Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - October 22, 2010


Committed to education

Dear Editor,

Joan Laursen and I moved to Pleasanton about the same time, a little over 15 years ago. We became instant friends. My daughter and her son, who are now 20 years old, started preschool together and through those years of Walnut Grove, Harvest Park and Amador Valley High School, I have seen Joan work tirelessly for Pleasanton schools. Whether it was as a classroom volunteer, a member of numerous school site councils, her role on the school district's Budget Advisory Board or President of the Pleasanton PTA Council, Joan has demonstrated her passion and commitment to education and our community. Her role in these positions as well as her background as a financial analyst give Joan the qualifications needed to manage through the challenging economic times we now live in. Joan is willing to look at both sides of any issue and prides herself on her attention to detail, making her one of the most fair-minded persons I know. Be assured that she will use these skills and more to the benefit of every student in our school district. So on Nov. 2, vote for Joan Laursen for Pleasanton School Board.

Christine Peterson

Thanks, candidates

Dear Editor,

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the three candidates who are seeking election to the Board of Trustees of the Pleasanton Unified School District. I am impressed by their willingness to invest so much of their own time, energy and money in the pursuit of a position, which will involve many late-night meetings and countless hours of email and phone communication.

As President of the Association of Pleasanton Teachers, I was part of the selection committee, which interviewed the three candidates and assessed their qualifications for this important task. Each of the candidates demonstrated a passion for education and a dedication to the cause of improving Pleasanton schools. Overall, Jeff Bowser and Joan Laursen clearly stood out as the best qualified.

Jeff Bowser has worked as a teacher and an administrator at the school, district and county levels. This experience combined with his expertise in business and management make him uniquely qualified to make a difference in our school district.

Joan Laursen cares deeply about Pleasanton's schools. Her extensive knowledge of public education and finance will help our district navigate the current challenging fiscal times and ensure that Pleasanton students continue to receive an outstanding education.

Trevor Knaggs

McNerney turned deaf ear

Dear Editor,

I find it amusing that U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney (11th, Pleasanton) is seeking the support of constituents which he turned a deaf ear to when ObamaCare was being debated. Despite a majority of Americans expressing concerns for the cost and ultimate success of ObamaCare, Mr. McNerney chose to support a deeply flawed and horrendously expensive program for which he will undoubtedly be seeking to raise our taxes to pay for! As a registered Independent, I intend to urge family and friends to reject Mr. McNerney's re-election bid and say, "most assuredly no, Mr. McNerney!"

Scott Schroeder

Break up triumvirate

Dear Editor,

The Valley Times endorses Cindy McGovern and Karla Brown for Mayor and Council in Pleasanton, and I must say with very strong and sound reason. The Pleasanton Weekly endorses the Hosterman, Thorne, Cook-Callio triumvirate with weak commentary. In fact, they gave strong credit to McGovern and Brown. Further, they confirmed McGovern's and Brown's statements that Hosterman does not listen to citizens at council meetings, but they hope she will change. Why would she change? She has a triumvirate who will not challenge her.

So, Pleasanton, if you want a council that will honestly and openly listen to your concerns, then you must break up this triumvirate. If you want a council that is not beholden to the likes of Fred Lin, Hosterman and her cronies must go. If you want transparency in your government, you won't get it from the triumvirate.

If you want your council to be open, fair, attentive to your concerns and free of obligations to special interests, you must elect Cindy McGovern mayor and Karla Brown to City Council.

Paul Ebright

Piderit sees big picture

Dear Editor,

I have met Sandy Piderit and believe she has the background and insight needed for Pleasanton Unified School District (PUSD) School Board. What struck me most when I met her, and in watching her interact with others, is her interest in what other parents think and see as important in our school district. She is a wonderful communicator and listener, and able to see the big picture.

Secondly, she is running a "grassroots" campaign and not asking for any endorsements. This indicates she is not part of any of the status quo education organizations and will be an independent voice on school board.

Thirdly, as an MBA graduate professor, Sandy has the critical thinking skills needed for analytical discussions, providing a different perspective for oversight on the school board.

Finally, she is transparent about her priorities, listing them openly on her website. These include:

• Communicate proactively with community members about school district activities, budget issues, and strategic decisions

• Listen to all community members, maintaining confidentiality when needed

• Maintain high expectations for teachers, staff and management

• Ensure that professional assessment is rigorous and professional development will support continued growth in teaching effectiveness

• Make budget decisions from a long-term perspective and in a transparent way

Voters can find out more about Sandy at

Elizabeth Dallmann

Re-elect McNerney

Dear Editor,

This is not the time to put the polluters, Wall Street bankers and outsourcers back in the driver's seat. It's not the time for Mr. Harmer, who is a former a Wall Street lobbyist, a credit card company lawyer and failed candidate in two states, and who would privatize Social Security and our entire education system.

Since he was first elected in 2006, Jerry McNerney's priorities have been to create clean energy and create green jobs in his district. He spent most of his working life in developing renewable energy as a wind turbine engineer and entrepreneur with a PHD. He can separate the spin from the solutions.

He wrote a bill to close tax loopholes that corporations use to ship American jobs overseas and one which was passed in the House to help train Americans for green jobs.

He delivered a new veteran's medical facility in his district that will create 900 new jobs. He also wrote a new law to improve care for veterans with traumatic brain injuries.

There are already too many lawyers and lobbyists in our government. McNerney possesses unique talents, experience, compassion and integrity that are much needed in Congress. Vote for Jerry McNerney.

Joe Ely

Vote for Thorne

Dear Editor,

As I applaud the recent news of many companies relocating to Pleasanton, such as Clorox consolidating its Oakland operations here, I want to point out my enthusiasm about Vice Mayor/City Councilman Jerry Thorne' s support for small businesses in Pleasanton as well. Having lived here for nearly 20-years and owning/operating my company in town during that time, I appreciate his support of small businesses as well as his fiscal stewardship on a larger level. Be they but one or two-employee livelihoods, home-based or on Main Street in downtown Pleasanton, small businesses have received his encouragement. That amounts to a "thanks for staying in business in Pleasanton" when it is most needed.

I enthusiastically support Jerry' s re-election to the Pleasanton City Council. So on Nov. 2, mark your ballots where it will do the most good: next to Jerry Thorne's name.

Jerry Pentin

Keep California golden

Dear Editor,

Vote Yes on Prop 21.

My wife and I decided to settle in California for one reason, the beautiful scenery and wonderful climate; we disregarded the poor roads, higher taxes and higher cost of living. Now more Californians are leaving California than new people are moving into our state. California is the golden state because of its scenic beauty. We are about to lose our chance to enjoy that beauty. The state parks are in desperate need of support and next year will be worst. Parks will close and many will not recover in the future, they will be lost forever.

The proposed $18/vehicle registration tax will solve this problem and will keep the parks open for everyone; this is less than the cost of two tickets to a two-hour movie and can provide free access to the parks all year long for free. This directly impacts you when the parks close: Not only will you not be able to picnic, run, walk dogs, hike, send school kids to trips, use the beaches, etc., but this will cause more people to become disenchanted with California and leave, driving down property values and increasing the general downward economic spiral. Don't lose the reason California is golden; please help save our parks.

Jim Holmes

Cook-Kallio for council

Dear Editor,

I'll be voting for Cheryl Cook-Kallio this November because she speaks for young families. Cheryl is working on the Hacienda Task Force to increase transit-oriented housing to allow families with young children to move back to the area and continue our city's familial tradition. I hope this will allow my daughter to move back to her hometown to raise her own family.

Cheryl understands school funding and is working with the city to support our struggling school district. Further, she made sure the Youth Master Plan was reevaluated to make sure all our young people are represented.

Cheryl has worked to expand protected area parkland including the Bernal Community Park, Marilyn Kane Trail, Alviso Adobe Community Park as well as the extension of the Iron Horse Trail.

Cheryl is also focused on senior housing and is working on the redevelopment of Kottinger Place and Pleasanton Gardens senior housing. I hope that when I retire, I'll have the opportunity to live near my grandchildren.

Please join me in supporting Cheryl Cook-Kallio for City Council on Nov. 2.

Sarah Smoot


Posted by Sandy Piderit, a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 23, 2010 at 3:18 am

Thank you, Elizabeth, for your support of my campaign! It means a lot to me to know that my qualities as an interested and effective listener, and as an analytical thinker, are recognized.

Thanks also to Trevor Knaggs for recognizing the time and energy that I (and the other candidates) have invested in our campaigning. It means a lot to me to be acknowledged as a candidate for a job that "will involve many late-night meetings and countless hours of email and phone communication."

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm

I think the best candidates for the board are Sandy Piderit and Joan Laursen.

I first heard about Laursen when my child attended Walnut Grove, and I have seen how hard she works for our schools. I do not know Laursen or Piderit on a personal level, but after researching all the candidates, I feel that both Piderit and Laursen are people that will listen and will always have the best interest of the children in the Pleasanton School District.

I hope others can see that Laursen and Piderit are what our district needs right now. We need people who will not be afraid to challenge the status quo and will not just say yes to anything that is proposed by the administration. We need people like Laursen and Piderit on the Pleasanton School Board!

Posted by Go Sandy!, a resident of Danbury Park
on Oct 24, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Sandy is smart, she does her homework and she is involved in our local school system. She reminds me of Cindy McGovern in the early days.

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