Friday, February 6, 2009

The campaign begins

There are starting to be signs up a lot of places, there have been articles, and now there's even some mail happening.

There's another Candidates Faire on Feb 12th, 7-9pm at the Creekside Community Church.

Alamo Inc. notes that Sharon Burke -- one of those most involved in getting the matter to a vote, and who is not running -- is hanging out to discuss things and answer questions. She's at Cherubini's Tuesdays 7:30-8:30, and at Yellowwood Thurday's from 4:00-5:00. We've spent some time with her, and if you have doubts, it's a great chance to talk it through.

Let's start with the interesting articles. The Danville Weekly has come out in favor. More surprising, to me, is that the normally milquetoast Alamo Today came out in favor, with a pretty strongly worded editorial in the February 2009 edition that came out this week, and devoted a lot of column inches to the discussion.

So far, we've gotten two pieces of direct mail.

The first direct mail

A hand-addressed, regular stamped, stick-on return labeled letter envelope from the Connelly's. Bob (and who doesn't love someone named "Bob") is running for the council. He includes some printed-in-the-kitchen looking copies of endorsement letters, and a little brochure. He's in favor of incorporation, maintaining the rural character, and "individual property rights", which I take to be a regime of low regulation.

Bob gets bonus points for the folksy delivery.

The second direct mail

A professionally-bulk-mailed envelope from "We R Alamo No on Incorporation", with a Diablo Rd, Danville address. It includes a return envelope for sending them money, and contains a flyer that looks like the kind of hit-piece used in slimy campaigns. It features a stop sign with the word "TOWN" instead of "STOP", with a diagonal slash through it. No town! Get it?

It then repeats some of the stalking horses. "It's irreversible", "Bad Financial Data", "It will raise your taxes", "Loss of Highway Patrol" , "Low Income Housing", "Autocratic Government".

It is all, in my opinion, and to use a colloquialism, a load of horseshit.

Irreversible? So? Why does that matter if it is the right thing to do? We get to make a decision. Decisions have consequences.

Bad data? It's the best data that can ever be obtained in such a process. It looks viable. If these numbers are dubious, the alternative of staying with the County is worse. There are known County funding problems that are hundreds of times larger than the anticipated Alamo budgets. Think $1.7 billion in pension obligations vs. about a million a year in equalization cost to Alamo. No one can realistically think that Alamo has been getting more our of the county than it has been putting in.

Raise Taxes? Only if you overwhelmingly vote for it. Prop 13, remember?

Loss of Highway Patrol? So what? How much CHP patrol do we really see as it is? Not much. Danville has contracted its policing to the Sherrif since it incorporated. Is it short of public safety services? No. Is Alamo a high-crime area that needs all that much? Honestly, no. If you are worried about that, really, it may be time to move to Montana. This is a "scare the folks" argument.

Low Income Housing? This is garbage. Alamo starts with a succession of the County master plan. There is no particular provision in that plan for high-density, low income housing in Alamo. Alamo is mostly built-out. Adding anything to the plan would require a change to the town master plan that is very unlikely to happen. We can't be forced to make such changes against the will of the community.

Autocratic Government with no oversight? Utter crap. We'll have things called elections. Those ARE the oversight. If we don't like what we happens, we get to throw the bastards out.

Just try to make the kind of wholesale change we'd be able to make locally to the County Supervisors. Not gonna happen.

In sum, "We R Alamo" put out a mailer that
  • Makes totally bogus arguments
  • Is put out by professional spinmeisters from Danville

It has the smell of the hit-piece put out by scared moneyed interests we imagined would happen. So far, it is badly done, but that does not mean even nastier collections of misrepresentations and fear-mongering won't be coming later.

Shout Outs

Alamo Spotlight is affiliated with "We R Alamo" and continues to be incoherent and conspiratorial.

Stephen Heafey has paid for a bunch of "NO" ads in Alamo Today. Same talking points as Alamo Spotlight/Alamo R Us.

Candidates have their own sites, but there are some typos in Alamo Today's listings. You can also check the Livorna Hill for signs, and the reports from the Candidate Faires.

A lot of these folks have finance and management backgrounds, and everybody talks about fiscal responsibility. is Bob Connolly's site. He's a Pro-
is Grace Schmidt's site. She's a Pro-, worried about county cuts. is Steve Mick's. He's pro- and pushing small changes. is Karen McPherson's. She says she'll still work on the AIA if it loses. is Vishwas More's. Strongly pro, I can't tell anything else. is Roger Smith's. He's not tipping his hand either way. is Diane Barley's. She's not openly one way or the other, and thinks we'll get an appointed MAC from the county if we say no. is Karl Niyati's. He's a pro- is Randy Nahas'. He's a pro-, and notes cuts that have already been made by the county. is Brad Waite's; he's a pro- who thinks the county will run us over if we say no.
Vicki is Vicki Koc's; a pro- who also sees county cuts if we say no. She has the best site 'cause there is a map. is Dennis Johnson's; He doesn't come out and say he's a pro-, and seems to be selling "independance" from county regulation, balanced by responsibility to participate. is Joe Rubay's. He's not saying pro or con, and makes a point of his Republican affiliations.

Kevin Morrow is behind the curve, and seems not to have a site. I can't tell if he's pro or con.

John Morrow is an outspoken NO without a site. He says if we say yes, we should have a NO on the council. We appreciate the honesty and clear position.

1 comment:

vote4morrow said...

My name is Kevin Morrow. I am a candidate for the upcoming election here in Alamo, for the position of Town Council Member. I have just now run across your comments about the potential incorporation of Alamo, and about my lack of a website (being behind the curve), and your lack of knowledge on my position, so I thought I'd take a moment to clarify my position on Measure A. Like my father, John Morrow, I am personally against the incorporation effort. My father John and I have been very candid about our position, and wish to give voters a differing opinion to this potential council, if elected. I am anxiously awaiting the results on Tuesday evening. As our budgets are small in comparison with so many of the other candidates, we are relegated to making all of our signage by hand, and this time-consuming process will keep me busy right up until election time. All any voter needs to know is this:

I am against incorporating.
If we do incorporate, please consider voting for Kevin Morrow and John Morrow. We are 30 year residents with much managerial experience, and our entire focus will be to keep costs down, spending down, and in the end, taxes down.

Thank you for creating this blog space and for giving us the opportunity to share our opinions. This is what makes our country so great, to have the freedom to express our own views. Thank you.


Kevin Morrow
Alamo Town Council Candidate