A MAC: more reasons for a strong AIA!! Comments on Stories, posted by Community courtesy, a resident of another community, on May 20, 2009 at 9:29 am
Mary N. Piepho is unilaterally creating a Municipal Advisory Council in Alamo as gatekeepers for Contra Costa County and District 3. Rather that reducing the at-odds relationship between District 3 and Alamo’s groups and neighborhoods, this action creates an even more obtrusive and objectionable invasion by the county and the supervisor. Such action is meant to unilaterally disarm the Alamo Improvement Association and the many neighborhood groups and their allied committees.
We cannot imagine any resident of Alamo volunteering to be a member of MAC under such arbitrary and invasive intentions by the District 3 Supervisor, but we are aware of certain campaign participants from the incorporation election that are pursuing such a thankless role. Those appointed will only have opportunity to be gatekeepers for the prescribed actions of the District 3 Supervisor and will in no manner be recognized as representing Alamo.
With such invasion of Alamo by the county, neighborhoods believe that the Alamo Improvement Association is needed as a strong public voice for our community of neighborhoods with the county and all our region’s governments. It has always been the role of the AIA to defend Alamo against county excesses and a strong AIA voice will be needed with the planned MAC.
**Commentary by Rachel, co-chair, Diablo Vista (Alamo) region neighborhoods forum**
As a community courtesy,
NOTE: Alamo region community of neighborhoods has returned to Diablo Vista as their identity. With Alamo once again reduced to a ZIP Code and the identity of another political controversy, neighborhoods believe it is time for a better community identity.
Posted by Informed resident, a resident of another community, on May 22, 2009 at 11:42 pm
How many posts are you going to make on this subject Hal? Someone needs a hug or a hobby! I would suggest a friend but you seem to have invented so many of them!
This is all a matter of structured government. It is obvious that you don't like it and don't agree, which is clearly your right to an opinion (we get it). It really doesn't matter how many times you say it or even post it under different pseudonyms because it changes nothing.
It will never hold water. The AIA is not a government agency and never will be. Get past that and you are almost home.
No matter how good the intentions of the AIA may have been, they have limited themselves and their role by being membership based and will never find safe harbor in any official capacity.
You should be blaming past administrations for misleading you. That might be a good place to sink your time and effort into. You might consider reading up on how local government operates and is achieved. Isn't that really what you are after?
At some point you may wish to quit beating your head against a proverbial wall and actually educate yourself to the realities that are there for the understanding. It really is not that difficult.
Come on be a sport and give it a try. You obviously have demonstrated for years that you have the time to waste.
Posted by Halamo, a resident of another community, on May 23, 2009 at 8:52 am
Dear Rachel, thank you for your support.
In being a Nym of any kind is delightful. Makes me think I have fulfilled a life’s dream of being meaningless to such pseudonyms as Alamo Ron, Informed Resident, AskIdoo, Twentythreeskidoo, and many more in the absence of community in 94507. The Danville Weekly, now our local version of MAD Magazine, hosts such enjoyable Nym’ness for most FORUM participants so comment only exists in the state of Nym.
Admittedly, I became a Nym’ner in 1973 when I created the pseudonym Hal Bailey. Over the past many years, I have become that Nym in the scope of my life. I have tried to invent others on TDW’s FORUM such as Allen C. Gina, Spike Marvel, Forest Warn, Geronimo Al, Marcellus Washburn, The Gorgon Zola, Randy Thoughts, but Hal Bailey is the Nym that sticks with me.
In the absence of community beyond our neighborhoods, we are all Nym’s. Among Alamo community group culture, neighbors are seen as apathetic without opinion or purpose. Neighborhoods exist in silence in this convenient view and all neighbors’ public thoughts are only my pseudonyms.
We shall Nym’bly move on with a smile by saying, “But really, Folks, stick to the subject! Will the existence of a MAC require a strong community effort to manage such a county agency?”
Posted by Informed resident, a resident of another community, on May 29, 2009 at 9:55 pm
Hal, Nym or whatever you are going by these days,
I really think you would do yourself a service by reading up on what you print up here. Usually when one such as yourself has such an infatuation with a subject they at least try to educate themselves on the subject matter. I and others would certainly rate your "opinion" higher if you actually pointed to realities instead of assumptions.
Clearly you are opposed to any form of real Government, but at least understand the fundamental dynamics, so that when you attempt to demean its importance, you make a rational argument.
Where the AIA is concerned it is understandable that you are under a false pretense regarding their role, lack of authority and political role. They do have a voice similar to any group that would want to provide input. They are in the same catagory inclusive of any organized group including that of the a Home Owners Association, Rotarians, Lions, Alamo Monday morning breakfast club and even the local girl scouts. (They all have an equal voice however none of them are government entities.) 50 years of miscommunication and "assumption of authority" does not change that.
Have you ever considered a positive approach? I bet if you put some of your energy into understanding government you might actually find a way to improve your street, neighborhood and community.
...or does acting as the town crier suit you better? Only you can decide.
Posted by Informed Resident, a resident of another community, on May 30, 2009 at 11:04 pm
Hal, you are projecting again! Do you actually think there is a finite space for posting or reading here on the forums? That my questions are somehow denying opportunity for others to question? If you possibly do, then you know you have certainly used up your 15 minutes. We could make a deal to both cease, fair enough? You of course will have to go first, not that I don't trust you but really I don't. Sorry, nothing personal.
Try to project as you might but the facts remain within my posts. I have no ire against neighborhood commentary. I welcome it. I merely suggested that people post for themselves and not through you. It is my personal "opinion" that you are creating "neighborhood commentary" not "relaying" it. Would I be off base for calling it as I see it? Mr. Bailey what I and others see, is YOU posting under many different names. Why would you do that except for the obvious reason?
We have been over the AIA. They are entitled to an opinion but they are not entitled to any governmental power-what so ever. "Id est quid id est".
The AIA can offer a public voice, but no different from a neighbor that is not a member of that club. Your suggestion that the AIA would compete or defend against a Municipal Advisory Council only provides insight into a flawed perspective. It is doubtful that the county (or Supervisor?) would allow that dysfunctional relationship to exist. That is just my opinion.
Posted by Hal Bailey, a resident of another community, on May 31, 2009 at 7:35 am
Our neighbors in the Diablo Vista (Alamo) Region have repeated demonstrated their objections to the heavy hand of government. Most recently, >3500 neighbors that were excluded from authorship, review and approval in the steps to incorporation demonstrated their objections to the undefined incorporation proposal of a “pig in a poke” with their votes. Those that directly spoke out against exclusion were defamed on the AIM website, in media articles, and on your forum. In community courtesy, I provided firewall for neighbors to present commentary on your forum without the too-often abuse of proponents of an autocratic five member council resident in our region.
Political disobedience is the only defense against the power of governments in our region to act in opposition to the will and interests of the people. There is no realistic method of influence in governments without an equal show of power and will. A MAC is simply a county agency resident in our region with the sole purpose of effecting the policies and special interests of district 3, CCC-BOS and CCC departments. Neighbors, in neighborhoods and business districts, must stand privately against such un-serving power and the AIA has been established for >50 years to provide that result. With neighborhoods’ wealth and counsel, the AIA will become a potent force in representing the will of the people.
So, as editor, it becomes your journalism that is to illustrate the reality of a county government at-odds with a majority in our region.
Posted by Informed Resident, a resident of another community, on May 31, 2009 at 12:30 pm
Welcome to the world of public opinion versus the realities of process and accountability. The "process" of possible incorporation is an open one and very public as mandated by law. Participation in a blog or a website does expose the participants to a number of issues including cross examination of their opinion and assumptions. Call it debate, argument or scrutiny, but it is what happens when you put your opinion out without facts to back it up. You call it abuse, but I am not so sure that others would share in your "opinion". This is democracy at work.
I remain unaware that adults needed firewalls such as you, to protect them from scrutiny and from others with a differing view. Have you considered speaking only for yourself instead of taking on the role as protector? Might be worth a try.
In the meantime you could review California Government Codes which are available on the internet. This would put some fact based information into your opinion and comments. You will not find an allowance for clubs or groups such as the AIA anywhere there. They would appear under the corporation codes (which are not part of Government).
This might be a good place to start in understanding why MAC's are a recognized governmental body. Just a quick Google search away.
31010. The board of supervisors of any county may by resolution
establish and provide funds for the operation of a municipal advisory
council for any unincorporated area in the county to advise the
board on such matters which relate to that area as may be designated
by the board concerning services which are or may be provided to the
area by the county or other local governmental agencies, including
but not limited to advice on matters of public health, safety,
Posted by Hal Bailey, a resident of another community, on Jun 1, 2009 at 8:04 am
AS a courtesy to our region’s neighborhoods, I would like to thank all contributors to discussions of a Municipal Advisory Council (MAC) to be located in the 94507 (Alamo) segment of our region. After several exchanges, including the composite presentations of political factions in support of a MAC, your readers now have a clear picture of the politics and emotions of MAC consideration. As a MAC results, it will be a matter for neighbors and their counsel to determine any role for the MAC’s five council members and two alternates within our region’s political and planning considerations.
Posted by CDSI Research Fellowship, a resident of another community, on Jun 1, 2009 at 5:06 pm
"Good Lord, don't you people have better things to do?"
You have a paper to run and the demands of journalism for coverage in depth of our regional issues? I have neighbors to serve with courtesies, principals to serve with technology & markets development, and clients to serve with markets advisory. We must assume the surrogate campaign surrounding district 3's intentions in our region has individuals with similar personal and commercial demands on their time.
Simply, I wanted to note that it was an exceptional question that asked more specifically, "why is consideration of a MAC so very important in 94507?" And, quite appropriately, it is not of any more importance than any county advisory panel to the majority in our region. But in study, the politics of the MAC, and not its reality, is the damnation in its details of power shifts from regional neighborhoods, the AIA, the Sheriff, and more to the closed-fisted control of district 3.
Applause to the questioners because their question proves a very important point!
Posted by Sandy Fink, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jun 1, 2009 at 7:57 pm
Hi, I favored incorporation because I thought it would give us control over our own fate. Now that we are not incorporated, we are facing decision making by people appointed by a supervisor rather than our own elected members . My experiences with AIA has shown their dedication to Alamo's interests and they should be supported rather than a MAC. We residents are the ONLY ones who know our area's needs as shown by the attempt to change Stone Valley Road at Danville Blvd. The county has agendas that are not in our interests. AIA keeps track of the county's actions. We need them. I think we lost more power when incorporation was defeated. I also think that everyone should be required to sign a comment with their name.
Sharon provides a very excellent summary of the political intentions of district 3 in forming an unwanted MAC by the majority of 94507 residents. In the article, district 3's assumption of the voting results on March 3 as supporting a MAC is discussed. Quite real is the intent in the Diablo Vista (Alamo) region to form a planning commission with services committees as transitional to a regional incorporation of a commission-led, contract services municipality.
Posted by Another Informed Resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jun 3, 2009 at 12:41 am
I have been following the issue of MACs in Contra Costa County for some time. The Burke article looks accurate to me. If there are inaccuracies, I would appreciate knowing what they are specifically.
I would agree that the AIA is blowing its own horn in its advertorial in Alamo Today. However, I don't see anything particularly wrong with that. Maybe proponents of a MAC could start explaining why it would be in Alamo's interest to have the very restricted, controlled kind of MAC described in the two Alamo Today articles.
Posted by Community courtesy, a resident of another community, on Jun 3, 2009 at 4:54 pm
Let us thank all informed residents for their commentary. There have been hundreds of informed residents sharing their research and documentation during the past 10 days on e-exchanges.
Today, among neighbors in our Livorna West neighborhoods, we acknowledged regional counsel's efforts to provide in-depth, complete study of CCC-MACs and their recent history of failure for their communities. The study provided by analysts in a government law practice identified that most CCC-MACs are operating without a full council and their advisories over the past 3 years have resulted in little successful representation of their communities' will and interests.
If, as expected, a 94507 (Alamo) MAC follows those trends, the majority in our region will see little change from direct actions by interested parties and their counsel with regional governments and districts. Certainly the Alamo Community Council is a clear example of disinterest in district 3 political actions among our region's majority.
Posted by Another Informed Resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jun 9, 2009 at 12:49 pm
The idea that a MAC is a "governing agency" in any actual way is fiction. Unlike a real governing agency (e.g. a board of supervisors, a city council, a planning commission), a MAC has no more actual decision-making authority than the AIA or a private citizen. It is purely advisory. Governing authorities choose to whom they listen for advice for their own reasons, the operative word being "choose". More often than not, governments turn to community organizations like the AIA for input.
For a long time, supervisors have chosen to recognize the AIA as a representative of the independent interests of Alamo, mostly on planning, but with good results for Alamo. The current supervisor apparently chooses not to and insists upon the more controllable form of an appointed MAC which, according to recent press articles as well as County policies I have read, would have no funding, little or no staff support, couldn't have committees of other interested citizens and couldn't talk to anyone but the County. The current setup has its drawbacks and just because we have done things a certain way for a long time doesn’t mean that there isn’t a better way. However, this sounds to me more like a recipe for a neutered puppet than an effective "governing agency" to represent us.
Posted by Informed Resident, a resident of another community, on Jun 9, 2009 at 9:01 pm
A I R,
Speaking of fiction (you brought it up), your comments are clearly assumptions & devoid of fact.
You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts. Therefore, you would be wrong and your assumptions flawed...on all counts.
Examples? Your statement; "governments turn to community organizations like the AIA for input." Really? Where is that in any Federal, State, County or Local Government Code-or anywhere else for that matter? We are talking about the same paid membership club, with no residency required right?
If a MAC is not a legitimate governing agency why then is it listed in the Government Code and subject to the Ralph M. "Brown Act" and County's better Government Ordinance? Why are MAC meetings required to be public? Please note; these are rhetorical questions.
The AIA on the other hand meets none of this criterion. You are comparing apples and oranges. I wonder who you are trying to convince? Do you think the State or County is going to change its policies and laws for Alamo? Is it possible that the "other supervisors" turned a blind eye or maybe were not that astute when it came to policy? Then again that may just be an assumption on my part.
The knowledge is out there. It is up to you, whether or not you "choose" to embrace it.
Posted by Another Informed Resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jun 9, 2009 at 10:05 pm
Condescension is not an argument and it is a fallacy to say that the fact that a MAC is described in state law requires that a MAC be the source of advisory input for a government authority. It is more a sound bite than reality to refer to a MAC as a governmental authority, because it has none.
Posted by Community courtesy, a resident of another community, on Jun 10, 2009 at 9:02 am
With unilateral description of a 94507 Alamo CA MAC expected tomorrow from the district 3 supervisor at the Alamo Community Council meeting, regional neighborhoods are simply focusing their actions on a request to the Grand Jury and Clerk of the Board of Supervisors for investigation of a MAC to potentially serve 94507. By a copy provided to you, a request for format has been sent to the Clerk and Grand Jury Secretary on behalf of neighborhoods.
If your readers are interested in the 94507 MAC specified by the supervisor, they might attend:
Posted by 26 year resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jun 10, 2009 at 9:25 am
Wake up folks! The AIA only represents a small minority of Alamo residents which are their members. I have lived in Alamo for 26 years and I'm not a member and none of my friends are members. The AIA in my opinion is an illegal organization that does not represent the majority of Alamo residents. AIA is anti growth, anti business, anti development and just about anti everything else. Except tooting their own horn, I can't think of anything positive AIA has done in the 26 years I've lived in Alamo! The only reason the county relies on AIA is because they don't want to assume their own responsibilities. I was in favor of incorporation, but it didn't pass. I don't like the idea of a MAC, but I certainly don't want AIA speaking for me.
Posted by Halamo, a resident of another community, on Jun 10, 2009 at 8:33 pm
On the eve of the DAZE of our lives, Ron offers a deliciously funny oxymoron to be celebrated as an Alamoron!!
Alamo neighborhoods did not vote against incorporation, as we know. Our neighbors voted against an undefined incorporation proposal that did not provide a rational plan and budget or any definition of inclusion of citizens in the government.
Alamo neighborhoods in June 2008 proved that they didn't vote for any county administration and control. A majority voted against a second term for a very unpopular supervisor.
So Ron, in joyous return to original humor, converted both realities into a political truth so we all could enjoy a laugh.
Posted by Informed Resident, a resident of another community, on Jun 12, 2009 at 12:47 am
A I R,
You should read & understand the law if you are going to opine on it. From your post you have failed to do so. If the truth and fact makes you feel inferior then blame your ignorance not me. It is only condescension if you place yourself in that position. It is not my desire to make you feel that way. I apologize.
Did you attend the Alamo MAC meeting? If so, how did it go? Speaking of tortured logic, the novelty of the 94507 substitution for the word Alamo wore off on your first post weeks ago. Now it just comes across as juvenile. You might consider a change in strategy, something less predictable?
Now the following is funny and is one of your more joyous and humorous comments (you were trying to be funny right?); "Alamo neighborhoods in June 2008 proved that they didn't vote for any county administration and control. A majority voted against a second term for a very unpopular supervisor." Hal, you could not have been serious with either of those statements. You almost had me going there! Thanks again for the laughs.
Posted by Community courtesy, a resident of another community, on Jun 12, 2009 at 7:55 am
Greg Jones Letter to the Editor of the Valley Times has been circulated by regional e-exchanges as representative of the majority viewpoint on district 3 and an MAC:
Who needs MAC ?
It's interesting that the same people who opposed the recent incorporation effort are the same people who endorse Mary Piepho's Municipal Advisory Council. MAC's members are appointed by Piepho. Alamo residents should know that a MAC represents a consolidation of power and control by Piepho and her cronies.
They're developers who know it will be a lot easier to get approvals from Martinez when the AIA and The SRVPC are neutralized or eliminated. A MAC will be a real coup for development interests.
Why fear Piepho? She facilitated the land swap between the SRUSD and the Stone Valley Oaks project that created an unneeded parking lot and 2 fallow acres that were supposed to be soccer fields across from Monte Vista. What did Alamo get in return? More McMansions, the elimination of the Double D Riding Arena and trail access to Mt. Diablo.
Vote no on the MAC. Oops, I forgot, we don't get to vote. It's going to be shoved down Alamo's throat by Piepho and the board of supervisors. Say goodbye to our semirural character. Hello zero lot lines and an arrogant autocracy. Follow the money.
Posted by Informed Resident, a resident of another community, on Jun 17, 2009 at 1:52 am
A I R,
Let us pretend that you are really looking for actual information. If it were so than you might appreciate this little tidbit!
Mr. Jones' who penned the letter to the editor (above) is a member of the SRVHS and represents the AIA Planning committee. Gee, I wonder if he has an ax to grind?
A simple search turned up the following, so if you are so intent on claiming to be 'informed' I presume you already knew the following which was a reply to Mr. Jones (AIA) from Save Mt. Diablo.
"Save Mount Diablo received an e-mail from Greg Jones regarding the Humphrey property and Davidon's proposed development, and found it quite misleading--and we don't normally defend developers. In fact the Humphrey project has a higher level of public benefit than almost any project we've ever seen--especially for equestrians. The benefits are detailed below..."
"Jones failed to mention some other significant benefits of the Davidon project."
Don't take my word for it, visit the site for yourself!
Posted by Another Informed Resident, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jun 21, 2009 at 9:58 pm
The AIA website does not list Greg Jones as a member of its Planning Committee (see Web Link) so I'm not sure what ax he would be grinding. I'm also not aware of benefits the Humphrey project provided to local equestrians. As I recall, it obliterated a local equestrian access to the adjacent open space areas. Most of the benefits of the project cited in the SMD response (e.g. open space additions in Gateway Valley, Black Diamond Mines, other non-local open space) accrue to others than those that were actually impacted by the project.
Posted by Informed Resident, a resident of another community, on Jun 23, 2009 at 1:54 pm
I could really care less who the AIA website list as members or directors. Greg Jones listed his title with that club HIMSELF! Are you claiming he made it up? If he did how could anything he said be credible? It is a lose-lose either way. Here it is posted directly from the site;
Member, SRVHS, AIA Planning Committee
(Did you even visit the link?)
The AIA is a small percentage membership group and has no actual accountability. What remains relevant to what Mr. Bailey posted was Mr. Jones letter and his position for writing it.
It is clear that Jones is carrying a bias. As for the subject matter, it speaks for itself and is extremely relevant. Mr. Jones was trying to tie the County and a local Supervisor to developers and development and using this project as an example. The inconvenient truth that got in his way was that Save Mt. Diablo (one of the leading open space advocates) rained on his parade. His opinions and allegations simply did not add up.
Posted by Community courtesy, a resident of another community, on Jun 24, 2009 at 6:15 am
This forum's subject: "Neighborhoods believe that the Alamo Improvement Association is needed as a strong public voice for our community of neighborhoods with the county and all our region’s governments. The role of the AIA is to defend Alamo against county excesses and a strong AIA voice will be needed with the planned MAC."
In several forums on the subject of the proposed MAC, there were references to the repressive CCC-MAC policies and the failures of current MACs to be the voice of their communities.
In community courtesy on behalf of neighborhoods, your readership was informed that a majority in 94507 as the designated MAC boundaries will not recognize, support or comply with any MAC action or advisory that is counter to neighborhoods' will and interests.
If district 3 seeks majority support of a 94507 MAC, then usual and customary definition, agenda, and purpose/advantages should be published on their website for appropriate review.
Such is majority position and is not changed by the "condescention and generalities without any actual information" posted by pseudonyms.
If your readers wish more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for access to the neighborhood representatives.
Posted by Alamo Resident of 26 years, a resident of the Alamo neighborhood, on Jun 24, 2009 at 9:02 am
What have you been smoking for all these years. The AIA does not represent Alamo, but only their own interests. How many members does AIA have? A very small minority of the community. I am not a member and AIA does not represent me or my friends living in Alamo. In my opinion, AIA is an illegal organization that is anti everything! In my 26 years in Alamo, I can't think of one positive thing AIA has done for Alamo!
We had a chance to incorporate and be able to control our own destiny, but the voters decided no. Now we're stuck with a MAC or AIA. While I don't like the idea of a MAC, I'd take it any day over having AIA control our town. Obviously, since AIA has its own agenda which is to protect their own interests--anti business, anti growth, anti development, anti just about everything, I don't want them speaking for me or representing my interests.
Posted by Informed Resident, a resident of another community, on Jun 25, 2009 at 12:58 am
It is clear at this point that you just don't "get it" or better stated, you don't want to get it. No matter what is posted you conveniently spin it into a deflection that is devoid of facts. You simply do the same thing over and over; deflection, insinuation, assumption and projection.
Examples? Here are a few;
"The role of the AIA..."to defend"...against county excesses"
"CCC-MAC policies and the failures of current MACs..."
"your readership was informed that a majority in 94507"
"will not recognize, support or comply with any MAC action"
To which I opine; "Really?" Where are those facts printed?
When painted into a corner, you claim humor. Well here is something that I find humorous as well;
You can't even say Alamo, you refer to it as "94507".
You can't refer to your County Supervisor except as "District 3".
You can't acknowledge that you are ever wrong.
You can't acknowledge that someone, anyone may have a rational point.
You can't reply to posters by member name, just "pseudonyms".
You can't provide a majority, just more "pseudonyms".
You can't or won't disclose realities except to say you speak for neighborhoods.
You can't or won't respond unless someone agrees to take it offline.
At the first sign of trouble you A) change the subject, B) Whine to the editor about your rules, C) Try to begin the debate all over again or D) Claim that your opinion is fact, based on a fictitious community which you claim has put their faith in you as their firewall and spokesmodel.
Time and time again you post your opinion, which is fine but then you come back later (as in the above post) and claim that is has somehow become fact. "In community courtesy on behalf of neighborhoods, your readership was informed that a majority in 94507 as the designated MAC boundaries will not recognize, support or comply with any MAC action or advisory that is counter to neighborhoods' will and interests". Informed? Says who? You?
It just does not pass the smell test!
Hal, can you step back and see why we are not buying it? This is the behavior of a little school child and it is not winning you any support. It is very unbecoming, especially from someone of your implied stature.