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.
- Kevin Romick (I)
- Diane Burgis
- Dave Hansen
- Randi Alder
- Doug Hardcastle
- 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