Castro Valley: MAC member in line to become chair penned anti-LGBT flag editorial

The person who may become the next chair of the Castro Valley Municipal Advisory Council (CVMAC) wrote an editorial last week in opposition to the rainbow flag being flown, alongside the U.S. and California flag, at Castro Valley High School.

“The U.S. flag is to be distinguished, stand alone, not to be encumbered by any special interest. It represents the epitome of inclusion and should fly in prominence on its own,” Ted Riche, vice-chair of the CVMAC, wrote in the Castro Valley Forum.

“That said, a public school pole is not meant to be utilized as an agenda driven format. No other flag is worthy of the honor bestowed upon it to anywhere near our Nation’s sacred symbol of freedom. Nothing needs to dilute its reverence,” he continued.

The Dublin City Council rejected a proposal to fly the flag on May 21. The move sparked a furor and the Dublin City Council reversed its decision on June 4.

Emeryville offered to raise a second flag for Dublin at its own ceremony recognizing LGBT Pride Month. Other cities in Alameda County, which already raise the flag each June, spotlighted their efforts to higher degree than previous years. The Alameda County Board of Supervisors also voted last week to allow the Pride flag to be flown at county buildings.

Riche’s comments mirror those voiced by Dublin residents and some Dublin elected officials on May 21.

Many described the flag pole on public grounds to be “sacred” and argued same-sex issues should be shielded from young people and children, but denied the opinion was rooted in bigotry or exclusion of a certain group.

Riche’s letter to editor comes as the CVMAC is scheduled Monday night to select a new leader, replacing long-time chair Marc Crawford. A new rule instituted by Miley last fall calls for the chairperson’s position to rotate among its seven members.

The CVMAC is the unincorporated area’s de-facto local government. Its members are appointed by Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley and offered recommendation on policy and local matters.

It’s unclear who might be the next chair, but as vice-chair, Riche is presumably a front runner for the position.

Community members had argued that Crawford, often a lightning rod for controversy for some in Castro Valley, had compiled too much power over the years as chair and often tightly controlled the council’s efforts.

For example, earlier this year, Crawford scheduled a discussion for a CVMAC meeting on a proposal for an affordable housing project in Castro Valley that the applicant had not yet formally offered to the county to consideration. The move was seen as a way for Crawford, who has ties to the California Apartment Association, to undermine the project while in its infancy.

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