The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Wednesday endorsed Mayor Jennifer Hosterman for re-election in the Nov. 4 municipal race and businessman Jerry Pentin for one of the two seats open on the City Council.
The chamber's political action committee interviewed Hosterman and her challenger Steve Brozosky, and also Pentin and Councilman Matt Sullivan, who is seeking re-election. Councilwoman Cindy McGovern chose not to interview with the chamber committee, according to Scott Raty, president and chief executive officer of the chamber.
Although two seats are available, with both McGovern and Sullivan completing their first four year terms of office, the chamber endorsed only Pentin and neither of the two incumbents.
In its endorsement announcement, the chamber said it also interviewed Brozosky, but otherwise made no other mention of his candidacy.
Businessman Otis Nostrand, who chairs the chamber's political action committee, praised Hosterman's actions and accomplishments as mayor in the area of transportation improvement, a key chamber goal.
"In this regard, Mayor Hosterman was instrumental in securing a unanimous vote of the City Council to keep the Stoneridge Drive extension in the General Plan," Nostrand said.
According to Nostrand, this allowed Pleasanton to continue its process with Alameda County to annex the Staples Ranch property which, in turn, is a key component to keeping the Hendrick Auto dealerships (and their $3 million in annual tax revenues, and the proposed plan for a community ice skating facility proposed by a subsidiary of the San Jose Sharks in Pleasanton.
"Along the way, Mayor Hosterman has forged or improved her relationships with political colleagues in other cities and counties in the area and is now positioned as a senior politician who is in line to participate in or lead influential governmental committees in the area, including the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency," Nostrand said.
"These connections can enable (her) to influence highway and other expenditures that could be instrumental to securing strategic highway and other traffic improvements for the Tri-Valley area, including State Route 84," he added.
"Based on her growth and maturation during her tenure as both a City Council member and mayor of Pleasanton, we believe Mayor Hosterman is the best candidate for the job and best positioned to be influential in helping Pleasanton achieve its goals," he continued. "Accordingly, we strongly endorse Jennifer Hosterman for another term as mayor of Pleasanton."
For the council seat, the chamber PAC said it believed Pentin is "the best qualified and most closely aligned with Pleasanton 2015: A Community Vision (a chamber program)," Nostrand said. "Our support of Jerry Pentin is not just because he is a long time local businessman, it is because of the quality of Jerry's positions on issues and his track record of decisive leadership as a parks and recreation commissioner."
Pentin serves on the board of the Firehouse Arts Center. He also has been an advocate for extending Stoneridge Drive, although he has said the extension should be built along with other regional actions to curb cut-through traffic in Pleasanton, including widening State Route 84.
"Jerry believes a councilman's job is to represent the interests of his constituents, but not necessarily by public referendum every time there is an issue," said Nostrand. "He also agrees that, while the interests of small (and sometimes vocal) groups of residents and individual neighborhoods are important, the interests of the community as a whole are paramount and will sometimes require decisions that are not popular with individual interest groups."
"The Chamber is impressed with Pentin's service to the community, and his ability to be an effective leader," Nostrand added. "The Chamber is pleased to endorse him for City Council."
Members of the chamber's political action committee who interviewed candidates and voted on their endorsements were Nostrand, Bob Butler, Steve Clarkson, Gail Gilpin, Martin Inderbitzen, Dick Karn, Bill James, Joe Sasek, John Sensiba, Jim McKeehan and Raty.