Letter: Paper's Kosel-Hausken Endorsement Ill-Informed

Andrew Reed of Kensington argues that the Contra Costa Times editorial endorsement of Cathie Kosel and Jim Hausken for the Kensington governing board was ill-informed and unrepresentative of endorsements by groups close to home.

To the Editor:

So Cathie Kosel and Jim Hausken have received the endorsement of Daniel Borenstein, a political writer for the Contra Costa Times. It is important to note that, unlike newspapers that convene editorial boards or panels to interview candidates, Mr.Borenstein was the only writer from the CCT involved in the decision.

In contrast, Chuck Toombs and Pat Gillette have received the endorsements of the El Cerrito Democratic Club, The Democratic Party of Contra Costa County, The California Democratic party, and our very own Kensington Improvement Club. In each case these groups convened their governing boards and or membership to meet and evaluate the candidates in order to make a truly representative decision.  They also have the endorsement of decades of leaders in Kensington, compared to Kosel and Hausken’s endorsements from people in Berkeley, Richmond, El Cerrito, and now Mr. Borenstein.

And then there is the question of what Mr. Borenstein relied on to reach his conclusion.  In his interview with the candidates Mr. Borenstein cited one of Kosel's supporters as his source of background information. He misquotes Pat Gillette on the rationale for passing Measure G, which suggests his lack of knowledge and/or objectivity that drove the rest of his conclusions.  And, of course, I have never seen this reporter at a Kensington Police Protection and Community Services District meeting and doubt whether he reviewed the video of these meetings prior to his writing, even though some of the candidates asked him to do so. The result is an unusually one-sided opinion piece without reference to complete or accurate information.

It is also interesting to note that Mr. Borenstein fails to mention any of Kosel’s accomplishments in his piece praising her. Perhaps that is because she has none. Instead, he adopts and repeats, almost verbatim, Kosel’s tired and misleading claims about mismanagement and lack of transparency.

But we in Kensington know that leadership is more than fist banging – it is the ability to build consensus when you are in the minority. This is what Kosel is incapable of doing and what stands out as her profound weakness. Kosel is so divisive as to be ineffective. Clearly, Director Toombs should be re-elected for getting so much done in spite of Ms. Kosel’s obstructionism.

I trust that the next time Mr. Borenstein writes a piece about Kensington, it will be a more thorough examination that uses all the facts available. Perhaps his next piece will cover Kosel’s close relationship with our garbage hauler. There is much to investigate there.

– Andrew Reed

M. E. Campbell of Kensington, CA November 02, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Caveats: Looks like the pitiful egos of the insider clique that runs this town seemingly represented here by Reed (or Paul, Dorroh, etc) still cannot tolerate anyone at all standing up to them, opposing them, discrediting them, or defying them. No one else is allowed to have thoughts or opinions that differ. If you have been following Patch you already know this. It feels clear to me that we the average Kensingtonians don't know our place or role in their games, or surely we would address them as "Yes Master" and "Yes Mistress", bow down and continue give them whatever they want to take (our vote, our money, our minds) IMO. They have established themselves strategically politically over recent years; clique members were present en mass voting in the groups they love to list that endorsed Toombs and Gillette for KPPCSD. There is a reason, in fact many reasons, why so many thoughtful people want Toombs out and continue to stand up to all the nastiness thrown at Director Kosel, especially in letters to Patch: we won't surrender our votes or our wills to Reed, nor to all the plotting and attempts at sabotage of the Kosel-Hausken campaign by the Kensington Cabal.
Rodney Paul November 02, 2012 at 02:03 PM
This CCT editorial makes a very dishonest argument. The writer criticizes the Kensington Police Officers’ contract but fails to disclose that Cathie Kosel actually voted for it. Kosel went on to hypocritically speak out against the contract but the fact is that it passed with her vote. How does this justify granting her a second term? This editorial cherry picks the facts to reach a foregone conclusion. Cathie Kosel was able to use her connections to receive this endorsement from outside our community. But within Kensington, she has very little support and that’s why the voters will reject her re-election bid on Tuesday.
Rodney Paul November 02, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Dear ME: You'll be pleased to hear that at the last meeting of the Cabal, we decided to drop those forms of address as well as the mandatory salutes. However, we still expect you to avert your eyes when encountering us in public.
John Brorsen November 02, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Good one RP...
Leonard Schwartzburd, Ph.D. November 02, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Rodney oh Rodney, Read Goethe's Faust before it's to late to save your soul. Reed, I think for you there is no point in further reading.
Eyleen Nadolny November 02, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Cathie Kosel is one of the most courageous people I have ever met. She has been slandered, denounced, threatened, and treated shamefully by other members of the KPPCSD Board and members of the community who so blindly side with the Board majority and the COP and still she will not back down. If Kensington residents want to pull the blankets up over their heads and ignore the fact that this Board looks the other way and demands no accountability from the COP for his financial shenanigans, then vote for Toombs and Gillette (who no doubt view the Board as a mere stepping stone to a future judgeship). If you want Board members who actually care how your tax dollars are spent and will prevent Kensington from going bankrkupt in a few years, then vote for Cathie Kosel and Jim Hausken. This town has been ruled by the same clique for too many years. It's time for some fresh air.
Gayle Tapscott November 02, 2012 at 11:55 PM
"We the average Kensingtonians don't know our place or role in their games, etc....??? Sir, please speak for yourself. There are PLENTY average Kensingtonians that agree with Reed (or Paul, Dorroh, etc).
M. E. Campbell of Kensington, CA November 03, 2012 at 12:27 AM
That majority board member needs to hold up a mirror and read his letter to himself: everything he says applies to calumny that his majority and the Toombs-Gillette campaign have been heaping on Directors Kosel and Metcalf, in my opinion.
Mary E. Chafe-Powles November 03, 2012 at 05:28 AM
My Thoughts : Having lived here for quite a few years since ‘72, and worked through backyard landslides caused by the ’82 storms - a truly financial burden, I retired from teaching for 35 years and started to attend the police board meetings in 2000. What I have observed is as follows: Civility and diplomacy have changed dramatically. This occurs in the audience with snickering and ‘comments’ while someone on the board is speaking. (Q: does this affect board presentations?) The position of president used to change between members of the board on a frequent basis. (Q: why doesn’t this still happen?) We lost several well respected and helpful officers fairly recently. Among them, one that I highly respected and came to know while she helped another officer from a neighboring district clear gardening debris in a neighbor’s yard across the street from my home. Also, she may have been the person responsible for the beginning of having us safely leave a key in the police station. (Q1: Why was she asked to resign, aka fired, the day before I wrote to the chief regarding her dismissal and was told she hadn’t left – but was thinking about it?) Intractable decisions decided by a majority of 3 members. We never had a need to use a slate of people running for the board which has given rise to the lack of legislative decision making by a group of five people. It has led to intractable decisions and a lack of logical discourse. (Q: Are 7 or 9 needed?)
Leonard Schwartzburd, Ph.D. November 03, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Anna, I think you meant to write that Toombs has abdicated his responsibility to an "un-elected" person, i.e. COP/GM Harman. On the basis of what attorney KR has been writing Toombs has usurped power not belonging to him to do do.
Leonard Schwartzburd, Ph.D. November 03, 2012 at 04:28 PM
It is no surprise to see Reed again being far less than accurate, this time in characterizing the support Toombs and Gillette have as having superior knowledge of the local situation than the editorial staff of the CC Times and the Journal, (one in the same). The journalist who investigated is both professional and ethical, in contrast to the quite obviously biased sleaze in the Outlook. The Kensington clique has been around a long time and is therefore better organized at turning out it's adherents than the heretofore loosely organized coalition that has come together on the basis of critical issues to the people of Kensington rather than the clique's desire to hang onto power for it's own sake. Thus they were able to get out more people, perhaps about 30, to vote at the El Cerrito Democratic Clubs endorsement event. I was there. All of the other claims for endorsement cited in the literature generated by Democratic Party entities follow from that single vote of about 30 people. The journalist from the CC Times got it almost exactly right. I say almost because in fact Harman's illegitimately given raise was greater than the editorial had it. Continued below
Leonard Schwartzburd, Ph.D. November 03, 2012 at 04:35 PM
CONTINUED FROM ABOVE Those of us who came together based on the issues understand what we are up against and are organizing to counter the clique ongoing. Folks this means both money out of our pockets, taken in what I regard as an unethical and just plain wrong manner. It also affects our village culture as evidenced by the underbelly of Reed and his associates in what many of us regard as the lies they spread about Cathy Kosel in order to discredit the light she shines into the dark crevices where they secretly spin their "mind boggling" decisions affecting all of us. In going around and talking to neighbors they ask why there has been such nastiness in this election. My answer is that they should review the nastiness manifested towards Cathie in the Outlook over the past couple of years and understand the present climate as coming from the fact that Cathie and Mari Metcalf no longer stand alone and the Clique is fighting desperately to keep its grasp on power. They are spending more than $10,000 to hold on and their dirty tricks abound. IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HELPING IN THE EFFORT TO TAKE OUR VILLAGE BACK, CONTACT ME AT: drlschwartzburd@gmail.com PUT "WANT INFO" IN THE SUBJECT BOX. Thanks for thinking about all of this.
LONG TIME RESIDENT November 03, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Dear Mary E. Chafe-Powles: I too have lived in Kensington since the early 1970s & raised a family here. I have not been involved in Kensington politics until this year -- everything "seemed" to be running smoothly. Then as I started reading of all the acrimony on the board and the police chief's use of a government credit card to buy airline tickets for his wife, I started looking into what was going on. The Kensington website is a good place to start-police logs, police reports, reports by village manager, even an "Open City Hall" link. The police logs and reports showed only a few officers doing anything. The manager’s reports stopped last year until I brought it to Toombs' attention. "Open City Hall" has been shuttered. I looked at the police chief's contract. I reviewed over 120 pages of the community service district's policies. Conclusion: Toombs has without authority taken over our elected government and handed it to Harman, without any checks on Harman, who also controls Koosed-the editor of our village paper. A neighbor said to me: “It looks like a police state.” We need to take back our village from Toombs’ autocratic control. FIRST STEP IS TO REMOVE TOOMBS. The service district's policies say that Toombs has no more authority than any other Board members, yet he has shut their & the community's access to information. History has seen such people before. Please see http://elcerrito.patch.com/articles/view-kensington-board-s-failure-to-disclose-information
Leonard Schwartzburd, Ph.D. November 04, 2012 at 01:28 AM
Andrew, Andrew oh Andrew Reed, you wrote: "In contrast, Chuck Toombs and Pat Gillette have received the endorsements of the El Cerrito Democratic Club, The Democratic Party of Contra Costa County, The California Democratic party, and our very own Kensington Improvement Club. In each case these groups convened their governing boards and or membership to meet and evaluate the candidates in order to make a truly representative decision." Down in Atlanta where my wife Dairlyn is from anyone with a knowledge of the endorsement process of the Democratic Party in Caifornia and what Reed wrote, (I wonder if Toombs and Gillette privately call it the "Democrat Party") anyhow if they did they would say something like: "That boy is lying, or if it's just that he's ignorant he's also dumb as a box of rocks...bless his little heart." I know this about the process because as soon as the Twins brought out their first wrapped in the flag mailing claiming those endorsements none of the folks I spoke to believed it and Anna investigated and sure enough on the basis of an obscure policy of the State Party a win in El Cerito's club, (probably with no more than 30 votes ) entitled the Twins to claim the whole state. Anna, I bet you could put the regulation on here for Andrew's edification and hopefully his moral development. I just hate to give up on anyone--almost. Of course Andrew, I could be wrong and if I am and you document that I will be the first to apologize.
Leonard Schwartzburd, Ph.D. November 04, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Anna has informed me that the CC County Board did endorse them, but that the CA State party was purely pro forma. So at the big level Reed provided false info, kinda like is done a lot in the Outlook. See the Editors other gig below. This is the Joel Koosed, the Outlook editor, (better named the “Overlooked”) the propaganda organ of the Kensington Clique, of which Vida Dorroh is a prominent member, and where they give "truth" a bad name. I appreciate how discriminating your services are Mr. Koosed. His photo is on the web site. Joel Koosed “ Founded San Francisco Roommate Referral Service, Avenue Ballroom, Kicks Magazine, and The Meeting Game® Salon. Editor: Kensington Outlook ” Interested in new Meetup Groups about Drummer, dating, Dating and Relationships, Make New Friends, from all Walks of Life, The Over 40 Gang, Speed Dating, Meeting New People, Dating Women, Divorced, Widowed, Never Married, Singles, Single Professionals looking to Meet other Singles, Professional Singles, Single Parents, Hiking, Social Networking, Writers, Artists & Musicians, Creative Circle, creating a creative community, East Bay International Creative Community, East Bay Creative Community, Dinner Party, Singers & Songwriters, Performing Musicians, Dance, Drum Circle, Drumming, Recreational Drumming, Open Relationships, Polyamory, Alternative Lifestyles, Socializing with other Singles over 50., Show less... Albany, CA Sept 2012 http://www.meetup.com/members/6449445/
LONG TIME RESIDENT November 05, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Dear Gayle, Rodney, and John: Please consider the post at http://elcerrito.patch.com/articles/view-the-kensington-election-does-it-matter. And also the post at http://elcerrito.patch.com/articles/view-kensington-board-s-failure-to-disclose-information Thank you.


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