Orinda Votes on City Council, School Board

Katrina Kovalik

With all precincts reporting, Orinda City Council and School Board election results reveal an extremely close race; all candidates recieved between 16 and 24 percent of the vote.

After the votes were tallied from 16 precincts, incumbents Amy Worth and Sue Severson will remain on the City Council while former Mayor Tom McCormick  as well as newcomer Scott Zeller failed to be re-elected. Dean Orr, a newcomer, was elected to fill the third seat on the Council.

Neither Moraga nor Lafayette elected a newcomer to their City Councils.

Three seats on the Orinda School Board were in play on Tuesday with 23 precincts voting, with Julie Rossiter, Tyson Krumholz and Christopher C. Severson as the winners. Sarah Genn Butler and Bekki VanVoorhis-Gilbert lost by close margins.

Nearly 10,000 Orinda residents voted on City Council candidates while about 9,000 participated in voting on School Board candidates.

The City Council is made up of five elected council members who serve staggered four-year terms as Mayor.

Sue Severson, Worth and Orr all list improving Orinda’s roads and infrastructure as top priorities. Worth played an important role in accumulating funds for the new bore of the Caldecott Tunnel.

Improving communication and fostering an open dialogue between the Council and the community are also stated priorities for Severson and Orr.

Zeller ran on the failed platform of keeping Orinda “semi-rural” and opposing the downtown plan of 55 ft. building heights and transit village construction.

New School Board electee Krumholz prioritizes reducing costs of local education, while raising the quality through technology and reinstating librarian positions.

Rossiter supports updating school curriculum and resources in addition to maximizing school funding. Both Christopher Severson and Rossiter promote collaboration between parents, teachers and students.