Unjustifiable Move Would Cede Local Control, Siphon Local Tax Dollars, and Consign Moraga and Orinda to Less-Responsive Service
At its April 21 meeting and following an earlier “suggestion” by the firefighter union president whose union represents firefighters throughout Contra Costa County, union-backed MOFD Director Greg Baitx successfully placed a discussion on MOFD’s May 19 meeting agenda for financial projections and a process overview to dissolve the MOFD entirely, having fire and ambulance services absorbed by the county.
Such a move would return Moraga & Orinda fire and ambulance service to what it was decades ago, before MOFD was specifically created for local control, local tax dollars being used for local fire and ambulance service, and ensuring a high quality of service commensurate with community expectations.
Prior to MOFD, local residents were consigned to being a small minority subject to county-level decisions on fire and ambulance services (e.g. station locations and staffing), with the county siphoning off approximately $3 million from Moraga/Orinda and using it elsewhere rather than on local facilities, equipment and services during the years preceding MOFD’s creation.
The necessity or desire to explore a possible dissolution and merger defies all logic: MOFD is financially, operationally, and service-level superior to Confire and has been for years.
Further, it strikes us as a wholesale violation of fiduciary responsibility and duty of loyalty for a MOFD Director to initiate such a process, when that Director's fundamental responsibility is to be a steward of MOFD and preserve & enhance its founding principles of local control and high service levels.
We suggest readers let the MOFD Board and their local town/city councils know how they feel about this nascent violation of good governance and public trust. Strongly.
See the links below for contact information. A summary of issues provided by concerned citizens also are attached at the bottom of this article.
PLEASE NOTE: The MOFD is a separate and distinct self-governed entity that is not managed or overseen by the Town or City. Tell the MOFD directly what you want done (or not done) as a tax paying constituent or stakeholder; ask the Town and City to exert whatever influence and leverage they can, but don’t mistakenly attribute the core governing responsibility to them :)
[Update 1: an active NextDoor discussion is happening - click here]
[Update 2: Moraga Town Council will consider official opposition 5/12 - staff report here]
[Update 3: Orinda Firewise Council pointed to this article as an informational resource. Thank you!]
[Update 4: KTVU has picked up on the story here]
To write the MOFD board, click here
The Moraga Town Council unanimously agreed to send a letter opposing any further exploration. No need to contact them.
The Orinda City Council unanimously agreed to send a letter opposing any further exploration. No need to contact them.
For a summary of issues provided by concerned citizens in Moraga and Orinda, click below to download the associated PDFs from each group (thank you to both contributing groups!)