http://danvillesanramon.com/print/story/print/2009/03/20/letters-to-the-editor


Danville Express

Perspective - March 20, 2009

Letters to the editor

Helping with heifers

Dear Editor:

With all of the bad news we hear about the recession, sometimes it is important to think about people who have had problems bigger than ours even before our economic meltdown.

Every year at my school, a charity organization called Heifer International comes to explain about the hardships in life people encounter in other areas of the world, such as Africa. Heifer International goes on to explain how a simple donation could change many lives. What Heifer International does is collect donations from people, and then purchases different kinds of livestock and plants. These materials are then sent to different impoverished communities.

By doing this, Heifer International does more than simply give food to these communities, it gives a source of food that can constantly be relied on and won't just run out. Furthermore, when an animal such as an egg-laying chicken reproduces, the gift is spread to other people, for the offspring can now be given to another family.

Our class alone procured around $150 for this organization, and there are as many as 25 different classes participating in this fundraiser. That's $3,750 all from one school! So think about it. If everyone in the community donated just $5, we could have a huge sum of money to improve the lives of others.

Mitchell Marvin, Diablo Vista Middle School

Name-calling in Alamo

Dear Editor:

Regarding Chris Kenber's quote that "Alamo is a somewhat selfish community of relatively wealthy people" in an article March 13 in the Danville Weekly about the incorporation, which lost.

What is it? Sour grapes or what? We have lived in Alamo for 12 years. We chose to live here because of the peacefulness and rural atmosphere of the area. We have worked hard all our lives and I resent calling us a "selfish community."

The "wealthy people of Alamo" are not immune to the current economic climate. In fact, that was a very important reason why we voted not to incorporate. Who knows what will happen in this time of uncertainty? Now is not the time for incorporation.

The people of Alamo have spoken loud and clear and it is up to everyone to live with this decision. I wonder what we would have been called had the incorporation passed.

Helen Momaney, Alamo

The right to be left alone

Dear Editor:

It's instructive to listen to words spoken in the aftermath of a campaign because people often let slip their true feelings. A leading advocate for incorporation stated, "Alamo is a somewhat selfish collection of relatively wealthy people" and characterized residents as "... scared and when they are scared, they do irrational things."

The only thing we were "scared" of was having the likes of your organization running our rural community into the ground. You misled petition signers by stating your intention was only a study; the minute the "loaded" study was concluded, you made a run for incorporation without a single public debate or examination of any of the true issues. In short, you tried to slam-dunk the voters. Proof? Out of 3,200 signers, the total who voted for Measure A was 2,400.

Your response to any commentary or attempts to ask legitimate questions was to demonize the opponents, calling them liars and scare-mongers, and by trying to intimidate them.

Your motives for "volunteering" to help Alamo are revealed by your current "now that we've been defeated, we might just pick up our marbles and go home" attitude. We didn't ask you to volunteer. Positioning yourselves as "defenders" of Alamo from the "evil" County government was not an honorable way to ask for a vote to install you as a new and certainly more unpleasant layer of government.

We're through with attempts to divide this independent, friendly and well meaning community of intelligent individuals. We have a right to be left alone to live our individual dream.

Stephen Heafey and Denise M. Padovani, Alamo

Comments

Posted by Community courtesy, a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2009 at 7:41 am

Dear Dolores,

LTTEs concerning Chris Kenber's opinions, or similar opinions by Alisa Corstorphine and other incorporation proponents, should be recognized as their opinions. The small number of active proponents, opponents and accommodating media, being <150 Alamo region neighbors, only have their opinions as basis for explaining the March 3 election results.

The reality was a majority of voters did not know any active proponent, opponent or candidate and were not included in the incorporation process or the definition of a town government to be considered. Voters had nothing on which to base their vote, little trust in the strangers in all incorporation campaigns, and had to rely on their own study and review to determine their vote.

As various organizations and news services reviewed the March 3 results in voter polling it became clear that a few simple actions by incorporation proponents would have delivered a majority YES vote.

The first step was in November 2007 and AIM's needed inclusion of voters in the authorship, review and approval of the incorporation proposal and application to LAFCO.

The second step was in March/April 2008 when AIM should have defined the proposed government and committed to the commissions, boards, committees and taskforces that provide citizen participation and oversight.

The third step was in November/December 2008 when AIM and the candidates should have joined to create a pro forma sources and uses of funds statement usual and customary to corporate start-up review by investors (in this case, voters).

AIM was selling a new corporate start-up to very savvy investors (Alamo region voters) and simply failed to provide the usual and customary business plan for such an investment. Voters will not imagine the opportunities and must have the specifics presented in a well-defined plan.

Now, neighborhoods' counsel(s) are considering a set-aside of the March 3 election because of such failures noted above and developing a new incorporation proposal that is a well-defined, inclusive and fiscally justified contract services municipality for voters' consideration. Such a proposal will be reviewed and approved by a majority of voters via e-exchanges before any election is scheduled.

It takes a community to be a town,

Hal, as a community courtesy


Posted by Steve from Alamo Oaks, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 20, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Sorry Hal, we don't want a government. Any attempt to revive an incorporation movement will result in a full scale effort to obtain 51% of assessed valuation to kill the baby in it's crib. No on incorporation, now and forever. The death knell of all small communities is incorporation and the voters understand that.


Posted by Hal Bailey, CDSI, a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2009 at 3:47 pm

Dear Dolores,

Let me thank Steve for his response and acknowledge that postings to various forum subjects were part of development of an news service story on on-line news forums and blogs. No further commentary is planned.

Harald A. Bailey
Member, CDSI Research Fellowship
North America and Asia