Archive for the ‘Letters to the Editor’ Category

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Doug was certainly instrumental (in conjunction with his fellow Directors) in helping reshape ISD from an outdated rural operation, into a modern, suburban oriented collection, treatment and water reuse operation that protects our environment and our sensitive Western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

Friday, May 20th, 2016


It seems Susan Morgan (who failed to identify herself as Vice President of the Ironhouse Sanitary District Board) has made some factual errors in her letter supporting Diane Burgis.  Such errors could easily have been avoided by simply asking her fellow board members who they are supporting in the District 3 Supervisor race.  As shown on, Doug is supported by many current and former public figures and local leaders, including three members of ISDB, namely Chris Lauritzen, Dr. Michael Painter and Board President Doug Scheer.

By failing to check her facts on such a simple matter as public endorsements, Susan Morgan has called into question her veracity and competence as a public servant, a spokeswoman for Ms. Burgis, and as a professional called to a high ethical standard.

In addition, while Morgan identifies the positions held by Ms. Burgis, as evidence of her experience and qualifications for the office of Supervisor, she fails to note Burgis’ length of service (less than four years), or any positive achievements of her chosen candidate.  By contrast, Doug Hardcastle has served Contra Costa County for over 15 years, while at the same time running a local business with his wife, Lyn.  During that time, he supported innovative solutions to reduce ratepayers’ costs, and, after his tenure as Mayor of Oakley, left the city with an improved public safety record and no debt to the State of California.

While I have not met Ms. Burgis personally, not being a member of the politically elite circles in which both she and Susan Morgan seem to move, I know from personal experience that everyone who meets Doug Hardcastle comes away with a positive impression of him, and all of his friends and colleagues can vouch for his honesty, his character, his dedication to public safety, and his record of accomplishment in fiscal management.  None of the other candidates have such a positive record of accomplishment, and none of the other candidates had the courage to challenge the current incumbent after she and her colleagues on the Board of Supervisors voted themselves a large pay raise instead of prioritizing public safety, like the underfunded fire protection service in East County.

In short, if you want a candidate with a record of improving public safety and using your tax dollars wisely, Doug Hardcastle is the only choice.

Sean Pearson


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Writer supports Measure E

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Dear Editor:

Over 9,000 citizens signed a petition for Measure E after the Council failed to adopt gambling reforms recommended by an Antioch citizens’ group.

Measure E supports the health and public safety of the Antioch community.  Measure E stops politicians from issuing gambling licenses to felons, keeps gambling away from our churches, schools, and stops card rooms from becoming mini-casinos.  Measure E also helps keep criminal activity that is directly connected to illegal gambling, drug and alcohol abuse and other violent crimes from infiltrating our community.  We need to fight back against dishonest gambling operators and fight the politicians who protect them.   That is why we need Measure E in Antioch.

I find Ms. King’s commentary full of passion and pride regarding her father’s service to our country.  I truly and respectfully appreciate her father’s service to our country as I also appreciate Mr. Wilkinson’s service in Vietnam and his father’s service as a Marine at Guadalcanal during WWII.  Measure E has nothing to do with the sale of Kelly’s Restaurant/Card Room, a business shut down years ago by the State.

I believe Measure E is necessary in order to protect our community, families and property values.  Money spent gambling does very little to boost the local economy.  In fact, gambling establishments can have a negative impact on our community, city government and can create additional strain on our police services.  I believe we do not need additional gambling establishments in Antioch.

You can learn more about Measure E at their website,

Jesse Zuniga

Antioch resident

Zuniga is one of five Antioch residents who signed the ballot argument in favor of Measure E.

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Writer supports Hardcastle for Supervisor

Thursday, May 19th, 2016


Doug Hardcastle is the only candidate in the race for County Supervisor who has served his country in the military, served in public office and owned a business in the county.

He has the best combination of experience, knowledge and commitment to serve the people of Contra Costa. Doug’s a proven leader and isn’t afraid to take on the tough issues.

He was the only candidate to jump in the race to take on the incumbent and speak out against the 33% pay raise she voted to give herself, as an example of wasteful spending by the county, before she backed out.

We need to elect him, this year, and provide new, strong, proven leadership on the Board of Supervisors. Please join me in voting for Doug Hardcastle on June 7th. To get involved in his campaign, please visit


Ron Yarolimek


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Piepho writes in support of Burgis for Supervisor

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016


As you may have heard, I have made a difficult choice not to run for re-election for the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors.  This choice was made easier because of one person, East Bay Regional Parks District (EBRPD) Director Diane Burgis.

Diane is uniquely qualified to serve on the Board of Supervisors. She is a true leader and has all of the qualities I feel are the most important to serve the citizens of District III.  Diane is a fiscal conservative; supports police and firefighters that work hard to make our communities safe; supports investment into our transportation system; she is approachable and knowledgeable; advocates to protect our Bay/Delta and our environment; and most importantly, Diane cares about you.

Diane has the most regional experience of all the candidates.  As a Director of the East Bay Regional Park District, Diane works to serve the taxpayers of two counties, Alameda and Contra Costa.  Diane has learned how to responsibly manage an annual budget of over $200 million dollars and oversee a District police and fire department.

As a recent council member for the City of Oakley, Diane knows the challenges of local government and how to fight for the needs of taxpayers and invest in public safety as a top priority.

Diane is a Delta advocate, having served as a member of the Delta Protection Commission she has worked to advance the federal National Heritage Designation to preserve, protect and promote our vibrant Delta region and has fought Governor Brown’s Twin Tunnel project.

As ​Executive Director of Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed, Diane knows that salmon are a vital link not only to our Delta and our environment, but also our economy.  Diane has fought to protect salmon migratory routes and save this valuable fish.

Diane is fiscally conservative.  As a former small business owner, Diane knows what it takes to make a budget work and meet the bottom line.  Diane puts Public Safety first by supporting a well staffed police force and fire department in order to protect citizens, property and make communities safe. Living in far East County, Diane is acutely aware of and supports the need to fully fund transportation and Vasco Road safety projects that allow for shorter commute hours and more time with family.

Diane has my vote for Contra Costa County’s District III Supervisor because she is the right candidate.  I ask you to give her your vote too.  If you have any questions I can be reached at 925-516-2358.

It has been my honor and privilege to work for you for nearly 12 years on the Board of Supervisors.  Thank you for the opportunity to serve.

Mary Nejedly Piepho

District III, Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors


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Letter writer supports Burgis for Supervisor

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Dear Editor:

With the race for the June primaries almost upon us, and six different candidates running for County Supervisor in District 3, what’s a poor voter to do?  I am fortunate to have had the privilege of meeting most of these candidates, and without question, Diane Burgis is, by far, the most qualified and absolute best candidate for this position.

Diane is the only candidate with broad, regional experience – she is currently a trustee on the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) Board, which manages a budget in excess of two hundred million dollars servicing almost three million people, and overseeing its own fire department and police force.  This is an entirely different level of responsibility decision-making than that of a local city council member – with just a local city issues to address.  No other candidate has this breadth of experience and understanding of complex issues and decisions required to address an entire county.

Diane is a leader who knows how to build consensus and bring people together.  Diane has the endorsement of over sixty leaders throughout the county and state, including all of the current Trustees on the EBRPD.  Contrast that with candidate Hardcastle, who touts his 12 years of experience on the Ironhouse Sanitary District (ISD) Board, yet not one of the ISD Directors, current or previously-serving, has stepped up to endorse him.

Join me in voting for Diane Burgis for District 3 County Supervisor – the only qualified candidate for this position.

Susan Morgan

Director, Ironhouse Sanitary District

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