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Who are the candidates - - REALLY!

Original post made by Charles F. Jarrett, Alamo, on Jan 16, 2009

To my long time friends in Alamo,

"Change is the law of life. and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future" (John Fitzgerald Kennedy)

When I moved to Alamo in the early 80's, I had a strong aversion to city governments and small town politics. I am not without certain fears and concerns about the potential change from county control to that of local government, such as the pending change that we are exploring right now, incorporation of the area we have come to know and love as rural Alamo.

I feel that my experience in having to deal with the County Board of Supervisors over the years, has for the most part not been the best of experiences. My personal experience of having to drive to Martinez and having to plead our wants and expectations at board meetings that are held during the middle of the working day, when most local residents do not have the ability to leave their jobs to have their voices heard, ragardless of their stand, has totally frustrated me.

Regardless of my concerns about incorporation, I feel it is now time to bring the democratic process home to Alamo.

I cannot tell you how many people have come to me over the years and complained bitterly, with heartfelt passion, that they were frustrated and angry, unable to take off from their jobs, to express their democratic voice, because the "big meetings" were not held when and where they could attend. I can also tell you that most of the friends I speak with here in Alamo tell me that they haven't had any problems with the county or it's representatives, so why change. On the other hand I tell them (and this is true of most of them) you have never served in any capacity on any boards or commissions that have acted to hear the voices of those who have been treated unfairly, or ignored entirely, when the Supervisors make their final decisions. If you have not served, and listened and begged to be heard for your neigbor's sake, then please do not insist that those problems do not, or did not exist. That would be patently unfair and undemocratic.

If we are going to incorporate, and I feel that this is perhaps our best opportunity to do so, then we need to know a lot more about the candidates that what we normally get in a candidates statement enclosed in the voting literature. I know something of several of these candidates and I wish to try to give you some information that will give you some insights into at least one of the candidates I happen to know very well, whom I appreciate and trust completley to serve the needs of our community over and above any personal aspirations he may have himself. I strongly encourage all of my fellow Alamo friends, who have insights (good or less than favorable) on specific candidates to use this forum to share that information with us all. The internet provides us with a great forum.

As a 23 year resident of Alamo Oaks, who has served on several Alamo community service organizations and boards (AIA, P2B, R7A and a three term president of the Alamo Oaks Homeowners Assn.), a 36 year commercial insurance professional, a former newspaper reporter and entertainment reviewer for the Contra Costa Times, Orinda News and the theatre reviewer for the Rossmoor News in Walnut Creek (23 years), I have had the opportunity to interface with many community service representatives, business operators, managers and politicians over the past 40 plus years.

I want to express to all, who may be searching for informed information about candidates, that I hold a very strong conviction that Bob Connelly is probably one of our better qualified prospects for our new city council. Mr. Connelly is exceptionally well qualified from a managerial and work history background, and he is a highly motivated, get-things-done representative that we can and should elect to protect and promote our interests.

Here in the "Alamo Oaks" (the oldest sub-division in the entire San Ramon Valley), Bob has taken on the job of increasing public safety on our very narrow, rural, non-illuminated roadways (most of which are only 20 to 22 feet wide) and has recently managed to get the county to place centerlines on our roadways which have assisted in getting many drivers to drive more slowly.

In addition, there has been a very dangerous traffic hazard at the corner of Stone Valley Road and Alamo Hills Drive, where two private residences have a raised asphalt parking perimeter barrier extending into the roadway adjacent to their homes at that corner on Stone Valley Road. The artificial barrier provides protection for the cars parked in front of or next to those two homes but at the same time has created a nearly invisible (during the day it is submerged in the shadows of adjacent trees and at night just plain invisible) hazard to east-bound vehicles. For years, many cars have hit that raised barrier, many of whom may have actually damaged their car's suspensions or tires. Bob Connelly contacted the county safety engineer himself and finally enlisted their help in getting appropriate reflectors, white paint and white reflector standard, installed on that outcropping. When improvements were made by the county when they widened the Round Hill Drive median about 300' West of that Alamo Hills Drive intersection, the situation at that corner was actually made worse because of the merge lane for cars exiting east-bound from Round Hill Drive, a merge lane that forced East bound traffic to the right almost directly into that raised barrier. While we were waiting for the county to take action, certain people known to me, went out at night and painted that hazard with white paint to allow drivers some opportunity to avoid a collision with the barrier, until the county (a number of months later) made the present visibility improvements.

What I am trying to say at this point is that here is a guy who is not only concerned for Alamo's safety, he actually takes action, and sticks with it until the job is done.

While I strongly believe that the time has come for Alamo to become incorporated, I find it very important that those of us who have a working knowledge of the candidates’ qualifications and commitments, should publically state that information.

I sincerely hope that you will consider Mr. Connelly and that you will support the incorporation of Alamo.

Your friend, Charlie Jarrett

Comments (1)

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Posted by Charlie Jarrett
a resident of Alamo
on Jan 16, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Dear readers,
Please excuse a couple of mistakes I made in the 6th paragraph of my original article where it was supposed to read "- - then we need to know a lot more about the candidates THAN what we normally get in a candidate's statement enclosed - - "
Another point my wife brought up, it seems that most of the people we have met that share concerns on both sides of the issue are basically in agreement about the same major point - - - we all want Alamo to retain it's small town, rural atmosphere. Both proponents and opponents seem to seek the same result, we generally seem to want to see a similarity in community social structure and fibre maintained, be you property owners of the old fashioned ranch style homes, horse property owners or cottage dwellers. One of the biggest concerns seems to be, why are these monster homes and gated communities being allowed to swallow up the larger lots, with smaller setbacks and more exemptions? I think we all need to walk down the road together, truly listening to each other's concerns, before we make assumptions. I believe there is a way bring a better democratic process to our community and assuage the valid fears of change. If we are comfortable with our lifestyle the way it is now, then we all want assurances that it will "somehow be grandfathered in".
Thanks again,
Charlie Jarrett

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