Following up on the bewildering meeting the City of Sacramento held at the Arcade Library, a Community Meeting on Annexation and Incorporation took place last night at the Conzelmann Community Center in Howe Park. The Greater Arden Chamber of Commerce posted about it on their Facebook page this morning, saying:
“There was a great turnout at tonight's meeting discussing the future of Arden-Arcade. Should we incorporate; will we be annexed to the City of Sacramento? Do we continue to be an overlooked piece of the County? Thank you to Michael Seaman from Advocates for Arden Arcade for your informative presentation. Thank you to John Hoffman from Country Club Alliance of Neighborhoods for supporting this event. The Chamber was proud to support this great dialogue. We believe in progress and what's best for our business owners and the community. Thank you for those that attended the meeting and asked important questions--let's continue to work together to better Arden-Arcade!”
Here are the slides from the PowerPoint presentation. (scroll through them using arrow keys).
Many people participated in the discussion that ensued. Some of the highlights of the Q&A session were:
- Q - Is there anything good about annexation? A - Yes, if you are the City of Sacramento. Because they can take the revenues if and when they feel like it.
- Q - What if Carmichael annexed us instead of Sacramento? A - Nope. Carmichael is not a city. Carmichael is an unincorporated nobody just like Arden Arcade.
- Q - We can’t grow and there are many challenges to being a city (homelessness, housing, etc.) so how can we handle it? A - We can redevelop smartly. Most importantly it will be our own community making the decisions.
- Q - Won’t it cost a lot of time and money to seek cityhood? A - Yes, but fortunately there are unincorporated communities like us elsewhere in the state who have joined together to try to make it easier and less expensive.
- Q - What can people do now to try to fix things? A - Attend and participate in existing meetings (CPAC, Board of Supervisors, water/park/fire/SMUD/school districts). Talk to your neighbors.
To be clear, there is NO incorporation effort going on in Arden Arcade at the moment. That’s largely because of state policies that work against formation of new municipalities. Despite that, the audience was receptive to notions of local control, democracy and wise use of public funds. The meeting attendees indicated preferences to see Arden Arcade improved and to avoid big governments (like the City of Sacramento and the County of Sacramento) that tend to ignore communities like ours. A number of people volunteered to help going forward, including reaching out to other groups so the full spectrum of the community would be able to make informed choices about their governance systems. This is important because misinformation and complacency have been so widespread over the years. The meeting closed with a quote from a resident of Sacramento County’s unincorporated UnCity who said, “The problem is we have gotten screwed for so long that people now aren’t willing to objectively look at situations, yet keep voting for no change.” Overall, the audience seemed to have crossed a threshold; more meetings along these lines can be expected in the future. Please help share this information across the community and feel free to refer others here for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com and CCAN’s contact us page.