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City of Mountain House vote looks promising

Though many ballots are yet to be counted before the results are certified, early returns from yesterday's election indicate the unincorporated community of Mountain House is on course to become a city.  KCRA did another story on the Mountain House proposal this evening, with interviews of local residents and the prospective Mayor-elect.

As we have written before, Mountain House is something of a special case in that San Joaquin County allowed the community to be developed with the deliberate intent that it would become self-governing. Because of that, the required financial feasibility analysis was intelligently structured. The County had kept good records of its costs at supporting the unincorporated community, such that an accounting showed the County would save money by having the new city take over the expenses; there is no alimony payment. That's a marked difference from the way proposals for new cities elsewhere are saddled with expensive alimony payments.

A new town hall and library building with landscaping, signage, and a sidewalk.
Voters seem to want Mountain House to be a city

Without - as required by law - campaigning for the issue, the Mountain House Community Services District (CSD) provided local residents with extensive information about the proposal to transition the CSD into a city. The CSD's information echoed the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) findings that placed the measure on the ballot. The CSD just covered the mechanics of the process and explained what the outcomes would be if the proposal was to be accepted. The overall theme of the information provided was that the proposal was about a change of the local governance structure, with municipal services and taxes remaining unchanged. The LAFCO report also found the transition to a city government would not have a possible impact on the physical environment and was therefore exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act. That's something our coalition wants to see implemented across the state.

The County has until April 2nd to certify the March 5th Mountain House incorporation vote. That's a time period  aligned with the NCAA basketball tournament commonly known as March Madness. There's a March Madness saying about closely-contested games - that the "game ain't over 'til the Fat lady signs", an analogy about an aria typically sung towards the close of an opera. The rejoinder about basketball games where the outcome is pretty much determined long before the closing buzzer is, "Yeah, but she's warming up." It sure looks like that response applies in the case of Mountain House's incorporation vote!

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