Danville Express

Newsfront - November 9, 2007

Alamo incorporation folks get their signatures

Now supporters must raise funds for LAFCO study

by Natalie O'Neill

The Alamo cityhood effort is on to the next chapter. Petitioners for the Alamo Incorporation Movement gathered 3,100 signatures in two months - one-third of the time allotted - and submitted the petition to the Local Agency Formation Commission this week.

Advocates needed to acquire support from 25 percent of the Alamo voting population, or about 2,400 people. They provided an extra 700 signatures to cover the margin of error.

From here, the movement needs to come up with $250,000 to fund a LAFCO study to determine whether incorporation is feasible. If the agency gives the go-ahead, a vote would then occur.

"I think we have a phenomenally dedicated group who realizes this needs to be presented to the voters," said David Bowlby, spokesman for AIM.

Petition chairwomen Vicki Crockett and Barbara Munkner and their committee gathered signatures door-to-door, at neighborhood meetings and outside Safeway in Alamo Plaza.

"We are building momentum," said Vicki Koc, AIM chairwoman.

But as incorporation supporters celebrate their first victory, a formal anti-incorporation group is getting organized. Leaders collected funds and rallied volunteers at last week's anti-incorporation meeting.

"We've gathered enough money to get our brochures printed," said Tony Carnemolla, who plans to distribute a pamphlet with facts against incorporation.

Outspoken Alamo resident Hal Bailey said he felt people were misled about the impact of signing the petition.

"I remain deeply concerned that the majority of petition signatures came from people who simply expected a feasibility study and not an application for formation of an autonomous city council," he wrote in an e-mail.

Signing the petition advocated both a feasibility study and an application for cityhood approval. If LAFCO finds Alamo cityhood feasible, it would be approved. However, it still must then be voted on by Alamo residents.

The LAFCO study is expected to take about a year and would then go to the Board of Supervisors for an election date, which could happen as early as March 2009. Fifty percent of Alamo voters would have to support cityhood for it to pass.


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