President’s Message – October 2020


Car Tour and Elections

    As we enter the month of October, we grieve the victims of the horrific fires in the Western states. Thousands of people are still trying to survive the “apocalyptic” fires. Our prayers and thoughts are with them as well as those who have lost their lives and their homes.
    On Sept. 12, under a cloudy and smoky sky, more than 65 vintage cars toured through Orinda, Moraga and the Berkeley Hills for Orinda’s reimagined Classic Car Show (Tour). Proud owners lined up their classic prized cars in groups of 20 and roared their engines. There were vintage Thunderbirds, Mustangs, Chevelles and Camaros. My favorite was Tim Tolle’s 1960 Thunderbird hand painted in old school tattoo flash inspired by tattoo artists Sailor Jerry and Big Daddy Roth.
    The tour, which adhered to strict county health guidelines, required great imagination and organization by the car committee. The show went from cancellation to a virtual Zoom event to a car tour. As Diane Lautz, Co-Chair of the event, said, “we made lemonade out of lemons.”
    We would like to thank all the members of the committee for organizing such a wonderful event. A special thank you goes to Steve Harwood, who presided over the filming and broadcasting of the tour in real time. And yes, there really were drones filming the tour. You can still see the car tour by visiting the OA website,

(Horatio Jung, Photographer)
Orinda Association Board Members Bill Waterman and Diane Lautz co-chaired the Orinda Classic Car Tour, braving smoke-filled air to bring the annual event to fruition.

    As we approach election day on Nov. 3, I would like to address two important local issues. On the ballot will be Measure R, which would raise the current half-cent city sales tax to one cent. This means that it will cost an additional 50 cents for each $100 purchase. Food and medicine would be exempt from the sales tax.
    Most of the money the city receives from sales tax comes from car sales. The car sales tax goes to the city where the purchaser lives, not were the car is purchased.
    Measure R would need 50%, plus one vote to go into effect. If you are wondering about other cities, many other local cities, including Moraga and Richmond, already have a 1% sales tax. Since this is a general sales tax, the city council is not allowed to dedicate it to a specific purpose. The city council, however, has gone on record that it intends to spend the money for the first few years on fire fuel reduction. Private roads would also be included in the fire safety work. With the high fire danger and lots of dangerous brush and growth buildup, these additional funds would address quickly reducing the fuel load that threatens us.
    To further clarify this issue, and many others, the Orinda Association (OA) will host a City Council Candidate’s Public Forum on Oct. 8. The three candidates for City Council have been invited to attend this interactive Zoom meeting. The three candidates are: Mayor Darlene Gee, Councilmember Inga Miller and Latika Malikani. We have also invited Craig Jorgens, who is running unopposed for the Moraga Orinda Fire District Board. Jorgens will provide a 15-minute presentation about fire safety. Anyone who would like to ask a specific question of the candidates has until Oct. 5 at noon. Please send it to and put “Candidate Question” in the subject line.
    The questions will be categorized and submitted to the League of Women Voters, who will select questions and direct them to the candidates. Please join us in this special event by finding your way to the Zoom meeting at The forum will also be taped for broadcast at a later date on CCTV, Channel 26.

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