Guest editorial ,as submitted, by Orinda Vice Mayor, Amy Worth and Orinda City Council Member, Dennis Fay..."When Orinda voters study the facts, they'll agree that voting Yes on R is the smart choice to protect our homes and safety. Fact #1: Orinda has an immediate plan to quickly reduce wildfire risk."
“If we took all the other monies we could round up together in our piggybank, we do not have any other source of funds that would either provide enough money or an ongoing stream of money to be able to address these critical needs,” said Mayor Darlene Gee.
Letters to the Editor
Lamorinda Weekly, Oct. 14, 2020
"We need to take action NOW and start to fix a problem that has grown (literally) over the last 50 years in Orinda--too many dangerous trees and shrubs. The Measure R sales tax will begin to make a significant dent in this problem immediately."
Member Orinda Financial Advisory Committeee
The Orinda News, October 2020
"Although as an individual homeowner, I have taken steps to ameliorate fire hazards on my property, individual homeowners cannot do it alone."
"We need to do this. The cost of this measure is far less than the insurance premium increases many of us are paying. Let’s get to work!"
Lamorinda Weekly, Sept. 30, 2020
"As a member of the Board of Directors of the Contra Costa Taxpayer's Association I pay a lot of attention when a sales tax increase is on the ballot."
"We see, breathe and read every day that wildfires are increasing. As a result the homeowners insurance market is collapsing. Insurance companies now look at whole neighborhoods and towns. AND they are looking at infrastructure..."
Lamorinda Weekly, Sept. 16, 2020
"I will never forget frantically packing the car with my one year old and a diaper bag to flee the approaching flames of the Oakland...."
"As founding director of MOFD, serving from 1997 to 2014, I have seen the community engage when needed."
"We rely on the Fire Chief's frank assessment of fire related issues, and when he says we need to do more to protect our residents, the City Council listens."
Lamorinda Weekly, Sept. 2 2020
" Many neighborhoods are organized to promote fuel mitigation, but we lack the resources needed to catch up to the dry fuel backlog built up over many years. Measure R will front load that..."
"The city has a moral and fiduciary responsibility to engage around fire mitigation and the infrastructure. State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara states that insurance companies look..."
Measure R is NOT a Road Tax
Measure R is a general tax, and by law cannot be specified. The Orinda city council plan and the campaign literature, which by law CAN state the intentions, is to front-load fire prevention for the first five years, with roads/storm drains maintained. As road work needs increase and needs for heavy duty fire prevention decrease, priorities would be rebalanced. Written assurances from Mayor Gee and Councilmember Fay state this. A citizen oversight committee will insure the revenue is spent as intended. Saferorinda.org outlines the plan.
We see, breathe and read every day that wildfires are increasing. As a result the homeowners insurance market is collapsing. Insurance companies now look at whole neighborhoods and towns. AND they are looking at infrastructure to determine the potential for wildfire survival. Measure R is actually an integrated fire prevention plan that will give us some ability to fight back against the insurance companies.
There are two opponents to Measure R: the No-tax people and the private roads people. I don't know any of the no-tax folks. I have spoken with the private road people extensively. Their 5-year parcel tax would raise just over $1 million per year, result in less work in the early years than the sales tax can accomplish and provides no ongoing revenue to maintain the initial fuel reduction. A special election would be required at an extra cost to the city. Because property taxes are collected and distributed periodically, that money won't show up until December 2021 at the earliest. Why go to all this extra trouble when this general tax would be more comprehensive, raise more money and make it available faster?
The private road people have been at all the city council meetings when the general tax was discussed. They know very well it cannot be specified but insist on calling it a road tax. They refuse to acknowledge a citizen oversight committee is part of the tax and say they cannot trust the council despite the current 0.5% general tax having been spent exactly as the city council promised.
Drain Damage in Orinda.