I cannot blame Dan Borenstein and the Contra Costa Times in their expected endorsement of Oakley City Council Candidate Ron Borland who share similar views in the “Montgomery Mortgage Deal”. However, while it may be his personal opinion, Mr. Borenstein is leveraging his position to try and convince candidates into policy and personnel decisions for Oakley which is where I will blame him.
On October 7, the Contra Costa Times endorsed Ron Borland, Diane Burgis, and David Hansen.
As expected, the Times endorsed Mr. Borland for a childish reason of being vocal against the Montgomery bailout. They judged him on one piece of the pie instead of looking at the entire pie. If they did, the Times would realize his platform offers very little.
Oakley residents get it, Ron Borland wants Mr. Montgomery fired and has been vocal about it. But because he wants Montgomery fired doesn’t make him any more qualified. It simply means he is the most outspoken–that is all!
The endorsement editorial did a disservice to the residents of Oakley because its major focus (8 of 12 paragraphs) was on Bryan Montgomery, not the actual candidates. Based on ones feelings of the city manager is no way to select a candidate. We learned nothing about the candidates other than Mr. Borland’s restated outrage.
Mr. Borenstein did not go on a fact finding mission on the candidates, he tried to convince them to take his position and fire Montgomery. When an editorial writer is spending more time on a city manager than the actual candidates, that is a problem!
What exactly did we learn from this endorsement piece that we haven’t already heard out of Ron Borlands mouth in his many editorials to the Times since November? It’s a rehash of the same rhetoric. Aside from the city manager, we learned nothing about Mr. Borlands plans for Oakley. we learned nothing about the other candidates.
So one final time, let’s just state what it is. The city Manager deal was a lapse in judgment that should have never occurred—even if legally no laws were broken. Other cities performed similar deals back when the economy was good. The City apologized, asked for forgiveness and moved forward. The deal was rescinded before any monies exchanged hands and policy was created to prevent it from occurring again.
A year later, it’s the Times signature issue of how to judge potential candidates on. This is kind of like Doug Hardcastle claiming this wouldn’t have happened on his watch. Well, we have seen what has occurred on his watch at Ironhouse.
In retrospect, you have an editorial board who plagiarized off the Los Angeles Times and were caught red handed which is the worst offense for a newspaper. The Times quickly apologized and asked for forgiveness.
The truth is that a city can rescind any deal it makes. But a newspaper cannot rescind plagiarism. So why is the Times expected to be forgiven but in the Times view Oakley will not be granted the same courtesy?
Ultimately, Borenstein forever lost me when he spoke of integrity of Randy Pope who has spent the last year accomplishing nothing while undermining the rest of the council for his gain. Look no further than his Beehive policy as he had folks from around the country to chime in to try and set policy for Oakley using social media. Mr. Pope then could have a beehive so he can sell the honey for his own financial gain. It’s pretty self serving.
It should also be noted that “Mr. Integrity” has zero committees he serves on and the council had to go get a liaison in Susan Morgan to provide updates on the fiasco at Ironhouse Sanitary District. You are not being an asset to ones community if you are on a council and not on a single committee building relationships.
What Borenstein is forgetting is Randy Pope also voted on the city manager deal and is quoted in the Brentwood Press agreeing to it, however, at a different percentage. The percentages really don’t matter, he voted in favor of it so him getting a pass is pretty hypocritical.
Being hypothetical, let’s say somehow the council has three votes to fire Montgomery. Then what? Borland is running on nothing else of substance. The papers aren’t discussing his entire platform which if you ask me is a bit scary. Even the Democratic Party has run away from him aside from an off group in Antioch with no Oakley members.
In retrospect, the Times claims that they happily endorse Borland (a big shocker I know) while they had to dig deeper to find two other candidates they could support and settled on Diane Burgis and David Hansen.
First off, Diane Burgis is the most solid candidate of the bunch. I’d put her record against anyone running—including Romick. She has proven to be a positive influence on the community while she understands budgets and has the appropriate connections to make things happen for Oakley.
Dave Hansen is also solid. He has done more for his community announcing high school football games than what Borland has done. Borland has turned Oakley into a punch line of jokes with his continued rhetoric and negative attitude towards the city.
Ultimately, based on the level of candidates running for Council, Kevin Romick does deserve another term and should get the third spot. The truth is, work meeting or not, Romick looks like a genius for not wasting his time at the interview because he was never going to get Borensteins support anyway.
Three sources informed me the meeting focused for over an hour on Montgomery with Borenstein trying to sway the council candidates into taking his opinion on the deal. One candidate even received a call from Borenstein for about 45-minutes to further try and sway the candidate’s opinion so Borenstein could endorse him. This is pretty unethical.
As much of a disservice this editorial was to Oakley, I will give kudos to Borenstein for not endorsing Doug Hardcastle who should never serve public office again based on his actions at Ironhouse.
Going forward, I would hope Mr. Borenstein could follow Rowena Coetsee’s style and provide actual substance in covering the Council race so readers can find out more about what each candidate wants to accomplish in Oakley and where it sees it headed.
The blame game by the Times Editorial Board needs to stop as those in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.
Here is a link to the Times Editorial