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Category: Politics

Big Money Pays Off

Big Money Pays Off

Candidates who received the most money for the Orinda City Council’s November 2018 election all won. According to the Orinda City Clerk’s office, three candidates — Amy Worth, Nick Kosla, and Dennis Fay — collectively brought in $57,241.  That total, when added to money from Orindans for a Better Downtown (OBD), came to $61,640. OBD was a special group that supported Worth, Kosla, and Fay. The total of $61,640 represents 88.6 percent of all city-council campaign monetary contributions. For all…

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California is All Wrong on New Housing

California is All Wrong on New Housing

The target is 3.5 million new California homes by 2025.  That’s what California’s new Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom wants to see in the Golden State. When it comes to housing, Newsom has things backwards. Instead of encouraging the construction of new housing, Newsom should give people who live in California — or may at some future time want to live in California — an incentive to leave the state or never try to enter. Newsom should be following the plans…

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Big Money Influences Orinda City Council Races

Big Money Influences Orinda City Council Races

Mountains of cash helped influence the results of the November 2018 races for the Orinda City Council. For the city-council races, the table below shows how much money each candidate received between September 23, 2018, and October 20. 2018. The election may mean the return of Orinda’s traditional oligarchs to policy-making by the city council. Five candidates ran for three city council seats.  The winners were Amy Worth, Dennis Fay, and Nick Kosla.  The losers were Eve Phillips and Kathleen…

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EDITORIAL: Kathleen Jenkins for City Council

EDITORIAL: Kathleen Jenkins for City Council

Kathleen Jenkins is an excellent candidate for the Orinda City Council.  She has the background and experience to be a diligent and caring city-council member. Ms. Jenkins, a resident of Orinda for over 20 years, strongly supports Orinda’s excellent schools.  She knows very well that the quality and safety of Orinda’s schools are the main reasons families move to Orinda.  Ms. Jenkins pledges to do everything possible to protect Orinda’s pupils’ high-ranking achievements.  The city’s schools, she insists, must be…

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EDITORIAL: Eve Phillips for Re-Election to the Orinda City Council

EDITORIAL: Eve Phillips for Re-Election to the Orinda City Council

Eve Phillips is totally worthy of re-election to the Orinda City Council.  She will be on the November 2018 ballot. During her four years on the city council (from 2014 to 2018), Ms. Phillips has shown leadership and courage. She has paid close attention to important city-council matters. As mayor — the mayor’s job rotates among city-council members — Ms. Phillips supported local control, as opposed to State of California, control — of Orinda’s land.  On August 18, 2017, Ms….

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The State Wants More Control Over Orinda

The State Wants More Control Over Orinda

The State of California wants to dictate more land-use policies to Orinda and elsewhere. Additional state mandates for Orinda (and other cities) go beyond a recent plan to require high-rise, high-density housing in transit-rich areas. In February 2018, the Orinda City Council supported the sending of a letter by Amy Worth, a member of the Orinda City Council and the city’s current mayor, to State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco). The letter stated that the City of Orinda opposes State…

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Trump to Orinda: Drop Dead

Trump to Orinda: Drop Dead

The tax plan that President Donald Trump signed into law on Dec. 22, 2017, is a dagger pointed at the financial heart of Orinda. According to real estate brokers and accountants, home values in Orinda will plummet 10 percent to 20 percent. Effective in January 2018, federal income-tax deductions that benefit Orinda homeowners will be reduced or eliminated. Orinda-based real estate broker, Alexander Gailas of AG Realty, said the new tax bill will put “a huge dent in real estate.” …

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Town Hall Meeting

Town Hall Meeting

Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-San Ramon), pictured, spoke at a town-hall meeting in Orinda in September.  Also speaking were County Supervisor Candace Andersen and Orinda Mayor Eve Phillips.  All three elected officials support local control of municipalities and oppose Senate Bill 35, now law, which takes land-use authority away from local communities and gives it to the State of California.

Can We Talk?

Can We Talk?

When is the last time the government of Orinda had an open exchange with the city’s residents? In the last 10 years, no one from the Orinda City Council has held a town-hall meeting or a press conference. In June 2017, The Icon asked the city council to put an item — an item about holding a town-hall meeting — on a council agenda. Interim City Manager Steve Salomon wrote The Icon on Aug. 1, 2017.  He said:  “I have…

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EDITORIAL: BEDEVILED BY CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, DARLENE GEE SHOULD RESIGN FROM THE ORINDA CITY COUNCIL

EDITORIAL: BEDEVILED BY CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, DARLENE GEE SHOULD RESIGN FROM THE ORINDA CITY COUNCIL

Orinda’s voters must have elected officials who are free of conflicts of interest, especially any financial conflicts of interest. Sadly, Orinda City Council Member Darlene Gee has serious conflicts of interest that disqualify her from sitting on the city council. In view of these conflicts of interest, Ms. Gee should resign her seat on the city council immediately. During her 2016 campaign for a city-council seat, Ms. Gee, a vice president of the HNTB Corporation, an engineering firm, has taken…

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