Archive for the ‘Letters to the Editor’ Category

Letter writer wants to know who paid for The Wilson Watch ad

Friday, June 3rd, 2016


The campaign ads in the June 2016 issue are not surprising and all enjoy their freedom of expression.

I just have one question to ask.

The full-page ad for Hardcastle is identified as paid for by Friends of Hardcastle.

The quarter-pager for Amador is identified as paid for by Amador for Congress.

And the full-page No on E ad is identified as paid for by Antioch Friends for Local Control.

All these show either an active FPPC ID or a Facebook page.

So riddle me this:

Who paid for the full-page hatchet job on Wilson?

Neither group name, nor FPPC ID, nor any mechanism of contact is offered from this party, which ends its layout with a fusillade of well-worn dog-whistles concerning our economic refugees, nearly non-existent voter fraud, and any manner of advanced understanding of citizens of alternate gender classification. This following a ceremonial shaming of someone for being a member of the so-called “precariat”.

I have been lucky to work at my present employer for nearly 15 years, but my work record before this would not have passed this ad-maker’s muster of being employed somewhere longer than five-and-a-half years. What are we to make of these unnamed snobs who thumb their noses at those of us to have had to work to find work?

For a faction positioning itself as a watcher, they sure like their invisibility.

Avery Colter


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Former long-time Oakley School Board member and teacher endorses Doug Hardcastle for Supervisor

Saturday, May 28th, 2016


Honesty – Community Dedication – Fiscal Responsibility

I have known Doug Hardcastle for over 25 years. I know him to be hard working, honest and dedicated to the improvement of the whole community. His community work has always been based on what is best for the citizens.

Bob Kratina

Former Oakley School Board Member, 21 years

Retired Teacher, 38 years

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Former Antioch Mayor Pro Tem wants Burgis to stay on Parks Board, endorses Hardcastle for Supervisor

Friday, May 27th, 2016


As a lifelong resident of Antioch, I have a few perspectives on the upcoming election for Contra Costa County Board of Supervisor. I have watched the political career of Diane Burgis for some time. She is one of the best representatives on issues involving our environment. I am concerned though with her recent candidacy: is she just someone trying to climb the political ladder?

She was recruited and is backed by Supervisor Mary Piepho which isn’t necessarily a good thing, at a time when Piepho is part of the county’s numerous problems. She voted herself a 33% pay raise and then defended it when voting to reverse that decision. Piepho then wanted to double dip and get both a car allowance and mileage reimbursement because her district is so big. She even wanted Walnut Creek in her district during the redistricting process in 2011, but the rest of the Board wisely said “no”.

Burgis needs to stay on the East Bay Regional Parks District Board, as she was elected to in 2014 (half-way through her first term on the Oakley City Council) where she can use her expertise in protecting creeks, open space and trails and actually fulfill a commitment and serve a full term in office.

We desperately need to elect someone with broader experience on major issues like transportation, job creation and economic development, as well as protecting and improving the Delta. I’m supporting Doug Hardcastle for this elected office. Doug has over 15 years of proven leadership in office, and in this race experience matters most.

Hardcastle entered the race, last September and was willing to take on the incumbent and will help clean up the fiscal problems created by her and the rest of the current board. Piepho facing the real possibility of losing, decided against running for reelection in December.

Steve Barr of Brentwood may be a nice guy, but he seems to be another political opportunist running for higher office. He announced his candidacy only after Piepho backed out. I’m concerned the real reason he’s running is because he couldn’t get elected mayor in Brentwood in 2012, and can’t beat Bob Taylor this year, either.

In virtually every race this year, experience matters most, and Hardcastle is the most qualified. As you make your choice, consider if the person you’re voting for is running to be something or running to do something. I’m tired of seeing people elected who want to be something. Doug Hardcastle is running to do something which is why I’m urging you to join me in supporting him for County Supervisor.

Manny Soliz

Former Mayor Pro Tem & Councilmember

City of Antioch

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Former Save Mt. Diablo leader endorses Burgis for Supervisor

Thursday, May 26th, 2016


District 3 needs to elect a champion for our environment and quality of life for people living in the county.  Diane Burgis – executive director of Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed and an elected Member of the East Bay Regional Park District Board of Directors – has a record of success in protecting the Delta, agricultural lands, open spaces, and wildlife.

Diane was recently inducted into the County Women’s Commission Hall of Fame.  She was named the Contra Costa Watershed Champion for her work in inspiring others to conserve our environment. She has been involved in the East Contra Costa Habitat Conservancy for eight years and served on the Delta Protection Commission.  No other candidate has the environmental leadership experience she offers. The League of Conservation Voters and Retired Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan endorse Diane, along with numerous environmental leaders including myself.

Voters that care about water, open spaces, and agricultural lands need to elect Diane Burgis for Contra Costa Supervisor.  She is the best candidate to represent residents of our community.  Visit her website at

Ron Brown

Retired Executive Director, Save Mount Diablo

Walnut Creek

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Writer questions results of Antioch economic development efforts, staff

Thursday, May 26th, 2016


In the S.F. Chronicle today, 5/25/2016, there is a story about a new electric car company moving to Mare Island, Vallejo.  Was Antioch in the running for this endeavor?  Did we submit anything?  Wilbur Avenue in Antioch would have been perfect for this type of company.

Our Economic Development Manager is Lizeht Zepeda.  The governor’s office in Sacramento has an “Office of Business and Economic Development” or “GoBiz” to help cities like Antioch and Vallejo recruit business.  It also grants millions in tax credits to the city.  Does Antioch even know this is available?

Ms. Zepeda makes a nice six figure salary in this job and I see no results anywhere except small businesses.  Has she ever given a report to Council?  Is she still “in training” as I have been told?  We needed a person in this position highly skilled at bringing in business not a friend of another employee.  Two council members have told me they have never received any kind of report from Ms. Zepeda.

Marty Fernandez

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Former Ironhouse Sanitary District General Manager endorses Hardcastle for Supervisor

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016


I also publicly endorse Mr. Doug Harcastle for District III Contra Costa County Supervisor.

I would like to echo the comments of Dr. Michael Painter regarding Mr. Hardcastle. As the former General Manager of the Ironhouse Sanitary District (ISD), I had the opportunity to work directly with Doug for 12 years, and came to know and understand him well.

Doug was certainly instrumental (in conjunction with his fellow Directors) in helping reshape ISD from an outdated rural operation, into a modern, suburban oriented collection, treatment and water reuse operation that protects our environment and our sensitive Western Delta water quality.

In late 2012, when Doug decided to step down from ISD and run for City office, I knew ISD was losing an excellent public servant. While I did not want to see him go, I believed he had accomplished what he initially set out to do. Doug helped improve ISD over the twelve years he served and was leaving ISD in much better shape than when he found it.

While Doug was only one of five Directors on the ISD Board, he was critical in helping reset the Board’s vision for the future, and setting a high standard for staff that drove us to excellence. Doug understands the importance of working with others and did a great job of building consensus on the ISD Board.

Doug also understands the importance of establishing good public policies, hiring competent staff, providing staff the tools and resources necessary to do their jobs, and letting staff do their work. From a General Manager’s perspective, this policy-based mindset from elected officials is critical to well functioning public entities. I believe this skill will be especially important (and useful) when functioning at the County Supervisor level.

Of course, with staff empowerment comes staff accountability, and Doug also understands this concept. While Doug is no tyrant, he is demanding and he expects results from staff; and holds his agency people accountable for the tasks they are given.

With the addition of four years experience on the Oakley City Council, Doug has gained additional insight into a more complex city government. I believe this experience, combined with his 12 years at ISD, has helped him gain the knowledge necessary to function and succeed at the county level.

So, based on my 16 years of knowing Mr. Hardcastle, (five as a District Engineer, seven as a General Manager, and four as an observer and friend), I strongly endorse Doug as a candidate for the position of Contra Costa County Supervisor, District III.


Tom Williams

Civil Engineer and Retired General Manager

25 year Antioch resident

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Ironhouse Sanitary District Board Member Painter publicly endorses Hardcastle for Supervisor

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

Dear Editor:

I would like to publicly endorse Doug Hardcastle for the office of District III Contra Costa County Supervisor. After serving for 12 years with him on the Ironhouse Sanitary District (ISD) Board, I have a unique and qualified insight into the man, his character, his dedication and work ethic.

Working together throughout our time on the board, we helped ISD transform from an outdated and inadequate sewer plant into a state-of-the-art Water Recycling Facility and saved our ratepayers $20 million in cost, in the process.

Doug Hardcastle has always questioned the cost of services and compensation packages. He is very independent and refuses to be influenced in his thinking by special interests and the current vogue politics.

Although there are many qualified candidates in this race, I know Doug and I know he will always put the people he represents first, before his own political advancement or personal accolades.

I’m tired of politicians not listening to the people and I know this man has your best interest at heart. I want somebody who will fight to keep taxes in check, stick with the job until he gets it right and always put people before politics. That’s why I urge you to vote for Doug Hardcastle as your District III Contra Costa County Supervisor.


Dr. Michael J. Painter, DC

Oakley resident and business owner

Member, Ironhouse Sanitary District Board of Directors

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Another Hardcastle supporter also writes letter questioning letter in support of Burgis

Saturday, May 21st, 2016


I think Susan Morgan, who didn’t bother to mention that she is the Vice President of the Iron House Sanitary District Board in her recent letter to the editor should probably work on her facts and simply communicate with her fellow board members regarding who they are supporting for County Supervisor. The majority of them have endorsed Doug Hardcastle for County Supervisor, they are Chris Lauritzen, Dr. Michael Painter, and Doug Scheer. Morgan is an attorney, and should do a better job of fact gathering prior to distributing her opinion.

Ms. Morgan doesn’t mention any accomplishments by Diane. Let me mention some of Doug Hardcastle’s , he served on the Iron House Board for 12 years, also as president of the board, Oakley City Council and Mayor for four years, and small business owner for 40+ years. Doug is the person most prepared to represent our district for Contra Costa County. I not only trust him with our County funds, I would trust him with my own checkbook. How many politicians can get that endorsement? Join me in voting for Doug Hardcastle for County Supervisor.


Gary Arfsten


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