the light. What America, California and Lamorinda need is not fewer people, but more roundabouts!
By all means, a roundabout at the entrance to Saint Mary's, a roundabout at the non-entrance to Saint Mary's, and a roundabout at the outer edge of Saint Mary's. "Pray for me Father for I have spun out . . . in a roundabout." Certainly, a roundabout at the intersection of Moraga Road and St. Mary's Road connecting with a roundabout at the intersection of Moraga Road, Alta Mesa, and that unnamed and unmapped shopping center shortcut known to locals as Fender-Bender Alley. Yes, think about it - a roundabout to a roundabout.
By all means, let's have a roundabout at the intersection of Canyon Drive and Camino Pablo. What fun watching those over-the-hill (if I may use that term) drivers racing into and shooting out of a major league roundabout. Better yet, let's have Moraga Police Department drones fly over that roundabout dropping super slick solvents. We can make that roundabout a gigantic game of roundabout roulette . . . wagers accepted!

Edward C. Hartman

Saddened by Measure C's

Dear Editor,
I am saddened that Lafayette's Measure C (sales tax proposal) on the recent ballot didn't pass.
The opposition to Measure C seems to reflexively distrust anything involving Lafayette city government, which I find odd since from my perspective - and I believe many others' - we are very lucky to have the city council and administrative staff we have. Most all evidence I have seen over my 10-plus years in Lafayette is that the city is run at an enviably high level - fiscally, administratively and ethically. As someone with a long history employed in the private sector, and a current entrepreneur, I would appreciate finding this level of professionalism in any private venture.
Can we get by without Measure C passing? Sure. And of course we will now. But if our aspirations are for Lafayette to continue to excel and be one of the great suburban communities in California, then a modest investment can make a huge difference in quality of life for all. Would a 1 percent increase in a consumption-based tax even be noticed by most? I sincerely doubt it. And, yes, some latitude in how the money is spent is a good thing, not an opposition talking point, as times and needs change quickly.
I choose to keep a watchful eye on our local government, as many of us do, but I also know that we have largely talented and dedicated people in those roles in Lafayette. Local government can and is a force for good and the betterment of people's lives, and I opt for trust and cooperation over cynicism. I hope a future ballot gives our community another chance to consider a forward-thinking measure like this.

Larry Challacombe

Crosses Not Ugly

Dear Editor,
The crosses of Lafayette remind me every day of the near 7,000 brave men and women who gave their lives so we could live in peace in this precious city.
I thank those people who erected and care for the crosses. It is sad some people find them ugly and objectionable. The loss of those lives was ugly and objectionable.

Mary Ann Hoisington

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