Sunday, December 30, 2007

Recent Non-events

We had some friends over for dinner last night, and the Incorporation question came up.

Our shared gestalt was that the significant opponents will be folks who are serial "flippers" in town. These are people who buy a property, fix it up somehow, then sell it quickly. They are fearful about increased review and inability to do the kinds of "improvements" they'd like to make. These are also folks with willingness to fight the proposal if they feel truly threatened.

Dustup at the DW

Anyway, there has been a little recent coverage. Over at the Danville Weekly, there's a letter wondering why the folks at AlamoInc have gone silent, and a whopping 28 entries in the comments. We'll conclude that DW is the place for discussion, as we've gotten zero comments to date.

The comments there are almost all negative, taking the position that the effort is (a) a subterfuge involving County politics as usual; and that (b) the petition was misrepresented as a feasibility study when it really is an application.

One of the main participants is Lisa Wright, who seems to be running an e-mail list that is attracting opponents, which we had not heard of before. There is a comment by Hal Bailey attempting to describe the lists, which I'm attempting to follow-up. They are "by invitation only", which is either oddly exclusionary, or an effective anti-spam measure.

Later comment suggests the private lists are related to the Alamore website in some way, and suggests that going silent after getting what is wanted from the public is Business as Usual with Alamo politics, and that we should be wary.

A look at Alamore suggests the mailing lists are related to the Alamo Community Council, which is one of the shadow bodies sponsored/tolerated/used-by the County Supervisors to appear to be responsive. It is one of the bodies that would be made irrelevant by an Incorporation. Those with traditional ties might feel threatened, so maybe it isn't surprising their mailing lists tilt negative.

Progress Report

There's a CCTimes article by Lea Blevins on on Dec 21st, reprinted at the Alamo Inc site. A contractor has been selected for the "comprehensive fiscal analysis". Proponents are still hoping for a March, 2009 ballot, and there will be at least one workshop to review the report. It isn't called a "feasibility study", so the semanticists at the DW comments and AIM seem like they can get out of it what they want.

This also means the election is over a year out, in 2009, which ought to offer plenty of time for discussion. It doesn't seem like it is being railroaded through on that timeline to me.

Earlier Complaints

The DW had an op-ed on Nov 2nd by Phil Erickson we'd missed, arguing against. He says the "pro's" are really people of the Danville-mindset who were for the YMCA and pro-Mary N. Peipho.

That kind of makes me wonder, because one of the joys of Incorporation to me will be making Mary N. Peipho less relevant to the running of Our Town than she is now.

He also makes the claim that Alamo has no retail tax base, which seems to ignore Alamo Plaza, I think.

In comments, Lisa Wright alleges misrepresentation in the fiscal analysis made by AIM to entice petition signatures, to the tune of a $3.7 million discrepency in first year funding. I'll assume if true, this will get addressed in the formal study.


The DW comments carry (some?) posts from the "Alamo Neighborhoods Forums." One had this disclaimer:

Alamo Neighborhoods' Forum is providing this information as a courtesy. Our forum supports the establishment of an Alamo Region Planning Commission and committees, as a SuperMAC, prior to any consideration of incorporation. The proposed Alamo Region Planning Commission and committees would consolidate SRV Regional Planning Commission activities for Alamo, county agencies such as R-7A and the AIA planning functions with neighborhoods' community counsel for formal planning advisory and compliance actions.

So the alternate proposal seems to be merging and institutionalizing the existing bodies in some way. How would they be funded? Unclear to me. None is elected now, and the supervisors are removing elections from some of these types of bodies that formerly were. I don't see how this makes sense, but maybe someone can explain.

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