Just look at some of this council's accomplishments:
* Opened Callippe Preserve Golf Course in 2005, now ranked as the 43rd best municipal course in the U.S.
* Completed the design and construction of three new baseball fields in Bernal Community Park, funding the first stage of a 318-acre park.
* Approved the design, construction and restoration of the Veterans Memorial Building on Main Street.
* Completed the realignment and construction of Vineyard Avenue, making it one of the premier gateways in east Pleasanton.
* Funded the construction of the Valley Avenue extension with an underpass at the Union Pacific tracks and marking the completion of the long-planned Bernal Loop that connects all neighborhoods in Pleasanton.
* Successfully negotiated the acquisition of an old railway corridor through downtown Pleasanton after years of bickering with its owner, Alameda County. The deal gave Pleasanton additional off-street parking downtown, a major trail through the business district, and the final piece of land needed to construct the Firehouse Arts Center, which this council also completed.
Most recently, the council negotiated a court settlement and land use agreement with an Oakland-based affordable housing coalition that kept local land use control in the hands of the city, not the state as housing authorities had suggested.
And there were more accomplishments during the unified reign of the current council, including a new and second BART station, annexation of Staples Ranch to allow the construction of Stoneridge Creek retirement community that's now under way, construction of Fire Station No. 4 on Bernal Avenue, downtown public restrooms, the Marilyn Kane Trail, and the restoration and renovation of Kottinger Creek.
Perhaps most important, this council recognized at the onset the start of the recent recession, adopting and adhering to strict fiscal policies that maintained discretionary reserves of $22 million and locked up approximately $75 million in other reserves, initiated an employee pay freeze and halted all but essential purchases. During the worst of the recession, Pleasanton, unlike most surrounding communities, had no personnel layoffs or cut in services and maintained balanced municipal budgets without fail.
This council also took steps to start reducing the city's unfunded pension liabilities, setting aside annual appropriations to reduce the debt and successfully negotiating new contracts with police and firefighter unions to start contributing 9% of their pay toward their retirement with a two-tier hiring system that will reduce pension benefits even further.
Thanks to all of you for your six-to-eight years of work on a unified City Council.
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