Column: MAC and the Castro Valley Sign | Print |  E-mail
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Thursday, 05 May 2011 13:36


By Cheryl Miraglia


Once again there seems to be a lot of misinformation floating around about the CV sign. Contrary to the April 27 article implying otherwise, the MAC did not decide to place the sign anywhere. The motion was to investigate further.  


There are those who think that a decision made 14 years ago should be it and never discussed again although we could all name a myriad of issues over the last century where popular opinion was for or against something only to have it reverse in subsequent decades due to a changing population, consciousness and environment. 


Likewise, there are those who believe that an online survey with a difference of 60 votes in a population of over 65,000 should be the deciding factor. 

Generally, surveys are deluged with people voting against an issue but this one did not result in the landslide that many expected. While there are now about 220 known opponents of the sign, there are 160 proponents and the case could be made that nearly 65,000 people would be fine having it installed somewhere or leaving it in storage for infinity. 


I would agree with the resident who wrote that we have far more important issues to discuss than this sign. When someone comes to the Council and asks for consideration of an item,  the council can either choose to ignore them (not good public process) or it can choose to do due diligence in investigating it and possibly taking action. 


The Council really wanted to hear from as many residents as possible. In addition to local media coverage, I thought perhaps a survey might be a good tool to help us reach out so I designed and posted the survey and wrote an editorial to try to get people involved, hoping that we would hear from a groundswell of people before the fact.   


That did not happen. Approximately .5% of our community took the time to participate in the survey and a very few by attending one of the two publicized meetings.


Yet, the survey gave us a lot of good feedback and insight into the issue and there was actually consensus on certain things. Many who were opposed were because they didn’t think it represented Castro Valley and/or because they didn’t want it welcoming people at a gateway location. 


Well, even the majority of people who thought it should be installed somewhere (a) did not believe it should be a welcome sign at a gateway to our community and (b) thought it should be installed as art and/or as part of our history even though they didn’t feel it represented CV.


So the MAC requested that the Art Commission do further investigation regarding the feasibility of the top three non-gateway sites, interact with the artist regarding same as well as her willingness to modify the sign, and investigate any costs and available funding (including the status of the original maintenance fund set up for the sign) and report back so that the Council could make an informed decision.   


The MAC’s charter allows us to address issues other than land use that affect the quality of life in Castro Valley. While the second and fourth Mondays of the month are for land-use issues, the third Monday of the month is the general meeting for non-land-use issues (6 p.m. at the Castro Valley Library). 


The next meeting on the subject of the sign will be held when the Art Commission has gathered the requested info and notice of that meeting will be publicized via Castro Valley media.  


Cheryl Miraglia is Chairperson of the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council. Contact her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



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