Mayoral and Council candidates appeared at a breakfast forum hosted by the Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.
The article reports:
"Hosterman said one of her goals is the completion of Highway 84, which would ease traffic in the city. Brozosky said he would shift more manpower from the city's Planning Department to traffic to handle congestion."
Firstly, it is frustrating to watch the City wait on external forces to solve our traffic problems. That is the strategy that both Sullivan and Hosterman seem to favor. It is like taking a gamble that we'll wait and see if the outside improvements help our traffic and if so, maybe we can get away with not doing city infrastructure improvements. Neely appears to understand this frustration. What ever happened to Stop Pleasanton Gridlock?
Secondly, I don't understand Brozosky's proposal. How can one "shift manpower" when the skill set of people working in the Planning Department different from the skill set of those working in Traffic? Is Brozosky suggesting to fire and hire? What are these newly hired traffic people going to do? Also, isn't this kind of "shifting" a function of the City Manager and not that of Mayor? I'd hate to have a Mayor that starts second guessing the City Manager.
Posted by Bob, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 19, 2008 at 11:02 pm
What? Haven't you heard Hosterman refer many, many times to "her staff?" She makes it sound like staff including city manager report only to her! That attitude really bugs me cause I thought they worked for all of us, not 'Her Highness.'
Posted by Liz, a resident of the Foothill Knolls neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2008 at 9:45 am
City council gives direction to the City Manager. I support our city staff but I do not want our city council to be rubber stamps. The CC should take the pulse of the community and give appropriate direction to the City Manager.
As we reach build out it is reasonable to downsize the planning department. As people in planning leave or retire those positions should not be rehired.
It seems to me Brozosky is using sound reasoning as usual.
Posted by Easy Breezy, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2008 at 2:59 pm
The mayor and council set priorities for the city and then the City Manager puts the appropriate resources in place to address the priorities. If traffic congestion is a higher priority then the city manager will put more manpower in traffic to handle the situation.
I would guess mentioning the Planning Department is to demonstrate where resources can be reallocated through attrition.
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Sep 20, 2008 at 9:54 pm
At issue here in this thread is Brozosky's statement, which the article states is:
Brozosky said he would shift more manpower from the city's Planning Department to traffic to handle congestion."
What the heck does this mean? First of all, the Traffic Engineer reports in the Public Works Department. What does the Planning Department have to do directly with city traffic, or even regional traffic? (Quote from the city website: The Traffic Division of the Public Works Department is responsible for planning and operating the roadways, sidewalks, and bikeways in the City to provide for the safe and efficient movement of people, goods and services within Pleasanton.)
Furthermore, since the people in these departments take their marching orders from their bosses, who don't report directly and solely to Brozosky, how does he purport to execute his wrongly directed directive?
This kind of statement, if accurately reported, calls into question what real executive experience does Brozosky really have? And does he understand what department has what control over what aspect of city governance for which he wishes to directly issue executive orders?
Posted by Good Point, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 21, 2008 at 5:34 pm
Frank, You bring up a very good point regarding what Brozosky's actual experience in running companies is. I also have heard him use his experience angle in running his company as a key to why he would be a good mayor. Upon thinking about it Steve's own company that he started is or was a very small company by comparison to running the city. I believe it had very few employee's (less than 20 I'm pretty sure). I believe he has been a software developer (engineer) in his past as well, but he has _never_ run company of any size.
Also, Steve has been asked for example how well he works with staff at the city and he has answered "very well" and I like to let people do thier jobs and get out of thier way, but I've also heard feedback that staff feel he actually micro-manages. I'm hearing from many people in the know that Steve is actually the exact opposite in real life to how he is trying to portray himself.
Posted by Iwastheretoo, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Sep 21, 2008 at 9:25 pm
Steve's goal in working with the staff is to make himself look good at the expense of making the staff look stupid. He is not exactly popular with the staff. If he wins, we can expect several key staff members to leave either by retiring or finding a job at another municipality. A true leader will get results using resources and by being a team player not by taking credit for everything regardless of whether of not others were involved!! Steve still hasn't learned this yet.
Posted by Good Point, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 22, 2008 at 8:50 am
Why would you put I will resist mentioning, the mention? I never compared Jenniifer's business experience to Steve's, but simply made an observation that Steve continues to state his business experience in "running a company" is what will allow him to do a good job as major (please re-read my post). The observation was that Steve has only run a very small company.
What Jennifer now does have as a result of her direct experience is knowledge of how things work and perspective as mayor. It is very easy walking into a new environment to say what you'll do differently.
Personally I believe this is a decision of the lesser of 2 evils (kind of like the Presidential race), and Jennifer at least has practical experience and has shown the apptitude to learn from her experiences.
Posted by Iwastheretoo, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Sep 22, 2008 at 6:33 pm
AF, funny but I never mentioned the Mayor. I was basing my comments from observations of staff at meetings as well as comments inferred by staff in discussions.
I'm making comments based on what I've seen. Why would you immediately state my comments are laughable when comparing Hosterman to Brozosky since I didn't do that? Based on that I find your comments strictly politically motivated and not relevant.
Also, Steve has been publicly verbslly abusive to the City Council during comments he's made at City Council meetings. Is that an indication of how he'll treat citizens when he doesn't agree with their position?
Posted by AF, a resident of the California Reflections neighborhood, on Sep 22, 2008 at 7:27 pm
This thread implys the comparison of Hosterman and Brozosky.
"Why would you put I will resist mentioning, then mention?" I was being cheeky.
I think Steve has a very good business sense.
There is a record of blistering correspondence where our Mayor spoke very inappropriately to and about citizens. She has been terrible to people at the podium. I have never seen or heard Steve behave disrespectfully and I don't believe you can support your claim.
Posted by frank, a resident of the Pleasanton Heights neighborhood, on Sep 23, 2008 at 11:36 pm
City council gives direction to City Manager is not an answer. (response to Huh). A single councilman or the mayor does not comprise the will of the whole committee (council), so tell me how this works so that only one of them gets to direct the City Manager. Wherein lies the stupidity of thinking a single member is the direct boss of the City Manager. Additionally, the traffic department deals with traffic, the planning department does not. So, how does the council tell the City Manager to somehow swap responsibilities between the two departments to effect Brozosky's wishes, if he were to ever get back in office?
Bottomline: Brozosky probably mis-spoke because he's really not a manager.
Posted by Verify, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 24, 2008 at 7:50 am
I was there Frank and he didn't mis-speak, in fact he repeated this several times. He seemed to believe he could really put traffic resources in the planning dept. He wasn't talking about reduction in one area (firing) and increase in the other (hiring), as he was asked to clarify and stated he would simply "move those resources".
I keep hearing Steve talk about his business experiences, but it (his experience) certainly dosen't come accross positively in his discussions.
Posted by Kate, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 24, 2008 at 8:59 am
Verify is deliberately misrepresenting ( I wonder who would have reason to do so?).
I saw the meeting on the replay and both candidates where asked directly how they would mitigate traffic as Mayor. Brozosky gave the only answer with meaning, he did not suggest firing. He suggested it would make sense to reallocate resources as the planning department has less responsibility nearing buildout. I don't remember the wording but it was a thoughtful response to a direct question.
Steve has been a solution oriented council and school board representative. I like most of our elected representatives, but Steve is one of the few that cuts through it and gets it done.
I have been most impressed with his ability to cut through the nonsence of the School Districts parcel tax. Having watched the process I thank him for less wasted tax dollars.
Posted by Nancy, a resident of the Carriage Gardens neighborhood, on Sep 25, 2008 at 10:23 am
Someone should let the planning department know that they have less responsibility. The planning department is very overworked, resulting in many of the delays that the business and development community scream about regularly. No wonder Steve wasn't endorsed by the Chamber. Moving resources (people, money, etc...) away from the planning department will only make this city less business-friendly. I guess fewer businesses WOULD help the traffic situation, though...
Posted by Verify, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 29, 2008 at 11:44 am
You need to re-read my post. I didn't imply that Steve said he would fire people.
I said he wasn't talking about a reduction via "firing" and an increase then by "hiring". My point was. Assuming he isn't firing people, how can you take a body in the planning department with specific expertise, and simply reallocate that body to traffic and expect that the skill set translates? I was verifying that Steve stated more than once that this is how he wanted to deal with a shortage in traffic resources.
I am not mis-representing anything, as you have stated he said exactly what I did!
Posted by Matt, a resident of the Beratlis Place neighborhood, on Sep 29, 2008 at 10:05 pm
Does the existing skill set translate? Whatever your point was, it was pointless. This isn't mean, the answers are out there, just not by the county or our traffic department. Your expertise with proper guidance would be just as effective.
Posted by verify, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Sep 30, 2008 at 9:33 am
Can you calrify what you are talking about? Your response makes no sense?
I was only verifying that I was at the breakfast, and that Steve said exactly what Frank posted was accurate in an above comment. Anything beyond that would be reading into my comment.
I don't believe you can simply move resources from planning to traffic as a solution. Steve likes to say that this is what you do in a "real company". You cannot take a saleman in a real company and put him in engineering? Make sense?
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Oct 2, 2008 at 12:02 am
"Shifting resources" can be done quite easly through re-training, attrition or termination(elimination of a position that's no longer needed in a certain location and relocating that "position" to another location where it's needed). Anyone with "business world" experience will know this is a common practice. I believe it's called "wise use of resources".
The Mayor, or any councilmember, could request the City Manager canvas all departments for vacant positions and/or positions that are expected to become vacant(for whatever reason)within a given time frame and report back to the council. If the report is favorable(meaning these positions could be "shifted" elsewhere and not harm normal city functions), the Mayor, with approval of council majority, could instruct the City Manager to "shift" these resources, as they become available, to any department that's in need. "Wise use of resources"...
A competent manager will make these changes as they occur...
Question for those that seem to know - what number of employees are needed to qualify as a "business".
Posted by Great Point, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Oct 2, 2008 at 9:57 am
Great point Stacey, we get mired in arguing about a nit picky detail of what he really said and yet he offered no real solutions to traffic. In fact he said along with the other no growth candidates when asked if the Stoneridge extension were to be paid for as promised by Sup. Haggerty but as a requirement must be built immediately would he be in support of building it? Brozosky, McGovern, and Sullivan all answered with "maybe", "when the time is right"? (talk about vauge), and "under the right conditions", they were asked to answer yes or no. Hosterman said Yes, Absolutely, and Pentin said Yes.
Haggerty didn't say, hey Pleasanton, you have an open checkbook I'd like you to build the Stoneridge extension whenever YOU feel the time is right.
We need leadership. When someone offers to pay for something with thier rules attached, obviously you have one choice. Please Pleasanton, lets not have another council mired in study after study after study. The Stoneridge extension has been in the general plan for over 30 years and now the county finds it important enough to pay for it in these very tough economic times. What does that tell you. Its time to take the money and build this extension at no cost to Pleasanton. Talk about a win win win scenario.
Oh yeah, and we'll be able to get to the new Staples Ranch project and use the facilities!
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 2, 2008 at 5:49 pm
PP would do more than create courtroom fodder. The housing unit part of PP would cause more study, study, study to be done. All you small-time property owners out there will suddenly find yourselves up against a planning process where EXTRA time needs to be taken to consider the impact your plans would have on the housing cap.
Posted by Jerry, a resident of the Oak Hill neighborhood, on Oct 3, 2008 at 12:26 am
Would someone please define "good business sense". I've noticed this term bandied about quite often in this little debate.
Why do some believe the passage of PP will, almost automatically, result in litigation. Is it because a developer, at a city council meeting, suggested this could happen. If I too were a developer, I would also make such a suggestion in hopes of possibly "nipping in the bud" any opposition to my present/future plans.
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Oct 3, 2008 at 6:03 am
Developers might sue, yes, but also housing advocates for seniors and affordable housing also might find reason to be in court.
Verbatim from the text of PP:
Policy 15 on Page II-19 of the City of Pleasanton August 6, 1996 General Plan is added as shown:
Policy 15.3: A housing unit is defined to include any residence that includes a kitchen (sink, cooking device, and refrigerator) and a bathroom (toilet, tub or shower). The City Council shall uphold the housing cap and shall not grant waivers that exclude housing units consistent with this definition.
II. If any portions of this initiative are declared invalid by a court, the remaining portions are to be considered valid.
III. The provisions of this initiative may be amended or repealed only by the voters of the City of Pleasanton at a City general election and overrides any existing General Plan.
This definition of a housing unit is contrary to state law and is illegal. The next part of the narrative is that the City Council can't issue waivers or alter this in any manner without it going to the voter; that means even if it is illegal. It amends the General Plan with an ordinance (LAW). The general plan is a policy document from which the city plans for the City. The ordinances are supposed to be sent through a public and transparent process and then voted on by the city council who is the representative legislative body in Pleasanton.
(Should I mention, we don't know WHO wrote PP!)
The housing unit definition includes second units on PRIVATE PROPERTY, as well as assisted living facilities (PARKVIEW) and a literal meaning would include extended stay hotels, maybe not the intent but it is what it says!
It doesn't define a ridge and it makes exceptions for ten units or less, and it affects agreements the city has already made but have not been started, (The Happy Valley By-Pass Road for example). AND the initiative itself says that each part of it remains valid until it is litigated individually which means multiple trips back to court for each of the provisions.
PP is bad law written by maybe well intended people who, because of inexperience (or perhaps design) did not understand or care about the ramification of the words contained in PP. They could have included clarification in the wording but chose not to, thus opening the City to COSTLY litigation.
QQ is the better alternative.
VOTE YES on QQ, it is the true Hillside Measure that includes the voices of all of Pleasanton.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 3, 2008 at 7:27 am
Yes, "good business sense" has been bandied around on this blog as a reason to vote for Brozosky, but no one seems to be able to explain why wouldn't a vote also go to Pentin and his good business sense?
PP and QQ. It is real simple. QQ can eliminate all the unintended consequences currently identified in PP. Save Pleasanton Hills CANNOT go back and fix PP's shortcomings even if they wanted to. Go read yesterday's Independent. (Web Link) In it Kay Ayala tries to explain away PP's deficiencies by clarifying what was meant like with regards to the Happy Valley Bypass Road. -- "Ayala explained that the measure
talks about structures, not infrastructure. "There is not one word that says a road is a structure." -- The problem is, a judge looks at the actual language of the initiative, not Ayala's statements made to newspapers. Even if Ayala or any of the other authors stand up in court and say "This is what we meant!" they cannot fix PP. On the other hand, all of Save Pleasanton Hill's clarifying statements can be fixed and made into law with QQ.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 3, 2008 at 7:40 am
Regarding other statements in the Independent...
Opponents say Measure PP
was written by only a few people.
"The final initiative wording
went through lawyers, planning
commissioners, and retired
elected officials. We were looking
for something simple and
think we have achieved that
goal," according to Ayala.
Basically, the final wording went through people who should know better. Since they are no longer in elected/appointed positions, they are free to push their own agendas without regard for the greater public interest.
While she was on
the council, Ayala said that no
projects on the southeast hills
came to the council. "If one had,
I would have pushed to have the
ordinance created before any discussions
were held on a proposed
This is Ayala's weak attempt to explain why she didn't do anything when she was on Council and some of you will buy into it. Hindsight is always 20/20 of course. "If I knew what would happen, I wouldn't have inhaled."
Jerry, it isn't a matter of a developer trying to "nip something in the bud". Future litigation by _anyone_ is always limited to what was put into the public record. You can read this limitation on that little yellow card the City sends out for public notification.
Posted by Susan, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Oct 11, 2008 at 12:00 am
The endorsers of PP are an interesting study. Many live in Kottinger Ranch, which destroyed many views in Pleasanton. Some live on a hill (1 Brozosky Hill Lane). Yes, that is seriously where Brozosky lives. Some live on 25% slope...McGovern. Some live in Bridle Creek, moved here, and don't want any road to go through their neighborhood. This is silly if it weren't so serious. It is hypocrisy and drawbridge mentality at its worst.