Pros and cons of Alamo incorporation Around Town, posted by Editor, Danville Weekly Online, on Feb 2, 2009 at 3:25 pm
The issue of Alamo incorporation has been polarizing the community with strong statements on both sides of the issue for some time. Finally on Tuesday there was an organized presentation by both sides, held at the monthly luncheon of the San Ramon Valley Republican Women Federated.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, February 1, 2009, 12:03 PM
Posted by Alamo resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 3, 2009 at 7:43 am
The CFA (fiscal analysis) prepared using 2006 financial data is no longer valid. It did not predict the economic melt-down. The revenue streams assumed in the report are no longer accurate. What the proponents of incorporation are basing their argument on is not even in the realm of what a responsible board of directors or a capable management team would do when looking at the financial viability of an entity.
Posted by Alamo Resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 3, 2009 at 10:12 am
Incorporation brings with it CHANGES in the form of hundreds of laws and ordinances that the proponents of incorporation have absolutely no control over. Incorporation is the way to go from rural to REGULATED in record time.
Alamo can choose to incorporate at any time, but incorporation is IRREVERSIBLE. Often we don't truly appreciate what we have until it is gone.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 3, 2009 at 2:10 pm
As long as you are trying to be correct about it, the time period upon which the costs and revenues of the Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis are based is FY 2006/2007, i.e. July 1, 2006 through June 30, 2007.
Posted by Geoff Gillette, Danville Weekly reporter, on Feb 3, 2009 at 3:15 pm Geoff Gillette is a member (registered user) of Danville Express
That is true, but the issue raised by the previous poster had to do with a specific quote which I corrected. I appreciate your point though that the actual data does contain some information from 2007.
Posted by James, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 3, 2009 at 7:50 pm
I have felt for the last 2 plus years that Vicki Koc and her fellow members of AIM are cramming incorporation down our throats! Anytime you meet Vicki, she has a new set of arguments about why we absolutely NEED to incorporate.
Vicki Koc started this whole movement. Don't look for problems where no problems exist. This lady is RELENTLESS!!! I think her real motive is she wants a real job, as a city council member - probely mayor. As aggressive as this lady can be when she wants control - God help us if this thing passes and she gets elected. We may as well just hand over control of Alamo to her.
We don't need another level of government.. regardless of what they proponents of AIM claim it will cost the taxpayers more..all this to satisfy the egos of a few.
Posted by Louise Buriss, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 3, 2009 at 8:48 pm
I have done my due diligence and have made some decisions.
Generally speaking, people supporting incorporation stress that a city would provide greater local control and the means to provide essential local services.
People against incorporation generally focus on the possibility of new taxes and fees among the potential problems. Also, if the community is within an organized county, critics frequently stress that the county can provide any needed services and that a city would just be an unnecessary additional layer of government.
In these days of the less-government, more-freedom mantra from the state and national political majority, AlM, headed by one Vicki Koc, is thinking more government, better control.
Vicki Koc said she feels that the time is right for Alamo to take the step into self-governance and she understands that taking that step frightens some people.
Yep Vicki, you are correct. But I am MORE frightened about you being in a position to control Alamo. This entire process has been handled badly by AIM and you are the leader and founder of AIM. I shudder to think what you would do to our 10 square miles of land if you were given the opportunity.
More government does not mean better government. It certainly does, however, mean more expensive government.
Incorporation is a notion that we simply cannot afford. It is a bad idea.
I agree with Cecily Barclay when she says, “It's (incorporation) a mistake she said the new town can't afford to make” Cecily appears to be a very smart Harvard educated attorney who is also a full time GAINFULLY EMPLOYED WOMAN!
Posted by Alamo Spotlight, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 3, 2009 at 10:57 pm
"she (Koc) believes the Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis (CFA), done as part of the due diligence for creating the town, is solid even as the economy is seeing serious declines."
To even suggest that the 2006-07 CFA is solid, after Cecily Talbert Barclay revealed serous costly flaws in the document, proving its lack of viability, is reckless and irresponsible. Vicki Koc continues in stubborn determination to lead Alamo toward an abyss in which there is no return. The proposed contract-city, joined at the hip with county government, is a nightmare of bureaucratic controls. A 5-member city council is not local control by Alamo citizens. Rather, it is Alamo citizens controlled by a 5-member city council with power to rule over THEM.
Cecily Talbert Barclay is a brilliant land use attorney. She graduated with high honors from UCBerkeley, and honors from Harvard Law School. Vicki Koc and her cheerleader, Sharon Burke, should remember her name should Alamo Incorporation succeed on March 3. Proponents of AIM will need a good lawyer as they sink into a swamp of their own creation!
Posted by Pro Alamo, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 4, 2009 at 7:45 am
Wow. A LOT of misinformation by these detractors.
First, I keep seeing the "more government" argument. Or, "another layer" of government. Either these detractors are ignorant (which I am sure is NOT the case), or they are purposefully being misleading. A local town government replaces the government from Martinez. Instead of having county supervisors from Richmond, and other parts of Contra Costa county making decisions for our Alamo, we would have local Alamo citizens making those decisions. Town Council members that we vote in. That we can vote out. That live where we live. That share our problems and our visions for what Alamo can be. I would MUCH rather have that then some Richmond-based county supervisor making decisions about where I live.
Second, if this study is so flawed, where is the detractors study showing that this is so? The detractors have not done the due diligence, and have not spent the time to truly study the viability of this endeavor. The "Pro" movement has. And the study shows it's viability.
Third, if you don't like Viki Koc...don't vote for her.
Vote in favor of incorporation. It brings local people in charge of our Alamo. It puts the power back in our hands. Be "Pro Alamo". Vote for incorporation!
Posted by 30 year resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 4, 2009 at 8:17 am
The proponents of incorporation only want three things from the Alamo residents: Power, Money and Control. They want power and control over you, your money, your property and your community. Well let me tell you what it’s like when you are at the mercy of a small incestuous building department or a five member town council each with their pet projects and their own “vision” of what Alamo should be. Prepare to kiss some butt.
Now look at the 16 candidates on the front of the January 9, 2009 Danville Weekly. Because a yes vote on March 3rd would put 5 of them in control of you, your money and your property. However a No vote would wipe the slate clean of all candidates, send them packing, and keep Alamo the quiet, beautiful community that it is today.
Posted by I 'Heart' Alamo, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 4, 2009 at 8:59 am
No more government. No.
Not at this time.
This push (feels like a shove) to incorporate that has been driven by the same cadre of 'candidates' for years is especially untimely now, during a fiscal meltdown. None of the proponents has admitted that backing away and revisiting the issue is the responsible course of action - they can see their cake, and they want it now. Pay the piper later.
It's starting to feel a LOT like Chicago around here.
Posted by Concerned 17-year Alamo citizen, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 4, 2009 at 10:01 am
It's hard to believe so many people can live with their heads in the sand. Go to a Board of Supervisor's meeting and listen to how much time they deal with Alamo. Almost none. We have one representative and we are 5.8% of her responsibility. We all love Alamo and want the best for our community. How much beter that would be done by local people whom we elect and who answer for their decisions to us - 5 of them who know Alamo and are dealing 100% of the time with Alamo.
Look around you and see what the County has done and not done. Alamo is broken and under the County with the County's financial problems, compounded by the State's financial problems, Alamo's problems will grow, our taxes will grow - unincorporated area's taxes can be raised by a majority vote of the county which would be a pretty easy sell, Alameda has done it - and our services will be cut.
It's a lot like the American colonies and England ... our country was founded on self-rule. We in Alamo want self-rule. Now. Before the bottom falls out of the County and even more bad decisions are made or postponed by the County.
Posted by Gary, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 4, 2009 at 10:51 am
Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion on the matter of Alamo incorporation. I believe each of the people on both sides that have expressed an opinion are truly interested in the well being of Alamo and its residents. Being for or against incorporation is an individual decision and an American right. There are simply different opinions on what is right for Alamo and its residents at this time. All of us should be encouraging other residents to express their feelings on the matter of incorporation. I am personally disappointed that some writings are becoming too personal and directed and, much to my surprise, are not representative of a well educated and respectful group that we are fotunate to have in Alamo. I would urge each of the comment writers to not direct personal barbs at any of those who have taken an interest in this topic. Simply, I urge you to take on the issues for what they are and to do so with respect for those who have taken the time to express their feelings. At the end of the day, I want to be as informed as possible so that I can make the right decision for us all and the only way to do that is to learn from what others know and feel. Comments from our Alamo breathren need to be encouraged - not attacked.
Posted by Alamo Spotlight, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 4, 2009 at 10:57 am
The Alamo Incorp0ration Movement (AIM) has been built on a foundation of deception, intentional or not, deception is still deception. Log on Alamo Spotlight.com for a recap of AIM's deceptive practices, beginning with the petition drive. Funding LAFCO studies with $200,000 in tax exempt donations through the nonprofit Alamo Community Foundation (ACF), proponents will tell you "this is the way it is done, it is all legal."
In the September 18 LAFCO hearing which led to the ballot Measure A vote on March 3, the Chairman of LAFCO left midway during the hearing; he probably did not have the stomach to stay for the stagecraft orchestrated by the remaining commissioners. Only Commissioner Helen Allen had the moral integrity to vote NO on the charade.
The autocratic Danville 5-member town council and the gestapo practices of their Planning Department, escalated a simple encroachment permit request by a resident into a "nuisance" violation at their December 16 Council meeting.
IT IS A MYTH TO BELIEVE YOU CAN VOTE A COUNCIL MEMBER OUT OF OFFICE. IT IS A MYTH TO BELIEVE 16,700 ALAMO CITIZENS HAVE LOCAL CONTROL WHEN A 5-MEMBER TOWN COUNCIL IS EMPOWERED BY INCORPORATION OF ALAMO.
Cecily TalberT Barclay HAS gone line item by line item through the LAFCO CFA, and found it a serious financially flawed document. Express your moral/ethical outrage. VOTE NO ON MEASURE A.
Posted by Charles Huntington, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 4, 2009 at 5:15 pm
Incorporating Alamo would be a serious mistake. We recently received emergency medical assistance (an ambulance AND a firetruck) in less than four minutes. Our roads are in great shape. We see the sheriff and a highway patrol car go through our neighborhood frequently. None of those services has deteriorated in the 25+ years we've lived here.
Yes, the County has financial problems - Duh!! So does every political, geographic entity. There's a recession going on which will be over in about a year.
Go find something constructive to do with your time, and don't create problems for us based on your mistaken assumptions.
Posted by Ann, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 4, 2009 at 6:17 pm
I'm really surprised by the personal attacks against people who support incorporation, including the AIM group that started the effort. Many of the AIM people are the same people who diligently represented Alamo on all sorts of county "advisory" councils for decades, putting their time and energy to work to represent Alamo's interests with CC County. Somehow that was OK. Now that these same community leaders advocate township for Alamo, they've suddenly become scheming villains. You would think they were advocating communism or something. Since when did "town" become a dirty word? Town government is local government. It's the essence of America. Stop throwing potshots at the proponents of incorporation and stick to debating the pros and cons of the issue.
Posted by Steve from Alamo Oaks, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 4, 2009 at 10:11 pm
Well, where to start? How about just looking around at the adjacent incorporated cities and compare them with unincorporated Alamo? Notice a difference? Right, and it's because we're UNINCORPORATED!!! Why, if the County is so bad and if we've been neglected so much and if they want to do to us all the things the pro side alleges, do we look as rural as we do? It's because we're a tiny portion of a giant (350,000 acres) territory with a dozen unincorporated "cities" that allows us to be "neglected" and to stay under the radar. The affordable housing that EVERY INCORPORATED CITY (and county) MUST accommodate (by law) is spread throughout that vast region, insuring that we get none.
If we incorporate, we WILL become like other cities. It's built into every city's State-mandated General Plan that they will grow, through the Housing Element, which is designed by the State of California to remove as many governmental and non government obstacles as possible to growth. Go to "Town of Danville-Documents-Housing Element VI-Housing Plans" and see what's in store for this little town of Alamo. Most people have a dreamy idea of what "self-government" is...well, visit that site and get a grip. Your "self-government" is to serve as a vehicle for State Government wishes.
And lastly, the Pro side relies upon the Vehicle Licensing Fees to provide $1.5 million a year for the next ten years to keep their "town" afloat. Check out the State Controllers website...the Vehicle License fees were CANCELLED...THAT'S RIGHT...CANCELLED...last October. Tentatively reinstated in January, but on a limited basis. This!!is what we're to rely on to keep Alamo fiscally solvent??? No to Incorporatio...No on A "To Keep Alamo The Way It Is...Leave Alamo The Way It Is".
Posted by Louise Buriss, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2009 at 9:49 am
Vicki Koc is the only name that has been personally disparaged in this forum.
I do not choose to look at her past accomplishments. One can only influence the present and the future. “What have you done for me lately?”
Let’s get real; with “no bias and no bull,” Vicki Koc is:
1. The founder of Alamo Incorporation Movement.
2. The president of AIM.
3. A long time proponent of incorporation.
4. A speaker quoted in almost every news story about incorporation for years. (Reference the attached article for which we are posting comments)
5. A current candidate for city council.(some say self-serving)
Many citizens of Alamo do not want incorporation; therefore Vicki Koc has become the most visible advocate, as well as, the most pugnacious supporter of this horrible idea, and consequently, the primary adversary of those Alamo citizens against incorporation.
This is not personal. It is called “POLITICS,” my dear. It is just part of being a very public figure (case in point, your signs plastered all over Alamo). It is time to get your supporters like Sharon Burke, Ann, Rob, Alamo Ron, etc. to stop trying to suppress my right to free speech in this blog. Very immature!
Vicki, if you can’t take the heat, why jump into the fire?
Posted by Corina, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2009 at 11:29 am
I am a 21 year resident of Alamo and I would like to keep Alamo unincorporated. As another post said incorporation is irreversible. A new town started in this economic climate will have to come up with all types of services that are now provided by the county. For instance, building permits you could have higher costs; one to the town for planning purposes and still need the county for doing the building inspection work(Clayton). Don't rush into anything, that usually makes you regret your decisions. Do we need another layer of government? Just take a look at Danville and check out how much it cost them to incorporate and whether their taxes increased or not.
Posted by Tana Gummere, CPA, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2009 at 12:40 pm
Like one of the candiates, Joseph Rubay, I attended Monte Vista High School and California State University East Bay. I too am a CPA with former "Big Eight" experience. I too have experience with budgets and have great respect for their preparation and use. It is because of this that I am STRONGLY OPPOSED TO MEASURE A. Please Alamo residents don't believe the "faiy tale", save Alamo's future, vote NO on A. My family has lived in Alamo since 1972. I like the sense of this wonderful community as is. I really am concerned by the constant statements from candidates and proponents for incorporation that incorporation will "strengthen the sense of community". Ask yourself, what does that really mean and at what cost?
Posted by Alamo Spotlight, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 6, 2009 at 8:33 am
The expert’s report hired by Cecily Barclay, Partner in the Walnut Creek law firm Bingham McCutchen, and other incorporation opponents, is now available to the public.
The 12-page document proves, beyond a doubt, Cecily’s statement “we absolutely should not incorporate based on a report created in 2006." It dispels credibility to any statement of fact issued by founder of Alamo Inc., Vicki Koc, or her cheerleader Sharon Burke, that the LAFCO 06-07 CFA is “solid” and financially feasible to incorporate Alamo into a contract-city.
Learn how you can get a copy of this report, exposing the 06-07 CFA as no longer viable. E-mail your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by David Brower, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 7, 2009 at 10:15 pm
It's not being distributed by anyone with a brain, because it is not true. It's the kind of half-baked rumour that opponents have been spreading to scare people. Like the other one that the first thing the council will do is outlaw horses. This is absurd on its face, and if you're passing it on, or believing it, you need only look in the mirror to see who is really scaring you.
Posted by Concerned Citizen, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 10, 2009 at 6:17 pm
Wow, we knew the No on A types were desperate and delusional, but stooping to personal attacks is despicable.
The load of hogwash "concerns" expressed by a few on this site are a joke. A handful of the same people using incorrect and illogical arguments in a vain attempt to keep Alamo citizens from governing themselves. How sad. How pathetic!
Let's hope sanity and intellectual honesty overcome fear and mistruths come election day.
Say YES to TAXATION WITH REPRESENTATION! VOTE YES ON A.
Posted by not in alamo, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2009 at 7:16 am
I do not live in Alamo but have been following your saga. Two things in the news today made me pause. First, the Contra Costa Sheriffs department is cutting 70 deputies (SRV Times Feb 24). You will pay same or increased taxes to county and still lose some of your police coverage. The other article, on this website is the Danville Town Council realizing they have a revenue shortfall are anayzing to come up with a plan....they have control over their situation.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2009 at 4:26 pm
When I read the critics comments, it's obvious that there are about 1 or 2 serious paranoid crackpots attacking incorporation using various names. Same language, same off-base and misleading criticisms. Very discouraging and unhelpful. The issues in this campaign are much too important for wasting time on red herrings offered by Alamo Spotlight and "Concerned Citizen".
Hopefully the citizens of Alamo can focus on the real issues. Alamo residents need to look at Orinda, Woodside and Portola Valley as examples of similarly sized, semi-rural towns with similar demographics that incorporated to their benefit. Like those towns, Alamo can control its own finances and boost the property values and quality of lives. Those towns have managed to maintain their small-town, semi-rural feel, while providing excellent public services and LOCAL CONTROL. Why anyone would not snap at the opportunity to wrench control away from bureaucrats in Martinez is beyond me.
Has anyone read about the storm drains flooding in San Pablo? Contra Costa County is allowing sewage to flood peoples homes AGAIN while they argue over who is financially responsible for the storm drains that it purports to maintain. One frustrated resident exclaimed "Do you think this would happen in Lafayette? or Danville?" Alamo has a plum opportunity to wrestle control away from a county drowning in debt and to have a voice in its future.
Posted by Sandy, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2009 at 6:04 pm
Has no one noticed that the opponents to incorporation include property lawyers? I'm sorry to see such personal attacks by the No people. I have lived in Alamo for over 30 years and have had dealings with the county over a subdivison next to me. It would be much easier to deal with local government who cares about our area. Hasn't our park board been dismissed by our supervisor and replaced by her appointees? Hasn't our park money gone unused? I dealt with the county recently over intrusion onto a private road and was told the county would rather have illegal entry on to a private road if it would help traffic on Danville Bl. Did anyone go the the county meeting about Stone Vly Rd changes? It took a huge effort by concerned Alamoans to keep the county from helping traffic on 680 get off at Stone Valley Rd. It's now on their agenda again in spite of promises that it was dead. INCORPORATE NOW- our last attampt was 20 years ago and Lafco then thought it wouldn't work- now they think it will. Why wait 20 more years?? Vote Yes now.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2009 at 8:25 pm
Thank you Sandy for raising REAL issues affecting Alamo! I'm so tired of hearing the crazy scare tactics about parking meters and pot holes. What elected council person in Alamo would ever allow that? Nobody.
I too have suffered great frustration with the county ignoring Alamo's pleas for less a track-homey development at Alamo Crest, ignoring our pleas to assert CEQA rights against the School Board's plan to transform land it designated as 10 years prior as agricultural into a 4 acre cement parking lot with 20 foot high lights, ignoring our pleas to place a traffic circle on Danville Blvd. at Wachovia Bank to slow traffic and protect pedestrians, instead of the proposed stoplight which has not been added - YET! Mary Peifo wants to appoint four of her cronies to make lame decisions for Alamo, instead of an elected body of local citizens.
This is a no-brainer for Alamo - VOTE YES ON INCORPORATION!
Posted by James, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2009 at 11:29 pm
This is sounding like a chat room for Sandy and Sharon.
First it was "We love Alamo". Then it was "we need to incorporate in order to keep Alamo the same". Now all they can do is bash Alamo and say how bad it is here. At least now their true colors are coming out. These people will say and do anything to gain control over Alamo for their own personal agendas.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 25, 2009 at 11:48 pm
A little bit of twisting going on in the last response.
Having personal experience with a problem affecting the town, or just a neighborhood, isn't a personal agenda, especially when the problem is the kind of negative change that some say can't happen in Alamo because "it ain't broke". You can love Alamo and not love every thing that happens in and to it.
Posted by Ann Onymous, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 27, 2009 at 2:03 pm
Hear hear! Finally some actual responses to the ridiculous accusations being made on here. And yes, many of the posters on here are the same person. A man named Hal Bailey. Aka...community courtesy, Louise Burris, Rachel Wells, Vince Kreiger and many others. I wouldn't be surprised if more in this thread are the infamous Mr. Bailey as he takes great delight in creating chaos on these boards. At one point he promised us he would not post here anymore since he wasn't allowed to post as all of his alter egos but you see how valid his word is. Now he's even started posting the same junk across multiple threads. I'm not sure why the moderators of this forum allow him to continue. Especially in light of how (according to Mr. Bailey) they've been bought and paid for by AIM. Funny how he's allowed to post anything he darn well pleases, most of it clearly the product of boredom and misplaced aggression.
And Mike, I have no idea what difference it makes if the Danville Weekly is in Danville and not Alamo. Apparently because the newspaper endorsed incorporation they have become part of the evil cabal behind the incorporation movement. Seriously...it's a free newspaper...so whatcan the cabal offer them if the paper supports them? A city hall where they can leave a rack for their papers? Give me a break.
And Alamo Resident...name these lawyers who lie in wait to sick their ADA lawsuits on the newly incorporated cities. I'm no lawyer but I can google with the best of them. Cite a case they've litigated, reveal their dastardly plans for an incorporated Alamo. Or shut up.
I've had it with all the vague threats and accusations. Mr. Bailey et al, I challenge you. Provide one shred of proof over all these accusations you made. Prove that Alamo Today, CC times and Danville Weekly are in the pockets of anyone. Prove that these hard working volunteers who got sick of being stomped on by the county have evil intents for the Town of Alamo. No the incorporation document doesn't specifically state that there will be a committee for this that and the other thing, but I defy you to prove that the intent of five people who aren't even elected yet will uniformly agree to deny the citizens of our great town (and it will be a town)a voice or a right.
You speak of majorities being denied, but the only majority that I see being denied is the one that exists solely in your mind. You have never once shown to any person on this forum that you speak for anyone other than all of the various people you've made up over the last few years.
Name a name, give a fact.
Or just shut up.
ps...and please spare us any more of the idiotic merriam-webster or wikipedia or simply made up definitions. Either speak as yourself and offer some sort of actual discussion or find another hobby.