Home Letter To The Editor Letters: Palace Coup at Moraga Town Council

Letters: Palace Coup at Moraga Town Council



Vice Mayor Steve Woehleke Denied as Next Moraga Mayor, Defying Tradition and Excellent Performance

In a 3-2 vote the Moraga Town Council defied a 47 year old tradition and denied Steve Woehleke as the next Mayor. This tradition was rarely violated in 47 years and has served the Town well avoiding conflict.

Renata Sos, Teresa Onoda and new Sona Makker voted against Steve, tossing aside the tradition calling for Woehleke as Mayor in 2022 and Sos as Mayor in 2023.

This was Makker’s second regular Council meeting and she chose not to follow the Town’s tradition. Makker was elected as Vice Mayor.

This self serving action by Sos and Onoda is an outrageous affront to Town tradition and to an eminently qualified Moraga leader and outstanding colleague.

Sos’/Onoda’s rationale was a weak, “it’s an important year, a better Presiding Officer”. Steve has 18 years of town government experience to Sos’ 5 years.

This isn’t the first time Sos defied tradition for her own self interest. In December 2019, Sos attempted to bypass tradition by accepting the nomination of Vice Mayor and only withdrawing after negative feedback. It was interesting to note Kimberly Korpus viewed the meeting; she presided as Mayor and supported Sos’ last attempt at ignoring tradition to benefit herself.

Renata was Board President presiding over the Moraga Community Foundation while the Fritzky embezzlement of hundreds of thousands dollars of donations were occurring with her personal poor oversight.

I voted for Steve based on his 20 years of experience on the Planning Commission, Design Review Board, Hacienda Foundation Board. A Kiwanis leader and Past President, three years of excellent Town Council service. Steve routinely reaches out to Moraga residents and is a champion for them getting results.

2022 is the last year of Steve’s current term. Is this some type of personal, vindictive agenda to deny Steve the Mayorship which he has earned? I certainly hope not.

It’s ironic that after taking this action Sos insisted all “take the high road”. How completely hypocritical to say that after blindsiding Steve and defying tradition.

This action by Sos and Onoda creates and increases the distrust, divisiveness and dysfunctionality in our Town Government.

200+ negative reactions by residents in about a day speaks volumes.

No leader should ever put their individual interests above the residents.

I am calling for Renata Sos to do the right thing and step down as Mayor.

Mike McCluer/Moraga

(Ed. Note: Mike McCluer is a past mayor and current Moraga Town Council member.)


  1. It was a disgusting move and insult to Steve. And then to have a newcomer who has done nothing for the town become the Vice Mayor is just an embarrassment.

  2. “Renata was Board President presiding over the Moraga Community Foundation while the Fritzky embezzlement of hundreds of thousands dollars of donations were occurring with her personal poor oversight.”

    I’ve said it before…Why would you put her in charge of any money? Why put her on the council? People voted. Perhaps time to reconsider that choice.

    Big little town drama.

  3. Maybe he should ask himself “why” he was denied. Disliked, not doing a good job. Or both. If someone is denied (for anything) they’re denied for a reason.

    • He was denied because he insists on transparency in town government and as Mayor, he’d be in a position to make it happen.

  4. This reminds me of the dog park fiasco of 2011-12. An unnecessary sideshow that consumed our town council while serious, long term decisions were kicked down the road.
    To our current Town Council: do the work the residents of Moraga elected you to do. If you want to challenge traditions and make a social statement fine, do it after you’ve done the harder, long term work of addressing the towns core needs. Change moves at a glacial place in Moraga, don’t waste precious time on frivolous food fights.

  5. What a mess! It reflects poorly on the ladies involved and the town in general. It seems like small town politics are quite nasty.

  6. For a small town Moraga sure seems to find itself in these pickles on a fairly regular basis. Something in the water over there? Palace Coup???

  7. Some towns got “swimmin pools. movie stars”
    We got embezzlers, speed bumps, and dog park scuffles.
    Big little town.

  8. Aaaand sexual predation at the middle school. Ooops, we’re not supposed to talk about that one. We are a model semi-rural community.

  9. Sorry Mike McCluer… “tradition” is not legal policy. There is nothing wrong here. Steve Woehleke was not elected to be mayor by his peers. Big deal. Grow up and move on. Being sore losers is now okay after Trump?

    • I smell rats in Moraga. Why pass your own gun laws, we have the Fed and State governments to do that. Rats in Moraga. 108RS

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