Incorporation? Elected MAC? What Says Castro Valley?

Does Castro Valley want a greater voice. And, if so, how?


Does Castro Valley need to raise its civic identity?

At the recent "pop-up museum" devoted to local history, an informal poll asked whether Castro Valley should reconsider incorporation as a city (see picture above).

David Ashton, who led efforts to organize the pop-up, said attendees voted 105 to 83 in favor of incorporation.

But, he joked, there may have been some voter fraud: "No one was insisting on seeing ID's, the Republican group from Colorado was in charge of voter registration, and I think some of the toddlers may have voted twice."

In a more serious vein, Supervisor Nate Miley is willing to consider whether members of the Municipal Advisory Council might be elected instead of appointed by him as is currently the case.

That according to Michael Joseph Kusiak, who has created a Facebook page to push for an elected MAC.

As Kusiak wrote to explain the rationale:

(State) law says that a MAC can be elected or appointed. Our MAC was set up as an appointed one; I would like it to be elected. I think this would get CVers more likely to care about civic affairs (even if the MAC is just advisory) - it would also clarify very quickly to whom members are accountable, to CV residents, not the Board of Supervisors or the Supervisor who appointed them. I hope it can light a spark in how we engage local governance issues in our town.

Kusiak says the notion of an elected advisory body will be discussed at the Oct. 15th MAC meeting, probably at 6 pm at the Castro Valley Library.

Is there enthusiasm or need for a change of status? And, if so, what form should it take? Weigh in with comments or suggestions.

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Jason Berberian October 20, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Just to clarify, city boundaries have nothing to with school boundaries. They are separate local agencies with independent elected boards. An incorporated Castro Valley would not change the schools or their boundaries. Look at neighboring districts and you will see overlapping district lines crossing into different communities. Five Canyons was originally in the Hayward school district, but financial incentives were given by the developer to convince Hayward School District to give it over to Castro Valley. Whether people want to incorporate or not they should not list schools as the reason.
David Ashton October 20, 2012 at 12:39 AM
I am David Ashton, not an elected official, bureaucrat, or "their staffs," if anything I am a historian. Let me give you some context: the mock election took place at a museum of Castro Valley history. The museum featured an entire display dedicated to the question of incorporation and Castro Valley, this display contained a comprehensive overview of the incorporation debate as it has affected Castro Valley over the years. There were literally decades worth of historical documentation, (both pro and con), that museum guests could peruse. To bookend the display, we included an "interactive," (the disgraceful balls in a bucket) where people could voice their opinion based on personal feelings or what they had just read. It was not a scientific poll nor some obscene political power grab. This was a fun way for the citizens of Castro Valley to interact with our past and assess our future. You serendipitously suggested that a debate be held on this rather contentious subject, it just so happens that a debate has been scheduled for November 20 at the Castro Valley Library. I would cordially like to invite you to attend. Finally, let it be clear that I am not attempting to gain, "any position in anywhere near public office." However, if you know of a game show that is hiring I would be flattered to be considered. Thank you and good day.
Michael Kusiak October 20, 2012 at 05:27 AM
The idea for an elected MAC comes right of the State law, California Government Code 31010, that states that the Board of Supervisors resolution establishing a MAC will define whether it will be elected or appointed (http://law.onecle.com/california/government/31010.html). When our MAC was established, our Board of Supervisors selected "appointment" - other communities (some much smaller than ours) - have elected MACs. Our community should strive for incorporation. But I am not sure that there is momentum for an incorporation effort right now. We can, however, work with what we have to expand home rule and influence in CV affairs. Members of our MAC have been exploring whether the MAC could also sit as a Board of Zoning Adjustments (BZA). This would delegate to the MAC/BZA the decision-making authority that currently resides with the West County Board of Zoning Adjustments (http://www.acgov.org/cda/planning/board/boza.htm) for CV. If the MAC/BZA has expanded authorities, I strongly believe that the case for its appointment becomes weaker, and the case for is election becomes stronger. One community to look to is Altadena, a community of about 42,000 in Los Angeles County that has an elected "Town Council": http://altadenatowncouncil.org/Official%20Documents/ATC%20By-Laws%2011-16-10%20Final.pdf Please do check out our FB page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elect-My-Castro-Valley-MAC/271616149604919
Mary October 20, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Do we receive any money from eden hospital?? Or all the medical businesses that would support incorporation?
Stephen Carbonaro November 08, 2012 at 06:14 AM
That was the "other" Thomas...


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