Firewise Council Receives Mayor’s Award of Excellence for 2020

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(Kathy Enzerink, Photographer)
Amy Worth and Dennis Fay were elected Mayor and Vice-Mayor respectively at the Dec. 8 City Council meeting.

    At the Dec. 8 City Council meeting, Orinda’s outgoing Mayor Darlene Gee honored the Firewise Council with the Mayor’s Award of Excellence for 2020 before subsequently handing the virtual gavel to Vice Mayor Amy Worth after a unanimous vote by Council Members. The new mayor then accepted the nomination of Dennis Fay as Vice-Mayor, followed by a second unanimous vote.
    Gee, who called the selection of the Award for Excellence as one of the best things the mayor gets to do, noted this year she had “a very easy time identifying the recipient.”
    “The Firewise Council helped spur the formation of our Joint Subcommittee with the City of Orinda, MOFD and the Town of Moraga,” said Gee. “It played a critical role in helping to pass Measure R, which will allow the City to advance critically needed fire prevention measures.”
    As the first mayor to act as “Zoom Master of Ceremony,” Gee said she looks forward to a calmer year since “2020 wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.” She takes pride in progress made on the Downtown Precise Plan, the passage of Measure R and the City’s relationship with the police and fire departments.
    City Manager Steve Salomon, among many, bestowed accolades on Mayor Gee: “She has always given very thoughtful feedback when we’ve had conversations.”
    In Orinda, the five Council Members are elected to staggered, four-year terms. In 2018, Orinda voters elected Dennis Fay, Nick Kosla and Worth to the Council. Worth and Fay, receiving the most votes, now take over as mayor and vice mayor respectively. While votes usually determine who the mayor and vice mayor will be, city council members have, on occasion, declined the position for a variety of reasons.
    Worth, no stranger to the mayor’s job, will serve another term as mayor. First elected to the City Council in 1998, she won subsequent reelections in 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018, elevating to Mayor two years following each election. She serves on several boards including the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, the County Connection Transit Authority, Recycle and Solid Waste Authority and the Lamorinda School Bus Authority.
    An Orinda resident since 1982, Worth said she loves to read and loves libraries. During her 22-year tenure, she feels proud about her involvement in getting Orinda’s library built, working to see the Caldecott Tunnel’s Bore 4 a reality, fixing roads and keeping the city financially solid. She and her husband Tom have three daughters and two grandchildren.
    Ten years following his retirement as Executive Director at the Alameda County Transportation Commission, Fay decided to run for the City Council in 2018. He served on the Citizens’ Infrastructure Oversight Committee for road repairs and paving and wanted to see those and the storm drains projects to their completion, which he did. Fay also focused on his interest in development of the downtown area as a Council member.
    Fay and his wife Natalie, have a daughter who lives with her family in London and a son who resides in Jersey City with his wife. They have two grandchildren.
    Jointly, Worth and Fay place wildfire safety as their priority as mayor and vice-mayor. They also agree two other important areas concern repairing or replacing critical drains and the Downtown Precise Plan.
    “Fostering a feeling of being welcome in Orinda and inclusion to the community is something we all have to work on,” said Worth, as Fay nodded in agreement.

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