Two board seats within the Moraga-Orinda Fire District (MOFD) are up for election this year, one of which is District 2 located in Moraga. District 2 spans approximately from Campolindo to St. Mary's Rd. on both sides of Moraga Rd., including Campolindo, Carroll, Ascot, Donald, Rheem Valley Manor and Corliss neighborhoods.
We recommend John Jex for Director.
Jex, who also is endorsed by the Orinda Firewise Council, is the incumbent and a former Partner at Deloitte, thus bringing significant financial acumen, responsibility and oversight to the board role. His previous service and performance on the Board has been independent, balanced, financially responsible and worthy of another term.
Just like the election two years ago, voters have a choice between a truly independent Director (Jex) and one with direct ties to firefighter unions (Smith). Contrast Jex's modest self-funded campaign with Smith's, which is run by a committee out of Sacramento with 100% of its funding coming from the firefighter union.
You may recall that the previous election had three union-backed and financed candidates in the race, which ought to cause concern for residents who want to avoid even the potential - let alone the reality - for bias or conflicts of interest. Such conflicts of interest naturally favor compensation and pensions over fire prevention and homeowner assistance.
In our view, absent any incredibly compelling reasons to the contrary, Directors of a fire district should not be members of or have direct ties to firefighter unions (as does Smith) when the vast majority of their taxpayer-money decisions relate to directly or indirectly to employee compensation, benefits and retirement.
MOFD has no apparent leadership, personnel or working condition issues to speak of, and no compelling reasons exist to necessitate replacing the incumbent at all, let alone with someone who would be the 4th union-backed director on a five member Board. That possible outcome should be of obvious concern to those of us paying the bills.
Jex is the clear choice this go-round.
John Jex website here
Nate Smith website here
Orinda Firewise Council website here