President’s Message – September 2020


Engagement and Appreciation

    In the midst of the pandemic, we look forward to a hopeful future and opportunities to engage and appreciate our community. We thank all of the donors who gave generously to support the iconic Orinda Theatre. The GoFundMe theater campaign has raised $110,000 of its $165,000 goal. Thank you for supporting the operating and fixed costs of the 79-year-old theater. Derek Zemrak, proprietor and organizer of the campaign, sends a “very big heartfelt thank you” to those who donated during these trying times.
    On Saturday, Sept. 12, The Orinda Association will be sponsoring a new 29.4-mile classic car tour. It will feature 100 vintage cars touring through Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette and the Berkeley Hills. Cameras will be strategically located to capture the excitement and roaring moments of this unique event upholding a long Orinda tradition. [See story, page 2.] You’ll see two of my favorite vintage cars, a 1965 2D Blue Mustang and a 1955 Gold Thunderbird being announced by no other than the voice of Orinda, Steve 
    The classic car show has been one of the biggest fundraising events for a number of non-profit organizations, especially for the Seniors Around Town Program (SAT). The SAT has continued to provide rides for medical appointments and grocery deliveries for our seniors. There are currently 113 active riders who need assistance. We are expecting a shortfall of $15,000 in critical funding from this year’s virtual car tour. Therefore, we are asking our supporters to please consider donating to the SAT at
    In the Nov. 3 general election, the Orinda City Council has placed a one cent sales tax (Transaction and Use Tax) ballot measure. Measure X will replace the current ½% sales tax with a 1% sales tax, effective April 1, 2021. The voter threshold for passage is 50%. The increase sales tax will double the funding to $2.4 million per year. This estimated revenue will be in place for 20 years. The purpose of the funding is to continue mitigating the city’s deteriorating roads and collapsing storm drains. As we are aware, maintaining the city’s roads has been a priority over the years, and this will continue to minimize future costly repairs. The funds will also be used to control brush and vegetation throughout Orinda and mitigate fire risks associated with wildfires. In order to ensure that the funds are spent appropriately, a citizen oversight committee will be established along with financial audits and public review of all expenditures. All of these funds will be spent in Orinda to improve our safety and quality of life. Please take the time to read the measure at the city website ( and don’t forget to vote in November.
    In the early part of October, The OA Board has agreed to host both City Council and MOFD forums on the same evening. For the City Council race, there will be three candidates for the available two seats. Besides the incumbents, Mayor Darlene Gee and Councilmember Inga Miller, the third candidate is Latika Malkani. All three candidates have qualified before the filing deadline. For MOFD, there are two candidates for the District 5 seat, Sharon L. Girdlestone and incumbent Craig Jorgens. We are still working on a virtual format, which will encourage public participation. We will keep you posted on this very exciting and important 

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