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Friday, October 6, 2017

Calls for elected representation are stirring once again in unincorporated Castro Valley

Alameda County Superivsor Nate Miley, right,
along with Castro Valley Matters President
Michael Kusiak, at an Eden Area Livability
Initiative meeting Thursday in San Lorenzo.
CASTRO VALLEY
A group of Castro Valley residents are once again advocating not for incorporation, at least not just yet, but some semblance of self-determination in the form of electing members to the town’s quasi-govervance board, the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Board (CV MAC). The board is currently appointed solely by Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley, but holds little real power other than offering non-binding recommendations.

The Alameda County Board of Supervisors, however, were cool to the idea of an elected MAC in early 2016. A few, including Supervisor Scott Haggerty, famously balked at the county footing the bill for an election sometime during last year's election cycle. Haggerty erupted, saying Castro Valley residents pushing for an elected MAC were the “most unappreciative people I’ve seen in my entire life.”

The proposal, though, is again being revived by the grassroots Castro Valley Matters group. As an unincorporated area, Castro Valley is often low on the county’s do-to list, Castro Valley Matters President Michael Kusiak said, during an Eden Area Livability Initiative meeting Thursday in San Lorenzo. “We’re kind of the leftovers. We don’t have cities to call home.”

Electing members to the MAC represents a structural change to the board, says Kusiak, and eliminates any disconnection Castro Valley residents may have from the decision-making process at the county-level. However, critics contend electing a MAC board does not preclude it from being merely an advisorial board for Supervisor Miley.

The latest proposal for an elected MAC, says Kusiak, could possibly expand its purview, for instance, adding zoning approval powers that are currently held by another Castro Valley appointed board.

Unrest among Alameda County’s roughly 150,000 residents living in the unincorporated areas has been simmering for years. Besides a growing push for greater representation in Castro Valley (Population: 61,388), Miley has slowly acquiesced to calls for the same mechanism of governance in Fairview (10,003), which received approval for its own MAC last summer. It’s first meeting is scheduled for next month. Furthermore, other unincorporated areas in Ashland (19,304), Cherryland (14,728), and San Lorenzo (23,452), want their own MAC, called by some a “Big MAC.”

The long-term aim in Castro Valley remains cityhood. But for that to happen, Kusiak believes state legislation paving the way for greater revenues needs to be formulated and approved by the governor. “It’s not helpful when the county says, “Why don’t you just incorporate?’ It’s not that easy,” says Kusiak. Misinformation is also a perennial problem, he added, with many Castro Valley residents erroneously believing incorporation equals higher taxes.

"Most of it--80-90 percent--I don’t take any issue at all,” said Miley. “This is something Alameda County could get behind." Miley raised the possibility of employing the county’s legislative lobbyists to work on crafting and identifying a local legislator, either State Sen. Bob Wieckowski or Assemblymember Bill Quirk, to carry a bill in Sacramento. “This is a powerful legislation to get behind,” he said.

Miley also reiterated a stance he’s held for a number of years, saying he favors Castro Valley’s bid for incorporation, also adding support for annexation. “We would welcome incorporation, but we don’t get a vote,” he said of the Board of Supervisors, including annexation. “It’s the people who have to vote on it.”A Castro Valley campaign for incorporation in 2002 failed at the ballot box.

One member of the audience, a real estate agent from Castro Valley, though, was having none of what Miley was serving Thursday night, calling him a “criminal” for a number of appointments he has made to the Castro Valley MAC, in addition, to allegations of wrongdoing surrounding a downtown development. “Pretty strong words,” Miley responded. “I hope you can back that up because those are slanderous remarks at an elected official.”

3 comments:

  1. By MW:

    Concerning the last paragraph, and especially its last sentence, it should be illegal to make nasty, insulting, or derogatory remarks about an elected official.

    In other words, once a person becomes a high ranking public official or a prominent and powerful bigshot in general, and even if previously he was a world class scumbag, he immediately and automatically becomes a truly fantastic person and of the very highest ethics, honesty, and trustworthiness.

    To give just a few examples, let me mention the names Spiro Agnew, Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Jim Jones, LBJ, Nadia Lockyer, Bernard Madoff, Carole Migden, Richard Nixon, Pendergast, Alan Robbins, and Boss Tweed.

    Also, a lot of lawyers, in other words the members of the sleaziest major mafia of all time, "know" that it should be illegal for laymen to make derogatory remarks about the so called "legal profession" and/or its individual members.

    And while I do not know if Nate Miley ever actually practiced law, or even ever had a law license, however he is a law school graduate, so therefore he is at least fifty percent entitled to be protected by the principle that lawyers are far too wonderful to be insulted, or even ever have their statements, actions, ethics, motives, or honesty questioned.

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  2. By MW:

    Related to my above post, there was a major civil rights, AND IN FACT LANDMARK, case in the late 1950's or 1960's that was decided by the US Supreme Court, and if I remember correctly statements Martin Luther King had made about certain Southern public officials and/or their city were an at least major part of that case, in which the USSC held that it was not automatically improper for an individual to make statements that the local elected officials might dislike being made about themselves and/or their municipality's policies.

    So, and to put it as diplomatically as possible, Nate Miley can go jump in the lake and go fly a kite.

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  3. By MW:

    Since the First Amendment to the US Constitution, in other words the one allowing free speech, does not declare that it is illegal to make remarks that "liberals" might not like - and even though a lot of "liberals" do think they should have the absolutely unlimited right to say anything they want about conservatives, and also to physically assault conservatives, but that supposedly conservatives do not have the right to insult "liberals" - was Miley's comment about a conservative insulting an elected "liberal" politician such as himself supposed to be a lightly veiled threat that he might use his position and political power to punish anyone who committed the "crime" of displaying insufficient respect for him!!!!

    In fact what if that Weinstein character, and who pretended to be a liberal, had a year or two ago left Hollywood and then been immediately elected to public office, and then as an elected public official had continued engaging in the same activities that he did in Hollywood? Would Miley have argued that it should have been illegal to insult Swinestine, SINCE AFTER All SWINESTINE DID A FANTASTIC JOB OF PRETENDING TO BE A "LIBERAL?"

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