Residents, community leaders and local officials gathered last week at the Martinelli Event Center in Livermore to hear Alameda County Supervisor David Haubert deliver a talk about current county projects and priorities of relevance to the Tri-Valley.
Haubert -- who is in his second year on the Board of Supervisors -- represents District 1 which includes the cities of Dublin and Livermore, part of Pleasanton and Sunol, most of the city of Fremont and most of the unincorporated area of the Livermore-Amador Valley.
"The County's Role in a Strong Economy" event on Sept. 8 was hosted by the Livermore Valley Chamber of Commerce as part of its wine country luncheon series. The location was moved to the indoor Martinelli facility from the original outdoor venue at Purple Orchid Wine Country Resort and Spa due to extreme weather conditions resulting from last week's heat wave.
Some of the topics Haubert addressed in his talk were public health and safety, homelessness and transportation.
Among his comments on public health, Haubert discussed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
"I know that we've all talked about the pandemic for the last couple of years," Haubert said before thanking Alameda County Health Officer Nick Moss for being present at the event. "If you agree with some of the decisions that have been made, I want you to thank Nick Moss. If you have a problem with any of the decisions that have been made, I want you to talk to me. I want to hear from you but then I'm going to be the one to help represent you," he added.
He also shared some vaccination statistics for the county and individual cities within the Tri-Valley.
"Let me tell you that 1,528,570 residents in Alameda County have had at least one vaccination shot. That's almost the whole county, in fact it's 92.7% of Alameda County."
After a round of applause from the audience, he continued, "76,927 people in Livermore have at least one vaccination shot, that's only 86.5% -- my math tells me that 92.7 is bigger than 86.5 -- Dublin, 96.2%; Pleasanton, 96.8% vaccinated. We've got some work to do. 86.5 is not bad, that's a good number, but we have a lot of work to do to get everybody vaccinated that wants to be vaccinated."
Haubert said the county is working on implementing its Home Together 2026 program aimed at eradicating homelessness. "I know that's a big, audacious, far-reaching, may never get there kind of goal but we're going to get as close as we can to it," he said.
"At our last point-in-time count, we went around everywhere -- every street, every corner, every valley, every creek -- and we counted 174 people in Livermore unsheltered, homeless," Haubert said, adding, "Another 68, that we knew, counted in a hotel room somewhere, sheltered somewhere but don't have a home. 242 people in Livermore don't have a home."
He mentioned the 24-unit Vineyard 2.0 supportive housing and services development in Livermore as one of the steps that the county is helping with to combat homelessness by providing some of the funding. With construction on the project already underway, completion is estimated for the summer of 2023.
Haubert also talked about the county's support of One Nation Dream Makers, an organization founded by U.S. Army veteran and Livermore resident Ronnie Forbes that distributes donated food across the Bay Area. The county assisted Forbes in transforming an old fire station located in Livermore at 1617 College Ave. into a food bank.
Haubert briefly mentioned the proposal by his fellow county supervisors Richard Valle and Dave Brown to adopt an ordinance amending Chapter 5.08 of the Alameda County Ordinance Code to prohibit certain activities and devices at rodeos, including the event of wild cow milking and the usage of bucking straps, spurs and non-release ropes.
The ordinance was initially set to be introduced at the Aug. 9 board meeting but was pulled from the agenda upon the request of Supervisor Nate Miley. "We've taken about three hours of testimony on this item," Miley said in his comments during the meeting explaining why he asked for the issue to be pulled from the agenda. He added that the Rowell Ranch Rodeo, owned and operated by the Hayward Area Recreation and Park District, is within the portion of the county that he represents and would be impacted by the ordinance.
Miley said the ordinance did not go through the proper process of receiving input from the county's agricultural advisory committees, the public and other stakeholders before being placed on the agenda, which he felt was inappropriate and insulting to him and Haubert whose districts include venues where rodeos are held. Miley noted the issue would return to the board agenda at its regular meeting set for Sept. 20 -- unless Valle and Brown choose to withdraw the item before then.
Toward the end of last month, Haubert's office had announced that he would be hosting a town hall event in Livermore to discuss the proposed ordinance on Sept. 6 but the event was canceled and it has not yet been rescheduled to a new date.
Other issues Haubert touched on were efforts to support the wine country including the South Livermore sewer extension project, which will be on the Nov. 8 general election ballot as Measure P and the proposed amendments to the county's Measure D -- also headed to the ballot this fall -- which aim to allow more flexibility for the size and location of buildings and expand the permitted wine country visitor-serving uses.
Haubert expressed his support for both of those initiatives.
He also highlighted efforts to improve transportation countywide and particularly in Livermore including enhancing safety on rural roads within the city like Tesla Road and Patterson Pass Road and the Valley Link commuter light rail project which he noted is not a Board of Supervisors project; however, the Alameda County Transportation Commission is one of the agencies involved which all five county supervisors are members of. "As a commissioner I'm dedicated to supporting Valley Link," he said.
Haubert closed out his speech by spotlighting his "open door policy," encouraging community members to reach out to him and his staff with concerns, questions or issues.