Development, Education Top Issues for Council Elects

Kelly Pien, News Editor

Incumbent Dave Trotter and newcomer Teresa Onoda were elected to the Moraga Town Council on November 4. Onoda will be sworn into office at the December 10 town council meeting at the Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School auditorium.

“Getting elected is a group sport,” Onoda said. “It took many like-minded people who walked door to door, emailed friends, had meet-and-greet parties in their homes, invited me to neighborhood parties and events, wrote letters, and so on. Getting elected is truly amazing,” said Onoda.

“I’m very pleased by the outcome of this election,” Trotter wrote in a media statement. “With volunteer help and support from many Moraga residents, we ran an active and successful campaign.  The re-election results are a vote of confidence from the Moraga community regarding my vision for the future.  I believe they also demonstrate that the Town’s finances are being well-managed and we are on the right track.”

Onoda’s goals for the next term are wide-ranging. “I want to make sure we strengthen our general plan on ridgelines and open space, and make sure our schools continue to have small class sizes so that our children get quality education, encourage a stronger relationship with St. Mary’s College, and revitalize our shopping and dining experiences,” Onoda said. “And to make sure that the new developments do not burden our roads or our schools.”

However, Onoda wished to emphasize that her “first goal is to listen to people. I have not yet been sworn in yet, so I am really in the listening stage. And actually the next four years will be listening as well. I do have some goals though. I think the goals I have reflect the community,” she said.

Trotter also emphasized cooperation. He said, “Much remains to be done to protect ridgelines and open space areas from inappropriate development, plan for and build needed recreational facilities for the community, and repair and maintain our roads and critical infrastructure.  I will continue to work closely and cooperatively with my fellow Council members to capitalize on these opportunities and meet the challenges that confront Moraga today and in the next four years.”

Education is high on Onoda’s priorities. She used to be a teacher. “I taught high school. I taught all levels, and I even taught a few AP classes at Campo, so education has always been incredibly important to me,” Onoda said.  “Moraga is known for its excellent schools, and I hope to make sure that that does not change.”

Onoda also hopes to work with Saint Mary’s college. She said, “I think it could be a win-win for both.”

Onoda, who also served on the Moraga Planning Commission for almost 2 years, is hoping to regulate the development of Moraga. “Right now, the town is having a lot of developers who want to build homes in Moraga, because the economy has changed, and I want to make sure that all of these developers follow our rules. And we want our town to thrive, we want development that the town people would embrace,” she said.

“The reason people move to Moraga – there’s two real reasons that I’ve heard from Moraga citizens and myself as well,” Onoda said. “Number one, the schools, and number two, the natural beauty, and that includes ridgelines and open space.”