Town Manager Hitting the Road


Moraga Town Manager Cynthia Battenberg has resigned her position.


Her departure is a good thing for the Town.


Battenberg was hired in 2018 by a Town Council mired in controversy (e.g. phony fiscal emergency, unnecessary storm drain tax, innumerable failed Fact Checks).


Unfortunately for residents, Battenberg's tenure reflected a continuation of the poor governance of councilmembers that brought her here; her work and results clearly demonstrating a lack of concern for the best interests of residents and instead focused on empire building.


Beyond supporting controversial activities of earlier Town Councils (as we reported on extensively), Battenberg also managed to hatch a few controversies of her own: an attempted hostile takeover of the Mulberry Tree Preschool (stories here and here), ignoring noise ordinance best practices to the continued detriment of Hacienda neighbors (one story here), along with a still-pending wrongful termination lawsuit by the former Planning Director (story here).


Headcount grew consistently - every year, in fact - under her watch from 35 to 40 employees, as did the way-over-budget Canyon Road Bridge that needed additional cash infusions year-after-year, bringing its cost from $7.2 million to $12.8 million during her tenure (story here).


Regular readers will be unsurprised to learn that Battenberg was loathe to explore cost savings opportunities for the Town and actively resisted attempts to implement objective performance measures for any town operation. What's more, the Town Council essentially had to force Battenberg to explore refinancing expensive bonds when interest rates were historically low (which ultimately saved the town hundreds of thousands, despite her resistance).


Earlier this year, we highlighted these and a variety of other elements of her questionable performance in a letter to the Town Council (here).


The Town Council needs to do better recruiting her replacement.