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Sullivan again blocks final vote on Walmart grocery store in Pleasanton

Original post made on May 8, 2012

Pleasanton City Councilman Matt Sullivan single-handedly blocked a final vote Monday night on a measure that would have allowed Walmart to open one of its Neighborhood Markets at the site of the long-vacant Nob Hill supermarket on Santa Rita Road.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 7:53 AM

Comments (101)

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Posted by Matt
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 8:11 am

Matt Sullivan is a fool and a terrible representative of the people.

When Pleasanton gets sued....again, it will be Matt's ridiculous logic that got us in trouble.


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Posted by What???
a resident of Birdland
on May 8, 2012 at 8:20 am

Walmart is a vulture. They operate by sucking the life out of other competitors. They want all jobs part time at low wages with no benefits. Look at other communities that have allowed Walmart in and how they impacted these community before you run your mouths. They are under investigation for bribing officials to approve their community entry. I have no doubt they have influenced that nut job Hosterman who has shifted from a liberal to a money hungry official overnight. She is gutting our community. She needs to go back to her war protests and green at all costs liberal agendae. She will do anything to bring money into Pleasanton regardless of how it impacts our smalol town feel.


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Posted by what not???
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 8, 2012 at 8:22 am


Is there an alternative to walmart?


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Posted by mittens
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 8:22 am

What a tool (of the unions). After the city loses the lawsuit, Sullivain needs to be sued to recover the expenses he incurred through his stubborn elitist agenda. Run over the one-man roadblock to improving the tax base of the city.


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Posted by mittens
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 8:29 am

What???: "influenced that nut job Hosterman who has shifted from a liberal to a money hungry official overnight." Seriously? Can that happen to a liberal with all their deeply held convictions that they know what's best for everyone?

"She needs to go back to her war protests and green at all costs liberal agendae. She will do anything to bring money into Pleasanton regardless of how it impacts our smalol town feel."

Wow, how the liberals eat their own.....fun to watch....speaking of vultures.
You, no doubt, are responsible for all those misspelled protest signs...I've seen your work. Keep it up and you'll never be able to score a job at WalMart. They require literacy.


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Posted by No Slave drivers
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 8:32 am

You go Matt!


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Posted by Grace Hadley
a resident of Birdland
on May 8, 2012 at 8:33 am

Matt Sullivan is a disgrace to this town. Maybe he thinks by all these appeals he will postpone Walmart until they give up. News for you Mr. Sullivan, they won't give up they will file a lawsuit and it will all be your fault.
How does it feel to be the ridicule of the whole town?


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Posted by Paulette
a resident of Val Vista
on May 8, 2012 at 8:33 am

I wanted to go last night; but, my fragile nerves can't handle the bullies who pretend to be the majority at these meetings lately. I urge your readers to read an article on the online newspaper Grist. If you simply google "Grist Eaters Beware," the link will pop up. It is an excellent article about why a Walmart grocery store isn't worth having in our city. I can tell you from my experience that Walmart isn't cheaper on many foods. In studies done, those who shop for food at Walmart are more apt to be obese; because the foods that are cheaper are the junk foods. Walmart puts people who have no experience with food safety in charge of produce sections and even have had produce managers clean the toilets in the store as well. We don't need a store that has bargains; we have those already. Lucky, Smart N Final, Safeway - they all have great sales and competitive prices. We need another store that has superior produce at a decent price. That would be a store like Lunardis - a small, family owned chain that has an exceptional selection at fair prices - a place we can even special order from. There is not one grocery store in Pleasanton that carries rainbow chard. That's really pathetic! Lunardis does. The same with the more delicious kales and other delicious, healthful vegetables & fruits from local farmers. My parents always shop at Lunardis and I'm always hearing about their wonderful produce at fabulous prices. My mom tells me about her interactions with their helpful butchers. Walmart pretends that they will do business with local farmers; but, in reality, they carry big agri-business produce often shipped from afar and the food has lost its vitamin content by time it reaches the shelves. Even Walmart workers don't shop at the Walmart grocery stores, knowing that they carry items way past their expiration dates, according to this article. Besides, this Walmart store gives the other big stores an excuse to lower wages, benefits, attracting lower quality workers who are unfamiliar with food safety. Walmart workers are paid so low that they end up on the local government dole for healthcare (adding more impoverished people into our local clinics & ERS). When Walmart takes over, it affects the whole city in a negative way; and, puts greater hardships on the other merchants and their workers. These people who pretend to be working people who scream about wanting cheaper food & Walmart, I bet half of them aren't as impoverished as they pretend to be; I think for them, it's political. Politics at the expense of quality for our city. We need a nice local small chain store that has the flexibility to special order things and carry produce and meat from local suppliers; that supplies quality at a fair and decent price. The big stores are beholding to their distributors only. They all carry the same stuff just about. Walmart would be even worse. I vote for sending candy and flowers to Lunardis.


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Posted by olfthfl
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 8, 2012 at 8:34 am

Sullivan is the quintessential buffoon. Unfortunately he is our buffoon.


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Posted by Educated
a resident of Foothill High School
on May 8, 2012 at 8:36 am

Please join me in NOT re-electing Matt Sullivan.


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Posted by Rick
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 8:42 am

I can't express my frustration enough. Mr Sullivan: You sir, are an obstructionist at this point.

Your personal views have been clear. We get it.
YOU don't like Wal-Mart.

YOU will delay and stall WITHOUT regard to the overwhelming support for this business to move into that shopping center.

YOU are costing this community - in additional costs of meeting after meeting - all of which have approved this project over, and over, and OVER!

YOU have caused stress, frustration within our community... And cost many citizens to spend their time and energy to continue to show up to meeting after meeting... And in some cases, change personal schedules in order to attend these meetings after meetings



IT IS TIME. Your efforts have resulted in Negativity within the community and I for one, am totally exhausted by YOUR actions

To the other COUNCIL MEMBERS:

GET IT DONE!


To the Citizens of Pleasanton: it is time for us to move forward and to remember the actions of our council as we vote for the future of Pleasanton


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Posted by Rsident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 8:44 am

Matt is DaMan!


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Posted by P*town Truth Teller
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 8:54 am

"He asked the council to support his bid to halt further consideration of the Walmart application until city staff could investigate the charges and determine if Walmart financial backing through the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce political action committee had improperly influenced Pleasanton elections as well."

How about investigating whether union (and low-income housing developer) financial backing has improperly influenced Pleasanton elections? I think the answer would be a resounding, "Yes."


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Posted by Sheryl
a resident of Canyon Oaks
on May 8, 2012 at 8:57 am

I respect Matt for bringing his opinion to the public forum. I want our elected officials to bring a variety of ideas and independent thinking to the Council. I don't agree with him, but I respect his ability and right to present a different point of view from the rest.

BTW, according to the article half of the speakers agreed with Matt, so let's not blog as if he was in the tiny minority. That is not true and not fair.


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Posted by Jon
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2012 at 9:00 am

Everyone knows the Pleasanton Chamber and their PAC is full of nasty right wingers, and some of the meanest bloggers in town. That is a well known fact.


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Posted by Randy Randleman
a resident of Mission Park
on May 8, 2012 at 9:03 am

Is this guy for real? Sullivan you are going to get the city sued over your own issues with WalMart. This is not about if you want to shop there Mr. Sullivan its about the legal use of that empty building. Please get over yourself Sullivan and let the City manage itself properly.


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Posted by TAK
a resident of Oak Hill
on May 8, 2012 at 9:03 am

Every time this subject comes up the main point is missed. Nobody is working in that store right now. Some economic activity is better than no activity. That location has been vacant for some time and if some other company than Walmart wanted to occupy it they would have tried. If you don't like how Walmart operates don't work there and don't shop there.

It's regrettable that some people don't like business competition. Instead they promote protectionism for union labor. If union labor is advantageous to a store it will prosper. If not, the store will fail. I prefer to have as many choices of where I shop as possible. People like Mr. Sullivan want to limit my choices. Let Walmart, Safeway, Luckys, Trader Joes, etc. compete for our money and let people decide where it is best spent.


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Posted by Trevor Tooze
a resident of Livermore
on May 8, 2012 at 9:04 am

Matt Sullivan is proving, what many people outside of Pleasanton think, with his eletist attitude. He believes that Walmart is not good enough for Pleasanton. I thought that we had free enterprise in this country. I am not a big Walmart fan, as far as my shopping habits go, but they are entitled to provide a service for those that want, and in many cases, need a store like Walmart in their city. Matt Sullivan just wants to show the the "No Walmart" supporters that he is on their side, so that he does not lose their future support.


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Posted by mittens
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 9:10 am

Sheryl, unions organize...that's what they do...strength (intimidation) in numbers. Sullivain supports the unions, so they naturally have his back in these meetings. The majority of this city's residents weren't at the meeting, but support the rest of the city council. He is part of a tiny, but vocal minority, soon to be replaced.


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Posted by Cindy
a resident of Danbury Park
on May 8, 2012 at 9:13 am

I'm for the RECALL of Matt Sullivan. He's not working for the good of the city he supossedly represents. I agree he should foot the bill for all the delay tactics, possible legal fees, GOD FORBID, a costly settlement that Pleasanton can face for not allowing Walmart a permit to open a grocery store that is zoned for a GROCERY STORE.
Claiming that Walmart brided officials in Mexico is s flimsy excuse for a delay. Why should our of 66K people investigate this claim when the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is investigating the bribery allegation. HOW STUPID IS HE? The Justice Department does not need our Village Idiot interfering with their case.
By the way, is our Village Idiot looking for a crime because they haven't offered him a bribe yet?
Tune in next week for a new episode of "As the Stomach Turns" aka the City Council Meeting.


RECALL! RECALL!! RECALL!!!


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Posted by PAN
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 8, 2012 at 9:15 am

I didn't vote for "Matty" before because of his idiotic views. His latest move just confirms my belief that he truly has no business representing me and my views! What a bonehead!

I totally agree with TAK above... the building is and has been empty. Walmart going in will employ those that are not currently employed, bring more revenue to the city. If you don't like it, don't shop there but don't take away the choice. I'm sure "Matty" would'nt be caught dead in a Walmart. He is way above that!! I'm so disgusted with our so called politicians in this city.


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Posted by Tom
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on May 8, 2012 at 9:38 am

Thank God Sullivan term will max out . Good ridence. Don't even think to run for Mayor Matt. You are through.


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Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2012 at 9:39 am

I just have to tell you how impressed I am with the quality of argument being posed by the pro-corporate, anti-Matt-the-bozo side of this phoney debate. Matt is a bozo. Matt is on the take. Matt is an obstructionist. Matt is an idiot. Goodness, this is what I like to see! All my corndog eating, white senior zealots out there gracing these sites with their carefully coordinated, well thought out slime.

Now, Paulette had a number of things to say that aren't very pretty. But we can ignore all that. We need instead to stick to the point. Let's recall Matt Sullivan! He's in over his head. Way over his head.


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Posted by Frustrated
a resident of Jensen Tract
on May 8, 2012 at 9:40 am

Unfortunately, Mr. Sullivan's actions confirm he is unwilling or unable to serve this community in a fair, informed and objective capacity. I will not be voting for him again.


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Posted by Concerned Resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 9:46 am

When people shop anywhere, they are voting with their hard earned funds. Why is Walmart's business growing - they are providing the public with the goods and services the public wwants at the price they want to pay. When Safeway opened at Bernal & Valley, did anyone ask if it would hurt Raley's business just around the corner? Where was Matt, did he seak to protect Raley's from Safeway - NOPE! So it's OK for one union operation to compete with another union operation, but it's not OK for Walmart to compete? Remember, we get the benefits & drawbacks of the people we elect into public office - VOTE!


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Posted by Member
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 8, 2012 at 9:46 am

Any thinking person realizes that there is nothing inherently wrong with Walmart. Walmart provides jobs for many, and provides inexpensive products for many. But the big labor unions hate Walmart because Walmart is not unionized. So the big labor union money demonizes Walmart, and makes up fake reasons to criticize Walmart. People who don't bother to think about it and educate themselves about it tend to think that Walmart is somehow inherently bad and evil. I even once thought that way until I finally took about 10 minutes to research why people oppose Walmart. The people who take the time to educate themselves on the subject and who still oppose Walmart are the pawns of the big labor unions.
Those are my comments about Walmart.
Regarding Matt Sullivan, I doubt that he will be elected to another term of office in Pleasanton.


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Posted by Penelope
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2012 at 9:59 am

This issue is a broken record stuck on repeat.....


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Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2012 at 10:11 am

Now, in the interest of fairness, I have to ask: Why isn't Matt Sullivan accepting bribes like everyone else? I certainly never took bribes when I was a liberal governor of a liberal state who passed obamacare. The latest from Zogby:


Eight in 10 Believe Wal-Mart Mexican Bribe Allegations; Three Quarters Think it's Common Practice for US Companies

One in Six [pawns of big labor, all] Are Less Likely to Shop at Wal-Mart as Result


UTICA, NY –US adults aware of allegations that Wal-Mart bribed Mexican officials to the tune of over $60 million for permission to build stores in their country, overwhelmingly believe the transgressions likely took place.

According to a recent IBOPE Inteligência interactive survey, 83% believe the bribery allegations likely, while just 12% think them unlikely. Furthermore, 75% of all respondents think it is commonplace for US companies to bribe foreign officials in order to build facilities in new markets, 37% of which consider it "very common."

As a result of the Wal-Mart scandal, 16% of those aware of the allegations say it makes them less likely to shop at the big box chain. [But these are just uneducated union sock puppets]

Hmmmm, anyone else wonder whether there are bribes behind the excited Sullivan bashers? Put it out of your head. Walmart doesn't do such things. I know. I'm a businessman.



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Posted by Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 10:27 am

I have nothing but contempt for the union thugs and the selfish, stupid union soialists,,,who have contempt for a free market and free people. They want to use force to prevent me from having a freedom to shop where I want...how SICK, EVIL, and CONTEMPTABLE is that ! IF they had any intellectual abilities, they would recognize there are many UNskilled and SENIORS, etc, who are grateful for an employer who will HIRE them part-time. This is a BIG country with many DIFFERENT people, with DIFFERENT situations, but the union socialists (groupthink) only want us to fit into THEIR tiny box, OR live off the government. They have zero respect for INDIVIDUALS...stictly 'groupthink' 'group-protection".

The real reason is, in this fragile economy, high-priced Safeway, due to unions, is showing signs of weaking...because of the greedy unions....so the jr hi schoolyard bullies want to destroy everybody else. This is America, and I'll be damned if these bullies are going to control where I shop ! ! ! There should be a speedy way of getting Matt out of office...he is truly UNfit for elected office....a King or dictator, maybe.
Are the unions going to cover the needless CITY expenses??? Maybe we can hound Matt, and FORCE our will on HIM,,,to pay up for what he costs the city. Let's get busy with ideas to neuter him,


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Posted by Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 10:27 am

I have nothing but contempt for the union thugs and the selfish, stupid union soialists,,,who have contempt for a free market and free people. They want to use force to prevent me from having a freedom to shop where I want...how SICK, EVIL, and CONTEMPTABLE is that ! IF they had any intellectual abilities, they would recognize there are many UNskilled and SENIORS, etc, who are grateful for an employer who will HIRE them part-time. This is a BIG country with many DIFFERENT people, with DIFFERENT situations, but the union socialists (groupthink) only want us to fit into THEIR tiny box, OR live off the government. They have zero respect for INDIVIDUALS...stictly 'groupthink' 'group-protection".

The real reason is, in this fragile economy, high-priced Safeway, due to unions, is showing signs of weaking...because of the greedy unions....so the jr hi schoolyard bullies want to destroy everybody else. This is America, and I'll be damned if these bullies are going to control where I shop ! ! ! There should be a speedy way of getting Matt out of office...he is truly UNfit for elected office....a King or dictator, maybe.
Are the unions going to cover the needless CITY expenses??? Maybe we can hound Matt, and FORCE our will on HIM,,,to pay up for what he costs the city. Let's get busy with ideas to neuter him,


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Posted by Zoe
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 10:28 am

Matt stands up for Union Busters! He got my vote!


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Posted by new in town
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 10:40 am

It seems that one of the issues is the procedures which allow ONE person to block voting on an issue. How does anything get done here? It seems like that should be the first thing a new city council changes.

I'm relatively new here and haven't figured out alot... but it seems there is a lot of 'funny business' that goes on here to block out competition. Besides for this (a grocery store can't go into a spot zoned for a grocery store?) the fact that Safeway can't put in a gas station at Bernal and we continue to pay among the highest prices in the local area for gas.

Welcome to P-Town.... where it seems that a few people make the decision for all.


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Posted by Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 10:44 am

As far as I'm concerned, drugs, ideas, societal standards in Mexico should STAY IN MEXICO ! ! ! I EXPECT business in MEXICO, to adhere to business standards IN Mexico ! Sort of like, when in Rome, do as Romans DO....do or die. Nobody survives in Mexican business, or survives Mexican POLICE, or Mexican drug lords without playing by their rules of behavior..... Mexico is not America.
Faker mittens, since YOU don't believe in or practice American freedoms in America, enough with your phony concern with business practices in MEXICO....GO crusade in Mexico !


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Posted by Contempt
a resident of Foxborough Estates
on May 8, 2012 at 10:45 am

I've been in Pleasanton since the late 80's. We had a great mayor back then named Ken Mercer. Pleasanton was dubbed back then as "the city of planned progress". Since Ken left nothing could be further from the truth. Over the last 20 years all I see and hear are complaints. Matt Sullivan IMO has cemented his place as the worst city council member in history. He should be held personally accountable for the huge amount of public money he has cost the city over his personal agenda's. It would be great if just once Matt could tell people what they could or can do versus always simply saying what they can't.

I don't give a damn about Walmart and rarely shop at their stores. I do find it interesting that Safeway representation at the meeting over Walmart competition was raised. I have a downtown business that safeway employees shop and replicate what I sell at lower prices, yet I have to find a way to differentiate myself. Pot meet kettle.


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Posted by PTown Pat
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 10:51 am

It's seems pretty clear at this point that Matt Sullivan is a pawn of the unions, even more than The Three Stooges on the Council. Each and every one of us need to contact the two of The Three Stooges that are running for Mayor (Thorne and Cook-Kallio) and let them know they don't have a chance in h*ll of getting elected if they don't stand up to the unions on this issue.

I remain PO'ed that that Matt Sullivan and The Three Stooges are in office primarily because of funding by the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce PAC. Members of the Chamber that are concerned about how their businesses are or will be bullied by unions need to oust the current leadership of the Chamber PAC.


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Posted by AlamedaCountyNative
a resident of Foothill Farms
on May 8, 2012 at 11:20 am

Just wondering. What does it cost to buy a city councilman these days? How much did you sell your votes for Mr Sullivan?


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Posted by Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 11:24 am

PTownP, you're right. Electing a union believer is one thing, BUT, I was amazed when people who know better actually endorsed a public union member,...that's going a bit far. NO problem when officials recuse themselves from union issues...but, when they DO NOT,...SHAMEFUL !


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Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2012 at 11:26 am

Just wondering. Why is Matt Sullivan proving so resistant to being bought off by Walmart like all other politicians from Seattle to Mexico City have been? Golly! I mean what does it take to buy off a politician anymore these days? I had to pay $80 grand just to get a car elevator installed on my Mormon magic happy underpants compound in La Jolla.


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Posted by Chemist
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2012 at 12:59 pm

We have heard arguments about everything except what is at the root of this issue. "Too many grocery stores" was echoed by numerous Safeway employees; where were they when Safeway opened their SECOND store a stone's throw away from another Safeway? At least a Walmart grocery store will give us options that two Safeway's do not. We keep hearing about "the traffic will be terrible". Never mind that we have four traffic lights in a 1500 foot stretch of Bernal where the brand new Safeway is now located, and the traffic getting onto the freeway is already a nightmare. We hear about the poor employees at Walmart who work part time and do not get medical coverage. Never mind that plenty of Safeway employees work part time and do not get insurance coverage. Never mind that part-time work is needed in our community: many of our sons and daughters worked part time, and not every elderly worker is able to work full time. We have heard about the impact of a "big box" store. Never mind that the brand new Safeway is bigger than the proposed Walmart grocery store.

So what is really going on in our "transparent" government. Here is what is going on: Walmart will bring jobs to Pleasanton, and you do not have to join a UNION to get those jobs. Unions cannot stomach non-union jobs, and it is the unions bringing in many of the folks wearing the no-Walmart buttons at OUR City Council Meetings. Let's not let the unions run our City any more than they already do.
Chemist


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Posted by Chemist
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm

By the way,
I do not know whether Walmart has "bought off" politicians from Mexico to Seattle, but I do know that the unions have "bought off" our entire State and Federal government, and this is one of the root causes behind our ongoing slide into grease - uh, I mean Greece.
Chemist


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Posted by FedUp
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 1:27 pm

When the unions have the law on their side, they use the law like a sledgehammer. When the unions do not have the law on their side, they just use a sledgehammer. The unions are bleeding their members for dues and using those dues to "influence" the outcome of elections. Whatever Walmart may have done in the way of "influencing" pales in comparison to what the unions have done and continue to do.


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Posted by Igor
a resident of Val Vista
on May 8, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Yes, corporations don't do that. They don't take profits made on workers' shoulders and use to lobby and bribe and "influence" outcome of elections. Only unions do this, I think. Walmart's illegal activity is nothing compared to workers organizing to get fair wage. We need go back to Russia I think. Czar would not tolerate unions do you think?


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 8, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Let whoever wants to open a legal business do so. The public will decide if it stays open.

Mike



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Posted by Chemist
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Whether I believe Walmart should be in Pleasanton or not, I know for sure that I did not appreciate having my time wasted by Matt Sullivan. I agree with that gentleman in the back who shouted "Why didn't you tell us you were going to force a continuation BEFORE the Meeting. We could have all gone home at 7:15." Not to mention all the taxpayer dollars wasted while police and city workers are all sitting around for another Sullivan circus sideshow.

Chemist


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Posted by PK
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm

I can't begin to understand Matt Sullivan. What was the point of waiting until the end of the meeting to postpone the vote. It is my opinion that he is one of the most inconsiderate, disagreeable and contempuous individuals I have ever met. He is an embarrassment to Pleasanton and the City Council.


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Posted by Frank Ingersol
a resident of Mission Park
on May 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Chemist and PK expressed my feelings perfectly.
Matt Sullivan is a disgrace to the council and Pleasanton.


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Posted by Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 5:09 pm

The union thugs can talk & act tough, since they KNOW they OWN our Governor. 30 years ago he gave us PUBLIC UNIONS in CA, when he was still Gov Moonbeam. NOW the 30 year retirements are coming due and breaking our once golden state. Teachers, Safeway, and all unions in CA will do anything and buy every CA politician they can. Gov, Mayor, Council, Representatives,...President, the works !!! Their money has controlled our elections for several decades. Not so with Corps, since they are 50 - 50 Dems. It's because of their total control that the (50D - 50R) Corps can now do what unions have been allowed to do. Makes sense.
Igor, you should be happy today with the election of France's new openly Socialist regime. That would be a great place for you, 'cuz socialist union control isn't welcome here. Fakers like you and mittens, full of fiction and lies, beacause you can't face the truth, seem to be too much for you to bare. Flee to the brotherhood you'll find with French socialists.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown
on May 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I don't have the time to read ALL the comments but perusing them leads me to a couple of thoughts FWIW: #1 - Walmart is already here "sucking the life out of us" and #2 - I try not to shop there but sometimes I do...it's called freedom of choice; #3 - they are just filling an empty space intended for a supermarket that apparently no one else wanted to or could use for whatever reasons, and #4 - the Safeway employees (I know several who work @ HQ and at stores) didn't mention that there are 4 Safeways all within a few miles of each other...2 in Dublin and 2 in Pleasanton, & finally #5 - if you don't want the market there, don't shop there. You have two of the above mentioned Safeways, a Fresh & Easy, a Ranch Market, a Trader Joe's...all within the northeast part of Pleasanton, all within a "getting to distance" of the new "neighborhood Walmart." Let the people, not the politicians, choose where to shop.


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Posted by Ernie
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 8, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I am sure Matt Sullivan is enjoying every month, day, hour, minute of all of this. People say He is an embarrassment to Pleasanton and the City Council, I agree. BUT, I have also seen how this city works and he will be around for a long time. So sad to see.


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Posted by Trekmtb
a resident of Heritage Oaks
on May 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Obstructionist Matt Sullivan for Mayor? What a joke.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Mike said,

"Let whoever wants to open a legal business do so."

But there is now a serious question as to whether Walmart is a "legal business" considering that they may have been violating US laws to get an unfair advantage over their competition. Let's see if the allegations prove true.


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Posted by Ellis Goldberg
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2012 at 10:15 pm

Suggested Ordinance:

Companies found to have committed crimes or confess to crimes
shall be barred from opening or starting new businesses in Pleasanton.

California Pension Fund Sues Wal-Mart Leaders

By Associated Press | May 4, 2012 |



NEW YORK — One of the nation's largest public pension funds has filed a lawsuit against current and former Wal-Mart executives and board members, saying they had breached their responsibility in handling an alleged bribery scheme.

The California State Teachers' Retirement System which holds more than 5.3 million shares of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., filed what's called a derivative suit late Thursday in state court in Delaware seeking changes in corporate governance and improvements in its internal procedures at the world's biggest retailer.

The pension fund is asking that any damages sustained as a result of the violations should be awarded to the company, which is based in Bentonville, Ark.

The action marks the pension fund's first derivative lawsuit. This type of suit is brought by a shareholder on behalf of a corporation against a third party. The goal of the plaintiffs is not to reap big financial rewards but to change corporate governance.

"By utilizing the derivative action, (the pension fund) is seeking to remedy the damages sustained by Wal-Mart as a result of alleged gross misconduct by Wal-Mart's executive officers and directors," said Jack Ehnes, the pension fund's chief executive officer in a statement. "The focus of this action….is corporate governance reform to ensure that similar misconduct is not repeated in the future. We need truly independent directors who will set the right tone from the top."

During a conference call with reporters on Friday, Ehnes said the alleged scandal could well be the "Fortune 100 version of Watergate."

The suit names several current executives including CEO Mike Duke and Vice Chairman Eduardo Castro-Wright as well as former executives including John Menzer. Menzer was vice chairman at the time of the alleged bribery scheme while Castro-Wright headed the Mexico operation. It also names all of Wal-Mart's board members including Lee Scott, who was CEO at the time of the alleged bribery scheme, and Jim C. Walton and Robson Walton, members of the founding family of Wal-Mart.

Greg Rossiter, a spokesman for Wal-Mart said in a statement, "We take our responsibility to our shareholders very seriously. We are reviewing the lawsuit closely and are thoroughly investigating the issues that have been raised."

The suit comes two weeks after The New York Times reported that Wal-Mart allegedly covered up results of an internal probe that showed its Mexican subsidiary bribed officials there in 2005 and 2006 in exchange for speedier building permits and other favors. It's unclear whether board members knew about the alleged bribery scheme.

The paper reported that Wal-Mart executives failed to notify law enforcement even after its own investigators found evidence of millions of dollars in bribes funneled through its Mexican unit. Such alleged practices would be a violation of the 1977 Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits U.S. companies from bribing foreign officials.

Wal-Mart said that it's doing its own investigation and has met with officials from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department to discuss the ongoing probe.

The Mexican government announced that it's doing its own probe.

Earlier this week, the New York City Pension Funds urged shareholders to vote against the re-election of Wal-Mart's Duke and four other board members due to concerns about the bribery allegations in Mexico. The pension group owns 5.6 million shares of Wal-Mart, which has more than 3.4 billion shares outstanding.

Wal-Mart's share slipped 17 cents to $58.82 in afternoon trading. Its shares are down about 6 percent since news of the alleged bribery scheme surfaced.

Reported by Anne D'innocenzio



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Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on May 8, 2012 at 10:32 pm

Oh for heaven's sake alive! This is much ado about nothing. Really. What self-respecting capitalist enterprise DOESN'T engage in a little bribery now and again? Bribery, lies, cover-up ... these are all part of the game. Everyone gets caught now and then. It's no reason for any of us to hold it against them. It's only a grocery store, after all!

Next they'll be complaining about lack of public disclosure of tax information or private bank accounts in the Cayman Islands and Switzerland for pete's sake.


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Posted by Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 11:31 pm

There are NO allegations in THIS country.!.! So don't leave the FALSE impression that there MIGHT be....that is lying. This group of faker's and liars, create allegations like MSNBC does....based on NOTHING.
I wouldn't want to invest in a business that's not smart enough to
play by the rules established INSIDE the country where they want to do business.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 8, 2012 at 11:46 pm

Building permits are sometimes tricky and difficult...ask anybody who's tried to do building in Pleasanton ! ! As a resident, I really think we should conduct an investigation into our planning commission and our city inspectors....I think their behavior is suspect. AND, we need further exposure on the insame proposal last month, that UNION workers be required on any jobs in Pleasanton....
How much of a bribe for that ? ? As a taxpayer, I certainly have a right to demand that we have the lowest bidder...I demand it....no more of this bribe stuff, with threats of reelection,.
What's good for the goose, must be good for the gander too,


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on May 9, 2012 at 1:01 am

Why of COURSE the allegations pertain to this country. It wasn't only the $80 million in bribe money in Mexico -- those gosh darned Mexicans just FORCE good companies to be corrupt -- but more importantly the cover-up by Walmart's corporate officers in the great state of Arkansas who wanted so badly to protect the delicate sensibilities of their stock holders and of course the public.

We had little episodes like this with Bain. Thank the Lord we were able to keep most of it hidden under the carpet. And boy is it ever a good thing that the laws regulating corporate takeovers and vulture-like feasting on people's lives are as loosely written as they are! Heck, I don't know where I'd be without such "laws" -- heh-heh-heh. They're written just right!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 9, 2012 at 7:07 am

Wah! If I can't have my way, then I'll fuss and protest until I get it. Wah! (Immature children always think they are right)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cindy
a resident of Danbury Park
on May 9, 2012 at 8:55 am

Matt Sullivan is targeting the investigation at the wrong people. He should be targeting the members of the City Council, City Planning & Permits, the entire POPULATION, that are for allowing Walmart to open at the site of the old Nob Hill. WE ALL MUST BE ON THE BRIBERY LIST OF WLMART. I, for one, expect my bribe any day now.
If what Matt Sullivan believes to be a valiate argument, he must have as part of his agenda to close Walmart in operation here in the city.
OK, it's time to close the exisitng Walmart...chain the doors, shutter the windows, turn off the power, shut off the water, and send Walmart packing from the prestine city of Pleasanton. So Village Idiot, good ridden to Walmart altogether!
RECALL! RECALL!! RECALL!!! Has anyone been looking for their village idiot 'cause we found him!


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2012 at 8:59 am

Shopper,

"There are NO allegations in THIS country"

That is wrong. The rules absolutely do apply in this country.

Web Link

I hope you were unaware of this law and not trying to spread misinformation.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by R Ellermeier
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on May 9, 2012 at 10:27 am

It seems that Sullivan is always associated with dissention. He is constantly the odd man out. Is he just a grand stander? Can we recall him. Many decisions are drawn out unnecessarily because of him. Pleasanton certainly deserves better and we need not to have to deal with the likes of him.


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Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2012 at 11:15 am

What an idiot. Does he know he's an idiot? Maybe we should let this guy know he's an idiot for preventing a true American business that employ's thousands of people around the country from conducting business here. They will pay taxes that will be good for everybody including our schools. Lets vote this guy out ASAP.


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Posted by Suzanne
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Sullivan terms out in November 2012 so he will be out. He may have ambitions to run for mayor, though... which could explain his current grandstanding against Walmart.


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2012 at 12:43 pm

To "Common Sense",

If the allegations are proved true, that Walmart violates US laws in order to gain an unfair advantage over its competitors, would that change your opinion (of Walmart, not Sullivan)?


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Posted by Scott
a resident of Dublin
on May 9, 2012 at 1:04 pm

Word association:
80% vacant = Meadow Plaza
Humble pie = Meadow Plaza owner/tenants
Carnage = Meadow Plaza owner/tenants
94566 zoning = Matt Sullivan soap box
Fool(world class) = Matt Sullivan
Defendant = City of Pleasanton/for Matt Sullivan
See you in court.







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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2012 at 1:27 pm

Hey Scott,

Any comments regarding what I posted?


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Posted by Kevin
a resident of Val Vista
on May 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Way to go Matt!! Our City Council members were elected by us to represent us. Again I say way to go Matt for being brave enough to stand alone! Not everyone in Pleasanton wants another big corporate business in our small town, and Matt is speaking for us! That is exactly what we elected him to do.


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Posted by Arroyo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Kevin,
Matt's little games will only last until November - Then, he's gone from our city government. I don't believe the voters of this town want a union puppet continually disrupting the actions of the majority of the City Council.


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Posted by Informed Resident
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 9, 2012 at 4:17 pm

If we're really concerned about big American businesses "bribing" Mexican officials, how about investigating our own Federal Government. We don't call it a bribe - we simply call it something else, like foreing aid. We regularly pay off foreign officials so that our humanitarian food aid gets delivered to the people who need it? "Innocent until proven guilty," doesn't seem to mean too much any more. It's more like if someone makes an allegation and the media runs with it, then you must be guilty!


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Posted by Igor
a resident of Val Vista
on May 9, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Yes, United States give aid to other countries I think. But really just treason by our socialist president. He bribe countries to be peaceful I think and that is very bad thing to do do you not agree?

The Walmart only bribe for profit. Which is good thing I think. The more money the Walmart makes the more proud we can be.

I have been very impressed with big number of people care so much about the good Walmart. Or one person writing as many I think? I don't know.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Ed
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 9, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Regardless of whether one likes WalMart or not - the real issue is that there was a grocery store at this location and WalMart is the ONLY business that has opted to reopen a "boarded building". The "too many grocery stores" doesn't fly as Safeway was the one who opened a new one. With the footprint the same, the only legal way to "stop" WalMart is to protest, picket and boycott it once it opens, if you don't like them. Personally, I don't shop at WalMart - I pay more for independents and Target when I can't get it anywhere else. Groceries - I will always shop at Safeway. Sullivan can dislike WalMart all he wants - but legally Pleasanton City Council HAS to o.k. the plans. Last thing we need in this town is ANOTHER lawsuit because some residents just don't like the company/law.


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Posted by franco
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on May 9, 2012 at 7:23 pm

franco is a registered user.

I think it needs to called out what probably is the case why Matt Sullivan is taking all of Pleasanton, its people, and its resources down this path of futility and frustration.

To think that he could actually stop a Walmart grocery store in an existing grocery store location when doing so would lead to actions or ordnances that would clearly be illegal suggests that he would have to be moronic in his thinking. On the other hand, to think that this activity would enhance his chances if he were to run for Pleasanton mayor when Pleasanton citizens have turned out in large numbers supporting the store while opponents have largely been union members many of which don't even live in Pleasanton does not make much sense either.

To me it is likely he is running this drill because he has eyes on a county or state elected position and has decided to become the spokesman for unions in order to get there support for his campaign. Yes, in my opinion he is wasting Pleasanton resources and going against Pleasanton citizen interests simply for his own political purposes. Some politicians have no shame.


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Posted by Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I'm glad to see Mittens and Patriot will be carrying the torch to investigate our mayot and council for their union connections and campaign bribes to insure the unions want to SNUFF OUT ALL lower-bid COMPETION on work on our coming low-income housing projects. ...where there's smoke. . . . Glad you want be on top and clean up that corruption here in our backyard ! ! !


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Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2012 at 9:59 pm

Shopper,

I can't tell if you are kidding or not. Are you being sarcastic? I didn't say that I supported Sullivan, or that I was against Walmart moving into the vacant location. I pointed out that what you said was untrue. If the allegations against Walmart are proven true, they are violations US law, and not just Mexican law. Those are just facts. What you said was wrong. And you were accusing people of lying.

As to your remark regarding "...investigate our mayot and council for their union connections...", if you read these boards you will see that I am not a Hosterman supporting that I am in favor of investigating illegal union practices. What is your purpose here? Do you live in this community?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by I always Vote...
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 9, 2012 at 10:02 pm

Oh, whatever are we going to do without Matt Sullivan to protect us from Big, Bad Walmart???? Betcha we find out next time his seat is up for re-election!!!!

We need him like another hole in the head!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2012 at 12:21 am

Patriot, you bet I am in this community. and I care greatly about this community. I know what matters and it's my community of Pleasanton, and this country....the good ol' U S of A... I have my priorities in proper perspective...unlike some on this site, I don't get too exercised about minutia elsewhere. I stay focused on the relevant in Pleasanton.


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Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on May 10, 2012 at 12:49 am

And we all commend you for your relevance and shopping spirit, Shopper. Geez Louise, what better example of an American is there than a shopper who is against unions?

I once knew a man who infiltrated a union. But there was managerial turnover (downsizing -- but all of us at Bain made a killing on that one) and the people he was working for forgot that they sent him in to infiltrate. So then they began suspecting HIM of being a union member. He was actually innocent of being in the union, but his reputation was tarnished probably for the rest of his life.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by West Side Observer
a resident of Oak Hill
on May 10, 2012 at 8:53 am

If the Pleasanton Weekly Town Square lost its Mr. Mittens, would they still get pie? Let me be the first to line up at the WalMart bakery if the answer is yes. Oh, and Igor/Mr. Mittens, et al, you earned $.20 X 98 words on that post from the DNC.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Mittens
a resident of another community
on May 10, 2012 at 9:02 am

And we all commend West Side Observer as well for his assiduous attention to the number of words in people's posts. Perhaps we have finally found something that he is good at?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2012 at 9:44 am

West Side calls it right. Mittens job is to mock and mock to prevent relevant discussions on PW. Keep us away from discussing national issues in DC. May even be doing it from the West Wing...right by campaign leader David Plouff. After all, she signs in from another community.....NOT a Pleasanton neighborhood.


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Posted by Arnold
a resident of Mohr Park
on May 10, 2012 at 10:07 am

And Walmart is moving along nicely with the remodel of the store in San Ramon. Replacing a grocery store with a grocery store was no problem at all for that city!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Neighbor
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 10, 2012 at 10:25 am

We DO NOT WANT Wal-Mart. They have causes millions and millions and million of jobs to be sent overseas. They are ruining economies all over the globe. They operate with illegal practices and everyday there are at least 400 lawsuits against Wal-Mart happening in courts in the country.

They are crooked and need to be taken down the same way Standard Oil was taken down.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by olfthfl
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 10, 2012 at 10:38 am

OMG! The loonies have escaped!!!!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wow
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2012 at 10:43 am

Haven't they? Look at all the Walmart supporters around here. Total insane asylum!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by john
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on May 10, 2012 at 10:56 am

In my opinion, the proper solution to this problem is simple:
any council person that single-handedly exposes the City to a costly legal challenge for his/her personal prejudice....should be PERSONALLY LIABLE for the cost to the City (and its residents!)for its legal defense.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2012 at 10:59 am

Wow, Pleasanton Observer, turn in you I-pad and mobile ties.... Apple has all it's equipment that YOU ALL BUY, MADE IN CHINA ! ! !d
Would that make you a hypocrite...YES !


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pleasanton Neighbor
a resident of Amador Estates
on May 10, 2012 at 11:24 am

Yes, Apple comes from China, so do all of them come from overseas. That is what we need to stop or at least curb. We need to make things here. We need those jobs here.

I buy American made cars. No, they may not be as good or as cheap as foreign. I do it because I believe in Made in America. So did Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart. He believed in making America stronger with businesses here. He wrote a book about it called Made in America. However, as soon as he passed away - poof! that philosophy went out with the jobs.

Those who support Wal-Mart are saying "we do not care about making America strong" and "we do not care who has jobs and who doesn't". "All we care about is cheap". We want cheap. That is your philosophy.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by san jose resident
a resident of another community
on May 10, 2012 at 11:32 am

We recently had a Walmart open in our neighborhood and the traffic has been a very big problem in this area and it is bringing in different type of folks to the neighborhood as well. I do not think Pleasanton needs another Walmart, bring in something with better quality. I read a review about the quality of Walmart products and I agree----you get what you pay for and much less. Check out the High Cost of Low Price Documentary about Walmart. Another interesting theory about this mega-giant, money-making corporation. I vote no to Wal-mart!


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Posted by Gail
a resident of Canyon Meadows
on May 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm

To you people that keep saying bring in a store with higher quality, bring in Trader Joes, or Whole Foods. Don't you get it!!!!!!! None of those places WANT to come here! They have all had the same chance Walmart did of bidding on that space. NOBODY else wanted it!!!
So quit protesting about Walmart making a run at the EMPTY space!
Something needs to go in there and so far, couple years later, Walmart is the only one wanting it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Lydiksen Elementary School
on May 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm

This is well said

"I respect Matt for bringing his opinion to the public forum. I want our elected officials to bring a variety of ideas and independent thinking to the Council. I don't agree with him, but I respect his ability and right to present a different point of view from the rest.




BTW, according to the article half of the speakers agreed with Matt, so let's not blog as if he was in the tiny minority. That is not true and not fair.

Go Mr. Sullivan! You speak for many of us, time and time again! I encourage you to run again for anything.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fiona
a resident of Birdland
on May 10, 2012 at 6:06 pm

Oh yeah, I agree Sullivan should run!! Right out of town!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Patriot
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2012 at 10:15 pm

" I don't get too exercised about minutia elsewhere."

Funny. You have to be kidding. Minutia.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 11, 2012 at 12:10 am

Minutia righto! IRRELEVANT minutia ! And.....the mexico situation won't be resolved any time soon....so Matthew wants to 'keep it open and waiting' for HOW LONG ? ? ? ? Year and half, two ? How LONG to wait for the Mexican resolution?? Meanwhile, the neighbors have to wait it out with an isolated mall. Everybody loses...including Pleasanton. pleasanton NEEDS those tax dollars to pay our over-the-top union retirements... Tax dollars only come from prospering enterprises ! Public union are waiting at the trough for those tax dollars!! they are dependent on viable enterprises,


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 11, 2012 at 7:43 am

I had posted this earlier on another thread. I think its worth saying again here.

I do not support placing another Walmart in town. There is already a Walmart in town, a few blocks away on Owens drive. If Walmart wants to sell groceries then they should do so out of their existing location and should not spread into other neighborhoods.

I do not oppose placing new retail at the location. That makes perfect sense and will indeed fill a need and be a benefit to all of us. However, allowing Walmart to spread into our neighborhoods is not actually beneficial for the neighborhood. The problem is the power of Walmart to kill surrounding competition. Walmart has become so large that it is able to purchase products directly from a manufacturer at less cost than the other retailers. Even large retailers (like a Safeway) pay a higher cost than Walmart for the exact same products. Walmart uses this cost advantage over other businesses to remove competition. Once the competition is removed, retail pricing returns to its previous level, or higher.

When Walmart moves in, smaller competing businesses are forced out. Its just a matter of time. If you have small business in your area now that you like and want it to remain, then Walmart is not going to be the answer.

I reject the appeals from the property management company to 'Embrace Walmart', with 'Do it for the Neighborhood', and I't's good for Everybody', as simply self-serving. It has nothing to do with helping the neighborhood at all. And I fully understand why the Unions feel they must involve themselves in this matter, but I do not embrace their base rational either, as it too is self-serving and has nothing to do with the neighborhood.

As consumers, we all look for the lowest price for our purchases. Naturally when a Walmart offers a product for 5 cents less than the sounding businesses, you go to Walmart. This is an upside for us. However it is a down side for the small business. A downturn for small business means that operating costs like rent, utilities and employee wages and benefits must now be paid from a smaller amount of income. When Walmart moves into the neighborhood, the first thing that happens is that the small business does nothing. Not wanting to raise prices they hope their loyal customers will continue with them. Then in a couple of months of barely paying the bills, they try and bring in more business through advertising discounts. Eventually they raise their prices (feeling forced into it). You look at their prices and say, "Well, I'll just keep going to Walmart where it's cheaper." And so it goes until the smaller business reduces benefits, then eliminates them, followed by other things like reducing the air conditioning, and lighting, then laying off employees, and finally after circling the drain for awhile, they close. And all that's left is the anchor store, with multiple empty shells of former local small businesses in the neighborhood.

I'm not bemoaning Walmart or Costco or Safeway or any other big retailer for that matter. Each of us congratulate them for their success each and every time we shop with them. But I do recognize that when a business grows too large they can monopolize a business segment. When that happens, we all eventually loose. This is what has happened with the Oil companies today and we allowed it. In fact we helped them get there by taking advantage of that 5 cents off. Today we no longer have independent, competing gas stations. We have only those owned by the oil companies and corporate chains. Today we pay their price, at their station, on every corner and then we complain to the government demanding that they do something about these big companies. I feel Walmart, even though I benefit from saving 5 cents off today, has reached this size. And Walmart now wants to expand outside their current location to grow into the neighborhood. I understand their desire to dominate the market, but for my own future benefit, I have to say no.


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Posted by Shopper
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 11, 2012 at 10:00 am

Bob, back when, the city told Hacienda WalMart that it was limited in kind and amount of groceries at that location...it is a big box by a freeway.
The Santa Rita location has always been a grocery...,the neighborhood likes to have a grocery in walking distance. The new store will be a SMALL NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET, like before, but owned by WalMart. They are merely filling a niche and a need. And, beyond the neighborhood convience, the much needed tax dollars help all of Pleasanton...sidewalks in front of mom and pops too.
Everything else is political leftist union chatter.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 11, 2012 at 11:24 am

Bob,

You make way too much sense for this panel.
Thank you for a reasonable point of view.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 11, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Bob,

Thank you for your post.

I agree with you that consumers will tend to naturally go for the lower price when the product is exactly the same between the different stores. Don't you think a shopper may also use other criteria when deciding what price they are willing to pay for products when they are similar? Quality, origin, selection, convenience, service, and labor practices are among some of the other criteria.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jim
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 11, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Stacey,

I use the criterias you described above, and that weeds out Walmart right off the bat.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 12, 2012 at 8:13 am

Shopper,

If I had to guess, I'd say that you're most likely part of Property Management for the location. "SMALL NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET, like before, but owned by WalMart…..merely filling a niche and a need. And,…..the much needed tax dollars help all of Pleasanton...sidewalks in front of mom and pops too." Its Walmart. Hurray!

Oh please. I'd say you've got money ridding on this. Your comments are typical of someone with something to gain from approval of this commercial venture.

But that aside, one would have to ask the question as to why the previous grocery market did not remain at that location. Why isn't Knob Hill still there? They didn't relocate, they went out of business and closed. Maybe a greedy property owner raised their rent until there would be no reasonable profit left in the business. This is all speculation of course. There may be many reasons why that store closed. And I would guess that failing profits would be at the top of the list. This is business after all and it would make no sense to close a thriving profitable business.

Certainly the local neighborhood people shopped at Knob Hill all the time. There may have been a few exceptions that went to the Walmart a few blocks away for some of their purchases because those particular items were a few cents less. But it seems there was a core group of local, loyal, discriminating customers for Knob Hill. It was just not enough to keep it afloat.

Given the previous tenants result one would wonder why any grocery business would want to be at that location. Especially with a Safeway just down the street to compete with. On the surface it looks like it would be an unprofitable venture. Of course if I were a Walmart, where it didn't matter if this location is actually profitable over, say the next 60 months, and my eye was on the Safeway down the street, then it would make business sense to proceed at this location. The rent and other costs will be written off just like any other business expense. It's just the cost of growing the business.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Chemist
a resident of Downtown
on May 14, 2012 at 10:35 am

Bob,
You obviously do not believe in the free market. I have no money riding on the outcome of debate, but all of us have the future of our city and our country riding on this debate and debates like it across our nation. If we don't let price competition, service, selection and other free market principals decide what businesses succeed and fail, then we will have the personal feelings of the Matt Sullivans of the world, along with the self-serving unions, deciding where we can shop, live, work, play, etc. The free market is not perfect, but it beats anything else that has been tried throughout history. In most other countries it is who know and who you bribe that determines what businesses succeed. If the citizens of Pleasanton do not want to shop at Walmart, they certainly have other options because of the free market.


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Posted by Chemist
a resident of Downtown
on May 14, 2012 at 10:40 am

To say that "half the speakers" agreed with Mr. Sullivan misses an important point. At the Planning Commission meeting at least 30 residents of Pleasanton spoke up - only one person stood against Walmart. At the subsequent City Council meeting, if you discounted the speakers who were in the union, worked for Safeway, or came from out of town, there would be very few speakers left who agreed with Mr. Sullivan.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 15, 2012 at 8:12 am

Shopper/Chemist

You obviously missed the point of the previous posts. Or you deliberately turn your thinking away from how you actually have and maintain a competitive open market. You seem happier to continue to pound the anti Sullivan, anti Safeway, anti Union drum, which is not the point her at all. The point is, absolute free, open, unregulated Capitalism is an absolute disaster for our country. If this is what you believe in, then I definitely disagree with your thinking.

Throughout our American history we, as a people, have faced 'your position' many times. Think back to the Land Barons and Railroad Barons of our recent past. Think of the four oil companies of today. We know the disparity created by such large, powerful, and rich entities, and the problems it created/creates for our country. I do not believe it is such a good idea to blindly box ourselves into this corner with our food distribution in the name of 'free markets'.

Let me make the point again in a few statements.
1) Level Playing Field. If the playing field is level then free, open, unregulated competition is the perfect answer. It's the American answer. Business can compete against each other to win the favor of and support of its customers. Those that operate efficiently can be successful. Those that don't will fall to the side. But when a business develops a singular cost advantage over all other business, then free market competition may be diminished to the point that a 'free' market does not in actuality, exist.

2) Fair Market Competition. If each business can purchase wholesale goods at the same price as a Walmart then the small businesses in town would be less expensive than Walmart. The small business is usually more efficient. The problem is that wholesale costs are not the same for all businesses. Larger businesses receive a discount for larger purchases. This however is not the same thing as you buying the larger size of mayonnaise at the market because it costs less per ounce than the small jar. The cost of manufacturing and packaging of the unit (whatever the unit may be) remains basically the same. For example, if the production run is 10,000, 15oz. jars, the production cost for each jar is the same. But if one company makes and arrangement to purchase 40% of the production run at a price per unit that is discounted from the standard manufacture price, then the remaining companies who buy from the manufacture will be forced to make up the difference. In other words, one company receives a special discount because they purchased 40% of production. This forces all other competitors to pay a higher price, even though they together purchased 60% of production. When this disparity occurs, free open competition will not survive. Walmart has established this cost advantage for itself.

3) Tending the Garden. This part was stated by someone else. I heard it on the radio. I have taken it to heart. Our markets and our freedoms are like a garden. Growing open and free, as intended, they are wonderful and beautiful. The garden brings forth a great bounty of all the things we want for our lives. But left unattended to grow wild, the garden can be overtaken by one plant, or by weeds or by other things that are undesirable which destroy the beauty and the bounty of the garden. A free wielding open unattended garden, is soon not a garden at all. It is a wild patch that in the end produces what it wants, regardless of what we wanted from it. A garden must be attended and maintained to keep it wonderful, beautiful and bountiful. Sometimes certain restrictions may be necessary to maintain the field and prevent the garden from being overrun.

I don't care if you shop at Walmart or not. I told you from the beginning that I do. I have to. They are now the only store that carries a certain product that I need. I used to be able to get it almost anywhere. But now, only at Walmart. This debate is not about Matt Sullivan, or Safeway or the Unions. They each have their particular self interests in mind, which I do not share in their entirety. The debate concerns how best to maintain the garden so that its bounty continues for all of us.


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