Orinda taxpayers have been overfunding MOFD since the district was created. This is not what was promised Orinda voters when they formed MOFD in 1997.   Over the 19 years MOFD has been in existence, Orinda taxpayers have paid $25 million more into the system than they have received in services. This $25 million has gone to subsidize service in Moraga. Currently Orinda taxpayers are paying $2.5 million more than it costs to run Orinda’s three fire stations and this is projected to increase by over $200,000 per year for the foreseeable future.

Orinda voters created MOFD with four main goals which were laid out by the City Council:

  1. Put paramedics on every fire engine – this has been achieved.
  2. Insure that fire protection dollars Orindans pay will stay in Orinda – this is not the case.
  3. Insure that Orinda keeps 3 fire stations and current staffing levels – this has been achieved.
  4. Make local fire commissioners responsible for our local needs. Orinda taxpayers are spending $2.5 million per year to provide service to Moraga and have spent $25 million since MOFD was formed. Our local MOFD Board Members and City Council Members know this but have done nothing to remedy the situation or even acknowledge it. They also know that the three dozen “grossly inadequate” fire hydrants in Orinda remain untouched after 19 years. They know that response times in areas of Orinda remain excessive after 19 years. They know that acres of North Orinda are considered “very high fire hazard severity zones” because of excessive vegetation and yet there is no money being spent on a fuel reduction program.

MOFD has made a number of rationalizations of why there has been no funding inequity. All of these have been shown to be either false or de minimis (answering a fraction of funding inequity).   Orinda’s representatives have never disagreed with these rationalizations and members of the Orinda Council have never stood up for Orinda taxpayers either, even though the misdirected funding has negatively impacted the community’s safety.

As time moves on and the funding inequity grows from $700,000 in 1998 to $1,000,000 in 2009 to $2,500,000 in 2016 with a projection of $4,000,000 by 2022, when will our elected representatives do their job of representing the best interests of the community and use Orinda tax dollars to enhance safety in Orinda?