September Meeting Preview

Regular Club Meeting and Kensington Endorsement Forum

    Tuesday, September 26

6:00 p.m.

Zion Presbyterian Church

545 Ashbury Ave

The Club will hold an endorsement forum for candidates running for Kensington Fire Protection Board and Kensington Police Protection, Community Services District, Prop 1 and 2 and for State-wide races (on consent calendar) at the September Club meeting. Please see the list of candidates for these races on page 2.

Are you ready to walk? With the ECDC endorsement season coming to a close, it’s time to get out the vote for our endorsed candidates. We need volunteers to deliver ECDC literature to homes in El Cerrito and Kensington on for two to four hour windows, the first two weekends on October. Please contact the ECDC President ( to volunteer. If you’re unable to walk, we also need volunteers to help bundle the walking packets.


The Club will hold it’s annual dinner on Saturday, October 4, 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Kensington Community Church. Club members are asked to bring dessert and salads for 10 people.  Buy your tickets online at  ($40 per ticket or $75 for two tickets) or please bring a check to the September Club meeting. We also need volunteers for food services and for clean up.

Endorsement Meetings

The Club will hold its final endorsement forum on Tuesday, September 23.

The process will be the same as the previous two forums  For each race (listed below), we will open with short statements from each candidate, followed by a moderated Q&A from the audience, and concluding with brief (1-2 minutes) closing remarks. The Club members will then vote to endorse according to our endorsement rules (see page 3). If a candidate receives 60% of vote (voting members who are present) then they will receive the Club’s endorsement. If no candidate receives 60% of the vote, then there will be no endorsement.  In addition, we will also take a straw poll in each race of any non-members present—the results of the straw poll should not in any way be construed as a replacement or proxy for the Club’s endorsement process.

We have invited all candidates to the endorsement forums however, the Club will only endorse Democrats.

The following races and candidates will be considered on Tuesday:

Kensington Fire Protection (2 seats)

Janice E. Kosel

Nina Harman

Michael Kassarjian

 Kensington Police Protection and Community Services District (3 seats)

Alan (Len) Welsh

Steven B. Bates

Simon Brafman

Peter Conrad

Derek Suring

Kim Zvik

Rachelle Sherris-Watt

Vanessa Cordova

 The Executive Board recommends the Club will vote to endorse (on consent) the following Democrats in State-wide elections


  • Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown-Governor
  • Gavin Newsome-Lieutenant Governor
  • Alex Padilla-Secretary of State
  • John Chiang-Treasurer
  • Kamala D. Harris- Attorney General
  • Dave Jones-Insurance Commissioner
  • Tom Torlakson- Superintendent of Public Instruction (Non-partisan)


Proposition 1-Water Quality, Supply, and Infrastructure Improvement Act of 2014.


Authorizes $11.14 billion in general obligation bonds for state water supply infrastructure projects, such as surface and groundwater storage; ecosystem and watershed protection and restoration; Bay-Delta Estuary sustainability; drinking water protection; water recycling and advanced water treatment technology; water supply management and conveyance; drought relief; wastewater treatment; emergency water supplies; and public water system improvements.

Appropriates money from the General Fund to pay off bonds.

Requires certain projects to provide matching funds from non-state sources in order to receive bond funds

Fiscal impact statement

Increased state bond repayment costs averaging $560 million annually over the next 40 years. Increased state costs, possibly in the low tens of millions of dollars annually, to operate and maintain projects built with these bond funds.

Savings to local governments related to water projects, likely averaging a couple hundred million dollars annually over the next few decades.


Proposition 2- Rainy Day Budget Stabilization Fund Act

Require the controller to deposit annually into the rainy day fund: (A) 1.5 percent of general fund revenues and (B) an amount equal to revenues derived from capital gains-related taxes in situations where such tax revenues are in excess of eight percent of general fund revenues. Deposits to the rainy day fund would begin by no later than October 1, 2015. Deposits would be made until the rainy day fund balance reaches an amount equal to 10 percent of general fund revenues.

Require that from the 2015-2016 fiscal year until the 2029-2030 fiscal year, 50 percent of the revenues that would have otherwise been deposited into the rainy day fund must be used to pay for fiscal obligations, such as budgetary loans and unfunded state-level pensions plans. Starting with the 2030-2031 fiscal year, up to 50 percent of revenues that would have otherwise been deposited into the rainy day fund may be used to pay specified fiscal obligations.

Permit the legislature to suspend or reduce deposits to the  rainy day fund and withdraw for appropriation from the rainy day fund upon the governor declaring a budget emergency.

Create a distinct budget stabilization fund known as the “Proposition 98 Reserve” or Public School System Stabilization Account (PSSSA). The PSSA would be funded by a transfer of capital gains-related tax revenues in excess of eight percent of general fund revenues. Funds would be appropriated from the PSSSA when state support for K-14 education exceeds the allocation of general fund revenues, allocated property taxes and other available resources.

Letters to the Editor

By Marilyne Mellander

After retirement I became interested in politics and was elected to the El Sobrante Municipal Advisory Council in 2000 serving for 4 years.

I believe the only way DMC can survive is to incorporate it into the County hospital system.
If elected I will work to make this happen.

Candidate Statement for Marilynne L. Mellander, Candidate for Director West Contra Costa Healthcare District:
I’ve owned a home in El Sobrante since 1978.  My property taxes have more than quadrupled since that time.

West Contra Costa Healthcare District (District) formed in 1954 to serve insured community residents.  Doctors Medical Center (DMC) serves indigent and uninsured patients.   However, District taxpayers have continued to fund what now operates as a County hospital.  In spite of calls by property owners, the nurses union, and now the Richmond City council to have the County absorb this hospital, Dist. 1 Supervisor Gioia insists this is not financially feasible.

Regardless of what happens to DMC, District taxpayers will be saddled with debt for decades to come. The County has made three transfers of District taxpayer ad valorem taxes totaling $42.8 million without a public vote.

Financial information is hard to come by but I found that:
·        Our 2011 property tax was sold to investors in the form of Certificates of Participation to pay back the County
·        Gemino Healthcare Financing receives over $50,000/month interest on a $7,400,000 loan; DMC administration gave them a lien on the hospital property to prevent foreclosure
·        Hospital CEO Dawn Gideo receives $40,000/month salary
·        A “stakeholder group” now meets in private to decide the fate of DMC

There has never been citizen oversight on this District in spite of 2011 parcel tax ballot language.  I believe citizen taxpayers are important “stakeholders” in all discussions to determine the future of DMC.  If elected, I intend to represent the interests of District taxpayers.


Note from the Editor-The other three candidates running for the West Contra Costa Healthcare District were contacted and invited to submit articles to the newlsetter. The ECDC did not endorese anyone in this race.


By Mister Phillips  


Mister Phillips for School Board Campaign Fundraiser

We are off to a great start in the school board race. We have a strong message, real experience, good name recognition, and key endorsements. But we need your support. We are having a campaign fundraiser on Thursday, September 18, 2014, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, at Restaurante La Revolucion, 3190 Klose Way, Richmond, CA. The suggested contribution is $50.00 or more. RSVP at or call (925) 470-5426. The host committee for the fundraiser is San Pablo Councilmember Genoveva Calloway, West Contra Costa Unified School District Trustee Randy Enos, Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia, Kensington Police Protection and Community Services District Director Tony Lloyd, and Contra Costa Community College District Trustee John Marquez. Thank you for your support.


Note from the Editor-. The ECDC did not endorese anyone in this race.


Correction to June newsletter from Ed Matney:

The June 2014 newsletter reported the primary election results for the AD 15 race. The results printed in the newsletter relfected Contra Costa County only and the actual results were Elizabeth Echols 31.2% and Tony Thurmond 24.4%.