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Oakley City Council Candidate Overview

by ECT

Rowena Coetsee of the Contra Costa Times provided a nice overview on the upcoming Oakley City Council race. While I may not agree with some of the candidates platforms, the story was actually pretty good and a worthy of a read as it offered insights as to what each of the candidates are thinking.

According to Ms. Coetsee, the candidates appear to be running on a jobs and businesses platform while she inserted her opinion that “no one is exactly sure how to make it happen”.

My only beef with the article was that for no apparent reason, its slant actually hurts Mayor Kevin Romick. Since this will be his third term running, the article makes it out as if he has been unsuccessful in bringing jobs and business to Oakley.   This is a bit unfair given the economy, redevelopment taken away, and the business environment created by Ironhouse Sanitary District.

Speaking of Ironhouse, I do give big kudos to the Mayor for putting part of the blame on the Ironhouse Sanitary District (which is why I am running for one of three available seats) by explaining adding that the city can’t entice merchants with offers of free or low-cost water and sanitation services because, unlike many cities, it doesn’t have control over those utilities—he is 100% correct, it’s Ironhouse that is the bottle neck with their insanely high fees.

Mayor Romick may not be the most eloquent spoken candidate, but he has earned a third term through the knowledge he has gained over the last few years. It would be a disaster to take him out now since Randy Pope has done nothing and is currently serving on no committees while Carol Rios is rarely seen.

At the very least, Romick can continue to be a face of the city as “mayor everywhere”.

So now we move onto Doug Hardcastle who is President of the Ironhouse Sanitary District. It appears he is running on a business friendly environment, however, the Board he serves on has done the opposite to promote business—its crippled new businesses from coming to Oakley.  More importantly, you don’t win new business with remembering the past; you win new business by promoting the future and potential for growth which equates to more customers.

Ultimately, I can’t get behind someone who has modest political goals as the article states:

“I’m not going to slay any dragons; I’m not going to save the world,” Hardcastle said. “I just want to be a voice of reason and treat people with respect just like I want to be treated — just common sense.”

Then why the heck are you running? I want someone who will get in there running and help promote Oakley and its growth while being a go-getter as opposed to just filling a seat.

Next we have Dave Hansen who I had the opportunity to sit down with a few weeks back. He is a great guy and I enjoyed our conversation. While I may not agree 100% with him (he supports big-box stores), he has a nice tone to him and you know where he will stand on issues—he is probably one of the better communicators in the race. Even with a disagreement on a couple of topics, overall he has a nice platform and has a good shot to woo voters if he can get his name out there.

Besides, how can you not like a guy who volunteers police chaplain for Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office?

Moving on we have Randi Alder who I’ve opposed since she announced last fall. Given her personality, she is just not a good fit for a council seat even though her platform is not that bad.  According to the article, a lot of what she is suggesting in terms of city events should be done through the Chamber of Commerce which her opponent Doug Hardcastle was once a part of the board—unfortunately the Chamber is not at a level it should or could be.

On a final note with Alder, I believe she is being given too much credit for the help in Parklands—this actually creates a larger liability for the rest of Oakley since the city assumed responsibility for the upkeep of sidewalks and landscaping.

Next is Ron Borland where his platform is I amazing to as he is running on a City Manager deal that was rescinded and never technically happened. Sure, the intent was there, but nothing happened!   This is a non-issue that is at the center of his platform which he is calling “transparency and responsive government”.

To be transparent, you can view Mr. Borlands Resume via Indeed for starters. His resume makes my case that he is not qualified for a City Council position while his platform is not a direction I want Oakley to head towards. If his platform of creating an equestrian center was ideal for Oakley, it would have already happened when this was a small farming community.

Most importantly, Mr. Borland has dragged Oakley’s name through the mud for the past year anywhere he could be heard or published—including a song on YouTube. With Borland showing up to the democratic office opening in Antioch with Paul Seger and Patricia Hernandez last week, that is all you really need to know what he is about.  I will never support this candidate in any way.

Finally, we have Diane Burgis who I think would make an excellent City Council Candidate given her background with Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed which has an upcoming creek cleanup event on Sept. 15.

Having spent time to learn more about Burgs, she has the right temperament and ability to listen and then react in order to be effective on the Council. She also probably has the best network of anyone running for Council which will make her a more effective leader than the others.

As of today, this is how I’d rank the candidates.

  1. Kevin Romick (I)
  2. Diane Burgis
  3. Dave Hansen
  4. Randi Alder
  5. Doug Hardcastle
  6. Ron Borland

You can view Rowena’s full article at the Contra Costa Times.

Note: To find out more about the candidates, the Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a forum on Sept. 18 at the Oakley Recreation Building, 1250 O’Hara Ave, Oakley starting at 5:30 pm

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Bobby Lott Aug 30, 2012 - 10:30 am

Figures you would be pro Romick. He is a crook from the City Manager deal and his travels to New Orleans. Ron Borland may not be the best candidate, but at least he is being honest with people about the mortgage dea.

My rankings in order are Borland, Hardcastle, Burgis, Hansen and Romick.

Can we expect you to be promoting Romick like you do Frazier and Piepho Burk? Why even come back to this site if that will be the case.

poe999 Sep 5, 2012 - 4:30 pm

Well said!

Jill Thompson Aug 30, 2012 - 10:34 am

Oddly, with the exception of Romick being 1 and move him to 6th, I agree with this article, especially the Ironhouse part which I can’t believe I am agreeing with Burke on. The big box stores in Oakley would be good for the city to increase tax base and create jobs.

Karin Aug 30, 2012 - 10:40 am

A little biased against Ron Borland Burk? While I will not vote for him, you were clearly harder on him than others. Be fair next time. Romick gets my vote by default based on the field. I don’t know much about the other candidates so I hope information is put out shortly. I do think you made a lot of sense in the rest of your article though.

The Joker Aug 30, 2012 - 10:56 am

Mike, have you become Kevin Romick’s Campaign Manager or something? While you made some sense on all the other candidates, you overly promoted Kevin Romick who has been a “do nothing” councilman over his terms. Time for new blood and it really doesn’t matter which new three are elected, it will be better than the three that will be booted.

poe999 Sep 5, 2012 - 4:33 pm

I agree, Joker. The last thing Oakley needs is another case of, “Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss.” It’s time for new blood on the council, people who REALLY care about Oakley & its future.

JaJames304 Aug 30, 2012 - 10:59 am

Great article Mike, spot on! Not sure what the deal is with Jill and company, Kevin has not been that bad. Oakley gets what they deserve if Ron Borland is elected.

Chuck Varnado Aug 30, 2012 - 11:06 am

Romick is at the bottom of my list too, It is time for a change in Oakley and not more of the same 3 or 4 people running every board and organization in East County.. Romick is the member of so many boards, i am amazed he has time to go to work or to do anything with his family! I also agree with the other posters, your distaste for Ron Borland shows through brightly! Where are the links to the other candidates resumes?

JAJAMES304 Aug 30, 2012 - 7:31 pm

For the record, Burk has never been a Borland fan and never has swayed away from the view point. Just take it for what it is.

Richard Aug 30, 2012 - 12:49 pm

This is a great article and spot on analysis. Having seen Randi speek at fireboard and multiple council meetings, you may want to move her down further on your rankings. Some of these comments are off base with personal attacks on the author.

Not sure what Chuck’s problem is, but Borland deserves what he gets going forward for acting the way he did for the past year.

Dawn Aug 30, 2012 - 1:13 pm

I really like Diane Burgis, she is a class act and would represent Oakley well. I hope she gets elected, she is so sweet. Not really sure who the others are besides our current Mayor so I can’t insert input yet.

Dolph Aug 30, 2012 - 7:15 pm

Really JJ? How has Borland acting the past year? What does he “deserve?”

If you can’t fact check or bother to learn the difference between slanted, slanderous biog’s that PURPOSLY stir up idiots so they will propagate there rumors, don’t expect anyone to EVER take a thing you say seriously. I can’t fix stupid parots. Really??? It is so sad.

You say you were a reporter for 6 years, were can we find you’re articles? caus I can’t find one

JAJAMES304 Aug 30, 2012 - 7:26 pm

Dolph, I assume you are talking to me. Just call me James.

Borland has been an arrogant sideline mouth piece with proven anti-Oakley behavior. I believe Burk posted his resume and a YouTube link. Go onto the Oakley Press and look him up, he has also had numerous articles published in the Times. Burk has corrected him at each step if you follow this website. He makes no bones about it that he does not want Borland on the council which has been a theme of his for months now (correct me if I am wrong Burk).

What fact check is needed on this article or my comment? I never said I was a reporter.

Dolph Aug 30, 2012 - 10:37 pm

O.K. Jaimes, thanks. Your nice to point it out to me. Im gonna look him up. But I think, you know. Independent thinker. I found this blogg because I want to know, you know?
I will say what I find tommorow or Saturnday.
The blogger sais he was a reporter not you.

Dolph Sep 5, 2012 - 9:16 pm

Hi James. Sorry I took long. Cousin have quinceañera last weekend and family in town. So I look at the Oakley Press and find only one article with Borland. He says suggesting that the Wal-Mart issue be placed on the ballot.

“I would like to pretty much echo the remarks of the previous speaker by saying that I would also favor a public meeting or public meetings on the Wal-Mart development,” said Borland. “I would also like the council to consider an advisory measure on the June ballot to determine the overall feeling of Oakley citizens on the Wal-Mart issue.

“Other communities in northern California have done similar things. Davis ratified a council vote for a local Target store during the November, 2006 election. It would seem logical to consider a similar measure in our case.

“Oakley is indeed a place for families in the heart of the Delta, as the motto on the sign on our town’s boundary reads. A thorough investigation of Wal-Mart’s family friendliness and suitability for Oakley’s unique identity, needs and integrity is now in order.”

I don’t know what you say hes a Oakley hater. What is a Oakley hater? Atfer that the paper say
None of the council members responded to the residents’ comments.

I think Borland sounds fair and thinks too. He was not mean or dumb. I also find two in the Contra Costa paper. He sounds like fair in his guest commentary. He wants good government and also says like above say
And, when a large number of citizens show up to a meeting to express their opinion, they should be listened to with an open mind and courtesy instead of being ignored while the council fawns over developers and special interests.

Ron Borland says that residence not be ignored. It looks like that is what the city does. The Kevin Romick could have say something to residents but he didnt. I dindt find anything to hate Ron Borland. How come you hate Ron Borland James?

poe999 Sep 5, 2012 - 5:23 pm

Well said, Dolph!

Concerned Oakley Resident Sep 8, 2012 - 1:18 pm

Dolph, it’s a good thing you’ve called this JJ on his inane (yes, inane, not insane) comments,.as they really are a waste of space & his venomous rhetoric serves no purpose whatsoever in a supposedly informative forum such as this. Too many people are walking around w/blinders on, such as this JJ who sounds like nothing more than a Burk lapdog. I wish people would do their homework before mouthing off – that way, if they did do their homework, there would be no mouthing off, just smart conversations on the pressing issues at hand.

Mario S Aug 31, 2012 - 11:08 am

Wow, that Diane Burgis is a real looker. She has my vote 🙂

Rob Saw Sep 1, 2012 - 11:55 am

Ya she is, I should have Burk set me up on a date when I am back in town.

Anon E Mous Sep 4, 2012 - 11:49 am

This must be Burkholder the Romick lover. He has to go given his record and corrupt b.s. he has put this city through and doesn’t listen to or pay attention to the public.. He doesn’t give a shit about anything but his own agenda oh and what about his Seeno approved anything he wants …he gets. Tired of business as usual. I think u are jealous of Ron Borland because he has a better page than your pos.

burkforoakley Sep 4, 2012 - 11:59 am

Really? He is using the exact same template as my BurkforOakley website had. He also created a facebook ground called Oakley Tomorrow while mine was called Oakley Today…. I think Mr. Borland is trying to copy me because he is unoriginal.

poe999 Sep 5, 2012 - 5:33 pm

Surely you jest! Actually, in my personal opinion, it seems to me that whereas your blog is about Oakley “Today” which is that Oakley politics & council members “Today” are nothing more than self-serving hypocrites filled with corruption and who only care about themselves; certainly not representatives of that which Oakley residents want for their city. Whereas Oakley “Tomorrow” is looking to the future of this fine city and what it could really become if Oakley had upright & honest politicians, city manager, etc. running it. Therein lies the difference. Ron Borland wants to work for a better “Tomorrow” for Oakley, that’s why his blog is named that way.

poe999 Sep 5, 2012 - 5:43 pm

Appropo to my last comment: that is, all conncilmembers xceptRandy Pope, who is trying very hard to make Oakley a better “Tomorrow”

Patricia Sep 5, 2012 - 6:38 pm

Well said Poe, are you working on Borlands campaign? It is vital to Oakley’s future that we work to hand Kevin Romick his pink slip in November. We need Oakley leaders who will think about tomorrow, not just about today.

PoE999 Sep 5, 2012 - 7:27 pm

@ Patricia, you wrote “Well said Poe, are you working on Borlands campaign? It is vital to Oakley’s future that we work to hand Kevin Romick his pink slip in November. We need Oakley leaders who will think about tomorrow, not just about today.”

To answer you: No, I’m not working on Mr. Borland’s campaign, but would be happy to help any way I can. 🙂 It’s great to see Oakley residents who want Romick gone speaking out on this forum; romick’s “pink slip” is well overdue! Also, great to see people such as yourself who agree with Ron’s vision, so to speak, of Oakley Tomorrow and are willing to support him..

Anon E Mous Sep 5, 2012 - 10:42 am

ROFLMAO. That’s funny. U are a funny guy. I do mean funny. Tomorrow…who knows!? today is here, man. You are probably one of these guys who want a world wide police state. Globalist attitude with a sad trendy way of life. That’s tomorrow, man if we keep up the way we are. Here, have some more GMO, MSG, Sodium Fluroide and keep watching the chemtrails the tell me if what you see is freedom. Borland doesn’t care for the globalist sucking eggs attitude which sounds to me like you really are an egg sucker just waiting for the thugs and goons to come to your house to recruit you to betray your own kin. “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” sure sounds like you! That is Oakley tomorrow if we don’t watch our step today. Go Ron & kick ass

Anon E Mous Sep 5, 2012 - 6:10 pm

With regard to my previous statement: it was all my own opinion, and by no means did I intend to put words in Ron Borland’s mouth, should anyone take it that way.

To me, any corruption that goes on in this city is a mirror of our national government. My point is that Romick reminds me of a globalist and should not be re-elected and furthermore should be held accountable for his crimes against the city residents & taxpayers before Tomorrow comes. If we keep this city rural and stick to the original
General Plan, keep our police department as police and not turn the city into a police state then we, as a city, would be better off. Are we not tired of the b.s. yet?

What we need are fresh faces with fresh views and fresh ideas, honest and who will listen intently to residents who speak at council meetings instead of ignoring them!

poe999 Sep 5, 2012 - 5:36 pm
Patricia Sep 5, 2012 - 6:38 pm

Beautiful article isn’t it? He is a leader worth supporting.

PoE999 Sep 5, 2012 - 7:20 pm

Most definitely, Patricia. I’m sure Mr. Borland will appreciate your support.

Sandbar Wino Sep 6, 2012 - 12:50 am

I’m really digging all the ad hominem on the author. If you can win by sharing your ideas on the issues, hell, you can just call the other guy an asshole. Real adult.

During silly season (election season) campaigns run “whisper” campaigns like the one you see above. They load a blog or on-line article up with comments from a candidates supporters. These people are playing a “perception” game and the goal is to give the person (who stumbles onto this blog) with little knowledge of Oakley’s politics and players the impression that Mr. Borland is this or that. The people that have come out in support of Borland are spreading his “message” and they are very blatant about it here. I would be willing to bet that Mr. Borland himself is commenting under a fake name in the hopes of hiding the fact that his candidacy is nothing more then the vanity of a gadfly.

After reading Mr. Borland’s letter to the editor I was left wondering if he has any ideas on actual policy. His comments on the panning commission really made me laugh. If a government body has land use authority a “planning commission” is not only unnecessary, but an example of the bloated bureaucracies that are crippling our state and local governments.

Mr. Borland appears to be a “ten word” guy, We see them every election season, just enough words to keep your attention and get your feathers ruffled. We need leaders who give the next ten words and then the next ten words, those that don’t just talk about the problem and place blame, but have ideas on how can correct them. We live in a serious times and we need serious people to advocate on our behalf and if Mr. Borland’s supporters are any indication of the man, Oakley is in serious trouble.

Concerned Oakley Resident Sep 8, 2012 - 1:10 pm

“Sandbar Wino” says it all. Sober up & get a life, willya?

Anon E Mous Sep 17, 2012 - 9:48 am

Seems to me that Ron Borland wants to see moere of a rural Oakley not a big box, more residents, more cracker jack political Oakley. What is wrong with that? The General plan and the Redevelopment agency should be returned and taken out of our local crooks’ hands. What is the big idea of building an Italian restaurant across the street from Black Bear anyway? What on Earth are they thinking? What is the big idea of Mike’s B & B sign on the sidewalk when other businesses can’t? What is the big idea of Romick’s 75 ” signs all over the place? These may be minor issues but it irks me to see Romick and his buddies get away with what anyone else can’t! Just another reason for him to be defeated. Favoritism! Just my honest opinion!

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