DanvilleSanRamon.com

Perspective - November 9, 2007

Guest opinion: Incorporate to keep Alamo special

by Stephen A. Goodman

Last week, Guest Opinion writer Phil Erickson, a 27-year resident of Alamo, opined that "...Alamo should NOT become a city..." and stated the movement is led by a few residents displeased with the approval of the Monte Vista parking lot and the YMCA. In fact, those of us who started thinking about Alamo becoming a town have subsequently grown to 3,100 petitioners who come from every area and political position, for and against the parking lot and the new YMCA in Alamo; some are even leading fundraising efforts for the YMCA.

Preliminary research identified almost 300 businesses operating and paying sales tax within the proposed Alamo boundaries. Issues such as street maintenance and support of a local government have been directly addressed in the Initial Fiscal Analysis (IFA) and listed as expenses. When the Town of Alamo is incorporated we WILL have sufficient funds to manage both and STILL have a surplus.

Mr. Erickson chooses to continue the myth that incorporation adds an additional layer of government whereas in truth city officials and a staff of 15 would replace 10,000 county staff and officials. We will be represented by this council and staff in Alamo, who know Alamo, and whose only obligation is to Alamo.

Mr. Erickson compares us to Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda with the warning that we would become like them. While collecting signatures, I spoke with a number of residents from those communities, and most stated they were pleased they had incorporated. They felt their condition IMPROVED by becoming cities. We have learned from their city council members and staffs, who were generous in providing time for us. However, Alamo is not exactly like any other community and it is precisely because we want to maintain its positive aspects that incorporation is essential.

I urge everybody to visit the Web site Alamoinc.org where more questions are addressed; read the IFA and draw your own conclusions. More than 3,100 individuals, in fewer than nine weeks, signed the petition to proceed with a detailed study on the feasibility of incorporation so those who want to learn more are not just a "few." While each of us may have a personal preference that should and must be respected, it is hoped that opinions will be based on research and data.

Stephen A. Goodman and his family have lived in Alamo for 27 years.

Comments

Posted by Alamo neighborhoods forum, a resident of another community
on Nov 9, 2007 at 8:04 am

Posted as courtesy response to Mr. Steve Goodman

Dear Steve,

Congratulations to AIM volunteers for the welcoming efforts to gather 2,197 of >3100 signatures from Alamo neighborhoods. Neighbors have stepped forward to become the majority in the incorporation effort to insure that the Alamo Region is provided complete information on incorporation and not AIM PR that continues its omissions, misstatements and misrepresentation of FACT.

Your commentary on Phil Erickson's points did not explain or deny the validity of his position. As proposed, an autonomous city government led solely by five city council members without obligation to citizen participation in planning of city structure, operations, land-use, infrastructure, and services does not serve Alamo neighborhoods and residents and is nothing less than another layer of uncontrollable government among federal, state, county, and district aggregation of political power.

Lisa Wright
Christine Jenkins
Co-Chair, Alamo neighborhoods forum

posted as a courtesy


Posted by Vince Kreigher, a resident of another community
on Nov 12, 2007 at 9:37 am

Alamo's leadership culture within community groups has for years tried to make fools out of those that oppose their special interests. As you read the commentary by Alamo Incorporation Movement committee members since May 2007, repeatedly the goal is to make opposition appear ignorant and out of touch with reality.

It is clear that this leadership culture is a very small minority in Alamo and is attempting to use remaining political influence to design a city government around their continuing control. Each time an individual steps forward to provide another viewpoint, the leadership approach is to label that individual ignorant, discount their relationships within our community, and make them somehow an enemy of Alamo's future.

Our neighborhoods and residents have had years of trying to get our voices heard in the AIA, SRV YMCA, SRVUSD and county agencies' committees. Our efforts and voices have been ignored and only the special interests of the few in leadership emerged. Let's not let that result be repeated in city government led by an autonomous city council. WE can have broad community involvement and citizen-led planning for our vision of Alamo's future.

Post your opinion and set your plans for Alamo's future! But do it carefully. Use an identity that does not let Alamo's leadership attack you personally and make them deal with the issues you present.

Take charge, Neighbors,

Vince Kreigher
Alamo property and business owner
Member, CDSI Research Fellowship


Posted by Doug Conrad, a resident of another community
on Nov 20, 2007 at 9:44 am

Watch out Alamo...Don't do it!!Don't become another Danville! I grew up in Alamo in the 70/80's and watched Danville become the big city. Danville lost it's charm...Alamo...Don't do it! Trust your A.I.A. they have done well for decades. Don't become a city...just look at your neighbors...It's bad enough that Alamo has become so overbuilt...don't ask for more! Long live the A.I.A.!!


Posted by Alamo neighborhoods forum, a resident of another community
on Nov 22, 2007 at 9:17 am

Thank you, Doug Conrad, for pointing to a community resource that deserves renovation and inclusion in the majority interests of Alamo. The Alamo Improvement Association (AIA), in its present form, represents a small minority of residences in Alamo and is operated by generous, capable volunteers that do not have connection to the majority of residents in the Alamo Region.

Neighborhoods, in alliance, have recommended a Neighborhoods Committee within the AIA and expansion of the AIA into an affective political and planning voice for the Alamo Region. It is the belief of the neighborhoods that the AIA membership should be increased to a majority of Alamo residences and the charter of the AIA expanded to proactive political representation, via retained counsel, with governments including the county and SRVUSD.

Most importantly, the AIA, as currently led, is too closely tied to a very small minority within community groups that comprise Alamo Incorporation Movement (AIM) participants and supporters. Our forum of neighborhood representatives do not believe that AIM represents the incorporation interests and proposal of the majority of Alamo residents and AIA should not be closely linked to such minority activities and viewpoint.

Thus, we agree! A rejuvenated and expanded AIA is appropriate to be the public voice of Alamo.

Christine, co-chair
Alamo neighborhoods forum

Posted as a courtesy


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