First of all, it appears that the pro-cityhood movement is being driven by a few residents who were on the losing side of the YMCA and Monte Vista High School parking expansion issues. It should be noted that many Alamo residents believe a YMCA is an asset to the community and that the parking expansion was long overdue.
But, putting the motivation issue aside, cityhood for Alamo is a bad idea!
Alamo is too small a community to financially support the move, especially given that we have a very, very small commercial tax base. We are a landlocked community with no opportunity for commercial expansion. This means that as costs increase, the tax burden will fall disproportionately upon the homeowner.
To foster the idea that an additional level of government can be added without additional cost is either naive or misleading. Street and road maintenance, which becomes the city's responsibility, alone will eventually create the need for more funds.
One only has to look to some of the smaller cities around us (all larger than Alamo) like Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda to see the problems they are having funding their deteriorating roads and streets. Each has tried to float bond issues and they are repeatedly defeated. Meanwhile their roadways continue to decline.
So we must ask the question ... what is the value of cityhood?
When I asked this question at the first organizational meeting of the pro cityhood group, the answer I got was, "control." And when I asked, "control what?" there was no response.
We are community that is over 90 percent built out, so it certainly isn't growth, and control for control's sake is a very questionable benefit.
Watch what you wish for and consider the consequences!
Phil Erickson is a 27-year resident of Alamo and past president of the Bryan Ranch Homeowners Association.
This story contains 355 words.
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