I attended the November 14th Moraga-Orinda Fire Dept. (MOFD) meeting that was meant to accomplish two things: outline the roles and responsibilities for Chief Bradley and the Directors of the Board as there are two new members, and introduce MOFD's first draft of their Long Range Financial Forecast (LRFF). They must have heard the Emergency Services Task Force's (TF) message loud and clear as MOFD responded with a thoughtful presentation. I was unable to stay for the duration of the meeting, but you can find a copy of the LRFF on their website at www.mofd.org, and Steve's Cohn's analysis of the LRFF on the TF's website at www.orindataskforce.org.
What I took away from the MOFD meeting was three-fold. Chief Bradley will continue to work aggressively to negotiate "competitive" pay and benefit increases for our firefighters despite the fact that most other Bay Area emergency services workers have had to agree to reduced compensation since the Great Recession and ours have not. The District will cling to its belief in a 7.75% rate of return on investments and will continue to base its financial projections on that optimistic outlook unless significant public pressure dictates otherwise. And, the two new directors, Steve Anderson and Alex Evans, will need the community's support if they can hope to change the District's attitude toward labor negotiations and future expenditures.
I do believe that the Chief and the Directors of MOFD are starting to take the public's concerns more seriously, but only because citizens have forced them to pay attention. The bottom line remains that MOFD will either have to renegotiate pay and benefit packages downward, evaluate and reduce staffing in the most effective and efficient way possible, or increase taxes on the Moraga and Orinda property owners to pay for the very high standards of service we enjoy.