The Eden Area Livability Initiative (EALI) Governance Working Group meets on Thursday night at 7:00 at the San Lorenzo library to continue the conversation about various scenarios for local governance reform for the unincorporated communities.
At the last EALI Governance Working Group meeting, the committee passed two resolutions.
- Resolution#1 – MACs for All of the Unincorporated Communities with consolidation of Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) powers.
- Resolution #2 – Elected Castro Valley MAC: Give Castro Valley General Plan residents the right to vote on whether or not they want an elected MAC.
Thursday’s EALI Governance meeting agenda does not include mention of an elected Castro Valley MAC. It does include this chart that shows the proposed governing bodies for Castro Valley, Fairview, and San Lorenzo, Cherryland, and Ashland, which would be covered by an Eden Area MAC, consistent with the boundaries of the Eden Area Plan. All of these bodies would take on the land-use authority currently vested in the West County BZA.
At last months Unincorporated Services Committee, a committee consisting of Supervisors Nate Miley and Wilma Chan, despite previous consensus among EALI Governance participants that the residents of Castro Valley should vote on whether the MAC should be elected and not rely on a community survey, Chan referred the issue of the elected MAC back to the Governance group and suggested a survey of each unincorporated community.
In her comments, Chan said that putting the question of whether the MAC should be elected on a ballot is limiting since you only hear from voters, not from other members of the community who might not vote. In terms of finding resolution to the EALI process, Chan said that the multi-year EALI process, now in its “implementation phase,” should “go back to the original rules.” She also suggested that the issue of whether the MAC is elected be postponed until after the June 7 election in which Miley and Bryan Parker are facing off to serve supervisorial District 4, which includes Castro Valley.
Miley has said he supports the right of Castro Valley to vote for an elected MAC. Parker has stated his support for an elected MAC.
Over 200 community members participated in February’s town hall about whether the Castro Valley MAC should be appointed or elected. Castro Valley Matters conducted a straw poll of town hall attendees, giving blue tickets (to Castro Valley residents) and pink tickets (to non-residents) before the event. After the event, attendees were invited to vote for their preference: an elected MAC, an appointed MAC, or still undecided. Support for an elected MAC was overwhelming.
The results from residents were:
- Undecided: 5 votes
- Appointed MAC: 9 votes
- Elected MAC: 119 votes
Two non-residents supported an appointed Castro Valley MAC and another non-resident supported an elected MAC.
In a letter submitted to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors in December 2015, Castro Valley Matters’ Board of Directors asked that the Supervisors “either pass a resolution changing the Castro Valley MAC to an elected body or place a referendum on the June 2016 ballot so county voters within the Castro Valley General Plan Area can decide if the Castro Valley MAC should be elected by its constituents.”
At a February 2 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board took no action and sent the issue back the EALI process. Both Supervisors Miley and Haggerty took issue with endorsements for an elected MAC by Representative Eric Swalwell and Senator Bob Wieckowski. Various community leaders have lent their support for an elected Castro Valley MAC.
The deadline to place the question of whether the MAC should be elected and to vote for the first slate of candidates for an elected MAC for November is August 12, 2016.