As of September 8, the surveys that asked residents of Ashland, Cherryland, Hayward Acres and San Lorenzo whether there is a need for a Municipal Advisory Council (MAC), among other county related inquiries, have been counted, tallied and recorded by the Alameda County Community Development Agency.
The survey results are scheduled to be publicly announced at the next meeting of the Unincorporated Services Committee, an Alameda County Board of Supervisors’ committee made up of two Supervisors, Nate Miley, whose district covers Castro Valley, Ashland, and Cherryland, and Wilma Chan, whose district covers San Lorenzo. The meeting takes place this Wednesday, September 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Castro Valley Library.
OUR Unincorporated Residents for an Eden Area MAC (OUR MAC), an organization of community members that seeks the implementation of a single, unified municipal advisory council (MAC) for the unincorporated areas of Ashland, Cherryland, San Lorenzo and Hayward Acres, wants to thank all of the people, volunteers, and elected officials who have been spreading the word and speaking to family and friends about the need for the creation of a local form of government to more accurately advise the county on planning and development issues in the remaining Eden Areas without official community representation at the county level.
OUR MAC members urge a deliberative process that takes the absence of county coordination for Ashland, Cherryland, Hayward Acres and San Lorenzo as an immediate issue that needs to be solved urgently. We are anxious that a decision from the Supervisors might not take into account the unique situation Ashland, Cherryland, San Lorenzo and Hayward Acres . We are an urban community with over 60,000 residents that has no formal body of participating citizens representing the interests of their own community in the legislative and ordinance creation process.
OUR MAC would like to thank our fellow community groups, including Castro Valley Matters, businesses and friends to continue to push to have representative parity among Alameda County’s Unincorporated Areas. It is important that allies and supporters of OUR MAC be present at each and every meeting of the Unincorporated Services Committee, which meets intermittently every 4th Wednesday of the month.This writer has been part of the Eden Area Livability Initiative (EALI) for 3 years while other members of OUR MAC have been advocating, working, volunteering at their own time and expense through the County’s Eden Area Livability Initiative process to create an Eden MAC for more than a decade. One OUR MAC member put the current situation in these terms:
After ten years of going through all of the required processes and the additional hard work of grassroots outreach from the EALI Governance and Eden MAC Formation Committees, what is the justification for the county to withhold the results of the survey count from our hard-working volunteers until it’s announced to the general public? It was very disheartening to find out that we were not going to be told and it doesn’t look very good. We have done everything that has been asked and demanded of us. We have done our part to earn the right to be informed of the fruits of our labor prior to the general public announcement, if for no other reason, because we did all the work. We would really welcome a county response to this question and it is our hope that this is leading us to our right of local representation very, very soon.