Opinion - November 5, 2010
Fiscally prudent council stays
The re-election Tuesday of Mayor Jennifer Hosterman and council members Cheryl Cook-Kallio and Jerry Thorne leaves in place all five members of Pleasanton's governing board who have now been serving together for four years and will continue for two more. This is the council that has produced a Firehouse Arts Center to help invigorate our downtown, restored the historic Veterans Memorial Building, built lighted baseball fields for youth sports on the Bernal property, and turned the old Alviso Adobe on Foothill Road into an unmatched complex showing major periods of California's history. Most recently, this same council approved plans by Safeway to build one of its largest supermarkets at I-680 near the Fairgrounds, which will be a prototype for innovative retailing studies at the company's nearby Pleasanton headquarters. The council also approved a major expansion by Clorox to move more than 1,000 employees to its new campus here next year, and multi-million-dollar projects to be built starting next year on Staples Ranch, the biggest development since Hacienda Business Park was approved in the 1980s. These will bring millions of dollars in new tax revenue to our city.
This is also the same council that has been working together on new housing requirements resulting from a legal settlement with Urban Habitat, an affordable housing coalition. A council-appointed Hacienda Task Force is developing strategies and plans to satisfy those requirements with the current council already considering new growth management and climate action policies to restrain Pleasanton's growth and improve its environment. Mayor Jennifer Hosterman and Councilwoman Cindy McGovern, who just competed at the ballot box over the mayor's position, can now resume their close working relationship on housing issues facing our city.
While the current council deserves credit for the many capital improvements we've seen in recent years, it's even more important to note that the city of Pleasanton has a balanced $151 million budget for fiscal 2010-11 and has set aside approximately $25 million in a "rainy day" fund to meet any sudden financial emergencies. The council's fiscal success comes at a time when neighboring cities are faced with severe service and personnel cutbacks because of budget shortfalls. With the economic downturn continuing, we're pleased that a council that has demonstrated solid and unified fiscal responsibility will stay in place.
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