Alamo meeting Tuesday night to give facts on incorporation
Informational gathering aims at addressing questions on how Alamo would become a city
The Alamo Incorporation Movement will hold a public meeting Tuesday to discuss Alamo's potential transition to cityhood. But despite the hot topic, AIM members say the purpose is to answer questions and inform the community - not foster debate.
All Alamo residents are invited to attend the 7 p.m. meeting at Creekside Community Church. AIM members will give a status report explaining where they are in the incorporation process, and the rest of evening will be devoted to a Q&A.
"We are very happy to answer questions, whether friendly or not, but don't see the point of debating an issue where most of the facts aren't yet available," said AIM spokesman Chris Kenber.
The group is waiting on results of a fiscal analysis being conducted by the Local Agency Formation Commission, a state regulatory group that's overseeing incorporation efforts. The results will show whether or not Alamo has the financial chops to become an independent town.
Additional state studies and public hearings will occur throughout the summer before LAFCO decides whether to approve Alamo's bid for township. If it gives the go ahead, Alamo residents will vote on incorporation in the March 2009 election.
But already loud voices are speaking out on both sides of the issue, bringing controversy to the cozy community.
Folks opposed to incorporation organized a formal movement last year, led by longtime resident Tony Carnemolla. They say local government would mean thicker bureaucracy and would challenge Alamo's small-town feel.
Some opponents believe the financial burden of becoming a town would fall on residents. Others say they don't want Alamo to develop and become modernized like Danville.
Advocates of incorporation also want to keep its quaint charm, but suggest the best way to do so is with local control. They say decisions should be made by people who live in Alamo, not county officials.
"Alamo has an identity and we want to preserve that identify; we don't want anyone to steal that identity," said Steve Mick, an AIM committee member. "We want local voice and local choice."
Phil Erickson, a 28-year resident and former president of the Bryan Ranch homeowner's association, said it's important to weed through the bias and question the tangible benefits of incorporating.
"A lot of us say, 'What's wrong with Alamo? Is there really something we're not getting that we could get by becoming a city?'" he said.
As for everyone else, both sides suggested that many Alamo residents remain apathetic. Mick said he expects the community to show more interest further along in the process.
"I think especially the people who are on the fence need to go (to the meeting) and get the input," said Erickson. "The opponents will be very vocal and the proponents will be very vocal, too, and you have to wade through that."
AIM's last public informational meeting was in October 2007 and drew about 100 attendees. The next one will be held sometime in July.
Learn about Alamo incorporation
What: Community meeting hosted by AIM
Who: Open to all Alamo residents
Where: Creekside Church, 1350 Danville Blvd., Alamo
When: 7 p.m., Tuesday, April 8
Why: To answer residents' questions on incorporation