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Incumbent Moraga Town Council candidate Karen Mendonca.

Moraga shows more fiscal restraint than most California municipalities. While others rushed a decade ago to match overly generous state pension rates, Moraga leaders resisted.

Consequently, the town's benefit costs are more reasonable, yet workers still enjoy pensions far surpassing those in the private sector. This helped the town weather the economic downturn without layoffs -- even though it receives a smaller share of property taxes than most municipalities.

Town Council members could do more. Workers should pay their full share toward their pensions. They aren't. Nevertheless, generally responsible management earns two incumbents seeking re-election -- Karen Mendonca and Mike Metcalf -- our endorsement.

For the third seat on the ballot, we recommend Phillip Arth, a retired accountant on the town's Audit and Finance Committee.

We also found Planning Commissioner Roger Wykle a credible candidate. But he was reaching, with little information, as he promised to find more efficiencies in an already lean town government.

A word to candidate Seth Freeman: Running for office is similar to seeking a job. You must show up on time and articulate clearly why you deserve the job.

Finally, to all council members: While the town's fiscal restraint is admirable, your constituents have been buried in debt by the reckless Moraga Orinda Fire District. You don't run that district, but your failure to speak up for your constituents is shameful.



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