The ability of residents in unincorporated Castro Valley to empower their community through an elected municipal advisory committee was dealt a setback Tuesday.
By Steven Tavares.
Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty just couldn’t take it any longer. After listening to comments from supporters of an elected advisory board in unincorporated Castro Valley, the often straight-talking supervisor launched into a four-minute diatribe calling its residents “unappreciative” of the Board of Supervisors, while goading them to become a city.
“I’m really feeling unloved by you people today. That’s not the word… maybe unappreciated. I’m talking about the way I’m containing myself right now, because I want to blow up,” Haggerty said during a board meeting Tuesday afternoon. Members of the grassroots group Castro Valley Matters had brought to the board the issue of electing its county advisory board, which is currently appointed by their representative, Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley. The Board of Supervisors decided Tuesday against putting the issue on the ballot this year.
“I don’t know what’s going on in Castro Valley. To come down and say ‘better represented,’ you’re some of the most unappreciative people I’ve seen in my entire life.” Haggerty, who also serves as board president, admonished the group for questioning Miley and the board’s representation over the years.
In recent years, said Haggerty, the board has allocated $90 million despite the dissolution of redevelopment to rebuilding the streetscape for the town’s main thoroughfare, while also constructing a new public library.
“And you’re saying you want better representation? What’s the heck is wrong with you people? We’ve been pumping money back into your community for the last few years since Supervisor Miley has been elected and you want better representation?” Haggerty continued.
A commenter on the Castro Valley Matters Facebook page responded, saying, “Scott Haggerty sounds like it’s HIS own money being given to Castro Valley! It’s our freaking tax dollars they’re ‘pumping’ back into our town.”
Later, Haggerty compared Miley’s strong push for funding Castro Valley to being “worse than Fidel Castro.”
Following the rant, Haggerty encouraged Castro Valley to incorporate as a city. “My job is not to pay to run elections for you guys. My job is to pay for people who are homeless. My job is to find people homes. My job is to feed people,” he said. “Maybe you don’t like what I’m saying, but if you don’t like what I’m saying—incorporate.”
Despite the tone of Haggerty’s rhetoric Tuesday, it’s likely not his most glorious display over the years. The 10-minute screed, now know as the “You Don’t Know Me” speech was his response to repeated public comments that Haggerty was insensitive to the plight of undocumented immigrants. “You don’t know me,” Haggerty said in April 2013. “I probably have just as many undocumented friends as you do.”
Read the transcript from 2013 here and watch the short clip below of Haggerty excoriating Castro Vallyans. (Note: may only be available on devices using Flash Media Player)