President’s Message – November 2020

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Public Forum and Fire Safety

    I hope you have taken time to vote in this very important election. Besides the Presidential election, there are many propositions as well as the selection of two City Council Members on the ballot. Three City Council candidates squared off in a Zoom Candidates’ night Oct. 8. The forum, sponsored by the Orinda Association (OA), featured the League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley asking questions previously sent to The Orinda News. The nonpartisan League of Women Voters took sole responsibility arranging and selecting questions and ensuring they were not made public before the event.
    We would like to thank the three candidates (Darlene Gee, Latika Malkani and Inga Miller) for sharing their visions and thoughts. We would also like to thank the organizer of the forum, Cindy Powell, and Ann Flynn of the League for moderating, asking the questions and monitoring the time for each candidate. It was a very productive, civil and substantive discussion.
    The forum was followed by a Firewise presentation from Craig Jorgens, Moraga Orinda Fire District (MOFD) board member. We are very proud of and thankful to all the participants, and the residents who viewed the event in real time. The questions focused on Orinda’s sales tax measure (Measure R), support or non-support of state-wide propositions, the city’s budget, fire prevention, downtown planning and the candidate’s top priorities for the community. You can view the broadcast on Contra Costa Television (CCTV), public access Channel 26, and on the Orinda Association website http://www.orindaassociation.org.
    The ratification process for the MOFD fire Code was completed Sept. 22. This took into account amendments from Moraga and Orinda to the 2019 Edition of the California Fire Code and the 2018 International Fire Code. Every three years, the fire code, as well as building codes, are updated to address new technologies and hazards. Local amendments can be made to these national and state codes if reasonably necessary to respond to local climatic, geological and/or topographical conditions.
    Stricter guidelines, to address exterior hazards exemplified by huge wildfires throughout the state, have been implemented to address these concerns. Building code elements of the new code took effect Oct. 7. Some requirements relate to sprinklers being required under eaves. In addition, there is a new requirement for a fire inspection as part of any real property transfer. These new abatement requirements, including the removal of Juniper and bamboo within 10’ of a road, can be viewed at the MOFD website, http://www.mofd.org. Other fuel reduction requirements remain unchanged, except the next enforcement date has been changed to May 31 rather than June 15, 2021.
    Please accept our wishes for a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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