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Presbyterians to host Pleasanton candidates forum tonight

Original post made on Sep 17, 2012

Centerpointe Presbyterian Church will host a "Meet the Candidates Night" starting at 7 p.m. tonight at its church, which is located at the intersection of Busch Road and Valley Avenue. Candidates for Pleasanton mayor and City Council will speak and take questions from the audience. The candidates are council members Cheryl Cook-Kallio and Jerry Thorne for mayor, and Karla Brown, Erlene DeMarcus, Mike Harris and Jerry Pentin for City Council. For more information, call Howard Neely at (925) 462 3346.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, September 17, 2012, 7:30 AM

Comments (32)

Posted by Howard Adams Neely, a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Sep 17, 2012 at 10:48 am

One more note tor this meeting tonight. The address is 3410 Cornerstone Court. A map or gps will help you. When you get on the cmpus look for the American flag, which will be at the tent like structure. There will also be some Boy Scouts to direct you. Bring friends and bring along your questions.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Sep 17, 2012 at 11:45 am

Weren't most of the Founding Fathers Prespitarians?


Posted by A Neighbor, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Until Karla Brown and Kay Ayala write reimbursement checks to the city of Pleasanton for the fiasco they caused over the Oak Grove development, Ms. Brown will not get one vote from this household.

The city paid millions and millions of taxpayer dollars defending lawsuits spurred by these ladies' determination to have unobstructed hillside views from their own hillside McMansions.

Imagine how far all that money would have gone over the last few years of very lean city budgets.


Posted by Pete , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Steve, they were human beings...


Posted by A neighbor II, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2012 at 5:39 pm

I agree, A neighbor. Count me a no vote also.


Posted by local, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2012 at 6:34 pm

I see it the other way. The fiasco over Oak Grove was because the developer (James Tong; employer of council candidate Erlene) and the Lin's kept suing the City and individuals. They kept loosing but that never stopped them from filing more suits in order to waste taxpayer money. I thank those who brought the ridge line protections to the voters, including Karla and Kay, and to the Pleasanton residents which overwhelming voted to protect the ridge lines as well as prevent Oak Grove which would have violated the ridgeline ordinances.

All the votes in our household are for Karla for not being intimidated by a developer which uses lawsuits to intimidate others. If you voted for ridgeline protection, you should be voting for Karla as she was responsible for putting that measure together. But she is not a one-issue candidate. She also wants to do something to get our employee costs under control and has said that she would not accept payments from the unions (Jerry Thorne said the same thing). The other candidates, through accepting the union payments, have already tipped their hand indicating they would not do anything to work on the pension and unfunded liabilities.


Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Karla was impressive at the last public debate and demonstrated through her informed perspective on a range of city issues that she definitely is not a one-issue candidate.

She has earned all the votes from our household.


Posted by john, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 17, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Karla's position on the the Oak Grove issue disqualifies her in my opinion.


Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2012 at 9:04 pm

John - I don't understand your point regarding Karla. Yes, Karla helped elevate the issue. However, it was a majority of voters who decided they wanted to protect the view of our hill tops.

If Karla is disqualified from your perspective for pursuing a democratic process to protect the look/nature of our community, what's your view on the majority of citizens who agreed with her and voted in the protection?

It is your right to disagree with her and the majority of voters on this issue, but isn't disqualifying Karla on this basis a bit harsh and limiting in perspective? Or maybe you are just a one-issue voter ...

Anyway regarding this one issue, I prefer Karla for the opposite reason you don't prefer her. I hope the majority of voters out there remember the benefit of Karla's leadership on this issue and listen to her perspectives on other issues.

I suspect and hope she will do just fine this go-around.


Posted by john, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 17, 2012 at 9:20 pm

History will show she was on the wrong side of this issue just as were the slim majority of voters on this issue. "Protect the top of our hills"? Please. Anything but. This was pure selfishness. Sort of like the some of the bailed out bankers who love capitalism and the free market until they screw up and need a bailout. We need leaders who can lead, not pander.


Posted by Nonsense, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2012 at 9:48 pm

Funny how the Lins, James Tong, Marty Inderbitzen and crew try to run this town with their picks for elected office. Erlene Demarcus was a 'consultant' for James Tong. Cheryl Cook-Kallio lied and said that the Greenbelt Alliance supposedly supported Oak Grove (not true). Jerry Pentin ran the "Do Not Sign Petition" campaign with Cheryl in order to prevent signatures from being collected so the voters could not even vote on the issue.

I won't be voting for Cheryl. I don't want a member of any union to ever be mayor of this town. I'll be voting for Jerry Thorne.

Karla Brown and Mike Harris will be getting my vote.


Posted by A neighbor II, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Nonsense, if Karla doesn't grasp the concept of private property rights, I couldn't vote her into any office. And
Mike Harris flopped at last week's forum, so he didn't even show at tonight's forum...probably finished.
Thorne is great, but you'd be wasting your council votes on the other two.


Posted by Albert, a resident of Ironwood
on Sep 18, 2012 at 7:03 am

If Howard Neely is so biased against Karla and the vote of the people, why does he organize events like this? Years ago he tried to run for office. If he won't accept a vote of NO on Oak Grove with a 20% margin (60% to 40%) it is a good thing he was not voted into office to represent the people of Pleasanton!


Posted by A neighbor II, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2012 at 7:46 am

Albert, I don't believe Neely has ever said anything about Karla, one way or the other...period. He's not like that. Where would you
get such an idea? Best to know before you speak.


Posted by A neighbor II, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2012 at 7:55 am

Albert, it would be good for you to fully understand any candidate before you jump in. Her campaign Treasurer, (like most on her team) is a full-fledged extreme green. He's a Bezerley Environmental Lawyer, who orchestrates lawsuits with Pleasanton. Again, maybe you want to think, before you speak, or at least before you vote.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Sep 18, 2012 at 8:18 am

Ithink its important to link real estate values with public servant pensions. While retired school teachers (as if they weren't already retired before they retired at taxpayer expense) are living high off the hog, my (wife's) home value goes down, down, down the drain. Any candidate who doesn't address this won't get me vote.


Posted by local, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2012 at 8:44 am

There seem to be a group of people on this board who cannot accept that the voters voted 60% to 40% in favor of the Oak Grove Referendum and hillside protection that Karla worked on. Karla organized this BUT the voters are the ones that decided, so get over it. Perhaps those that are upset are ones that were being paid by the developer. Karla's efforts won even though the developer spend millions of dollars trying to defeat the issue.

However, the main issues are not land use as much right now but fiscal sustainability. Karla is very sharp on this topic.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2012 at 10:19 am

Stacey is a registered user.

How effective the protection Karla worked on and Pleasanton voted for is remains to be seen. The developer submitted plans for 10 hilltop ranchettes.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2012 at 10:19 am

Stacey is a registered user.

And NO 500 acre park with access for all of Pleasanton!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2012 at 10:24 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Karla began as a one-issue candidate from the last election. Since that time I think she's been expanding, getting to know more about other issues facing Pleasanton. That can only be a good thing for Pleasanton. I haven't seen a debate yet so I haven't decided on candidates for Council yet. At least one candidate though, Pentin, gets my vote.


Posted by john, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 18, 2012 at 4:10 pm

"Perhaps those that are upset are ones that were being paid by the developer."

Oh sure, I must be paid by the developer. Why worry about things like property rights or the rule of law? I'm just paid by the developer.


Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm

John - can you be more specific about which aspects of rule of law or property rights were violated here?

Keep in mind that everyone who lives in a community necessarily has their individual property rights limited - e.g. I nore my neighbors can't erect an oil rigs in our yards- a good thing.

There are certain standards of look/feel that we all agree to abide by when we live in communities to maintain some of what we enjoy most about Pleasanton.

Clearly the majority of Pleasanton citizens agreed with Karla that we wanted to project the look/feel of our hills. We as a community have the collective right to do that.


Posted by john, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Sep 18, 2012 at 10:04 pm

The property was zoned for residential housing. We can't just change the rules capriciously, after the fact.


Posted by ?, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2012 at 11:33 pm

John says, "The property was zoned for residential housing. We can't just change the rules capriciously, after the fact."

When, John, was the property zoned residential?


Posted by GX, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2012 at 6:46 am

I'm not an expert in property development rights but I believe just because land is zoned as residential doesn't mean one gets to develop whatever they want. There is an extensive approval process one needs to go through for specific plans.

Also, if a rule had been retroactively changed, don't you think then that the courts would have ruled favorable on behalf of the Lins? Haven't they lost multiple times?

I find it interesting that people continue to blame Karla for the continued costs of the Lin lawsuits when all she did was lead the charge to protect our hill tops and the majority of Pleasanton residents agreed. When it has been the Lin's actions that have cost the city all this money.

Go Karla - I hope you win this time.


Posted by local, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2012 at 8:48 am

Stacey, the developer withdrew the 10 unit plan. Also, it was pot going to be a park. It was a trail around the mansions that cut off the tops of the hills. And the city can make the developer dedicate a trail with only 10 units if they want. The city does this all the time. There are parcels in the vineyard corridor that have to dedicate trails as a condition of approval of their own parcels. Golden Eagle had to do some access and trailhead for the Pleasanton Ridge, etc. Anyway, the developer wanted to unload that undevelopable land which would be the trails. If the owner hangs on to it, they have to pay property taxes on it and maintain it for fire danger. Remember, that owner does not even live in the area (country) and does not care about the landscape. It is only a financial transaction. The owner would love our hills to look like Dublin since it is the same developer/land owner that has done a lot of the housing already in the Dublin Hills.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 19, 2012 at 9:43 am

Stacey is a registered user.

GX,

That's right. Just because a property is zoned residential doesn't mean it will get built that way. Our community wasn't looking for oil rigs, but we *did* zone it for residential and left it within the urban growth boundary. And there *is* a process. The developer of Oak Grove had just completed the extensive approval process *for a second time*. The first proposal was referended. So far, fine. Then we referended the second proposal that made a lot more sense; the one with the 500 acre conservation easement. OK, fine too; that's part of the process. Now aside from the question it raises of how many times can a community use the referendum process to indefinitely postpone the process, we also passed a new law that allows 10 hilltop houses to be built. And sure enough, the developer submitted plans for 10 hilltop houses. So what kind of hilltop protection did we really pass? The community spoke: they want 10 hilltop, highly-exclusive private ranchettes on that zoned-for-residential property.

Additionally, I find it interesting that the last case was assigned to a judge with very little adjudication experience and who was just moving up through the ranks due to her political connections. She only stayed with the county for one year before being blessed by the Senate for the district court. She didn't even bother to hear the case. This is the same judge who assigns book reports to suspected murders of FBI agents as a condition of release. Her decision was reversed even though courts are "ordinarily reluctant to interfere with a decision of this type.". Web Link High quality judge!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 19, 2012 at 9:50 am

Stacey is a registered user.

local wrote: "the developer withdrew the 10 unit plan"

I haven't heard that. If true, it probably has to do with the economic climate. I don't think that land will just sit there indefinitely without more proposals coming forward.

And you know we disagree on the definition of park. I use the broader, standard definition. Yosemite is a park.


Posted by A neighbor II, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2012 at 10:10 am

I cringe how some words were/are misused. There has never been a 'ridge' on the East side of town. 'Ridge' was a campaign 'mis-statement'. There are some low, gently rolling hills....so low they can't be seen in the rest of Pleasanton.
Targeted neighborhood voters, are quite different than all of
Pleasanton registered voters, who did not vote on that obscure,
targeted area. More will vote in November, some private property rights voters too.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 19, 2012 at 10:53 am

Stacey is a registered user.

local also wrote: "Anyway, the developer wanted to unload that undevelopable land which would be the trails."

This statement introduces a very interesting aspect of zoning. If the land is so bad for development, why has the owner gone through the PUD process multiple times to get it developed? Developers just want to make money on it, right? Have you asked why that particular piece of land?

Zoning has a particular paradox to it, unintended consequences. Zoning a parcel for residential, commercial, etc., increases the value of that parcel for that particular land use. When the community ends up with not enough parcels zoned for a particular use that is in high demand, the value of existing parcels with that land use increases even more. It makes developing land that has some undevelopable parts more attractive to speculators, not less. The value of the land for residential is artificially increased; developers will get more money out of developing it.

This isn't to say that zoning is bad. Zoning can help mitigate the effects of the highs and lows of the business cycle on a community, to prevent over-building of one particular land use and the subsequent glut that occurs during a downturn in the cycle. Zoning is just a tool and the way it is used can either help or harm.


Posted by Pete, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2012 at 7:26 pm

"unintended consequences" have heard that cyberbullying from you before Stacey."Zoning is just a tool and the way it is used can either help or harm" We can leave those outcomes...to you. Familar?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 19, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Pete, I'm pretty sure that I know local. Would you like to join our conversation?


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