I am amazed at some letters I have read from other Alamo residents. It seems writers are unwilling to make an effort to improve or even help maintain the quality of life we enjoy in Alamo. Comments like "There are special interests" or "It will cost too much" are poppycock!
We moved into the unincorporated area of Walnut Creek in 1972. At that time Alamo was a very quiet and desirable area, with little traffic. In 1989, we were able to move to Alamo and are glad we did. Have we seen change? Yes! Lots of it and not all good. Have we tried to "lobby" our county representatives for help on various matters? Yes, with virtually no success. The county's re-districting plan in 2001 virtually "disenfranchised" us.
Other writers talk about the "increased costs." Yet they have no idea whether incorporation is viable or not. I am supporting the incorporation movement because it is being done responsibly. First, a study to confirm that "city-hood" is viable and fiscally responsible, and if so, then a "vote" by all registered voters after the facts are in.
I believe Alamo residents are far more qualified to determine Alamo's needs, no matter who the county supervisor is, since their responsibility is to all residents of the district, then to the county as a whole, not Alamo.
We need to focus on how we can help make Alamo a better place to live. It's good now, but we need to ensure it stays that way or even make it better. I have talked with several residents in other small communities in our county and none of them has said, "Gee, I wish we hadn't incorporated." In fact all of them are happy they did. So I am asking my friends to support the incorporation process so we, too, can be "masters of our own destiny."
Bob Connelly, Alamo
Facts about Alamo
Honest disagreement over the merits of Alamo incorporation is a normal part of the democratic process. However, that disagreement should be based upon facts, not misstatements like those in Robert Myrhe's letter to the Weekly last week.
An incorporated Alamo will generate an operating surplus each year for the first 10 years, according to the independent study available to anyone on the AIM Web site (www.Alamoinc.org). We will not be FLAT BROKE (Myrhe's capitals).
We will not have to hire a new police force or buy police cars if we contract for police services with the county like Danville has for over 25 years. But it will be our police force under our control.
Anyone who reads the study will see immediately that sales taxes are not the principal source of revenue for an incorporated Alamo. Property taxes are 35 percent of the total, vehicle license fees are 19 percent and sales taxes, at around $1 million per year, are 11 percent. This vehicle license fee revenue isn't available to us or the county today - it is only available to incorporated cities. Danville and San Ramon get it, Alamo doesn't.
For reasons that are unclear, the small number of opponents of incorporation don't want a more detailed study to be done to confirm the facts - what are they afraid of?
Please sign the petition to initiate the LAFCO study and let's have a debate based upon facts, not upon scare tactics and factual misstatements.
Barbara Munkner, 35-year Alamo resident