http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2008/05/02/come-to-citys-open-house-tomorrow


Pleasanton Weekly

Column - May 2, 2008

Come to city's Open House tomorrow

by Jeb Bing

For a fun-filled and close-up look at how Pleasanton operates, don't miss the city's open house from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. tomorrow at the municipal Operations Service Center, located just off Valley Avenue at 3333 Busch Road. A walk through the maze of separated repair shops and paint stations at the center, itself, is amazing, and mechanics, sign painters, street maintenance crews and even the guys who hang the sign in the middle of night every Monday morning under the Main Street arch will be on hand to explain their work. Hundreds turned out two years ago for a similar event hosted by the police department. Public Works held its own open house a year earlier, with traffic engineers explaining the intricacies of the city's videocams and other traffic monitoring devices--not always to every driver's satisfaction--that determine if you'll get the green light or a red as you approach busy intersections. The success of these two programs prompted City Manager Nelson Fialho to put them all together in one public event, and that's tomorrow.

A good portion of Pleasanton's workforce has jobs outside the city, often facing long commutes. Long before they leave or during the evening hours after they get home, scores of city workers are on the job, making sure the water storage tanks are full, patrolling neighborhood streets, checking burned out street lights or staffing the 911 emergency response desk at the police station. Many of these "night people" will be on hand to talk about their work. You might also want to give them your thanks for jobs well done.

Pleasanton has 535 employees in jobs ranging from firefighting, police, library services and park maintenance. Traffic Engineer Mike Tassano will staff a special booth to talk about Pleasanton's favorite subject: traffic congestion and cut-through traffic. He'll also have his staff with notepaper on hand to hear comments and complaints (he likes compliments, too) about signals, speeding problems and large trailers parked on your neighborhood street. Newly-hired Community Development Director Brian Dolan will be on hand with his associates to hear your views on future housing in Pleasanton, where it should go and how big should these homes be. It'll also be the last chance to hear Public Works Director Rob Wilson describe his many days of walking through the muddy southeast hills to prod contractors into finishing the Callippe Preserve Golf Course on time. Wilson retires shortly. Another helpmate to all of us who have homes is George Thomas, chief building official, who will be on hand with his crew with tips and manuals on all aspects of home repairs and improvement, including roofing, decks and driveways where inspectors can make sure your job is done right. Jim Wolfe, director of Parks and Community Services, will have maps of current parks and layouts of new sports fields now being built on Bernal or planned for Staples Ranch. For those who've never been inside City Hall, Fialho can describe the services there, while City Librarian Julie Farnsworth will talk about plans for expanding the library. She'll also have library card applications to get you to come by.

As before, police under the command of Chief Mike Fraser will demonstrate their expertise on motorcycles and the capabilities of the department's canine unit. Fire Chief Bill Cody will describe--but probably not participate--in the firefighter demonstrations on rappelling off the sides of the fire training building. You might also have a chance to hold onto a working fire hose. All told, the city will have more than 20 demonstration and game booths with a schedule of events for both morning and afternoon visits. A new favorite will be the chance to watch a mini-video camera crawling along the insides of sewer pipes to watch for leaks or other problems. It's one job where nobody complains about high tech replacing a hired hand. See you tomorrow.

Comments

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 3, 2008 at 3:42 pm

That was excellent. It was also great to meet the people who keep the City running.