Freeman Focused on Schools in Council Bid

Lindsay Wilson, Staff Writer

This year the colorful montage of autumn leaves shares the road with a cluster of political signs for the upcoming Town Council elections on November 6.

With 3 open seats on the Town Council, Moraga politics is in high gear, as seen by the proliferation of political signs, flyers, campaign buttons, and debates.

Council elections are held every other year in November, with cycles of two and three members. This December the four-year terms of council members Michael Metcalf, Howard Harpham, and Karen Mendonca will end, while the two other council members, Dave Trotter and Ken Chew, will serve until 2014. Candidates to fill these spots include Phillip Arth, Roger Wyckle, Seth Freeman, Michael Metcalf, and Karen Mendonca. Of the five candidates, two of them, Metcalf and Mendonca, are running for re-election. One of the candidates, Seth Freeman, is a parent of a student at Campolindo.

Seth Freeman, father of senior Matt Freeman, was a runner up for the third open seat in 2010. He has been an active member of the Moraga political scene ever since he began attending meetings and campaigning against the construction of a fence surrounding the dog area at Laguna Park.

One of Freeman’s main focuses is emphasizing the strength of the Moraga public school system. According to Freeman, he wants to add that Moraga is home to St. Mary’s College and some of California’s best performing schools to the official Moraga website because education is one of the greatest branding messages of Lamorinda.

Freeman wants to improve the lives of seniors by creating more internship opportunities in local businesses and the town council. Also, he is interested in giving Campolindo students a safe place to spend time on weeknights and weekends. He received much applause from other candidates, such as Mendonca and Arth, for his idea to turn the closed post office across from the Community Center into a multi-use teen center during the week and a dry night club/ coffee house on the weekend.

Freeman said that his greatest appeal to voters is his creativity and knowledge of finance.  “One of the key differences is that I have a long entrepreneurial background as a businessman, which is different than that of the other candidates, that will bring better governance and financial prudence, but also a higher level of creativity and resourcefulness,” he explained.

Freeman’s son, Matt, said that, although his father’s political activity does not affect him, he still takes part in the campaign process by handing out flyers and buttons. At the Pear Festival he helped pass out balloons and campaign buttons with peace signs and smiley faces. He also attended the debate between the candidates on October 4 to offer support.

Matt described his father’s specific plan for improving Moraga: “My dad wants to take a look at the general town plan and update it to protect the town pension system so that it is sustainable. He wants to overall help the town be a great place to live,” he said.

As campaigning comes to a close and the signs on St. Mary’s Road twist and turn in the fall breeze, voters will have to check three boxes on their General Municipal ballots by November 6th. This December three town council members’ terms will end and three will begin.