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Dave Trotter Is the New Mayor of Moraga

Update: Town Council veteran lists goals for 2013, including fiscal discipline, road repair program and protection of ridgelines.

Updated, 4:05 p.m. Thursday, more details about lease with Moraga Country Club.

Moraga Town Council veteran Dave Trotter was unanimously elected mayor at Wednesday night’s council meeting.

At the meeting at Joaquin Moraga Middle School, Trotter said, “Thank you, Mr. Ex-Mayor,” to outgoing Mike Metcalf, who remains as council member along with newcomers Roger Wykle (the top vote-getter last month with 26 percent of the votes) and Phillip Arth.

After thanking his spouse Debbie — who shouted “You're welcome!” from the party-minded audience — Trotter got down to business. “I have some goals for Moraga 2013: I’m calling it ‘Continuity and a New Look,’” he said.

Among the objectives:

  • Exercise continued fiscal diligence.
  • Renegotiate a land lease with the Moraga Country Club, which rents the back nine holes for just $4,200 annually from the town. The amount brought gasps of surprise from those in attendance. Trotter said the fee was reasonable at the time it was established, before suggesting it was now outdated. The lease of 60.68 acres with the Moraga Country Club Homeowners Association began in 1987. It had an initial term of 20 years, effective March 1994, with provisions for extensions of 25 years, 10 years, 10 years and 10 years, reported Stephanie Hom, administrative services director for the town.
  • Implement Measure K road repair program.
  • Initiate and complete targeted general plan amendments — specifically, those protecting ridgelines.
  • Amend general plan provisions dealing with Rheem Center.
  • Adopt a development moratorium.
  • Draft regulations to encourage small scale wineries while safeguarding impact on neighborhoods.
  • Outreach to school district: review planning dialogue for sports facilities use.
  • Complete Laguna Creek Storm project to protect the Hacienda.
  • Consider annexation of lands  at the end of Camino Pablo.

Ken Chew was elected vice mayor by unanimous vote.

Metcalf spoke at length about the success of passing Measure K last month in a town with “a revenue problem.” Citing the two-fold consequences of Moraga’s “so frugal, it’s embarrassing” policies, he said services to seniors and a lack of investment in infrastructure were the most important issues the tax revenue should address.

Karen Mendonca ended her four-year term after receiving a number of public comments praising her honor, honesty and diligence.

Howard Harpham exited with a brief reflection: “A town is like a wife: you work together. This is an easy town to fall in love with.”

New members Wykle and Arth kept their incoming comments “mercifully brief,” as described by Arth.

Wykle said he was pleased to see his goals and those of Trotter in alignment, emphasizing ridgeline preservation and efforts to revitalize the town's business sectors.

Arth recalled a comment made to his wife, after winning the election. Asking her if she ever, in her wildest dreams, imagined him being on the town council, she jokingly replied, “Phil, you’re never in my wildest dreams!”

Town Manager Jill Keimach received authorization to execute Measure K and the council adopted a resolution accepting certification of the Nov. 6 vote.

John Onoda December 14, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Sounds like a great start. Thank you, town council members, for your the time and effort you're willing to put in to help Moraga remain so wonderful.
Fritz 'Congodog' Stoop December 15, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Congratulations to Mr. Trotter. As for Chew, in my opinion he has some very damaged fences to mend. Finally, there is no mention here of the 'hiding in plain sight' issue that is off most people's radar screens. The Moraga Orinda Fire District is a boondoggle that spends more money annually than the operating budgets of the Towns of Moraga and Orinda COMBINED! And that is just a small part of this issue. I recommend a joint task force headed by the mayors of the concerned Townships to look into correcting both the operations structure and size of this top heavy, costly organization.

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