Lamorindans have been busy waving goodbye to departing graduates and rescuing local wildlife as summer arrives -- but a new set of worries has landed as our two cities and a town struggle to come to grips with financial woes that appear to be upon us.
We have had no official word if the money needed to put police officers in place for the venerable Fourth of July Parade in Orinda ($7,000) has been found or not -- but we're operating on the assumption that it has and the parade of old cars and cute kids will continue as it has for years.
Orinda's City Council met in closed session Monday to discuss ongoing labor negotiations and buzz in city government about work furlough versus layoffs in some city departments. Union representatives for city workers are said to have given the council results of a vote taken of their members expressing their obvious preference for furloughs instead of more-drastic layoffs.
There is also chatter making the rounds of a proposed consolidation of the county's emergency services agencies. Deep budget cuts and station closures in other parts of Contra Costa County have given rise to new talks about how "well off" fire districts like, presumably, Moraga Orinda and San Ramon Valley fire can help shore up those districts currently taking employee and infrastructure hits.
A Grand Jury report analyzing the situation has apparently been conducted and is due for release, city watchers say, and county-wide consolidation of emergency services is being discussed.
And speaking of Fourth of July celebrations -- and firefighters ("nice segue there J.D.," "why, thank you, JD) -- the town of Moraga is hoping for a little more boom for its bucks this year, asking residents to pony up the $23,000 needed for the traditional fireworks display.
Past support has kept the star shells flying and a minimum donation of $50 is being requested. Several cities, of course, have had to curtail their displays or end them entirely due to budget constraints.
And, yes, Patch is looking for a good way to make a contribution. Okay? That is all, let the "chatter" commence anew.