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Should the Alamo Region have a SuperMAC?

Original post made by Community Courtesy on Mar 18, 2009

Let's start a new forum on WHAT'S NEXT in the Alamo Region:

The term "SuperMAC" applies to Municipal Advisory Councils established in large regions or in larger population areas. It is a slang term used among the members of such groups. In reality they are Regional Planning Councils with functional committees for various county services provided in the region. Pescadero CA , San Mateo County, is the most often reference to such a SuperMAC. As for establishing such a SuperMAC in Contra Costa County , the laws, rules and policies for establishing a regional planning commission would apply. CCC-BOS could create a SuperMAC as additional to their MAC laws, rules and policies based on the larger population of a region and a need for overall services management on a local/regional basis.

One could imagine such a regional planning council consolidating the various advisory committees and providing much needed volunteer coordination of services in our region to relieve administrative costs to the county.

Hal, as a community courtesy.

Comments (13)

Posted by Triogenes, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 18, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Here's a little assignment: Go find documentation for forming a "SuperMAC" in CC County and publish the results (with source reference) here.

If wishes were fishes we'd all eating rainbow trout.

(End of new forum topic)

Posted by Halamo, a resident of another community
on Mar 19, 2009 at 7:05 am

Dear Dolores,

A needed statistical definition is a quote from a former west county supervisor, "Contra Costa County in 98% politics and 2% law." In that commentary, the supervisor described to a group gathered at Chevron the ability for every thing to change to fit the political needs of the supervisors and their supporters.

Since regional planning commissions exist and neighbors have the current political path to such establishment and MACs have been proven, in June 2006, to be defined by the supervisors' whims, it might be better to describe the regulatory and legal processes available to establish a SuperMAC as law.

Thus, our District 3 Supervisor will be appropriately invited to join this discussion by Alamo regional counsel committee, as foolish as that may seem.

Hal, as Halamo
The Alamo Towne Fool

Posted by Triogenes, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 19, 2009 at 7:45 am

Since the county attempted to terminate both Regional Planning Commissions not long ago, the odds of their agreeing to create a brand-new political beast such as a "SUPERMAC" are, shall we say, exceedingly long.

(End of new forum topic)

Posted by Community courtesy, a resident of another community
on Mar 19, 2009 at 8:02 am

Documents referenced and circulated on neighborhoods' e-exchanges helped most neighbors study the possibilities of incorporation and its options. As I recall, these documents were referenced on DW's Forum for all voters' review:

Web Link

Web Link

Newly Incorporated Cities: Successfully Transitioning to Cityhood (pdf)

City Annexations and the New Public Finance (doc)

Our Neighborhoods' functional committee for administration/formation has once again reviewed these documents and references to general and municipal law. Let's recommend that all neighbors including the past proponents and opponents of incorporation read these references on, under RESOURCES. Our view forward can be more informed.

**Commentary by Melissa, co-chair, Alamo region neighborhoods forum, Alamo region community of neighborhoods**

Hal, as a community courtesy

Posted by Triogenes, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 19, 2009 at 8:13 am

I believe the assignment was to go find documentation for forming a "SuperMAC" in CC County and publish the results (with source reference) here.

Until that happens, it's the

(End of new forum topic)

Posted by Community courtesy, a resident of another community
on Mar 19, 2009 at 8:48 am

As LAFCO does not have jurisdiction over MACs, LAFCO cannot offer any substantial comment on this matter.

With regard to an incorporation proposal including provisions for various committee and commissions, I am not aware of anything in the LAFCO law that would preclude this. However, as previously noted, it would be unusual.

The question here is if LAFCO were to approve an incorporation subject to the formation of various committee and commissions, would such action be defensible? LAFCO must often ask ourselves this question given the litigious society in which we live.

**Contra Costa LAFCO response** (sanitized)

Hal, as a community courtesy

Posted by Community courtesy, a resident of another community
on Mar 19, 2009 at 9:11 am

A message to Ms. Jane Pennington, Clerk of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors:

Dear Jane,

The Danville Weekly Town Square Forum contains a request from one of their pseudonym authors for the legal process for establishment of a regional planning commission in the Alamo region. Such regional planning councils, in other counties, have functional committees to support county services provision in the region. Such committees in Contra Costa County are recognized as county advisory committees such as Z-36, R-7A, P-2B and P-5.

What the author is requesting are the methods for proposing the following for BOS consideration:

1. A seven member Alamo Region Planning Council as chairs of seven functional committees existing or to be formed in the Alamo Region.
2. County advisory committees for public safety, public works, economic development, parks and recreation, and more.

Specifically, what the author is requesting is specific documentation on the process of proposal and consideration.

Best wishes,

Harald A. Bailey
As a community courtesy
Alamo region community of neighborhoods

Posted by Community courtesy, a resident of another community
on Mar 19, 2009 at 1:03 pm

According to review of the June 2006 changes to Municipal Advisory Councils (MAC) in Contra Costa County, the legal process was a proposal included as an agenda item for the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors. There was no exceptional legal process or review in changing the MAC structures beyond certain impact review by the Community Development Department.

Jointly, County Counsel and Clerk of the Board of Supervisors can be provided public proposal to be considered by the Board of Supervisors. In matters as complex as public policy on municipal advisory, such proposals are prepared by counsel familiar with general, municipal and similar laws and regulatory practices. If such proposal is refused review by the Board of Supervisors there are further legal remedies via the courts and state legislature.

While MACs in Contra Costa County are simply community advisory committees serving the Board of Supervisors in delivering information to a region or community, other counties, with Pescadero CA as noted example, have established regional planning councils with services committees to support county delivery of services to major regions and larger population centers. In view as counsel, it would be an advantage to Contra Costa County to have such a planning and services body, as community volunteers, to provide what would be otherwise costly contact with a large population or region by county departments and their employees.

By comparison, using a private community structure such as the Alamo Improvement Association or similar for such planning and services advisory to the supervisors eliminates the restrictions typical of MACs of any size or form. Such a community structure could raise independent funding for projects, communicate more broadly with governments, and retain counsel and other professional support to represent their efforts on behalf of regional neighborhoods.

**Commentary by Beth, regional counsel committee, Alamo region community of neighborhoods**

Hal, as a community courtesy

Posted by Triogenes, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm

Pescadero unfortunately is not in Contra Costa County and does not make any sort of "noted example" for this county. Find a MAC in this county that has the authorities and powers that you seek. That would be noted example worthy of all emulation.

As for a "private community structure" such as the AIA, it would probably be another layer of autocratic and bureaucratic government. Only this layer would not have to obey any laws regarding Open Meetings and conflict of interest. Before any support is given to the AIA and any proposed list of citizens' commissions and committees, we must have a defined structure of such an organization and an oversight citizen's committee in place. There is little reason to support a proposed AIA structure that does not provide those requirements.

After all, do we really want Alamo to be governed in the "back room?"

Posted by Community courtesy, a resident of another community
on Mar 19, 2009 at 5:53 pm

Finding failure in Contra Costa County in interactive relationships with county regions, cities and districts is an easy task. The examples expose themselves every day due to the power enlisted by the board of supervisors and their long-term "back-room" political supporters.

Alamo region neighborhoods have wealth and counsel to effect their choices of government actions and response to government inaction. Let's not be silly about that power to set the bar for county performance in our region.

Dolores, your journalism is needed to explain reality,

Hal, as a community courtesy

Posted by Triogenes, a resident of Alamo
on Mar 20, 2009 at 9:27 am

Dolores, your journalism is needed to explain reality - to Hal.

(If wishes were fishes...)

Posted by Hal Bailey, a resident of another community
on Mar 20, 2009 at 11:10 am

Dear Dolores,

Let me extend my thanks to Triogenes for participating in a forum that was part of story development for a major news service on the content of on-line news forums and blogs. That story was just filed for publication and no further discussion is planned.

After reading the draft of that story, I could imagine your editorial on the role of forums and blogs in communication among factions and interests in your overall readership region. I would enjoy reading your perspective.

Thank you,

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

Posted by Hal Bailey, a resident of another community
on Mar 21, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Beyond "turn out the lights, the party's is over" is the reality that the future has moved to the neighborhoods of the Alamo region. So let us sing a fond farewell:

Goodnight Irene, goodnight
Goodnight Irene, goodnight
Goodnight Irene, goodnight Irene
I'll see you in my dreams
Sometimes I live in the country
Sometimes I live in town

A long, long time ago the dreams of Alamo as a center for semi-rural lifestyle died. Now the reality of urban luxury is to be defined.

A future of neighborhood character and economic development describes a reality quite beyond a long-past semi-rural dream. Most importantly, it keeps the reality of character in our neighborhoods and a vital business district important to our community service.

Let's discuss in this forum,

Hal Bailey

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