Letters to the editorDanville can't claim YMCA
I just read Diablo Views (Nov. 9) and was puzzled by the apparent pride of the city of Danville on the progress of the Alamo/Danville (?) YMCA facility.
To quote a phrase from that column, "Danville has a distinct sense of place," so distinct, in fact, that the city administration declined to allow obviously convenient freeway access to the aforesaid facility, instead placing the entire burden of public access upon the already highly impacted Danville Boulevard just south of the Hemme intersection in ALAMO.
For graciously accepting the entire impact/burden of this additional and unwarranted congestion, I believe the kudos for "Y" approvals and development should be entirely credited to the unincorporated community of Alamo!
Alice Larson, Alamo
Alamo facts vs. myths
I am sorry to see last week's "Guest Opinion" by Stephen A. Goodman slanted as a personal attack on my earlier comments. Some of my statements were opinions, but a number of facts were not "myths." Forming a "City of Alamo" does in fact create a new level of government; if Alamo becomes a city, Contra Costa government does not suddenly disappear, it still functions and is still supported by Alamo resident taxes and still has jurisdiction over many areas within our boundaries.
Only time will tell if the fiscal analysis commissioned by the pro-incorporation group is accurate. I'm sure that Lafayette, Moraga and Orinda thought their taxes would cover all their costs; the facts are that they are not.
What benefits would result from Alamo becoming a city:
* Will there be better schools and fire protection? No! These services are outside the jurisdiction of the city or county.
* Better police protection? Not likely! The projected plan is to contract police services with the Contra Costa Sheriff's Department, the same entity that currently provides service.
* Control of Alamo growth? No! Alamo is geographically landlocked, with Mt. Diablo Sate Park on the east, Walnut Creek to the north, East Bay Watershed to the west and Danville to the south, and is already over 90 percent built out. There is no growth left to control.
* Less traffic on Danville Boulevard? Again, no! When I-680 is congested, commuters will still use Danville Boulevard and whether we are a city or not, or we like it or not, we cannot restrict access to public streets.
What do we get by adding another layer of government bureaucracy? Is becoming a city valuable enough that we want additional government with elected officials, hired management, support employees, offices and spending authority? The City of Alamo sounds neat, but the consequences may be considerable and costly.
Phil Erickson, 27-year resident of Alamo
Reasons to incorporate
To clarify some inaccuracies in a recent guest opinion by Phil Erickson (Nov. 2), our Alamo Incorporation Movement committee includes opponents of the Y as well as members who have financially supported the Y capital campaign. In addition, we have supporters of Supervisor Mary N. Piepho and those who have written letters publicly opposing her. All of us are only motivated by a love of Alamo and our sincere belief, after two years of studying the issue, that incorporation is the best alternative for Alamo's future.
Also, the tax base for Alamo is property tax plus other site-based taxes paid by Alamo residents and currently collected by the county such as road taxes, sales taxes and franchise fees, which will return to Alamo. The state will not allow Alamo to incorporate if the tax base is found to be insufficient by the Local Agency Formation Commission.
The five most compelling reasons to incorporate are to: Keep Alamo tax revenues in Alamo to be spent on Alamo priorities as determined by Alamo citizens; Preserve Alamo's unique semi-rural character through planning decisions made with only input from Alamo citizens; Provide a legally recognized voice and entity for Alamo on traffic and other regional issues; Form a full-time Alamo Police Department with responsibility for both crime suppression and traffic control; and Protect Alamo taxpayers from service cuts from the county due to its financial crisis.
AIM has submitted over 3,100 signatures to LAFCO along with an application to begin incorporation studies. Alamo citizens have spoken and want an opportunity to vote on whether Alamo becomes a city.
Sharon Burke, 25-year resident of Alamo