Citizens' initiative cleared for Nov. 4 ballot Comments on Stories, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Jun 19, 2008 at 2:52 pm
The City Council Tuesday accepted a ballot box initiative for voters to consider on the Nov. 4 that would block some steep hillside developments and reinforce the city's voter-mandated 29,000-unit housing cap.
The initiative, written and promoted by former Councilwoman Kay Ayala and her citizens' coalition--Save Pleasanton's Hills--was certified by the Alameda County Registrar's office that determined it had a sufficient number of signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 19, 2008, 12:43 PM
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 2:52 pm
Now let's sit back and watch everyone paint the picture that those opposed to this initiative are against the essence of the initiative, which is protection of the ridgelines. What has been most disgusting about this whole thing is the "us vs. them" attitude promulgated by everyone involved and I'm dismayed to see Mr. Sullivan eagerly jump on that bandwagon. Like I wrote back in November, it would be better to see the Save Pleasanton Hills group sit down with the City and get a citizen's task force together to put together a much better written piece of legislation instead of trying to force poorly written material down everyone's throats through the initiative process. The last thing Pleasanton needs is more litigation because something is open to wide interpretation.
Posted by Sad, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 4:17 pm
Great idea....get together residents of Pleasanton, without agendas, together to discuss, in a civil manner, the needs and proper venues to protect our ridges. Maybe in this sort of process we can get away from "soundbite democracy" and help promote ordinances that meet the letter of the law and....heck....protect our ridgelines.
Posted by 3 minutes, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 5:01 pm
The only conversation you can have with the mayor last a maximum of 3 minutes before she cuts you off. I actually wanted to talk with the mayor on this issue some time ago and she told me to just wait until it was on the council agenda. So she did not want to talk with me as a concerned citizen and would only allow me to speak with her for 3 minutes at the podium. It became very obvious that she did not want to listen to the public; especially somebody who might not think exactly like her. Her attitude has been so blatant at Council meetings where she has interrupted speakers, even before 3 minutes are up, and responded before the speaker had even finished speaking. She just likes to hear herself speak. She does not like to listen to other ideas.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 6:18 pm
Come on now, Mr. Sullivan. If this issue is so important to you that you're willing to call the actions of your fellow Councilmembers an "affront to democracy", then change your vacation plans! Millions of us regular folks have to do so for our careers. Why are you any different?
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 6:41 pm
Now the real affront to democracy is Mr. Sullivan preventing the Council from discussing the issue when it was scheduled. Why did he call for the continuance? Because he wanted to give more time to Ayala's group to review the report? That's preferential treatment if I ever saw it! Mr. Sullivan called for the continuance, it backfired on him, then he writes a whining letter to the Weekly THAT NIGHT. Grow up, Mr. Sullivan.
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 8:09 pm
As a firm believer in direct democracy with preference thrown to the Ayala faction over the average Pleasanton citizen, Mr. Sullivan should appoint Kay to sit in for him at the meeting and grant to her his voting power! After all, she represents these 5000 initiative signers. That's where his allegiance lies, not with the larger population of Pleasanton voters. Why whine about the meeting date?
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 11:07 pm
Anbydo else think it is strange that Cheryl Cook-Kallio who is so opposed to direct democracy voted to hold a special meeting to discuss putting a council initiative on the ballot? Now I get it, she is opposed to direct democracy that she is not part of.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 11:08 pm
The staff report on the initiative says that there is no financial impact to business but the Chamber of Commerce Board is so opposed to the initiative. Just as I suspected, the Chamber of Commerce is more interested in development than business.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2008 at 8:40 am
PW: I emailed you in the past regarding the ability of people to pose as other posters due to the poor design of your website forum. Now see what happens? Someone will someday post as a more important public figure such as Jennifer Hosterman and you are being complicit in the fraud.
Posted by Democracy at Stake, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2008 at 5:57 pm
The Obama v. Clinton cannibal fest is over, but now we have another Cannibal fest during the City Council Meetings and on the Weekly Website.
Mr. Sullivan - you wrote "Democracy is at Stake" in the Weekly in 2006. Now you are being dissed like the public has been repeatedly dissed by Ms. Hosterman for the past 4 years. How does it feel?
Free Speech in Pleasanton? - maybe on this website but no longer in the City Council Chambers. More than 4,000 voters sign petitions and their voices get silenced by City Lawyers and a City Council Majority who won’t fight for them because the Mayor didn’t agree with them. (Maybe due to her cozy relationship with developers?)
The Council made a special vote recently to make a statement on the Prop 98 and 99 “games” in the recent statewide election – and now is scheming to play the same obfuscation game against the public will on the Hillside Initiation. Shameful. The Council knows better than us dumb idiot non-elected citizens. Just Obey!
Mayor Hosterman routinely cuts people off she doesn't agree with at the podium during City Council meetings and allows overtime for those who support her or her positions. Free Speech is only for those who agree with “She Who Must Be Obeyed!”
Too often the word "fascist" is posted on this site. But I ask all you clever posters out there (Cholo, Stacey, Stan...) what do you call it when the will of the people is constantly ignored, when free speech is curbed (in the City Council meetings and by trying to limit campaign contributions so incumbents have a huge advantage in elections), and when the City Council makes up the rules as they go along? Brown Act? Who cares. Laws are not “absolute” with this Council majority – they are rough guidelines to be used as a whip against foes or to be ignored as they see fit.
In the good old days, we had a Mayor who said "Vote for me and I'll fight City Hall for you so you don't have to!" That Mayor lived by honor and integrity and the Community of Character guidelines while he served.
Now we have a City Council majority and Mayor that pays little attention to that big "Community of Character" reminder on the wall, uses questionable tactics to squash the voice of the people and thinks "as long as we don't get prosecuted, sued or act as slimy as the City of Berkeley or Oakland- we have ultimate authority in our little Berg."
Stacey - how can you defend this? Ms. Hosterman is acting more like Bush than Obama. I think she is a closet Republican!
PS - check out the City and the Weekly Archives - the "personal business and vacation plans" of the Mayor put off City Business and left Pleasanton unrepresented at important regional board meetings numerous times over the past four years- what a HYPOCRIT to claim Mr. Sullivan should change his plans AND ASK PLEASANTON CITIZENS TO DO THE SAME if they care about this issue. What a tin pot conservative Dictator wannabe tactic! Next she’ll be pushing for a Christmas Meeting to vote herself a big raise!
Posted by Kay Ayala, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2008 at 6:56 pm
It's time to come clean, I confess. I am the one posing as Stacey because I am sick of her views and posts that can only be opposed by usurping her identity. My supporters have not been doing a good job of defending me.
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2008 at 8:12 pm
And just what would this proposed "Citizens Task Force" look like? My guess would be - Politicians, Developers, so called "Community Leaders", Chamber of Commerce Members, School Board Members, City Staff, a couple members of Ayala's group........
We already know what to expect when six of the seven possible members I've listed get together. You decide which six.........:)
Does anyone really believe the hillside protection plan this "Citizens Task Force" would cook up would even resemble the present initiative being placed before the citizens for an up or down vote. Some will possibly say that Ayala's group will be included but does anyone actually believe their voices will be heard.
The Pleasanton City Council has had this "high priority matter"(their words, not mine)on their plate for a long, long time with no action. Along comes a citizens group with an initiative and all of a sudden those opposed(some of the city council members and "others")can't wait to jump in and complain about lack of "public participation" and "direct democracy".
Get the popcorn ready!!! This should be a 2 bagger!!!!:)
Posted by Democracy at Stake, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2008 at 8:14 pm
I would like to correct something I posted above. I wrote "Free Speech in Pleasanton? - maybe on this website but no longer in ..." With the counterfeit postings appearing I need to question whether this website serves the purpose of free speech. I also apologize to Cholo, Stacey, and Stan for denigrating them and who simply are exercising their free speech rights.
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2008 at 8:46 pm
I forgot to add who I think really should be on this "Citizens Task Force". Clearly it should be mostly Ayala's group. Forget all the rest of the list of so called "Community Leaders". Their voices would clearly be biased and will be used by the Pleasanton City Council to shout down Ayala and the supporters of her initiative, which has been cooked up to really represent what the voters want.
Posted by Democracy IS at Stake.., a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2008 at 9:42 pm
Hmm. Looks like I hit a nerve with "Stacey" or her developer funded handler Angela Ramirez. Must have been the "She Who Must Be Obeyed" reference.
And "Stacey" Cholo, Frank or Stan - please tell me the proper goverment style definition for a Mayor and City Council majority that squash free speech, enact legislation to protect their own seats against challengers, don't listen to the citizen voters petitions/initiatives, cut people off in City Council meetings and make up the rules as they go along? It doesn't smell like Democracy or Representative Democracy to me. It smells like something I spread on my vegtable garden.
And to think the Mayor used to be an eco warrior. Now she'll trash our hillsides with Mega Mansions and not allow us a voice in the process - unless we want to go to Special City Council Meetings that she dictates will be held on July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Keep fighting, Matt. What is going on is wrong. Those of us outside the Council are powerless to stop it. It will take a stong elected voice inside the Chamber and pressure to "do the right thing" with City Staff to correct this garbage.
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on Jun 21, 2008 at 12:23 pm
Hi Democracy at Stake: I am not offended. Thank you. People get frisky (er) in hot weather. When it's way hot, some people just need to change their undies a few times a day to avoid online problems. I'm still that same stand up kinda guy...all is well with Cholo...HOORAY!
This whoLE mess sounds like TOILET TRAINING Politics. Dare I say more?
Posted by Don, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Jun 22, 2008 at 10:03 pm
I don't think this was a place for honest debate. I believe it was a place for anybody to post anything without it being traced to themselves. I would not be surprised if many of the different member names were actually the same people. A person submits a view point and then later the same person posts another message under a different name saying "you are absolutely correct." Their intent is that if somebody is reading the posts that there are a lot of people out there with the same opinion.
You are best advised to ignore the posted by name. Multiple messages by the same member name are not necessarily the same person as well as multiple messages by different member names are not necessarily different people.
Forcing registration does not solve the problem. Anybody can set up multiple free email accounts to have different names plus many people would not want the Weekly to know whom they are.
Personally, I think the best thing would be to just get rid of this forum. It just gives our community a bad name. If the city was up for any "community of character" awards, we would loose based on this forum.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 22, 2008 at 10:13 pm
Posted by Nobody-Everybody, a resident of another community, on Jun 25, 2008 at 9:54 am
It does not matter, the name on the post. People care only because they are caught up in their own identity issues and what others think of them. Anyone with a semblance of intelligence can read a posting and evaluate the thought and ideas to determine if they are logical or reasonable. Or if they are a joke (though I realize that may be difficult for some as they are not able to recognize irony and sarcasm).
Maybe all the lack of logic and reasoning, and concern for identity and self esteem is the end product of the California school system. Thanks Teachers Union!
Remember - The Federalist Papers were written anonymously (those of you from the school system could just Google that-hopefully you've attained a decent reading level)
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on Jun 25, 2008 at 2:51 pm
MANY of the posts signed Cholo are not mine. The Cholo fakes have been at it for months. It doesn't matter to me anymore. There are dozens of posts that some have delighted in signing Cholo...sad! Then, there is a follow-up trashing me. You go figure?
It seems to be that there must be a better way to exoress your hostility known without trashing a particular poster. Maybe not.