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Original post made
on Mar 6, 2009
For more than two years, proponents of an incorporated Alamo have worked to get the issue onto the ballot. Circulating petitions, raising the $200,000-plus necessary to pay for the feasibility studies, holding meetings, talking to residents. Two long years of effort.
Read the full story here Web Link
posted Friday, March 6, 2009, 12:00 AM
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Posted by Askidoo
a resident of Alamo
on Mar 9, 2009 at 9:00 pm
AIA is a private organization used by the county and overruled as such by the county, but with no official sanctions no matter what their leaders say about being ´quasi-governmental´. They are private, fee membership of volunteers who over time took on the role of judging variances and they were never, and are not, legally sanctioned in any way by Contra Costa County. They do not follow the Brown Act - such as posting agendas several days ahead of meeting, posting minutes, no daisy chaining of leaders decisions, published financials nor membership lists, and are not transparent in their decision making. For the most part they are a negative organization. That is not a pejorative. It is a descriptive of their role in protecting what their leaders view as important: mainly fighting decisions of the county but not creating community. With an estimated membership of 250 to 600 they represent a facet of Alamo. They had many town council candidates who were-are members: Smith, Waite, McPherson,Barley, Mick, Rubay and Schmidt, far more than any one other group. However, they are visible and real people unlike the ´neighborhoods´ and these made up statistics from Community Courtesy. Similarly, the voters in Alamo were real people who had opinions on what they wanted and that was not for incorporation nor was it a vote in any way for the AIA. Rumor seems to think that a MAC is in the future for Alamo - now that is truly another layer of government and is totally advisory and is only allotted funding on the sufferance or deference of the Supervisor. It seems, that with all March advisory meetings being cancelled, that the Supervisor is thinking on what to do.... and a MAC can be very broad in its mission including parks, roads, planning, police, etc. Under the new rules of Contra Costa County MAC representatives are appointed by the Supervisor and advisory to her.
By the way Phil you continue to get it wrong with your version of local control. In actuality, self determination, your local control, by Alamo over land use, how the cops were used, how parks money was spent, how roads money was spent, etc. were more in the forefront than how you trivialized the concept on what color you painted your house. Of course, opponents always trivialize - that is their job - and they did prevail. But repetition of inaccuracies did not, and will not, serve anyone in the future.
To clarify property taxes are based on the assessed value and not the market value. In Alamo last year assessed value went up 5% according to the Assessor, not AIM.
There were road funds in the CFA done by LAFCO - look it up and don´t repeat what is factually not true.
You can disincorporate - its an easy search in California law and any novice or lawyer can find that. In spite of what opponents put on their informational materials.
For all those who stated other towns were in trouble like Lafayette and Orinda, please go look it up and see the real truth. If you care enough to vote, don´t vote on a rumor of your next door neighbor´s sister-in-law in Orinda of 25 years ago.
Finally,Vehicle License Fees for new cities follow a per capital formula bumped up 150% in the first year and settling in at 100% in year five. They are paid first over all other cities, it doesn´t depend on Alamo car sales - again look it up.
If you want to repeat the subjective litany that was important to you Phil, and presumably to many others given the vote, like it aint broke, another layer of government,´´ etc. fine but stick to the facts when there are facts and get them right when they are easy to come by. That is why all three papers endorsed incorporation AFTER they met with the opponents and heard their material, it was why the agency of the state signed off on the financials that they hired a neutral expert to ascertain. The fact that you would believe two unknown city managers hired and paid for by the opponents and believe their version but disbelieve a neutral agency of the state is curious.
Ultimately, one of the most important elements for our community is policing. Unincorporated policing of 140 square miles with curently 25 officers - down two from two years ago and with many cuts coming this year of sheriff personnel per Danville Weekly March 4, 2009 with the sheriff estimating 70 plus officers to be cut and since jails won´t be cut, an unincorporated substation is a real target-is vastly different in how it polices and in its effectiveness from a police force for a town of Alamo with 10 officers for only 10 square miles plus the two officers in Alamo and one in the downtown. Those officers would not take two hours to come to a burglary after being in Morgan Territory - they would already be here. Alamo neighborhood officers would have property theft recovery more similar to Danville and San Ramon of 50% instead of Alamo´s zero. This is a job the sheriff can do as we well know they currently do policing of this type in Lafayette, Orinda, and Danville known as neighborhood policing but not done from an unincorporated Valley substation. This is a big deal and control over this was important - house paint and color was a big deal for you Phil as you trivialized the topic, but policing is a big deal for those whose homes and cars have been recently burglarized all over Alamo.
So folks you want to do something for Alamo. Skip the AIA meeting and head to the police department and start getting a full beat in Alamo that does neighborhood policing. Get a return on the extra money that you pay rather than continuing to fund the black hole of the county´s $2 billion unfunded liability. Now that would make some sense. Go to the parks meeting and get the overhead to contra costa county lowered and a park built (with over $3 million and growing and no park built in 14 years) or at least get a recreation department for kids and seniors - or continue to let the county and Danville take the money and run. Go to the landscaping committee and get that county overhead lowered. Do something besides just vote no on the first ever vote for self-determination and local governance restructuring for Alamo in 150 years.