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Town Officials Advocate, Exaggerate for Tax at School Board Meeting

This past Tuesday, several town officials and their SOS pro-tax group attended the Moraga School District Board Meeting to advocate for "yes" votes on the storm drain fee.

Public officials and town employees are prohibited from advocating, actively campaigning or encouraging specific votes in an official capacity.

Mayor Trotter, Vice Mayor Onoda, Councilmember Wykle, the Town Manager and the Town Engineer were in attendance. A handful of SOS members joined them. Not all addressed the school board, but the ones who did had this to say:

Mayor Trotter's public comments included:

  • "We have made the case for yes on the storm drain fee"

  • Characterizing the school's liability under the plan as "just $12 per student, per year"

  • Stating that Palos Colorados developer funds are solely for recreation purposes (debunked here and in the picture below, from the Palos settlement agreement and official Town resolution signed by Mayor Trotter)

  • Suggesting the town would be amenable to sharing Palos Colorados funds with schools through some form of recreational joint venture

  • Recalling how he personally signed a "pro" argument for a school bond measures on a prior ballot

  • Reminded the school board that the town has been supportive of school bond measures

  • Reminded the board that the town was an important participant in the resurfacing of the Camino Pablo fields

Councilman Wykle's commentary included:

  • The hypothetical risk of additional sinkholes that might disrupt school operations or strand children on school properties "with only one way out."

  • Stating Palos Colorados funds are solely for recreation purposes and the timing of their receipt is unknown, debunked in earlier articles here and here)

Wykle also stated the town is "hopeful" they will receive federal reimbursement for the sinkhole (even though reimbursements already have been approved in full, with a significant portion received already and the balance due shortly, as detailed here).

Interestingly, the meeting was held at JM, where there is no town infrastructure subject to sinkholes (there are no pipes, just a single culvert under the road) and none of the town's spending plans call for work near any of MSD's properties.

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