Our preference for mayor is Cheryl Cook-Kallio, who's been a valuable, problem-solving council member with helpful connections in Sacramento and Washington. An active Democrat, Cook-Kallio doesn't wear any party affiliation on her sleeve. She has endorsements from business and union organizations and, importantly, from Tri-Valley, Alameda County, regional and state government leaders. If she needs help on a regional issue, she has many close contacts who will quickly take her call and give our city a hand.
We like the fact that she supported highly controversial issues such as the Oak Grove housing development, worked against a citizens' referendum that stopped the plan, favored the less-onerous Measure QQ over the restrictive Measure PP hillside building ban that voters approved, and campaigned vigorously to extend Stoneridge Drive to El Charro Road in Livermore. She weathered frequent grubbings at City Council meetings by very vocal critics without flinching.
Jerry Thorne, who will stay on the council for another two years, is more reserved than Cook-Kallio, a trait the council needs. He is a skilled administrator and retired corporate vice president who became intensely involved in city and civic affairs upon leaving his private sector career. His supporters come from all parts of Pleasanton and praise, rightly so, Thorne's commitment to business, a sustainable city employee pension program and his work with the League of California Cities and many other agencies. He especially deserves accolades for his support of veterans. There's hardly a time when a soldier is welcomed home to Pleasanton that Thorne isn't the first to be there with an official city proclamation.
For City Council, we are endorsing Planning Commission Chairman Jerry Pentin and businesswoman Karla Brown. We like the third candidate, Erlene DeMarcus, whose credentials as a BART board member years ago who helped bring BART to Pleasanton are impressive. But, frankly, we just haven't seen that much of DeMarcus at City Council meetings or city and civic events. Over the coming months, we urge her to become more visible to us and the voting public and possibly run again next June when voters will choose a fifth council member to fill the seat vacated by either Thorne or Cook-Kallio.
Pentin, a Pleasanton businessman, has served on a number of city commissions and advisory groups since moving here 21 years ago. He was honored with the Mayor's Award in 2008, with a list of achievements that he's reinforced ever since. He's our choice for election to the City Council.
This is Karla Brown's second bid for a seat on the council, where there are two openings with Council members Cindy McGovern and Matt Sullivan both termed out. Although we favored the Oak Grove development, which she and former Councilwoman Kay Ayala joined together in opposing, we share her current position as an opponent of Measure B1, which would add another half-cent in sales tax to an Alameda County transportation plan. Brown is active in a number of business and civic groups in Pleasanton, where she has lived for the last 20 years.