Cityhood Debate on Tuesday | Print |  E-mail
Wednesday, 14 November 2012 13:51

A big turnout is expected at the Library next Tuesday evening for a public debate on whether Castro Valley should become a city.


Buoyed by the intense interest in the gay-marriage debate held in July, organizers of the “Great Castro Valley Debate” believe that a public discussion of cityhood will have an even greater turnout, since it touches every resident one way or another.


The idea of incorporation has been kicking around for more than 50 years, but it has been defeated twice at the polls, in 1956 and again just 10 years ago when contentious Measure Q was on the ballot.


With its more than 58,000 residents, Castro Valley is the fifth largest unincorporated community in the state and 23rd largest in the U.S., outranking many cities in the nation in population. 


Proponents argue that incorporation would give residents the self-determination they’ve never known and allow the town to cut its ties with – and gain economic freedom from – Alameda County, which provides its basic services.


But opponents say that Castro Valley simply couldn’t afford the bureaucratic costs that a city hall, a mayor, a city council, and a police force would bring.


Others fear the loss of the town’s rural lifestyle and the spectre of large housing developments replacing oak-tree-covered hillsides and horse ranches that dot the canyons.


Facilitated by members of the Castro Valley High School Debate Team, the Nov. 20 incorporation debate will run from 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. and will feature residents taking pro- and con- stances on the topic as well as questions from the audience. For more information, call the library at 510-667-7900.



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