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Final decision affirms earlier ruling in favor of Signature

Original post made on Jul 26, 2008

In a final decision that could cost the Pleasanton school district several million dollars, Alameda County Superior Court Judge George C. Hernandez has ruled that it never had a binding agreement with two developers for funding and building Neal Elementary School in the Vineyard Corridor.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 25, 2008, 12:00 AM

Comments (17)

Posted by fraud and deceit, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 26, 2008 at 9:27 am


I do not understand why the lawyers that represented PUSD in the negotiations for this agreement then stood before the City Council and sold the community on the "iron-clad" agreement are not liable for malpractice.

The foundation of this agreement was the turn-key process that has been successful in other communities like the middle and high schools in San Ramon. Why was it legal there....because the developers were not deceitful fraudulent developers or because the lawyers were not incompetent?


Posted by Fletch, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Wasn't Pat Kernan serving as a PUSD board trustee during and after the signing of the Neal School agreement? And isn't Mr. Kernan an attorney???
Didn't Mr. Kernan repeatedly vote to delay Neal School?
Recent articles have brought to light a residency question concerning Mr. Kernan. Some posts have defended him referring to his experience and the good things he has done for Pleasanton schools.
Looks to me like we should add this agreement to his list of "accomplishments." Mr. Kernan touted his personal legal expertise during public discussions about the agreement and during election times.
It is appalling to me that PUSD could pay one attorney to work on the agreement, have another "expert" trustee intimately involved and still get taken down the creek by this developer. Thanks for bringing your experience to the table on that deal, Pat!


Posted by anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Wasn't McGovern on the school board? Wasn't Ayala on the council? Isn't this proof enough that agreements should be written VERY carefully?


Posted by go figure, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2008 at 7:04 pm

Not only was McGovern on the school board at the time she was the president. Then you all elected her to the city council.


Posted by Sarah, a resident of Downtown
on Jul 27, 2008 at 10:35 pm


Ayala and Kleffman were the only two that said NO to Signature.

McGovern is not an attorney and believed Ghielmetti and Mckeehan, they made a good show of sincerity.
It was reasonable for Cindy and the others to believe all of our attorneys, the City attorney, PUSD's attorney and Pat Kernan, they are the ones at fault.

This cannot be compared to the initiative.



Posted by Get a grip, a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jul 28, 2008 at 11:28 am

Why does it continue to get lost in all of the finger pointing details that Signature was ready to build this school when the agreement was made, and the fact that PUSD continually delayed, delayed and delayed is what caused this to be an issue at all? Try and blame Signature, Ghilmetti, McKeehan et all as much as you want, this is singularly the fault of PUSD and thier dragging of feet.


Posted by wake up, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2008 at 11:41 am


Signature invalidated the agreement because of the open bidding process, how does that have anything to do with any delay?
They set the district up with a contract that left them a back door.
They used this same backdoor with their share of the Vineyard road with the City. They still have not paid.

Fraud! Deceit!


Posted by Sam, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jul 29, 2008 at 2:20 pm

The recipe for Fiasco Stew is very simple:

Take one deceitful developer who are smart enough to hire very good lawyers.

ADD a school district foolish enough to hire very bad lawyers.

STIR IN in-over-their-head school board members (including, but not limited to, Pat Kernan).

Allow the entire stew to boil slowly for several years and then season with angry taxpayers.

Enjoy! Millions of dollars for nothing!


Posted by LOL OMG LOL, a resident of Foothill High School
on Jul 29, 2008 at 6:47 pm


Fiasco Stew!!!

OMG LOL!!!



Posted by Jerry, a resident of Oak Hill
on Jul 29, 2008 at 10:38 pm

Well said,Sam. Fits perfectly.....


Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Jul 30, 2008 at 9:40 pm

Sam turned around and reversed roles. In another thread he defended against the superficial indictment of school teachers in the PUSD by many posters. He wrote detailed rebuttals.

Here he becomes a superficial indicter of all parties involved, and thereby safely takes no position with regard to any of the facts of the situation.

The above post may have been written a bit in haste with little proof-reading. The defending school teachers post was more carefully written in that I saw no grammatical errors. But "one deceitful developer who are smart enough..." does not pass muster. I make similar errors because I may not proof-read sometimes. But teachers are more severely judged.

My main point is that simply calling those on all sides of the situation incompetent does little. The judge objectively considered the facts and the law and ruled as he did. Paying attention to what he wrote in his ruling and the concepts of fair dealing and the law is far more helpful and educational to all involved in these affairs, now and in the future.

How else will they learn?


Posted by anti-proof reader, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2008 at 1:06 am

Geezzz! Just what we need, a grammer cop that's an amateur lawyer.

What "defending school teachers post"? Wrong thread, sir.


Posted by angry taxpayer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 1, 2008 at 5:57 pm


Could someone please tell me who has lost their job over this disaster?



Posted by concerned taxpayer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 3, 2008 at 7:28 pm

No one lost their job that I know of but I have not followed this as dilligently as we all should have. But lets not forget that Cindy McGovern was president of the School Board at the time. Someone mentioned in this blog or somewhere else you all then elected her to serve on the city council. Just amazing. I would suggest that it is now time for her to move on and find another hobby.






























Posted by frank, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Aug 4, 2008 at 9:40 pm

anti-proof reader. My advice to you is "go read". You might learn something (maybe).


Posted by Donna, a resident of Downtown
on Aug 4, 2008 at 10:28 pm

Concerned taxpayer, the lawyers for the district AND THE CITY said that this agreement was air-tight. It is not McGovern's fault, it is the lawyers who were paid the big bucks. If anybody on the board should take a fall that would be Kernan who is also a lawyer and agreed 100% with the paid lawyers but I would still feel that the paid professionals are at fault; not the school board members. As a board member you have to rely on your professional staff. If the district is using this lawyer FOR ANYTHING now, I would be upset. "Professionals" like this should be fired.


Posted by Concerned taxpayer, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 4, 2008 at 10:59 pm

As recently as May, PUSD was still using the same attorney! They asked him to give an 'opinion' whether Pat Kernan could still qualify to be a trustee even though his house is in Camino. Lozano Smith has done so well for this district do you think we should trust them on another matter?!


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