Karla Brown to seek seat on Pleasanton City Council in November race

Kottinger Ranch homeowner, real estate broker making second bid for council seat

Karla Brown, a real estate broker associate and 20-year Pleasanton resident, announced Thursday that she will seek a seat on the City Council in the upcoming Nov. 6 municipal elections.

Brown, who ran unsuccessfully for the council in 2010, is the second candidate to vie for one of two council seats, with Planning Commission Chairman Jerry Pentin, who also sought the position once before, earlier launching his campaign for a council seat in November's election.

This year, because of term limits, two council seats will need to be filled as veteran council members Cindy McGovern and Matt Sullivan step down after serving eight years in office, the maximum allowed because of Pleasanton's term limits law.

Mayor Jennifer Hosterman also will be leaving office because of term limits. Council members Cheryl Cook-Kallio and Jerry Thorne already have announced their bids for the mayor's office although both have another two years to serve as council members. If they continue to be the only ones seeking the top office, the winner would vacate the council seat and a special election would be called early next year to fill that spot.

Brown said that she and her husband Tim Belcher have been involved in the community as they raised their three daughters, coached RAGE soccer, volunteered in their schools and worked to protect Pleasanton.

She said she is a "slow growth advocate," and was co-chair of the "No on D - Save Pleasanton Hills" referendum in 2010. She also was a proponent of Measure PP "Save Pleasanton's Hills and Housing Cap Citizens' Initiative" in 2008. Both measures were overwhelmingly passed by Pleasanton voters.

Brown said she is a financially conservative candidate. She vows to work towards achieving a balanced city budget and to address the city's growing pension debt without sacrificing necessary city services.

She said she also advocates preserving Pleasanton's heritage buildings and neighborhoods, while encouraging downtown business owners to thrive with a variety of shopping options, wine tasting venues, both upscale and casual dining, acoustic music and more.

For more information, visit Brown's website at


Posted by Pleasanton Voter, a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Jun 29, 2012 at 10:42 pm

I just became a huge Jerry Pentin fan.

Posted by Some Dude, a resident of California Reflections
on Jun 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm

I'd rather vote for Michele Bachmann

Posted by Normal, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 29, 2012 at 11:53 pm

I can't vote for Karla (Comment removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff for containing unverified or personal information.)
I'm for Thorne and Pentin for Pleasanton !

Posted by Voter, a resident of Country Fair
on Jun 30, 2012 at 11:26 pm

I'm for Karla!

Posted by Indy Voter, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm

I'd vote for her... if she wasn't a Realtor.

Posted by Peter Malloy, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 1, 2012 at 8:45 pm

She has NO experience of significance, she does not understand issues affecting Pleasanotn and she is Kay Ayala's mouthpiece. Bad for Pleasanton!

Posted by Glenda, a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Jul 2, 2012 at 11:58 am

I have known Karla for years. She has always been dedicated to many issues and is very familiar with Pleasanton and its issues. She is a long term supporter of Pleasanton and wants the town to continue being a special oasis.
Karla is intelligent, knows her mind, and is not afraid to express her opinion. Therefore I do no see her as a mouth piece for Kay Ayala.

Posted by Bill Nandor, a resident of Birdland
on Jul 2, 2012 at 2:27 pm

I, too, have known Karla for twelve+ years. I strongly endorse her and believe that her intelligence, integrity, enthusiasm and common sense will be a refreshing change for our Council.

Posted by Voter, a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm

The candidate now sitting on the City Council, who had no experience at all, is Cook-Kalio. She had never done anything of significance for this Community, yet she was put into office (with all of the Union's backing). I never once, in all of my over 40 yrs. of living here in Pleasanton, ever saw or heard of her sitting on or participating on any committees or Commissions. I served on 17 different ones at the same time, was very active and NEVER once ever heard her name. P.S. not all Realtors are for BIG pro-development and most are pro-business. If you are buying or own your home, most likely you used the services of a realtor. Although I have never worked in that industry, I have served on various committees with several of them throughout the years. Many volunteer in this Community.

Posted by Just Wow, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2012 at 5:02 pm

NO Experience? Just google Cook-Kallio's name. She is probably the most overall experienced of any of the council people. If you have never heard her name it is because you live in a vacuum! Sitting on a committee or commission, while good experience, is not the only preparation for the job!

All that union backing, in Pleasanton? If my memory serves me correctly she was endorsed by unions AND the Chamber of Commerce both times she ran for council. She actually UNDERSTANDS how government works! BTW, Most often if you can read or research you have benefited by a teacher. She teaches government and economics. . .

I thought this thread was about Brown?

Posted by Just Wow, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2012 at 6:09 pm

And what committees or commissions has Brown been on? Whatever experience Brown has was acquired outside of the committee/commission route. . .

I have an idea let's talk about issues. Hmm novel!

Posted by To Just Wow, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Just Wow, Who are you kidding? She teaches with a liberal slant and gets a salary with benefits! Our Daughter is a teacher and is a Union rep.. She and other financially conservative teachers are not happy about where the Union spends their dues. Kalio may have received endorsements from Unions and the Chamber, but she still did no substancial volunteer work in this Community. By the way wow, the person that you commented back to (Voter) earned and was given The Community Development Award from the Chamber (and not for being in a vacuum). Karla has our vote also, and she is the most qualified. Please do not even try to qualify your rude comments with more.

Posted by common sense, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Please vote at the ballot box. I have no clue who Karla Brown is though, would be helpful for her to expound on why she is running.

Posted by Just Wow, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm

It wasn't meant to offend, just point out there are many paths and the person must not know Cook-Kallio. Teachers in Pleasanton and Fremont do not receive benefits for free, they pay for them and if your daughter is a teacher and a union rep she would know that. I know Cook-Kallio volunteered because I worked beside her for years.

You could not possibly know even IF she teaches with a slant unless you have been in her classroom. These are unfounded accusations that really mean nothing. We all should be talking about who can do the best job for Pleasanton.

But that isn't really the point. Brown is running for city council, Cook-Kallio is running for Mayor. They are not running against each other. They may end up serving together. People paying attention know that. I get back to one of my comments:

let's talk issues and what is important to Pleasanton.

I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July. Happy Independence Day!

Posted by Nurse Shark, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 2, 2012 at 6:43 pm

How does one anonymous poster claim to know what awards another anonymous poster has won? I don't remember anyone named "Voter" on any commission or committee, much less on 17.

Posted by local, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 2, 2012 at 7:21 pm

"Voter" is right that Cheryl never did anything in our community before running for office. I don't think she ever went to a council meeting before running. Her "experience" is in Fremont, not in Pleasanton. She ran here because she wants to protect anything from happening to the public employee unions. Even though there are serious problems with pensions and benefit costs, her job is to make sure the unions are protected, being she is an active union member of the CTA. It is very dangerous voting for an elected official who is a member of a public employee union. Their interests are not in line with the taxpayers. Does not matter which public employee union they belong to. They know that if they reform anything here, it will eventually affect themselves.

You should look at the campaign finance reports for both Cheryl as well as Karla when she last ran. You will find that Cheryl took a lot of contributions from unions and developers. I did not see that with Karla's reports. The union's and developer's investments in Cheryl have paid off quite well.

Posted by Pleasanton Voter, a resident of Bonde Ranch
on Jul 2, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Karla Brown is for Karla Brown. I have experienced her in business, sports and in social situations. She's capable of shaking your hand and stabbing you in the back all with a big smile on her face. Pleasanton got it right during her first campaign. Let's do it again, voters.

Posted by junebug, a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Jul 2, 2012 at 11:05 pm

Throughout history, people with little or no experience have been elected to office on the basis of a single issue and become great leaders. While many such new-comes start with a single issue, the true test is whether they can be objective on a variety of different issues and vote in the best interest of the community at-large. And they should build a wide base of campaign contributions if they are truely objective thinkers relying on a range of input and feedback from various perspectives. I do agree a potential conflict can exist with a candidate who has served as an union negotiator is in a decision making position on pension and benefit reforms. On the other hand, being a self described slow growth realtor is a bit hypocritical and shows a limited understanding of business and finance at the municipal level.

Posted by Nurse Shark, a resident of Bridle Creek
on Jul 3, 2012 at 7:30 am

Throughout history, people with little or no experience have been elected to office on the basis of a single issue and ended up doing much more harm than good. Good intentions not grounded in wide experience and long involvement in a variety of grass-roots issues is a recipe for disaster.

Posted by Widely Known, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 3, 2012 at 7:49 am

I am very widely known among the electorate. I have garnered over 147 awards over the course of my life in Pleasanton since moving here from midwest. Everybody knows me around here, and I'm a frequent poster. Only modesty prevents me from telling you my complete name.

I don't think anyone should get our support or our opposition until they come out and tell us (1) whether they support overpaid teachers unions and the ungodly pensions they receive at taxpayer expense, (2) whether they support public worker unions generally and the ungodly pensions they receive at taxpayer expense, (3) whether they support a specific language that conforms exactly with my own language on any parcel tax or other tax that supports any public workers pension with the exception of my own.

Posted by Dave Walden, a resident of another community
on Jul 3, 2012 at 9:07 am

Dave Walden is a registered user.

I have known Karla for a few years - we met after a Realtor meeting and found ourselves talking politics. It was amazing that we represented opposite views and got along well. Karla cares about Pleasanton. She is thoughtful and even though we disagree on some aspects of the way government is run, she is still looking for the benefit of Pleasanton as a whole. When we meet she is always asking me my opinion of this or that - she cares and is always striving for knowledge to make herself better. Go Karla! We need all kinds of opinions to get to the right answer.

Posted by Ken Ruusinall, a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 3, 2012 at 11:30 am

I've known Karl all her life. She is in real estate sales. She's nice. She has a nice smile. We agree on some things and disagree on others. It's good we have different opinions. I like her. What else do you need to know?

Posted by Joey, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2012 at 1:00 pm

I'd vote for her. Can't be worse than what we currently have.

Posted by Sherman, a resident of Foothill Farms
on Jul 3, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I'd rather vote for a cat than any of the charlatans. Hey, let me sell yer house and charge ya 6% for it. Two hours of my labor? 50 thousand dollars in profit? Sounds good to me! Now, getting back to outragious pensions of public workers....

Posted by Beth, a resident of Mohr Park
on Jul 3, 2012 at 7:32 pm

If you don't like the choices out there, run yourselves or help run someone else's campaign, but stop claiming you "know" where someone stands without providing proof. As for Karla, I'm willing to do my research and listen. But Pleasanton politics seems to be mirroring the nation as a whole - the devil you know verses the devil you don't know and both are on the extreme ends. From small town to federal government, we have some big issues to deal with - we spend more than we take in and eventually we will sink.

Posted by Infiltrating, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2012 at 7:55 pm

Some on the Chamber have made mistakes...a huge conflict of interest for elected officials to be PUBLIC union members. Keep your eyes & ears open. There have been several PUBLIC union members in the East Bay in recent years running for public office. Smart people would not cast suicidal votes giving a public union member the power to tax. Insane. Union member 24/7 for life, public office is temporary... but necessary to cast those few critical, deadly votes.
Smart. dangerous.

Posted by b, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 3, 2012 at 10:00 pm

This "fiscal conservative" has already cost Pleasanton taxpayers millions of dollars as a result of her self-serving initiatives. Be afraid.

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