New membership is badly needed on the Orinda City Council. However, the Contra Costa Times (editorial, Sept. 19) has chosen not to endorse Linda Delehunt, a reformer, for a council seat. The Times, instead, endorsed incumbent city council members, Steve Glazer and Victoria Smith, for re-election. Glazer and Smith have consistently supported raising Orinda’s taxes and fees.
Earlier this year, Glazer and Smith voted, along with the other three members of the city council, to put a measure on the November ballot which, if passed, will increase Orinda’s sales tax from the current 8.25 percent to 8.75 percent.
Both Glazer and Smith are members of the Contra Costa County Solid Waste Authority, the board that sets garbage pick-up rates for Orinda. Since February 2008, garbage rates from gone up 44 percent — from $66.00 to $94.80.
Delehunt has a realistic and comprehensive plan to fix Orinda’s bad roads. No one else running for city council has such a plan.
Earlier this year, Glazer, Smith, and all the other city council members voted to put a high-rise, high-density 67-unit apartment complex in the middle of downtown (across from the Orinda Safeway). Anyone familiar with Orinda knows that the city already has miserable traffic and parking problems — problems that will only be aggravated by building the apartments. The apartments will block views of the nearby hills. Beautiful trees will be cut down.
Important city-wide issues, like the construction of tall buildings in downtown Orinda, should be decided in referendums. However, Glazer and Smith have refused, despite repeated pleas from Orinda residents, to allow such referendums. In fact, Glazer and Smith like the rest of the city council never hold town-hall meetings or have press conferences. Thus, Orindans cannot have meaningful verbal exchanges about plans for their city.
Orindans should vote for Delehunt and no one else.