[our original story on this topic is here, and a follow-up is here]
What's Really Going On Here?
As everyone knows, we've spent an enormous amount of "ink" bringing to light any dishonesty or questionable practices of the town council and town hall during the past three years, with the vast majority of objectionable behavior occurring during 2017-18, when Teresa Onoda was Mayor or Vice Mayor.
Indeed, SMARTMoraga began when Mayor Onoda declared a fiscal emergency on the heels of doling out raises and a bonus program, then lobbying for a "poet laureate" that she made clear was "an important personal project of hers."
Mayor Korpus' recent letter to the editor of the Lamorinda Weekly, in which she endorsed three candidates including Onoda and bashed two others, caused alarm bells to ring (you can read our initial story here and the follow-up here).
Beyond the hostility, innuendo and impropriety of a sitting mayor sending such a letter and signing it with her official title, the screed directly violated at least two documented "town council protocols" governing behavior (civility) and communications with the public.
So why the alarm bells?
First, according to Onoda herself, Mayor Korpus actively recruited and encouraged Onoda to run for office again despite her poor track record of uninformed and reckless financial decisions, backroom deals and lack of transparency.
Second, it's another highly suspect, bad judgement, and bad governance black-eye for Moraga that we've otherwise been spared since Onoda left the council two years ago.
Third, that the documented protocols Korpus violated actually were created as a direct result of the backroom, unauthorized deals and other questionable behavior in which Onoda was regularly involved during her previous term on the town council.
Fourth, the publishing of the letter violated what was widely understood to be a "no negative local candidate comment" policy by the paper's owners who are actually connected to some of Onoda's past indiscretions when she was last on the town council.
Finally, Onoda's comments about the Mayor selection process made during our interview with her now coming into clear focus: Korpus' hand-picked candidate Onoda already is scheming to violate town council protocols and longstanding tradition, indicating to us a serious consideration to muscle out McCluer from his rightful Mayor role next year.
Bottom line: this week's episode is far too reminiscent of the cronyism, rule breaking and abuse of public trust we endured regularly not long ago.
Moragans should not allow a return to what we have experienced this week nor to what we experienced during Onoda's previous term on the council: a term characterized by constant scandals, dishonesty, bad decisions and a wanton lack of transparency.
You can check any of our articles from 2017-18 knowing that Onoda was Mayor or Vice Mayor then, or head over to our Election 2020 page (here) and read some of the "highlights" contained in our Onoda assessment.