Buzzworthy in Moraga this week – along with our stories on a possible new plan for the old Tennis & Swim Club and a new future for the Rheem Theater – has been what appears to be an alliance between Moraga’s latest power couple, and an apparent split between veteran council member Dave Trotter and Mayor Ken Chew.
With the election for two available seats on the Moraga town council approaching, NEWS24-680 has been receiving a number of queries from residents noting an apparent and open alliance between former mayor and current council member Dave Trotter and council aspirant Teresa Onoda – to the exclusion of current mayor Chew.
Campaign mailers for Trotter and Onoda forwarded to NEWS24-680 bear some interesting, hand-lettered annotations and residents – and prospective voters – have noted that endorsements for the pair appear to fall within the same camp of backers. Conspiracy Theorists and Deep Throat fans (for the first time NEWS24-680 wishes Moraga actually had an underground parking garage – so we could meet our many sources in it) point to an old political fistfight as a potential causal event for the political pairing, and suggest another, deeper alliance may also be in play.
Photo, left: Ken Chew
One tipster writes: “…many of the overlapping endorsements came from several of the central figures in the Rancho Laguna Park debate. Bill Carman, president of Lamorinda Dogs and his wife, Jeanne Moreau, a Lamorinda Dogs director, have each endorsed both candidates. Since Dave Trotter was the only Town Council member to consistently vote against any change to off-leash policies at Rancho Laguna Park, it makes sense that Carman and Moreau would endorse Trotter. I presume Onoda’s position on RLP will be similar to Trotter’s…”
A tie to the Battle of Rancho Laguna, one of the more hotly contested public issues in recent town history. But does it stop there? No way, as veteran council-watchers sniffed out what they felt was a Koch Brothers-style maneuver by a local attorney also involved in the Rancho Laguna Affair.
Photo, right: Modified mailers
They point to the actions of a local lawyer who came out for the Trotter/Onoda ticket and who later hosted a “meet and greet” for the candidates. More than one resident questioned that attorney’s role in the Rancho Laguna Affair, averring that while a CEQA lawsuit filed by resident Steve Smith against the town at the time was publicly attributed to Orinda attorney Bill Cosden – the Moragan was actually in the background, pulling the strings.
And you thought small town politics was boring. In all fairness, this isn’t Watergate, residents are free to support the candidates of their choice in the manner they choose, but there’s some maneuvering going on and it has raised eyebrows in a town where eyebrow-raising can be regarded as contact sport. As for current mayor Ken Chew he, too, has been campaigning hard to retain his seat on the council, maintaining his commitment to: “…continue strong leadership to preserve and enhance our unique quality of life in Moraga; protect our semi-rural environment through thoughtful and sensible growth, and ensure enforcement of the General Plan policies and Moraga Open Space Ordinance…” as the other candidates have, as well. And while he must be aware of the apparent alliance between his colleague councilman and a relative upstart aspirant who, if successful, would end his tenure on the council we’re not sure what he thinks of it, if anything at all.
Perhaps he’ll tell us here.