Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - June 25, 2010

Community of Character—remember?

For a city that prides itself on its Community of Character traits, last week's City Council meeting fell short of the goal. Lest we forget, the city of Pleasanton in partnership with the school district adopted six behavior characteristics that the council and school board pledged to model and advance in our community.  These traits are Responsibility, Compassion, Self-Discipline, Honesty, Respect and Integrity.

The meeting, scheduled to review a supplemental environmental impact report for Staples Ranch as well as to consider the proposed municipal budget for 2010-11 and an updated Youth Master Plan, got off to a shaky start with an angry, red-faced Mayor Jennifer Hosterman throwing a voluminous staff report on the floor after learning that the public hearing was being continued. It turned out that the postponement was made by City Manager Nelson Fialho, and with good reason. Cards notifying the public of the meeting, which must be delivered 10 days in advance of a public hearing, arrived late in some mailboxes, including those of opponents of the new EIR. Rather than spend part of the meeting debating if and why the cards were late, Fialho rescheduled the hearing to a special meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 24, when the council could devote its entire session to Staples. Although the mayor settled down and the council continued with its agenda discussion of the budget and youth master plan, tempers flared again late in the evening and after most constituents had left the council chamber. What those who stayed and viewers who kept tuned in to the council broadcast on TV30's Channel 29 then saw and heard were council members berating one another and the Staples issue, itself. It was 30 minutes of diatribe that would have been better aired behind closed doors if they could have found some way of making that legal.

Consideration on developing of the 124-acre empty track of land called Staples Ranch goes back to the early 1990s and has been part of heated discussions in the past five years, mostly over plans to extend Stoneridge Drive to El Charro Road and Livermore. Hosterman and Council members Cheryl Cook-Kallio and Jerry Thorne support the extension; council members Cindy McGovern and Matt Sullivan are opposed. Alameda County, which owns Staples and wants to offload the site, is insisting that the Stoneridge extension be included in development plans.

Although the public hearing has been moved to Aug. 24 with notifications to be sent well in advance by certified mail, it's anybody's guess how fast this controversial process will continue. Any single council member can ask for a continuance one time. At least two more meetings must be held. Judging by the loud and bitter exchanges at last week's meeting, and with a municipal election to be held Nov. 2, it could be after that and well into 2011 before those who want to build on Staples Ranch or live in the independent and assisted living community planned there know the outcome of their petitions to proceed. The least we can hope for is a mayor that facilitates a productive discussion and council members who re-read the Community of Character pledge that hangs on the council chamber wall.


Posted by tiredofthegreed, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2010 at 7:51 am

Our lovely Mayor doing what she does best, which is no attribute at all. She's an angry lame duck, now that she, and all the other local has-beens who palled with her, failed to influence the Measure D outcome to her and her sponsors' benefit, and all at great cost to this City.

Missing deadlines for public meeting announcements, causing special elections and referenda, failing to construct sufficient low/medium housing according to law, the Staples Ranch nonesense, extra special provisions to keep restricted animals at home.......

Nice job, Mayor.

Posted by Jan, a resident of Downtown
on Jun 27, 2010 at 9:20 am

I was embarrased to watch the Mayor throw a fit on tv. I think she was ready to vote yes on the whole project and was mad because it had to be delayed. She got an ovation from the seniors/CLC crowd and that was what she wanted.

Later discussion revealed that many of the documents were not even finished yet. Why would she be mad now, unless it was to please the crowd.

Posted by evict the mayor, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jun 27, 2010 at 7:46 pm

You can['t be against someone (like our do nothing for the local community mayor) ... you have be FOR SOMETHING ... so who's gonna be the next mayor. Start now. Good local person, not some tweet extremist on either side ... someone who cares about LOCALITY ... not being a star in New Jersey. Who? Who? Who? Maybe dublinmike or stacey... heck I don't know ... please advise.

Posted by Barry, a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Jun 28, 2010 at 12:20 pm

I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees the lacking in our mayor...

She hasn't changed since the Feb. Stoneridge extension meeting where she didn't know thr rules and thought that we should ignore the guidelines and go forward. If you go back to the minutes of the meeting you will see the total disregard for our process.

There was no planning for noise abatement, environmental concerns, or the current City of Pleasanton due process. Hosterman, Cook-Calio, and Thorne just tried to RAM it through with total disregard to any of the above.

This backroom political style is not the way Pleasanton got to be the BEST city in Alameda County. The big money developers, our lovely Chamber, and sleazy politicians are drooling at the prospect of taking control of our wonderful town...

We need to get organized... Anyone who wants to contact me, please e-mail me at

Let's Take Pleasanton Back!!

Posted by Embarrassed, a resident of Downtown
on Jun 28, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Having a female elected official throwing a fullblown hissy fit on TV is worse than a female person running for office (Carly Fiorina) talking about Barbara Boxer's hair. Gee whiz!

Posted by Interesting, a resident of Downtown
on Jun 29, 2010 at 3:16 pm

I think the Mayor should have been angry...staff blew it! This is why everything is delayed in this more meeting on this, one more meeting on that! Let's make decisions and move on people. More to the point, staff needs to get themselves in order.

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