The Task Force believes that MOFD does a credible job for the majority of the community and its service employees appear to be highly skilled. However, there are gaps in service, aspects of the District’s operations of which the community is not knowledgeable, and the Task Force has concerns over the District's management of the public's funds.
As opposed to the City of Orinda and the Town of Moraga, the District has no citizen oversight committees or commissions to provide accountability, no "watch-dog" capability. This report aims to look objectively at our emergency services provider with no intention to denigrate those who quite literally do, at times, put their lives on the line.
The Task Force concludes that MOFD is in serious financial distress and, in ways, is already providing marginally acceptable service. While the District can continue to avoid difficult financial decisions, the Task Force believes it is not appropriate for the community to allow this to happen. The District is not on the verge of bankruptcy, as are some public agencies, however it is financially unstable and that instability could become apparent in the not-too-distant future. If we continue to ignore the situation, we will pass a huge obligation onto future generations of Orindans and Moragans which could negatively impact their service.
In addition, the service is marginal in some respects (40% of response times to critical emergencies in Orinda exceed industry standards) and the costs are staggering (no other community that the Task Force is aware of spends over 50% of its resources on emergency services and is underserved 40% of the time).
Finally, the Task Force beleives that Orinda taxpayers are paying $1 million per year in excess of their fair share of MOFD's expenses. This is not what Orindans were told would be the cost-sharing with Moraga when MOFD was formed.