We are trying to modernize everything in Castro Valley, except our governing body. Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Committee (CV MAC) is an appointed group of people who are supposed to relay what the Castro Valley people want on to Supervisor Nate Miley. Castro Valley’s population is about 60,000, yet we are represented by seven people who don’t represent the majority of the city’s views.
Castro Valley is the largest unincorporated area in Alameda County; we don’t have elected representation, city government, or a police department. Because the CV MAC is only advisory, Castro Valley residents do not get everything they need or want. Currently, Miley chooses who he wants to listen to. Electing our officials would cost more, with the expenses to hold elections, but we would get to have a say in who represents us.
Democracy is the first step Castro Valley needs for incorporation to work. If we elect our officials, they will be accountable to us, unlike the current CV MAC.
There is a group called Castro Valley Matters, which has been pushing for Castro Valley to become a city. If we become a city, services can go directly towards our residents, and our taxes can go directly back into our community. Currently, our taxes are spent all over Alameda County, so becoming a city would ensure that the taxes our residents pay go back into our community.
Currently, someone who needs a building permit has to go to the CV MAC, which then reports to Miley. If we were to become a city, Castro Valley would be a one-stop shop for building permits.
Contrary to popular belief, becoming a city would reduce the possibility of higher taxes, because a city must have consent from residents to raise taxes, while the county can raise taxes with just a vote from the county representatives.
There have been two elections regarding Castro Valley becoming incorporated, and, evidently, both efforts have failed.
“Incorporation is about Castro Valley making decisions for Castro Valley with revenue already generated in our community,” said Michael Kusiak of Castro Valley Matters.