Based on the many conversations I’ve had with community members in recent years, I’m confident that my priorities align with most local residents. They are:
People tend to move to our town because of its outstanding schools (which are not governed by the Town Council) and because of the balance we maintain between development and the beautiful countryside. We want to feel the open space and see distant ridgelines from our major thoroughfares. We value our large parks. We want to concentrate the denser housing close to commercial areas. Balancing these desires with growth and a robust retail offering remains a difficult challenge.
Moraga is not immune from crime and the threat from wildfires is real. Once business returns to normal, traffic over the new canyon bridge will increase significantly. Bicycling is increasing. There are matters on which we must coordinate with Orinda and Lafayette. Our police and fire departments need elected officials who will work with them to address new challenges as they arise.
Many citizens are dissatisfied with the look and mix of retail shops we have in our town. At the same time, local businesses urgently need more support from Moraga shoppers. The recent success of La Finestra, Town Bakery, Noodle Theory and Canyon Club are indicators that the right kinds of offerings can draw healthy crowds. I’m committed to encouraging local shopping center owners and businesspeople to move forward with optimism.
We are a college town but you’d hardly know it. St. Mary’s is a trove of knowledge and talent with a growing national reputation for excellence. Moraga is a town filled with accomplished people in almost every kind of endeavor. We should pursue social, intellectual and financial synergies.
Moraga has a Climate Action Plan that calls for common-sense steps to promote a sustainable world. We should take it into account as we make decisions for the town.
I intend to maintain Moraga’s proud record of fiscal conservatism. The Town is in strong financial shape because of our discipline and prudence. We have a small staff for a town our size yet our employees deliver quality results. This requires strong collaboration with Town Council members.
The enthusiastic engagement of town leaders makes a difference. New arrivals to our community bring energy and fresh ideas we should welcome. Our civic organizations recommit themselves when they receive the recognition they deserve. Ideas for new events or physical improvements take shape when offered encouragement and guidance. And we should celebrate what we already have – The Commons, the dog park, the skate park, the playgrounds, the hiking trails, the bicycle lanes, the nearby open spaces, the swimming pools and much more.