Typically, you can count on public groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings during late campaign season in October. Those did take place in a virtual manner this fall.
What’s different about the end of 2020 is two special events that were timed to allow salutes to retiring Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty. He hangs it up this this month after serving 24 years in office, winning election in November 1996 over late former Pleasanton Mayor Ken Mercer. Dublin Mayor David Haubert won the seat in November and was sworn in Sunday afternoon by Haggerty.
Two events in December plus a specific virtual event designed to honor his years of service allowed Haggerty to be saluted on his way into retirement. The Alameda County Fire Dept. broke ground on a new training tower that will significantly improve realistic training for firefighters. The county department covers Dublin on a contract as well as other cities plus unincorporated areas.
More importantly, Haggerty, Pastor Chris Coli of Crosswinds Church in Livermore and Kimberly Curtis, the executive director of Goodness Village, celebrated moving tiny homes onto the Crosswinds site. When the village opens this month, it will have 28 homes for formerly homeless people. This will be permanent housing for those who choose and will include case management, 24-hour mental health and health support and crisis support.
The village includes a community garden, a barbeque pavilion as well as an onsite creek. The overall goal is to create a community. It’s patterned after similar projects in Austin, TX and Sacramento.
Statistics provided in a press release from Haggerty’s office noted that 57% of the homeless people counted in the most recent count in the valley were 10-year or more residents of Alameda County and 83% had lived here for a year before losing their housing.
Haggerty’s office contributed $300,000 to cover operating cost and other start-up expenses, while Goodness Village partnered with HomeAid, the homebuilders’ charity, to handle the infrastructure and site preparation. Crosswinds is providing the land. Crosswinds got to know HomeAid and tiny homes when HomeAid contractors used its parking lot to build six tiny homes that were placed at First Presbyterian Church in Hayward. As of Dec. 23, there have been 33 referrals to the village.
Goodness Village is a fitting farewell for Haggerty who has pushed hard throughout his terms for county social services to serve Livermore Valley residents. With all the human needs along the Interstate 880 corridor, it’s been an uphill battle. For years, he was the only supervisor representing the Livermore Valley communities—he’s had help since 2010 from Supervisor Nate Miley who represents Pleasanton.
The county seat and county offices are in Oakland and Hayward—the only valley facility for decades was the county jail (it’s now been expanded to include courts adjacent to the jail in Dublin).
Haggerty also has invested lots of time in transportation, serving on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. He was one of the driving forces in the ValleyLink system that eventually will link San Joaquin County and Livermore commuters to BART in Dublin/Pleasanton with light rail vehicles. The system, as proposed, will be less costly than taking the awfully expensive BART trains to Livermore and should take hundreds if not thousands of cars off I-580 over the Altamont Pass.