Mayor Jennifer Hosterman, re-elected to a third term Tuesday, said the City Council and city staff will start immediately to focus on economic problems affecting municipal revenue and Pleasanton's downtown.
"As a city, we are feeling the pressure," she added. "The most important issues right now are the economy and especially the economy related to our downtown. We are not seeing the revenues that we've seen in the past. So while I'm very proud of the fact that we've been able to move five capital improvement projects toward completion, those days are largely gone."
Hosterman's comments came as Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed $4.7 billion in new taxes--including a three-year increase in the state sales tax--and $4.5 billion in new cuts Thursday to prevent a cash crisis brought on by a projected $11.2 billion hole in the current state budget.
Schwarzenegger is expected to call the Legislature into special session to deal with the problem.
Hosterman was re-elected to a third term Tuesday with incumbent City Councilmembers Matt Sullivan and Cindy McGovern also winning re-election to four more years on the council.
With the composition of the five-member council, including the mayor's post, the same going forward as it has been for the last four years, Hosterman said there will be no need for new briefings and that work on financial concerns can start immediately.
The "new" council will be sworn in Tuesday, Dec. 2.
Hosterman was chosen for a third two-year term as mayor by a wide margin of votes over her challenger Steve Brozosky, winning 11,875 of the votes cast in the municipal election--or 54.19 percent--against 9,964 votes--or 45.47 percent--of the votes cast for Brozosky.
Two years ago in the same race, Hosterman narrowly defeated Brozosky by only 189 votes in a final count that was determined three weeks after the November 2006 election.
Brozosky, who had championed hillside protection Measure PP, which won handily, failed to attract enough of those votes to topple Hosterman, who was a staunch opponent of the measure.
In moving forward, Hosterman said the top priorities for the council now are to deal with the economy, especially the downturn that is affecting Pleasanton's downtown.
She said the city's financial team will huddle starting this month to see how the city government can continue to deliver quality services, but in a more streamlined and less expensive fashion.
One move she hopes to make is to find a funding mechanism to pay off the $1.5 million outstanding in bonds for the Callippe Preserve Golf Course.
"I'd like to see us in the black on that one," she said. "That's one big ticket item I plan to address."
A major concern, too, Hosterman said, is to do whatever the city government can do to improve profitability for downtown merchants so that they can pay their rent, pay their bills and stay in business.
"Unfortunately, the (San Jose) Sharks reneged at the last minute on bringing holiday ice to Pleasanton," she said. However, last Friday we all but sealed a deal on a holiday ice plan for 2009. That doesn't do anything for merchants this year so we are going to look at creative ways to shore up pedestrian traffic downtown and give merchants every opportunity to make the sales they need to meet their overhead."
Hosterman said a recent report by an economist suggested that the country is in for four more quarters of recession, to be followed by a period of recovery over the following two years.
"This economist said that the recovery is going to be so slow and painful that no one is going to believe it," she added, "that no one will believe that we are out of a recession for another three years."
Hosterman said she will ask the council to schedule a retreat for early next year to address financial and other problems, as well as a way to move matters before the council more expeditiously.
In Tuesday's election, McGovern led the ticket, receiving 12,418 votes, or 35.05 percent of the total number of votes cast, with Sullivan finishing close behind with 11,032 votes, or 31.14 percent.
Pentin, the third challenger in the council race and a political newcomer, received 7,593 votes, or 21.43 percent. Howard Neely, a former school principal who withdrew from the City Council race for personal reasons--but too late to have his name removed from the ballot--received 4,312 votes, or 12.17 percent of the votes cast.
There were 74 write-in votes for mayor, 72 for the council. Both Sullivan and McGovern, first elected to the council in 2004, can serve two four-year terms under the city's term limits law.
McGovern said she is thankful for voters who have supported her through her last 14 years of public service.
"Their confidence in my service means a great deal to me," she said. "I look forward to working with residents of all ages in the coming four years as we go forward with the update of our Youth Master Plan, Phase II of the Bernal Park, Wayside Park improvements in our downtown and our Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plan."
As for the economy, McGovern said: "We will continue to monitor our financial status while being fiscally prudent, seek innovative ways to attract and retain business especially in our downtown and continue to make improvements for better traffic flow and pedestrian safety."
Sullivan said he, too, is looking forward to the next four years.
"I'm honored that the people of Pleasanton would allow me to be on the council for four more years and try to represent them," he said. "We need to adopt this General Plan, we need to get some of these big policy issues accomplished and I really want to move on to some other things such as how do we preserve open space, how do we implement some of the energy and water conservation programs we've been talking about and how do we address the need for affordable housing. It's time we start doing it."