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Letter from the Mayor

Original post made by letsgo on May 5, 2010

Did everyone receive a lovely note from Mayor Hosterman today? I find it offensive, unethical and perhaps bordering on illegal that our elected officials would put out a campaign on something that she is intimately involved with and suppose to be representing what the community wants. If she wants to get the facts out that's fine, but there are 60 pages of facts in the ballot information packet. So those on the city council who are not paid off by the developer can not send out this mailings because they don't have the cash. I think the Council Meeting are enough of a forum to voice your opinion...why does she need to put her name on this mailing?

Comments (27)

Posted by westsider, a resident of Foothill High School
on May 5, 2010 at 7:27 pm

Ha ha ha ha ha. Hilarious. Nice try. Anyone in this country can voice their opinion, haven't you heard that?

Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park
on May 5, 2010 at 8:19 pm

I actually got a phone call from someone a couple of days ago asking if I'd received the "Yes on D" information from Mayor Hosterman. I have yet to get the letter, but like you "letsgo", I think there's enough info out there to make an informed decision come June 8th.

What I find interesting about this particular situation is that in 2007, at the June 19 City Council Meeting, Mayor Hosterman and Councilmembers Thorne and Cook-Kallio censured then Planning Commissioner Fox for her involvement and sponsorship of the Staples Ranch "Open Space Initiative". They said they'd received negative comments regarding her involvement and considered her actions unethical. The negative commentary was, of course, coming from those individuals and organizations, like the Chamber of Commerce, who were opposed to the initiative. Shortly after her public censure, Ms Fox's term was up and she was booted off the Planning Commission and replaced with a Chamber of Commerce/Council majority favorite.

I absolutely support every person's right to stand up, support and/or speak out about those issues they feel have an impact on our community . . . even our elected and appointed officials . . . and even when I may not agree with them on the issue.

What's interesting in this Community of Character is that our Mayor and Councilmembers Thorne and Cook-Kallio are perfectly OK actively supporting the Oak Grove initiative when they have called it unethical and publically censured the same behavior from others in the past, but, it seems, only on initiatives they do not support.

Posted by resident, a resident of Downtown
on May 5, 2010 at 8:38 pm

What I would like to know is who paid for it? If hosterman paid for it then, questionable as it is, it seems to be legal. The funny thing is that my husband received one, I did not. Same household. He was not going to bother to vote but now he is, against it. Good job hosterman you bought another vote for my side.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 5, 2010 at 9:00 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Did anyone get the green flyer being passed out by the opponents to D?

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2010 at 9:17 pm

The difference is that this development was passed by the city council on a 4-1 vote. It has been approved by the city council so why wouldn't the mayor or the council, for that matter, actively support it?

Posted by curious, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 5, 2010 at 9:24 pm

I found the No on D flyer on my mat. Pretty interesting--a few statements in it that are questionable at best and not true at worst.

It was interesting last night at the Council meeting. Kay Ayala said they had been reproduced at Copy Mat. But it sure looks to me like Copy Mat is out of business--what's the real story?

Posted by finch, a resident of Ruby Hill
on May 5, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Is hosterman so arrogant that she believes that this letter and her opinion will sway my vote? Well, Jen, I don't need you to tell me how to vote - this was offensive and you can count on me to vote against it. Good Job
btw: One letter had the wrong name for our address - where did the list come from as well as the $$??.

Posted by letsgo, a resident of California Reflections
on May 5, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Yes, everyone is allowed to voice their opinion, including Jennifer Hosterman. But this mailing has a little "hand-written" note inside from our Mayor. The mailing was paid for by Frederic Lin Family for Oak Grove (and that was published on the back of the envelope).

I just don't understand why the Yes on D ballot needed to look like it came from out mayor. Maybe I'm a bit preturbed that she/they wanted it to look like it came from her, but was paid for by the developer - the ones who are going to make money. It makes me start to much money is involved between our Mayor and the Lin family, what else might be going on?

Posted by Elizabeth A., a resident of Downtown
on May 5, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Oh please. I know the Mayor well. She worked like hell to put together this project, some 4 or more years ago! That was after she helped referrend the same project, some 15 years ago!

This project is about compromise. The naysayers will become more and more rabid as the days grow close to June 8 - "they're cutting down our hillsides! They're taking out all of our beautiful heritage oak trees"! It's all a bunch of lies. Yes, something under 60 trees will be removed, and something more than 900 will be planted. All lots have been carefully planned to be tucked into current topography and landscape so as to minimize (and in most cases, reduce alltogether) any visibility, to the valley floor.

So, if you want to vote against Measure D, the property owner will likely sue the City for a regulatory "taking" and move forward with developing 98 luxury homes, in accord with our General Plan, with NO open space parkland for the people of Pleasanton, or you can vote for the compromise which is a development agreement that allow up to 51 future homesites (of course they'll be big - the property is expensive! 5,000 sq ft is anticipated) and just short of 500 acres of pristine oak woodlands to kept in perpetuity, for the people of Pleasanton, forever!

I'm going with that plan! Vote yes on Measure D!

And, by the way, it will create an opportunity to showcase a very enviro friendly project, with open space, for the other two property owners - imagine, we could create 2,000 acres of open space, within our growth boundary, which wll preclude any further development in our south east hills! Win-win?

Oh, the ad piece was obviously paid for by the property owners - it says so, by law, on the bottom. The Mayor has for the last four years supported this project of open space for the people of Pleasanton - her namae is attached. The Mayor has lots of opinions, just as all of you, and yes, the law allows her to voice her opinions.

Posted by commy / mommy, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on May 6, 2010 at 7:28 am

shes a socialst , with a personal agenda. organized corruption.

Posted by Laurie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2010 at 8:36 am

Elizabeth A. - excellent post and I could not agree with you more about this compromise project. This is a win for Pleasanton and the property owner (and why should they not win....after all the land is theirs!). It is amazing to me that some people are still not for this project which has been talked about, studied, reviewed, etc.... for YEARS. It's called a compromise, folks and Pleasanton comes out pretty well on this one. Wake up and accept it or else the Lins may very will pursue legal action (and again they have that right and, IMO, just cause!) and Pleasanton very weill may be left with many more homes than now allotted AND no parkland AND huge legal bills all because some did not want any homes on hills that did not even belong to them or the city in the first place?

This issue is NOT about the Lins and where they live and how much money they already have nor is it about the Mayor of Pleasanton and if she or if she should not have sent a letter to residents in support of this project. Look at all Pleasanton will gain from this project and then all that we stand to loose if the measure fails. Keep an open mind to compromise and I have to hope that Pleasanton will see that while this may not be a perfect solution to someone who wants no building in Oak Grove, it is so much better than the alternative.

This is one family (3 votes) that are definately YES on D!

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 6, 2010 at 9:59 am

Stacey is a registered user.


Glad to see another understand that the issue is about the pros and cons of the project itself and not the personalities involved.

Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park
on May 6, 2010 at 11:46 am

It should always be about the straight-up pros and cons of each and every issue/project - whether on a local, state or national level.

It's too bad Mayor Hosterman and Councilmembers Thorne and Cook-Kallio didn't have that same epiphany when they were busy publicly censuring Planning Commissioner Chairperson Fox for her similar involvement on an issue with which they were in strong disagreement – even going so far as to share their "concerns" over her actions with the City Attorney.

Ah, politics . . .

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2010 at 11:57 am

Anne was using her planning commission status to give credibility in opposing a particular position supported by the planning commission and the city council. She has the right to oppose a project and to circulate an initiative as an individual. The city's position was support so she did not have the right to use her city position in circulating the initiative. She was not authorized to do so. The disagreement was over her use of her position as a planning commissioner.

The difference here is that the city council approved Oak Grove on a 4-1 vote. The city's official position is one of support and the council has authorized that. The mayor and the council members are speaking for the city in this matter.

Posted by letsgo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2010 at 2:52 pm

Again, this isn't a Yes or No on D arguement (I plan to vote yes), its the concern that our mayor appears to be taking money from land owners to pass initiatives. I don't think its right, whether its the mayor, or any other elected official to take money from those involved in a project. Its not a personal thing with our current mayor, I would have the conern with any mayor.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 6, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Stacey is a registered user.


Perhaps not for you, but for others who have responded to your thread, yes, it is a "yes or no on D" argument.

Posted by curious, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2010 at 4:51 pm

letsgo, how is the Mayor taking money from a developer any different from Cindy McGovern taking money (over $2,000 in the last election)from neighbors bordering the Oak Grove property to vote against the project? Any we haven't even been discussing how much money McGovern and Sullivan received in the last election from the Stoneridge Dr. neighborhood.

Anne Fox does have a right to circulate a petition. The point that people are missing is that as a Planning Commissioner you are supposed to remain open until a public hearing is held on an item. By circulating a petition she had clearly stated her position so the question asked how that affects her ability to vote on items related to the petition--ie when does she need to recuse herself. Its called making sure an applicant gets a fair hearing. There were other issues such as multiple violations of the Brown Act as well as abuse of continance of items to be heard making the Planning Commission a political body instead of quasi-judicial as its supposed to be.

Posted by Billie, a resident of Mohr Park
on May 6, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Even the Council majority of Hosterman/Thorne/Cook-Kallio didn't say Commissioner Fox was "using her planning commission status to give credibility in opposing a particular position supported by the planning commission and the city council." According to the minutes (and the video of the meeting was even more telling), Mayor Hosterman said it concerned her that "the Chair has engaged in activities *outside* of her role as Planning Commissioner". Councilmember Cook-Kallio felt that "perception was part of the issue and clearly the Letter to the Editor was *not* intended to tie to the role of the Commissioner." Councilmember Thorne stated that the Council must "respond to the public's concern that *the Planning Commission was obstructionist in nature*." [*emphasis* mine] Web Link

Mayor Hosterman, with Councilmembers Thorne and Cook-Kallio, proceeded to use Commissioner Fox's involvement with the "Open Space Initiative" against her in order to interview, approve and move Commissioner Jerry Pentin, a pro-growth, Chamber of Commerce endorsed politician, from the Parks and Recreation Commission over to the Planning Commission. To cap off the whole ugly issue, Commissioner Pentin's appointment was instead of elevating long-time alternate Planning Commission member Greg O'Connor to the permanent seat on the commission. This move did, however, set the Planning Commission up with a pro-growth majority that matched the Council.

BTW, in 2004 when Councilmember Thorne was the Parks and Recreation Commission Chairperson he was also co-author of the Bernal Park "Initiative to Save Our Community Park", and was co-chair of the grass-roots "Committee to Save Our Community Park". While then Councilmembers Ayala and Brozosky called Commissioner Thorne's actions election year politics regarding a "feel good initiative" that had no point (he was once again campaigning for a Council seat), there was neither a concerted effort to remove him from his Commission seat, nor public censure of his Commission or individual community efforts. Mayor Hosterman was on the Council and running for Mayor at the time.

I repeat, Ah, politics . . .

Posted by letsgo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2010 at 5:03 pm

"how is the Mayor taking money from a developer any different from Cindy McGovern taking money" - to me there is a difference. If you are taking funds to support your election, I know where you stand (by who you are taking money from) and can vote against you. Whether you see it as a big difference is up to you. I have yet to see a No on D flier, but if it came from Sullivan and was paid for by people who would profit from a No on D (not sure who that would be) I would have the same opinion (maybe be even more so as I am a yes on D person).

Yes, these things happen all the time, but does that make it right?

Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2010 at 5:57 pm

Do you know who is supporting No on Measure D? How are they paying for the materials they are using?, for the ads in the weekly? For the huge signs that proclaim, Don't mess with OUR hills? (Their Hills?????) You are supposed to see those expenditures on their report but alas there is no accountability for the No on D people. We do know they are the same people who were on the Yes on PP committee. We also know that Alan Roberts was sanctioned by the FPPC for not reporting his "in Kind" contribution to the committee on PP. Alan Roberts live on the hill and sees Oak Grove from his backyard. He also once cashed a check from Charter Properties for legal fees he said he incurred while negotiating with the Lin's.

Transparency is supposed to work both ways.

Posted by Karen, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 6, 2010 at 10:10 pm

The Mayor had her turn to vote and she voted to accept the Oak Grove PUD and Devel. Agreement. Now the voter's get their turn. She should step back and watch, not be devisive and try to influence the vote. When the 3 pro growth council members voted to rescind or put it to a vote - they had a LOT of power. Now her turn is done. She needs to stepdown.

For her to lend her name to the notes, phone calls leading people to believe they are from her own administration, she is being paid heavily. The real question is why? No one appears to be running against her. Why does she need so much money. Is she being paid a salary like Tom Pico?????

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 6, 2010 at 10:26 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

The measure D opponents didn't want this to go to the voters. They urged the Council to rescind.

Posted by Karen too, a resident of Birdland
on May 6, 2010 at 10:28 pm

We were told by the signature gatherers that they wanted a vote. There was NO reason to rescind, that would have disenfranchised the thousands of people who did not sign the initiative. Why shouldn't the mayor and council support the project, it was a 4-1 vote in favor!

It is absolutely reasonable for the council majority to support this project. It was approved by them after 4 plus years of an open and collaborative process.

Pro Growth? Talk about misrepresentation. This council has approved less homes than previous councils and when homes have been approved they have succeeded in getting the developers to go as green as possible.

The division here is the personality contest this has turned into. It is Not about the mayor, the council, Kay or Karla. . .it is about the project.

Does the project benefit Pleasanton? What do we stand to loose if the project is defeated especially with the housing cap gone? It will eliminate the possibility of a two thousand acre trail system because that portion will be lost to development. It is zoned rural residential. More house may be built and it won't come with the emenities the project now includes. The number of houses have been reduced from 98 to 51.

Take a tour, drive up and look for yourself. From downtown, drive south, turn left on Bernal and then right on Hearst. You can see for yourself!

Get educated, look past the rhetoric on both sides, judge the benefits of the project. . .

I am voting Yes on Measure D

Posted by curious, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 6, 2010 at 10:47 pm

Karen,you state that the Mayor is being paid heavily. Who is paying her and what proof do you have of that or are you just trying to discredit her with innuendo and rumor? You have stated the Yes on D campaign is deceptive but yet you continue to mislead at best or be deceptive or worse with saying the Mayor is being bought, implying that all the Oak Grove homes will be 12,500 square feet when in fact only 3 can be UP to that and not one has been approved. Need I keep going on. . .Please back up your statement about the Mayor or I ask the Weekly to remove your post.

And no I'm not the Mayor--just an involved citizen tired of the tactics of the yes on d folks.

Posted by letsgo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 7, 2010 at 11:27 pm

"Who is paying her" - The Lin family...its on the letter. The return address is to Jennifer Hosterman (and the note inside is from her too) and on the back its says paid for by the Frederic Lin Family for Oak Grove.

Posted by curious, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2010 at 8:02 am

Correction. I meant to say I am tired of the tacticts of the no on D folks.

Posted by curious, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2010 at 11:45 am

They (the Lin family) aren't paying her--they're paying for the cost of the mailing. To say they're paying her implies she's taking money under the table. I find statements like this a sign of disperation by the No on Measure D folks. Let's stick to the facts not these innuendos and the deceptions that are being told by the No on D folks.

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