San Martin Effort Short of Funding

The San Martin Neighborhood Alliance has six weeks to raise
$22,000 or the incorporation process grinds to a halt.
San Martin – The San Martin Neighborhood Alliance has six weeks to raise $22,000 or the incorporation process grinds to a halt.

So far, the group has spent $50,000 in required fees to the Santa Clara County Local Agency Formation Commission, the land-use agency overseeing the process. The fees pay for fiscal and environmental studies that evaluate whether the proposed town can pay for basic municipal services and whether an independent town of San Martin would affect its physical surroundings.

The last step in the process is a community-wide vote proponents hope to hold in November 2008.

But the alliance needs to make two more payments totaling nearly $38,000 by Sept. 7 for the next phase of work on the pre-approval process. If they don’t make the payments, the paperwork comes to a halt, said Sylvia Hamilton, the neighborhood group’s president and leader of the incorporation movement.

“But that’s not going to happen,” she said confidently. “We’re doubling our efforts to get the word out.”

The situation isn’t so grim to alliance members. Their annual Happy Days Car Show is coming up in August, and last year’s event raised nearly $20,000. This year, the all-volunteer team of organizers is planning additional attractions such as a car parts swap meet to bring in $30,000, they hope. More venders are scheduled, too.

Since March, the alliance has raised $15,000 in separate contributions from 56 households ranging from $5 to $3,000. It’s a good start, she said, but San Martin is home to about 7,000 people, living in a roughly 10-square-mile patch of unincorporated county land north of Gilroy and south of Morgan Hill.

While it’s too early to tell how widespread support for incorporation is, though the alliance continues to raise thousands of dollars with events like spaghetti socials and car shows, there are no signs to date of any organized opposition to the proposed incorporation.

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