http://pleasantonweekly.com/print/story/print/2012/10/19/letters


Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - October 19, 2012

Letters

Cook-Kallio clear choice

Dear Editor,

Pleasanton's choice between two qualified candidates for mayor bears directly on what the city will look like in the future. Strangely, discussions of this choice frequently point to Measure B, a county-wide tax measure where everyone in the county gets exactly one vote. The choice for mayor might be better informed if voters looked at issues closer to home. For example, how would the candidates approach something thorny, like resolving the long-term budget?

Conventional "business practices" would be one method: canceling pensions, reducing benefits, cutting staff, and selling off assets. Let's see -- there's police, fire, water and sewer, streets, sports fields, the aquatic center, golf course, etc. The tricky part is: How much can you cut what without compromising those parts of our quality of life that you appreciate most? How much crime can we tolerate? How many fires do we really need to put out? Do the sports fields really need to look so nice?

Another approach would be to work together with the city and residents to find responsible paths forward. Government, after all, is the way that everyone comes together to achieve things that none of us can do alone -- those things that make life better for all of us. Cheryl Cook-Kallio represents the working-together approach to ensuring the quality of life that we all enjoy in Pleasanton. Please vote for Cheryl Cook-Kallio.

Mike Moran

Thorne's leadership

Dear Editor,

Please vote Jerry Thorne for mayor of the city of Pleasanton on Nov. 6. Jerry served as a Parks and Recreation commissioner for 10 years and strongly supports the city's park and recreation facilities and programs. Jerry was instrumental in the city acquiring the Bernal property and continues to work so that it benefits everyone, from kids to seniors.

Jerry believes we should honor the commitments we have made -- he has continued to work toward the goal of a sustainable public employee pension program -- one that is affordable and funded. The "Great Recession" has challenged much of "normal"; Jerry has been active, involved and, most importantly, engaged.

Jerry's leadership draws upon a great many experiences, from being a former business executive to his broad community and volunteer service resume and military service. He truly is a voice of honesty, experience, and confidence in our community and beyond.

Jack O. Balch

Karla, creative thinker

Dear Editor,

We strongly support Karla Brown for Pleasanton City Council. Karla believes that we need to preserve the charm of our unique Historic Downtown, its surrounding neighborhoods and vintage homes. As an active member of PHA (Pleasanton Heritage Association), Karla has worked with the group to publish a monthly newsletter. She believes growth should be slow and smart. Protection of our ridgelines and open space are also important issues for Karla. She led the effort to put ridgeline protection before voters, who voted overwhelmingly for strict protections.

Karla is an open-minded, creative thinker, whose willingness to listen to all citizens will enable her to work with other council members to maintain our quality of life, while working cooperatively with neighboring cities regarding traffic, water quality and regional land uses.

Vote for Karla Brown on Nov. 6.

Brian and Christine Bourg

Cook-Kallio deserves vote

Dear Editor,

Cheryl Cook-Kallio deserves your support for Pleasanton mayor in the upcoming election. She has demonstrated top notch leadership, she is not afraid to take on the tough issues, is supported by almost all other locally elected officials in our surrounding area, and will be a full time mayor for Pleasanton.

Cheryl demonstrated her leadership when she tackled the Stoneridge Drive road improvements issue when no other person on the City Council would take it on. Her efforts led the City Council in making decisions which have now allowed the road to be under construction.

She is a known leader among other elected and appointed people, ranging from state officials, county officials and locally elected officials in the five city sub-region we live in.

As a former mayor and very involved elected official when I was in office, I have watched Cheryl as she has learned the system, and gained the respect of other officials.

I ask you to vote for Cheryl in the November election; we need her proven leadership.

Ken Mercer

Thorne non-political

Dear Editor,

We are fortunate to have two viable candidates running for mayor, however I disagree with the basis for your endorsement.

I was very surprised when I read that the Weekly endorsed Cook-Kallio for mayor. This is the first time, since I moved here in 1966, that our city election has become political. If the decision for your endorsement of Cheryl is, as you stated, because of her political connections, it places Pleasanton behind the desires of the party, rather than our community. Pleasanton has always been able to solve its own problems without the help of a political party. Jerry Thorne is non-political and he places his priorities on the community, not a political party.

You are correct that Jerry's leadership and vision for the community has well served Pleasanton. I find it ironic that you mention the support of the business community for Cheryl, when the Chamber of Commerce endorsed Jerry Thorne. Jerry's passion and understanding of the community is exactly what we need.

Joyce & Bob Shapiro

Support Brown, Thorne

Dear Editor,

Karla Brown for City Council and Jerry Thorne for mayor are the twobest candidates to represent the residents of Pleasanton.

Neither supports Measure B1, the transportation sales tax, because it would become a permanent tax, becoming a tax burden we would pass on to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It has no sunset clause. That eliminates the incentive of the government to wisely spend that money because they know they never have to come back to the voters to extend the tax. A permanent tax has no accountability.

Neither Brown nor Thorne will accept money from unions. While another candidate makes a point that giving money to them gives access, Thorne and Brown will meet with anyone no matter if they donated to their campaign or not. The rational of not accepting city employee union money and support is legitimate. Employees of the city are represented by unions. In a representative democracy, the residents are meant to be represented by their elected officials. When elected officials accept money and support from the unions they negotiate with, they tip the scales toward the employees and away from the taxpayers like you and me. That generates a clear conflict of interest when negotiating to find fair solutions for both the hardworking employees and the city's hardworking taxpayers. One only need to look at the State of California to see how problematic it is to address labor cost issues with the public employee unions' influence and money.

Steve Brozosky

Thorne for mayor

Dear Editor,

Elect Jerry Thorne for Pleasanton mayor.

Jerry Thorne, as a member of our Pleasanton City Council, has proved himself to be an effective, responsible leader and an independent thinker. He is a man of integrity, known for his "grassroots" efforts, who listens and works with us. His strong and experienced voice has helped bring more consensus and cooperation to the City Council, resulting in decisions and actions that serve well Pleasanton's people, businesses and government.

Jerry is a trusted businessman, environmental engineer, family man and community leader.

Jerry Thorne is well recognized for representing our Pleasanton City Council on numerous regional, state and national commissions and boards. In Pleasanton he led the fight for lighted, multi-use sports fields, for a teen center, for a youth club, and for civic arts facilities to be built on the Bernal Property. He has recognized the fast growing aging population in Pleasanton and is committed to continuing strong services to our Senior Center and to promoting programs that provide assistance to seniors, including improved transportation.

Jerry Thorne will be an outstanding mayor of Pleasanton. We need his strong and thoughtful leadership. Let's get Jerry elected again.

Dave Melander

Vote for Pentin

Dear Editor,

As a 43-year resident of Pleasanton, I am pleased to give my support to Jerry Pentin for Pleasanton City Council. I met Jerry over 20 years ago when he and his family moved to Pleasanton. Over the years, I have worked with Jerry on a number of charitable and community projects. You can be assured that Jerry works hard to fulfill the commitments that he makes. As a local business owner, he understands the need for co-operation between the city and the local business community. His work on the Callippe Golf Committee, the Parks and Rec board and with the City Planning Commission has shown his commitment to Pleasanton and has given him a great insight to the issues facing Pleasanton today.

Please vote for Jerry Pentin.

Jack Parker

Cook-Kallio for mayor

Dear Editor,

I am supporting Cheryl Cook-Kallio for Mayor. Cheryl has superb communication skills and a clear understanding of how all levels of government work. She displays a willingness to make hard decisions based on what is best for the entire community. Quite simply, Cheryl will provide the strongest leadership for our community as we address critical future issues.

Pleasanton is not an island. Whether we like it or not the future of Pleasanton will depend to a certain extent on the ability of our leaders to work well with our city neighbors, the county and the state. Only by working together will we be able to protect those values so important to us all while meeting our commitments and addressing common concerns. Cheryl enjoys the respect of local and regional leaders of business, unions and all levels of government. That good relationship will be of tremendous value when we need to sit at the table with those leaders to discuss and solve mutual problems.

Our children's education and development is my highest concern. Cheryl has spent her career as an educator and understands the importance of close and supportive city/school relationships. I trust Cheryl to not only work well with the school district to achieve the highest level of city cooperation possible but to serve as an advocate for those city services and programs that contribute so significantly toward the development and health of our youth.

Exercise your right to vote and vote for Cook-Kallio for mayor.

Dolores Bengtson

Vote for Brown, Thorne

Dear Editor,

Please join me in voting for Karla Brown for City Council and Vice Mayor Jerry Thorne for mayor. Both are long-time residents that have circulated petitions that have helped keep Pleasanton a great place to live. Brown and Thorne have focused on getting to know Pleasanton residents the old fashioned way -- petitions, walking neighborhoods, dropping fliers, being at the farmers market, etc.

Karla, endorsed by the Sierra Club, was a proponent for a successful petition for ridge-top and hillside protection and has been very involved in Pleasanton's Transit-Oriented Development and East Side Specific Plan task forces.

Jerry, very active in many civic activities prior to becoming a City Council member, circulated an initiative to build much needed sports facilities for Bernal Park. He also has supported families of troops serving overseas and has been active in welcoming military personnel back to Pleasanton.

Contrast that to two of their challengers: One (Erlene Demarcus, a former consultant for developers) has received substantial campaign funding from a series of $1,000 contributions from out of town interests and developers, many of those who are responsible for uncontrolled growth and traffic congestion in Dublin and Fremont. Another (Cook-Kallio) has sought the endorsement from multiple unions, state officials, members of county boards and officials from other cities.

If residents want Pleasanton to continue to have small-town charm rather than the uncontrolled growth of Dublin and Fremont, please join me in voting for representatives that will represent the residents of Pleasanton -- Brown and Thorne.

Anne Fox

Stark out of touch

Dear Editor,

I manage a local real estate office in Pleasanton. During my 20 years in the real estate industry, I have helped many families buy homes in Pleasanton, Livermore and the Tri-Valley area. A few months back, I had the opportunity to see and listen to Congressman Pete Stark at a local Realtors Marketing Meeting. I asked Rep. Stark what his thoughts are about the elimination of the home mortgage interest deduction. I as well as many of the attendees were shocked and dismayed when Rep. Stark responded with bewilderment, asking why is the mortgage interest deduction a concern to Realtors.

I am deeply concerned by how out of touch Rep. Stark is on the mortgage interest deduction that was established in 1913 and how important it is to help families realize the American Dream of home ownership.

Tri-Valley families deserve a Member of Congress who knows the issues and will stand up to protect the mortgage interest deduction and private home-ownership rights.

Larry Spiteri

Thorne: outstanding choice

Dear Editor,

Having worked with Jerry Thorne for a number of years on Pleasanton's Community of Character Collaborative Board, I know him to be a man of integrity, motivated by nothing more than a sincere desire to maintain and strengthen the quality of life that we love and enjoy in Pleasanton. A man who cares about a safe and enriching life in which families and individuals can strengthen and thrive.

Many cities are faced with bankruptcy. It is important for Pleasanton to have a leader that knows how to work with businesses and work to have a balanced and strong local economy. Jerry has had experience in the business world as well as two terms on the City Council that provide him with the knowledge and vision so important for our city to be financially strong.

In the many years of service to Pleasanton, Jerry has worked to help maintain the wonderful quality of life we enjoy in Pleasanton. As you look at our beautiful parks and sports venues, it is important to know that Jerry had a part in bringing many to Pleasanton.

Jerry will devote his full time to the job of mayor. It is a rare individual that gives his full time, "heart and soul," to his city at a time in his life that offers him a multitude of choices. Jerry deserves to serve as our mayor, and he will be an outstanding choice.

Joanne Gunson

Yes on Measure I

Dear Editor,

My thanks to your paper for your informative and balanced coverage of the numerous ballot issues.

I write to urge readers to vote Yes for Chabot-Las Positas Community College District Measure I to provide funds to restore course offerings that were reduced nearly 15%. Because of decreased funding during budget years 2009-10 through 2012-13, the colleges were unable to serve several thousand students. Over the past three years Las Positas College slashed 323 sections, losing 13,334 seats. Chabot reduced 591 sections, losing 25,402 seats. Those cuts have had a huge effect for students looking to transfer to a four-year university or continue their career training.

Chabot and Las Positas colleges serve as a safety net for students who otherwise could not afford college. Chabot College and Las Positas College offer essential career training through degree and certificate programs in areas such as nursing, science, automotive technology, biology, healthcare management, computer science and many others. Over the past three years, nearly 5,000 students have received a degree or certificate through Chabot College or Las Positas College.

Measure I would levy a flat $28 on each parcel within the district annually for a period of six years. Measure I will provide $5.6 million annually, which will enable the colleges to use some band-aides to get through the 2012-13 budget year and start to fill the holes for the 2013-14 budget year.

Patrick M. Lofft

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