http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2008/03/21/letters-to-the-editor


Danville Express

Perspective - March 21, 2008

Letters to the editor

Services could be downsized

Dear Editor:

My previous letter (Feb. 22) understandably provoked comment from committed Danville police volunteers. Please note that I respect almost anyone who contributes time to a cause. Although my tone was humorous, I did not intend to belittle volunteerism, which is a far better pastime than, say, golf.

That said, I remain unconvinced that this program makes our town "safer" - as the headline claimed. Further, "cost effectiveness" is never measured in hours contributed, since any bureaucracy can create activities that it believes add value; many, however, do not. I question whether these services are necessary, or a good investment of oversight and training time, or better than alternatives. As to parade duty, for example, are the Scouts unavailable?

The article struck a chord with me because I believe Danville should consider downsizing services that are over-provided, including policing. I recently witnessed an officer's deep concern about a Mayflower moving van parked on a side street, in a legal zone, early on a Sunday morning, encroaching some four inches over the white line defining the ample traffic lane. He said he wanted it towed. If he succeeded, he only managed to inconvenience a new resident: Welcome to Danville - your furnishings are in hock! Town leaders would earn my gratitude if they had the fortitude, judgment and discipline to make tough calls on superfluous stuff.

Note to Alamo: Take heed, lest you add another government layer to regulate your little burg - no moving van will be safe!

Tom Fredericks, Danville

Comments

Posted by Oxymo Ron, a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2008 at 9:02 am

Congratulations to Tom Fredericks for a recognized truth!

Dear neighbors,

We can celebrate Tom's commentary as he focused our review on local government's exacting focus on our neighborhoods. We can laugh at such clever realism of another layer of government with a too-intense interest in very local activities not requested by neighbors and their neighborhoods.

It is a warning deserving careful consideration in the neighborhoods of what a handful wish to call the Town of Alamo. Too many layers of government are by definition an oxymoron, a self-cancelling redundancy.

We are smiling, Tom, and duly warned,

OX

One HAL of a Pal


Posted by Dennis Downtown, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 25, 2008 at 7:54 am

My thanks to Tom for saying what many have been saying in Alamo, Danville, and other towns in our area.

We all have seen incorporation bring city governments that become a burden to our communities and an imposition on our neighborhoods. City councils and governments become insulated from residents and only consider their own views in their decisions.

In the end, cities develop the same lack of community we have with our county.

Dennis, Downtown in Alamo

Posted with permission of the author via halbailey@yahoo.com


Posted by Karen Sexton, a resident of another community
on Mar 28, 2008 at 8:15 am

In today's weekly:

In closing, regarding the remark that Alamo should be careful what they wish for with incorporation, we went through the same criticism during Danville's incorporation. Local control and decision making has turned Danville into the "gem" it is today. Alamo is a very nice little community, but it can become even nicer with more local control.

Tim MacHugh, Danville

My response and questions:

Dear Tim,

Danville is not a GEM when its government violates it neighbors and neighborhoods. That leaves a real question about your comments about Alamo, "Where is this community of Alamo, who lives in it, and what structure of local control is being offered?"

Karen Sexton

Posted by Iron Horse neighbors, Kathy Bell