The Moraga-Orinda Fire District (MOFD) is an independent agency run by a board of directors elected by the residents of Orinda, Moraga, and the unincorporated areas adjacent to Moraga (unincorporated Moraga and Canyon). It serves approximately 34,000 residents and receives the majority of its operating funds from property taxes paid by the population it serves.
Neither the Orinda City Council nor the Moraga Town Council have any direct control over the operation of MOFD. None of the tax revenue controlled by Orinda or Moraga goes to support the operations of MOFD. MOFD is allocated revenue from property taxes in Orinda and Moraga.
A board of five directors, elected by division and not at large, governs MOFD. There are two divisions in Orinda, two in Moraga, and one split between the two cities. While the directors of MOFD have to be responsive to the needs of the entire district, the Orinda representatives have appeared in the past to ignore the needs of their particular divisions, ostensibly for the "betterment" of the whole of MOFD.
For the most part, in 19 out of 20 races, incumbent directors are re-elected. Only one challenger has ever won a race over an incumbent. Since the District was formed there have been 11 new directors replacing the original 5 (the last original director will retire in 2014). There are no term limits. 5 of the 11 new directors have been appointed by the board and all 5 have gone on to win re-election as incumbents. A detail and summary of the election history is available in Table II-1.
While all MOFD meetings are open to the public the District professes the desire and need for public involvement, the Task Force notes that the district currently does not have, and to the best of its knowledge never has had, a standing or long term committee which has included any citizen participants. The Task Force believes that the District would be well served by receiving more citizen involvement in the form of standing or report-oriented committees.