Alamo's fate in hands of voters | October 31, 2008 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - October 31, 2008

Alamo's fate in hands of voters

Supervisors put Alamo incorporation on March ballot

by byGeoff Gillette

With little fanfare and no discussion, members of the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors approved the recommendation of the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) to put Alamo incorporation on the March 3 ballot.

LAFCO held a special session Oct. 21 and denied a motion of reconsideration. That action moved the request on to the supervisors as part of their consent agenda.

At their Oct 28 meeting, the Board unanimously approved putting the question on the ballot.

Supervisor Gayle Uilkema, who also serves as a commissioner on LAFCO, said Tuesday's action was strictly protocol.

"This is a routine task, a formality that has to occur to now confirm LAFCO's recommendation." She added that all the approval of the commission and the board means is the fate of Alamo now rests squarely in the hands of the voters.

"They will get to go to the polls in March and decide whether or not they want to be a town."

At their Oct. 21 meeting, Uilkema and fellow commissioner Helen Allen disagreed about what message it sends when LAFCO gives its approval to an incorporation request. For Uilkema, it means that LAFCO has completed its job.

"The vote of LAFCO indicates that we did comply with state law and did the proper analysis," she said.

Helen Allen said she feels the approval of LAFCO actually carries with it greater weight than simply completing a task.

"When we approve this request it means we think the numbers are right," she said. "That it is financially feasible. That is an endorsement."

Allen, the lone No in the original vote chose to abstain when the issue came up for reconsideration. "I knew if I voted with them to deny reconsideration it would look like I agreed that this would work."

Allen has questioned the financial figures given in the Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis provided by LAFCO, saying she does not think the new town will have the fiscal resources its supporters are expecting.

Uilkema pointed to the commission staff's recommendation, which said the incorporation plan is workable. "When we approve it, we are just saying the plan is feasible," she said. "We are not saying Alamo should or shouldn't be a town. That's up to the voters to decide."


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