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on Sep 19, 2008
Dear Geoff and Dolores,
The role of journalists is to define the credibility of all quotations within the articles created. In this article, you failed to recognize the unilateral position of AIM that excluded our region's residents from definition of the incorporation proposal included in an incorporation application.
AIM has had 2,197 names and contact information, for nearly a year, on their petition for nearly all neighborhood representatives, neighborhoods' committees and two liaison groups among neighborhoods that attempted outreach to AIM with no response. AIM's only contact was through ACF to these 2,197 neighbors and only for donation to the costs of studies that such neighbors were not allowed to define for credible review.
AIM has been openly unilateral in their position and not at all considerate of any other position or need for definition. Thus, once again, it is time for journalism and not story-telling. Most surely it is time for DEFINITION of the Town of Alamo and not campaign jargon.
A CDSI courtesy
Your article is a repeat of previous commentary by AIM committee members and does not excuse the exclusion of a majority of residents by AIM from the incorporation process. AIM's unlateral position and lack of definition of government became the major discussion among neighbors and commissioners at last night's meeting.
Neighborhoods delivered the majority of signatures needed for AIM's incorporation opportunity and were excluded from any authorship, review or approval of AIM's participation in the incorporation process. We can be excluded no longer because the incorporation election belongs to the majority of voters and not to the minority that is AIM.
Our neighborhood representatives throughout the Diablo Vista region awaits AIM's outreach and cooperation.
North Iron Horse neighborhoods
Diablo Vista region
Provided as a CDSI courtesy
If the vote was today, proponents of the Alamo Incorporation Movement would lose hands down; then be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. Opponents Linda Best and Larry Rodrique voiced serious questions concerning the financial data used by Winzler & Kelly who drafted the Comprehensive Fiscal Analysis (CFA) supporting incorporation. Director Helen Allen also had serious doubts, based on her vast experience, that Alamo could sustain the present services it now enjoys over the long haul. The CFA is seriously flawed.
Editor, Alamo Spotlight
Diablo Vista region neighborhoods, in their e-exchanges, have circulated expert analysis of LAFCO financial studies based on probable structures, operations, and staffing of a local city government and current services levels. Costs were adjusted by probable shortfalls in funding for the county and how such shortfalls would be transferred to contract services provided to cities.
Specifically, projected costs of public safety were reviewed as options of contract services from the county and various cities with their own police forces. On average, such police services are understated for probable 2010 costs by >10% above the stated amounts in the LAFCO study.
Contra Costa County supplied costs of contract services in the LAFCO studies are at average current rates charged to other cities in the present year contracts. Local cities using contracted police forces are projecting increased budgetary costs for such services in the 8% to 11% range.
Our Diablo Vista region will see an increase of fees for services within 2009 whether our neighborhoods are within a city or a county service area. We will either support these increases or expect a significant reduction in services. We should expect cities in our region to be the first to come to residents with increased fees.
In our perspective, our local goverments are going to cost our residents more and any proposed Town of Alamo will have costs above the LAFCO projections and require similar fee increases.
Diablo Vista region neighborhoods
As a CDSI courtesy
Diablo Vista (Alamo) region neighbors have discussed your news poll on your on-line front page concerning incorporation for Alamo. The question and available answers do not allow very knowledgeable residents to select any other response than "need more information." For the past seventeen months, a majority of regional residents have been asking for definition of the structure, operations, staffing, services, commissions, committees and taskforces that will be the proposed government in the Town of Alamo. Without such definition, a majority of residents supporting incorporation must answer NO because such voters do not support the current incorporation proposal that creates an independent town council without obligation to consider residents' position and advisory in definition of our government.
That NO answer will translate to a NO vote in March if definition cannot be provided. Thus, as incorporation proponents finally consider dialogue with the majority of residents, such dialogue must be based on definition of the government they are proposing.
A CDSI courtesy on behalf of Diablo Vista region neighbors
This is posted as a CDSI courtesy
Our immediate needs as residents of Alamo and surrounding neighborhoods are to know the financial backing of incorporation proponents and what influence has been created by larger donations of money and support. It is quite obvious that few among incorporation proponents demonstrate the skills necessary to lead incorporation efforts or provide for all funding needed by proponents.
We believe it is the role of media to determine and disclose all major contributors to Alamo Incorporation Movement and Alamo Community Foundation and what further roles such large donors play in incorporation.
Tice Valley neighbors
Diablo Vista regions
CDSI informational courtesy: In earlier postings to the Town Square Forum, LAFCO explained that no need for disclosure is required by a donor for the source of their funding and there is no limit on the size of donation. ACF partially lists donors on their website and AIM lists the supporters of incorporation including their many donors. If this is an immediate concern for many residents, I would expect the treasurers of both organizations could provide further information.
With that said, neighbors, please respect the privacy of the donors in the same manner all neighbors respect their own privacy. In addition, neighbors, please review the profiles of AIM and ACF committee members and note their qualifications in government and organizational formation.
Let me return you to your own reporting and suggest that a very capable Chris Kenber define his commentary:
(your story excerpt)
Alamo resident Chris Kenber said pro-incorporation forces were somewhat surprised by the opposition's stance that the information on incorporation isn't out there. "We had meetings, we invited people, we got petitions signed. I think we've been extremely open."
Kenber said he feels that in order to get people to understand the issues it is necessary to open a dialogue. He added that those in favor of incorporation have held meetings and demonstrated a willingness to meet with people to get the word out. "We've consistently been open to go anywhere, talk to anyone before the election."
The issue for Chris is the perception of his comments based on the repetition of a unilateral position on incorporation by AIM committee members. "Get the word out" is seen as an emblem of the unilateral position of AIM and the lack of definition in their incorporation proposal. Clearly, "the word" is an undefined goverment that is the exclusive authority of an independent town council that has no obligation to a majority of residents for approval of any definition of such a government. That is not an answer to a majority of voters that wish to make a rational, informed and defined choice in an incorporation election.
Finally, AIM is a minority in our region and is not the majority that supports a defined incorporation. Such a majority was excluded from the LAFCO incorporation process and has become opposed to AIM's incorporation proposal. If dialogue is to occur after seventeen months of exclusion of a majority, then it is time for AIM's interactive and considerate outreach.
As a CDSI courtesy
While your paper today was presenting a rosy picture of the future of Alamo, AIM laid claim to the THEIR town on the front page of their website. Making Alamo our Town, as stated by AIM, makes their intentions clear. The intent to install their own town council, define their own government and ignore everyone else as they have done over the past seventeen months.
Stop pandering to such selfishness,
Iron Horse neighbors
Diablo Vista region
CDSI courtesy information: "Making Alamo our town" is simply poor copywriting that fails to follow appropriate guidelines for including the Authors' audience. Clearly, AIM meant to say, "Making Alamo your town" as a open invitation to Diablo Vista region residents to join AIM in a November 9th introduction of their council candidates and kick off of their campaign to incorporation the proposed Town of Alamo.
If you are interested in participating, you may provide a contact name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use your registered voter name and address to protect any on-line identity used for FORUM commentary. Your neighbors encourage you to request an invitation to see how sincere AIM is in their invitation.
As a CDSI courtesy
I always find it funny when people say newspapers are presenting a "rosy picture". The paper reported what someone said. Just like they reported last week on the anti-incorporation group forming.
I didn't get the impression that they were taking a pollyanna approach to alamo incorporation. Just reporting what chris kenber said.
I'm also curious, why haven't we seen any quotes from hal bailey, gary sexton, vince kreigher, etc etc in any of the newspapers in the valley? You all seem to have alot to say. Yet i don't see any of you jumping up to the microphone to have your say. Why is that? It sure is easier to sit in anonymity and take pot shots isn't it.
This sure is fun. Productive no. Fun yes.
Dear I.M. Curious and Dolores,
Here is a list of quotations from:
#1 - Hal Bailey, "no comment, and you can quote me!"
#2 - Vince Kreigher, "Zinfandel, and I'm sticking to it!"
#3 - Gary Sexton, "Stop pandering to such selfishness"
#4 - Just me, "Occasionally Chrysanthemum, or vice versa"
As to standing up the microphone, I have never had a disagreement with a microphone or been confronted by one. It would be rude of me to stand up to something I have always considered a friend.
As for appearing in other papers? Alamo is not much of a subject in other papers and all the silly mischief of local factions is seen quite meaningless for any real consideration by editors. It is sort of like bringing up lint balls and dust bunnies. Somehow, this FORUM tolerates such mischief very well.
Of note is the fact that neighbors including myself can stand in the middle of any room filled with Alamo community group participants and remain anonymous and quite invisible. Even when we do say a few words, we are quickly disregarded. There is joyous humor in that result.
Thank you I.M. Curious for a lovely Friday afternoon for verbally gamboling about..it did have such a nice beat and we could dance to it.
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