Alamo getting a MAC, says Piepho | May 22, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - May 22, 2009

Alamo getting a MAC, says Piepho

Supervisor says voters chose MAC over incorporation

by Geoff Gillette

If the defeat in March of an attempt to incorporate Alamo into a city left residents with some questions about the future of the area, they may have gotten their answer.

At the May 14 meeting of the Alamo Community Council, Contra Costa County Supervisor Mary N. Piepho laid out a plan to create a Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) that would serve as a conduit between the county and Alamo.

Piepho and her staff presented an outline of how they would proceed. The boundaries of the new MAC would follow the same ones laid out in the incorporation proposal, they said.

The MAC would incorporate many of the committees serving the county service areas, such as R7A (parks and recreation), P2B and P5 (police services) and Zone 36 (lighting and landscaping).

"The MAC would act as an umbrella for all of those things," explained Piepho. "A person who had a question on one of those areas would go to the MAC."

One area missing from the proposal was a planning element. Alamo Improvement Association President Brad Waite asked how the MAC would handle planning, since the AIA has been working with the county on that. Piepho's Chief of Staff Tomi Van de Brooke said that is something they would add to the list and work out as they evolve the details of the MAC.

"This is just the beginning step," she stated. "Right now we are just trying to drill down and get the details."

Some residents were not pleased with the sense that the MAC would be put into place regardless of residents' wishes.

"You're pretty much saying that you're going to impose a MAC on us," one said.

"That is the direction we're going, yes," Piepho responded.

When a resident asked why they could not have a vote on it, Van de Brooke explained that the residents had the chance to incorporate and chose not to. She added that after paying for an election to decide incorporation, it would be expensive to vote again about establishing a MAC.

"I think Mary was very gracious in staying out of incorporation. Our office stayed neutral in that election and did not stir the waters with the idea of this MAC," said Van de Brooke. "If it happens now it's because the supervisor wants a group of people who will represent Alamo."

Piepho said she appreciated the opinions of those who attended the meeting, and that she and her staff will try to incorporate those thoughts into the MAC plan. They are expected to discuss the issue further at the next meeting of the Alamo Community Council at 5 p.m., Thursday, June 11, at the Swain House at Hap Magee Ranch Park.