The San Martin Neighborhood Alliance study that showed the rural
hamlet could be a viable city was good news for residents of San
Martin and all of South County.
The San Martin Neighborhood Alliance study that showed the rural hamlet could be a viable city was good news for residents of San Martin and all of South County.
If San Martin does incorporate as a city, the study showed that it could generate enough revenue to sustain itself and would not adversely impact Santa Clara County – meaning the campaign to make San Martin a town has cleared two important hurdles. Now it’s up to San Martin residents to decide during a public outreach campaign: Do they want to secede from the county and govern themselves as a town?
We think it’s an idea whose time has come.
If San Martin residents and LAFCO, the county agency that oversees annexation requests with an eye toward reducing sprawl, approve of the move, San Martin residents could find themselves electing a town council and mayor to deal with the vexing issues facing the rural hamlet.
As an unincorporated region, San Martin residents have only one local elected official – District One County Supervisor Don Gage – to represent their interests. As a city or town, San Martin citizens would have five or more members of a town council to represent them in issues ranging from local-serving businesses, airport expansion and perchlorate contamination, for example.
While some San Martin residents have complained about Gage’s representation of them, we think he’s done a terrific job. Before Gage joined the Board of Supervisors, some Santa Clara County Supervisors had never been to San Martin or South County – other than passing by as they tooled along U.S. 101.
Gage brought San Martin and the rest of South County to the attention of his fellow supervisors – and he brought his peers to South County. He continues to work hard on behalf of the entire region.
Gage, Gilroy Mayor Tom Springer and Morgan Hill Mayor Dennis Kennedy all support the idea of San Martin incorporation.
“We will give our full cooperation,” Gage told members of the San Martin Neighborhood Alliance. “I see nothing in this study that would make the county want to stand in your way.”
That’s good news for advocates of self-determination in San Martin.
If San Martin Neighborhood Alliance members can convince their fellow residents that incorporation is the way to go – and we hope they are successful – then San Martin residents will need a roster of qualified, responsible dedicated people to serve as council members and volunteers.
Starting up a town from scratch – hiring employees, figuring out how to handle zoning, police and fire protection, road repairs, etc. – is a daunting task.
With a town of just a few thousand people, the pool of candidates is going to be small. We urge all San Martin residents to consider giving of their time and energy to help make the town of San Martin a successful reality.