Eve Phillips was mayor or Orinda from December 2016 to December 2017 and did an excellent job.
In The Icon’s opinion, she is the best mayor Orinda has ever had.
Ms. Phillips deserves enormous credit for her letter of August 18, 2017. In that letter, Ms. Phillips wrote members of the California State Legislature, expressing her opposition to Senate Bill 35, which, Ms. Phillips wrote: “. . .would pre-empt local discretionary land use authority . . .”
For too long, Orinda has been a colony of the State of California. For years, the State has been telling Orinda how to behave in matters regarding land use, housing, and transportation. Ms. Phillips showed the leadership and courage to let the state know that Orinda is not an appendage of the state. Orinda is fully capable of deciding on its own how to handle matters of land use, zoning, building heights, and housing density (houses per acre).
Ms. Phillips was able to get her fellow city council members — Amy Worth, Dean Orr, Darlene Gee, and Inga Miller — to support her August 2017 letter.
On September 25, 2017, Ms. Phillips participated in a town-hall meeting held in the auditorium Orinda Public Library. Appearing with Ms. Phillips were State Assemblywoman Catharine Baker (R-Dublin) and Contra County Supervisor Candace Andersen. For the last 10 to 15 years, no one from the Orinda City Council ever appeared at a town-hall meeting at which Orinda residents and elected officials could exchange views.
Elected to the Orinda City Council in November 2014, Ms. Phillips came in first among six candidates vying for three open seats on the council. It was Ms. Phillips first run for election to the council.
After her election, Ms. Phillips, in December 2014, introduced a motion to discuss Orinda’s Housing Element (version five, officially called Cycle Five) at a city-council meeting. Three city-council members, Steve Glazer, Dean Orr, and Ms. Phillips herself, supported the motion, which was approved. Voting against the motion were council members Victoria Smith and Amy Worth. The Housing Element is a state-mandated plan to add hundreds of new homes to Orinda, a city which is full.
In January 2015, Ms. Phillips introduced a motion to have Orindans vote on the Housing Element (Cycle Five). Her motion did not receive a second, killing it. Choosing not to second Ms. Phillips motion were Steve Glazer, Victoria Smith, and Dean Orr. Amy Worth was absent.
In her three years on the city council, Ms. Phillips supported fiscal restraint and an ability to work hard to get Miner Road repaired quickly. Miner Road was heavily damaged during a rainstorm in January 2017.
Ms. Phillips leaves a tradition of listening to Orindans. Other members of the city council should do the same. The Icon recommends that all members of the city council, by March 31, 2018, hold a town-hall meeting at which Orinda residents and city-council members can exchange views.
The Icon has always been impressed with Ms. Phillips’ openness in government. If she seeks, in 2018, another term on the city council, The Icon would strongly support her re-election.