Sixteen candidates have stepped up to run for five spots on a possible Alamo Town Council.

When residents vote March 3 on whether to incorporate their community, they will also choose their top five candidates for council — who will only be seated if cityhood is approved.

The candidates are Diane Barley, Bob Connelly, Dennis Johnson, Vicki Koc, Karen McPherson, Steve Mick, Vish More, Kevin Morrow, John Morrow, Randall Nahas, Karl Niyati, Joe Rubay, Grace Schmidt, Roger Smith, Brad Stribling and Brad Waite.

The candidates will make their first public appearance together at the Alamo Town Council Candidate Faire to be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Jan 22 at the Alamo Women's Club, 1401 Danville Blvd.

The event will forgo the speechmaking and will feature tables for each candidate, where they can meet informally with members of the public to answer questions.

The event will be co-sponsored by the Alamo Community Foundation and the Alamo Chamber of Commerce. League of Women Voters President Ashley Coates said her organization will moderate the event.

The foundation is a nonprofit that provided funding for the comprehensive fiscal study needed for incorporation of the Alamo area to be placed on the ballot.

Event sponsors plan to provide a pamphlet containing a photo and candidate statement of each person running for the proposed town of Alamo's council.

According to candidate Koc, president of the Alamo Incorporation Movement, incorporation supporters say they are glad to have an abundance of candidates on the ballot. Koc believes her three-year experience of getting the issue on the ballot makes her prepared to be a prospective council member.

Although all of the candidates have records of community service, Smith, Koc, Mick, Barley, Nahas, Schmidt, McPherson, Waite, More, Nahas and Connelly stand out as local volunteers.

Others, such as Stribling, Niyati and Johnson, may impress voters more with their executive and business strengths.

Candidate Morrow sees his political fresh slate as an asset, stating in his candidate's statement: "I am not a lifetime politician. I am a responsible member of the community."

In contrast, Rubay and Schmidt are more experienced in politics and government. Schmidt counts her experience as a staffer to two county supervisors, her work as a congressional field representative and other government-related positions as positive preparation for a potential council seat.

Some candidate names are more familiar to residents than others, such as active, long-term Alamo Improvement Association members Smith and Waite.

Morrow has not filed a candidate's statement.

A review of statements reveals there is consensus among the candidates: Alamo is a great place to live. There is little desire for change and all want a fiscally responsible town government, if there is a town.

On the same March 3 ballot will be the choice to leave the unincorporated area under current control of Contra Costa County government or to incorporate, forming a new city government for Alamo.

Resident R. Jean Taylor is in favor of the first option. She opposed LAFCO approval and a county supervisors' vote to put the incorporation issue to a vote. Taylor has formed a political action committee called "We are Alamo" to inform voters of her reasons against city governance of Alamo.

"This PAC does not sponsor any candidate. I don't think any of them are qualified to start up city government in these economic times," Taylor said. "The town of Alamo is a fiction at this time. We recommend a no vote on incorporation."

Taylor has an ongoing dispute with the town of Danville about road frontage improvements she made to her property there. "My experience with Danville's abuse of the regulatory process is an example of what can happen in Alamo," she said.

Candidate statements will soon be available on the Contra Costa County Elections Division Web site at www.cocovote.us.

Reach Dana Guzzetti at danaguzzetti@hotmail.com.

Alamo
candidates fair
An Alamo town council candidate fair will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. on Jan. 22 at the Alamo Women's Club, 1401 Danville Blvd., Alamo. The event is sponsored by the Alamo Community Foundation and the Alamo Chamber of Commerce. No speeches are planned. Candidates will meet informally with the public and answer questions.