I was pleased to see the Pleasanton Weekly's favorable analysis of the proposed city contract with its public employees, but I would like to make an additional point.
The wrangling over the PCEA contract at recent City Council meetings has caused the council to lose sight of the real issue in this dispute. The PCEA leadership met with appointed representatives of the city to negotiate a contract acceptable to both sides. Bargaining in good faith, an agreement was reached and ratified by the PCEA membership. The City Council, influenced by vocal members of the community, is about to renege on the agreement their representatives made with the PCEA.
Bargaining in good faith means that both sides intend to adhere to the agreement that has been reached. A contract is just that, a commitment made between both parties. The City Council claims to take its "Community of Character" motto seriously. Where is the "character" in a City Council that won't honor its side of the bargain?
The outspoken members of the community who have tried to undermine the City Council's commitment to the negotiated agreement are trying to obfuscate the issue, which is very simple. A contract has been reached, a binding agreement that both sides must recognize.
If some people are not happy with the contract, they can negotiate another agreement, when this contract ends. Individuals with their own agendas, without a dog in this fight, have no business trying to persuade the council to renege on the agreement reached by their own chosen representatives.
Bottom line is clear
I support the vote of the Pleasanton City Council leading to a re-evaluation of the City Employees' contract. These actions are never easy as they involve the lives of dedicated employees.
As a worker in the private sector who has endured a Chapter 11 situation, I understand first-hand the pain a contract adjustment can bring. Yet, the bottomline is clear: Employee contracts must be long-term financially sound to ensure security for current workers, future workers and the finances of Pleasanton. We need only look at surrounding neighborhoods to see the hardships that are produced if fiduciary responsibilities are ignored.
New station unique
I assume that you will write about the opening of the new West Dublin/Pleasanton BART station in the Pleasanton Weekly.
BART has been claiming in promotional material that West Dublin/Pleasanton is its first "infill" station (a station built between two existing stations). However, other BART literature says that Embarcadero station in San Francisco is the first "infill" station. When the Transbay Tube opened to passenger service in September 1974, Embarcadero station was just a "shell." It opened to passenger service on May 27, 1976.
There apparently is some sort of debate going on now between journalists and BART over which is the first "infill" station. The tax-sharing agreement between BART and the cities of Pleasanton and Dublin (and possibly the developer, too) is what is most unique about the West Dublin/Pleasanton station. BART considers this to be a model "public/private partnership."
Happy Birthday, League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters was founded on Feb. 14, 1920, by leaders in the women's suffrage movement. Members of the Livermore-Amador Valley League are busy all year distributing voters' affidavits, studying various issues, holding candidates' forums, and providing election literature such as "Easy Voter" and "Pros and Cons." The L-AV League is currently studying the issue of Health Care under the leadership of Charles Hartwig.
"For more than 90 years, the non-partisan League has stood for the civil exchange of different points of view," according to Chuck Hazen, administrator for the L-AV League. "Our work has helped to improve the functioning of government and bridge the gap between voters and elected officials."
The Livermore-Amador Valley League is one of more than 800 Leagues in all 50 states. Since 1920 our goal has been to educate and inform. Membership is open to men and women of all ages. For more information about the League, visit our website at http://lav.ca.lwvnet.org. The L-AV Spring Lunch and Program will be held at Girasole Grill at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, April 20.
An exhibit celebrating the Centennial of Woman Suffrage in California 1911-2011 will be at the Museum of the San Ramon Valley from May 14 to July 16. It will focus on the lives of women in the Amador Valley and Contra Costa County.
Barbara Hempill, L-AV League of Women Voters