Mail-in ballots in Alamo close to 50 percent Around Town, posted by Editor, Danville Weekly Online, on Feb 5, 2009 at 5:16 pm
The number of Alamo residents eligible to vote on incorporation March 3 is 10,508, according to the county Elections Division. A lower number was reported earlier by the Danville Weekly, due to incorrect calculations by the county.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, February 5, 2009, 2:01 PM
Posted by Steve from Alamo Oaks, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 6, 2009 at 8:32 am
Why heavens, no!, don't actually discuss any real issues or concerns that might occur because of incorporation. Label this real concerns "scare tactics" and then refuse to address them. Yep, that's the way to deal with your fellow Alamo residents that, by the way, do love Alamo, too.
Let's just go with that Fiscal Analysis compiled by an ardent leader of his own city's incorporation (2000) in Rancho Santa Margarita (one square mile larger than the proposed "Town of Alamo")that went from a total budget of $6 million in 2000/1 all the way to $17 Million for the current year. The police budget went from $2.75 M to $7.5 M for the current year. That's nearly a tripling of both the main budget and the police services budget in 9 years. Yet he says our police budget will only go up by 60% in ten years. Well, I don't know, sounds like an inaccurate projection to me. But, what the heck, just buy what he says, don't question the numbers, we can always "work it out later" when it hits the fan.
How about that $1.5 M per year income from the Vehicle License Fee Distribution that forms a sizable foundation for your "fiscally solvent" town? Gee, that was CANCELLED...THAT'S RIGHT, CANCELLED!!! last October. (Only reinstated on a provisional and limited basis in January.) Yeah, we shouldn't be concerned, just pass the IRROVOCABLE incorporation measure and we'll just fumble by.
You proponents are like robots with your irritating, unquestioning marching to a dogmatic drum. Independent? You want representation? What will you say when the "independent" town council tells you that you MUST accept 30+ new housing units PER YEAR based on incomes that range from $25,000 up because the STATE tells you that you WILL do so? Oh well, it is what it is, and "WE CAN DO IT!!!" Right. Let's not bring up any unpleasant truths now or discuss these issues, let's just get the job done and then "WE CAN DO IT!!!" later. Well, later is too late.
For those on the proponent side that actually are interested in the facts of what happens when a town incorporates, why don't you just Google "Town of Danville-Documents" and then scroll down through the thousands and thousands of rules, regulations, requirements, dictates, on and on into every aspect of human life and action. Is this really what you want? Every single movement you make regulated by some nitwit?
The towns in this Valley have been side by side for decades; why does Alamo look different? To any sentient observer, it's obvious: we're not an incorporated city. Period. The other areas incorporated and they look the way they look because of that. It's called the HOUSING ELEMENT and despite what proponents says, it's a fact of life and YOU WILL GET FORCED HOUSING GROWTH, Period. Look up California State Department of Housing, Community Development and read it for yourself. AIM tries to pull a sleight of hand by coyly saying the "the town won't be required to build..." No, the town won't send out IT'S employees to buy the land and build the buildings themselves, literally, but they will have to rezone properties to higher densities, allow second dwellings and, yes, allow the construction of LOW INCOME HOUSING.
And lastly, we moved here to be left alone, not to be MELDED into what somebody else wants out of this issue. This is a free area, unencumbered by relentless political and social pressure from a local government. Isn't that what most people want? Look at the Town of Danville Documents under "Code Enforcement"; they send their snoopers out into all the older neighborhoods to find "code violations" so they can fine you and make you comply with whatever they've decided lately is the going code.
You can't change and keep what you've had. Once you change, you've changed and that's that. With incorporation there's no going back. Vote No on Incorporation...No on Measure A on March 3, 2009. If you want to keep Alamo the way it is, Leave it the way it is. It's this way because it was left alone.
Posted by Tana Gummere, CPA, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 6, 2009 at 10:14 am
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 Concerned Citizen, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 10, 2009 at 5:31 pm
The No on A crowd can only use scare tactics. They pull "data" out of their arse repeatedly. Use a tidbit of data here, pull a little bit there, and voila, before you know it, John has a black cat becomes Jane has a red B-52. Who cares if it is patently false? They know most people never check facts and instead respond to emotional attacks (which is why negative attack adds never disappear - the politicians know how emotions overcome reason for most people).
In stark contrast, the YES crowd goes out of it's way to engage people, to be open and to have community meetings so that all voices can be heard. That a vocal minority squawks so stridently (irrespective of the facts) is just to be expected in this day and age.
If anyone seriously thinks that a wealthy town like Alamo will have difficulty funding itself, they are grossly delusional. All past incorporation efforts were STYMIED BY THE COUNTY as they know full well that Alamo is a cash cow - FAR more $$ leaves our Town than we get in return. It's been Taxation Without Representation for FAR TOO LONG. We we still use the same Sheriff Dept with even higher per capita police coverage. The minor road work that is required can easily be subcontracted at LOWER COST and with FAR HIGHER QUALITY than what the County Lifers provide (how many YEARS did it take for the County to finally repave Stone Valley and add the SB turn lane onto 680 - 20???) We will subcontract out Bldg Inspection but instead of the County rubber stamping every stupid plan that comes across their desk (so long as a fat check accompanies the "application", that is), WE will approve future developments - about time considering the horrific developments that have been forced down our throats over the years.
And best of all, we'll no longer be on the hook for the massive unfunded bloated pension plans that our so-called public "servants" enjoy.
But I wonder who is funding the No crowd? Could it be just one disgruntled person with more money than sense and who never found a neighbor she didn't like? Sure didn't work when her neighbors built that objectionable house out her back window "spoiling" her view did it? The County rubber stamped the development despite her numerous objections, complaints and threats - honestly, it's curious she's such a big advocate of the County now - a few years ago she was threatening to sue everyone at the County and alleging all sorts of malfeasance. Frankly, some people have way too much money and FAR too little common sense...
Posted by AlamoSpotlight, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 11, 2009 at 1:50 pm
"But I wonder who is funding the No crowd? Could it be just one disgruntled person with more money than sense and who never found a neighbor she didn't like? Sure didn't work when her neighbors built that objectionable house out her back window "spoiling" her view did it? The County rubber stamped the development despite her numerous objections, complaints and threats - honestly, it's curious she's such a big advocate of the County now - a few years ago she was threatening to sue everyone at the County and alleging all sorts of malfeasance. Frankly, some people have way too much money and FAR too little common sense..."
Consistent with the ongoing deception practiced by proponents of Alamo Incorporation Movement (AIM), they now resort to mud-slinging and character assassination. Log on to AlamoSpotlight.com and click on Archives at the top of the home page. The above quote will be revealed for the total lie it is. CCCo. File #VRO31032 documents a Public Hearing in which the only supporter favoring draconian variances, requested by Hal Reiland of the law firm Reiland & Reiland, for his property, 76 St. Andrews Lane, a virgin hillside adjacent to Round Hill CC, was Roger Smith of Alamo Improvement Assn (AIA), now running for town council. It took a 40-year veteran of CEQUA Law from Sacramento, to testify against Reiland and stop the development of this virgin hillside. What say you now for your false allegations?
What more proof of AIM's deceit do the citizens of Alamo need to VOTE NO ON MEASURE A
Posted by Alamo Spotlight, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 14, 2009 at 9:24 am
Political opinion on a private website is a civil right. A liar is a moral wrong.
Pitting neighbor against neighbor, Alamo Incorporation Movement proponents have proven with these postings, how 5 council members, one who may be your disgruntled neighbor, have power to turn once friendly neighbors living side by side, into shunning each other in mutual distrust.
Posted by Tana Gummere, CPA, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 28, 2009 at 1:38 pm
Please read the article in Danville Weekly, Vol. IV Number 43: February 27, 2009 , "Danville faces declining revenues" staff to work on ways of recuding costs.. It speaks to why Voting NO on A today is my message as a CPA and a family that has lived in Alamo since 1972. Why would anyone vote yes based on a "feasibility study" that was done in 2006 and assumptions that are NOT conversvative enough to justify moving forward today. Danville according to this article mentions that members of their Town Council had met last Monday to see how the town will "respond to the dwinding funds"... The article mentions a shortfall of $399,028.. Helloooo.. Measure A supporters.. what was the "cushion" in the 2006 report.. DONE.. VOTE NO..
I appreciate all the efforts of the candidates and as I walked out of Safeway today and was bombarded by candidates to which I said I am absolutely against A.. and one woman candidate told me she wanted to go over the numbers with me.. NO THANK-YOU I AM A CPA AND DO NOT NEED THIS WOMAN CANDIDATE WHO IS NOT a CPA let alone much of a business background at all.. " EXPLAINING" THE NUMBERS TO ME.
VOTE NO.. IF THINGS EVER DO GET "BAD" IN ALAMO THEN VISIT THE ISSUE BASED ON CURRENT FINANCICAL FIGURES..BUT FOR ME THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE.. JUST SAY NO..
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Feb 28, 2009 at 6:07 pm
If Tana is a CPA, she should also be considering a few things besides the one number she mentions in her post about declining revenues in Danville:
* Even if Alamo's experience could be extrapolated numerically from Danville's (a stretch considering Alamo's stronger property tax base and smaller reliance on the more volatile revenue source of sales tax) Danville's budget is larger than Alamo's would be, so any shortfall extrapolated to Alamo would be smaller.
* The newly incorporated City of Wildomar, CA found that, at least partly because of the economy, it's costs of contract services (as opposed to in-house employees services as provided by CC County) were substantially LOWER than projected in the financial analysis for its incorporation. That analysis was prepared by the same consultant that prepared Alamo's incorporation analysis.
* Alamo's assessed values for property tax are WAY more stable than the County's. The County's went down in 2008 by 8%. Alamo's went up by 2%.
* Alamo wouldn't be starting out with $1.7 billion in unfunded retirement benefits that have to be balanced and which are causing further service cuts.
* When revenues decline, budgets are balanced by reducing services or drawing from reserves, so the real issue is how much will the services need to be reduced. The county's financial problems and already announced service cuts, even on a per capita basis, dwarf those of any city around here, including any that Alamo might face due to the economy. I don't read about Danville or other cities around here cutting 10% of their sworn police officers like the County just announced.
* The County is already discussing a 911 (utility user's) tax. When imposed by a county, a utility user's tax applies only to the unincorporated area, but is voted on by the entire county, including the cities. If you were a voter in a city, would you vote for a tax on other people if you know it would take the pressure off budgets for County services that are provided to you?
There a lots of other factors, but the bottom line is that it will be obvious to anyone who actually looks that cutting loose from the County by incorporating, ESPECIALLY NOW, is a far better move than staying as an unincorporated area and riding it down with the County.
Posted by Tana Gummere, CPA, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 2, 2009 at 8:42 pm
I am a CPA and I only need to point to one of Mike's responses:
"When revenues decline, budgets are balanced by REDUCING SERVICES OR DRAWING FROM RESERVES". my point is that the 2006-2007 report used is not conservative enough to count on any reserves being available to draw from..
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Mar 3, 2009 at 9:56 am
I find it interesting, Tana, that you keep referring to yourself as a CPA as if that makes you almighty when it comes to financials. I know quite a few CPAs who can post debits and credits but have almost no common sense with projections, forecasts, and analysis. I sense you're just another one of these. If you looked further into the truth about property taxes, VLF, and sales tax, you'd quickly realize that your negative view of the study makes little sense.
I have an MBA in finance and accounting and have the Chartered Financial Analysis (CFA) designation. I have also been through the entire study front to back and have learned about all the inputs and assumptions used including the comparable towns' expenses. If you do the same, you'd be hard pressed to take a stance other than incorporating.