Our recommendation for the MOFD Director races (there are three divisions with competitors) is that you pay attention.
We have great respect for firefighters and all first responders. We believe good governance and fiduciary responsibility is critical. Our steering committee has personal relationships with a number of the competing candidates, hence our recommendation for you to decide based on your research and the factual information below and in our associated articles.
Three union-funded candidates are vying for director seats against independent residents. The union-funded candidates have ties to the firefighter unions and either active or previous experience as firefighters or administrators. The non-union-funded, independent candidates are very successful businesspeople.
A good overview of the candidates is in the San Jose Mercury News/East Bay Times editorial linked below, which highlights some of the issues. (Again, we neither endorse nor condemn their conclusions or recommendations)
Click here to read their article.
For a district just beginning to make progress on paying down significant, unfunded pension liabilities following nationwide attention on MOFD "pension spiking" a few years ago, the race is creating a local "fox guarding the henhouse" concern type of story. It's a valid concern and merits consideration.
Aside from resumes/background alone, we suggest you consider whether the perception/possibility of potential conflicts of interest of union-funded candidates outweighs their respective knowledge of fire district governance, fiduciary responsibility and needs/operations against the independent resident candidates who may have less knowledge of fire prevention and operations, but who don't have the potential conflict of interest related to compensation, benefits and addressing unfunded pension liabilities.
Want to discuss? There's a NextDoor thread here.