Town Square

Post a New Topic

Look at who is paying for QQ--builders!

Original post made by Mary, Amador Estates, on Oct 22, 2008

Before I vote for a proposition, I always take a look at who is supporting it. The other day I got a fancy 4-page flyer for Yes on QQ and it had a pretty impressive list of people supporting it. Then I was reading the PW and saw this HUGE 1 page ad for it. Naturally, I thought about the thousands of dollars those two items alone cost and wondered where the money is coming from.
I just got my answers by going to look at the campaign disclosure statements. It is really great that so much information is readily at our fingertips now. Makes it very easy to see the info I wanted. Take a look at this link through the city website.
Web Link
For those who don't care to go look, I'll fill you in. Just this month, virtually all support for QQ comes in the form of $10,000 from Greenbriar Homes and another $10k from the Home Builders Assoc. of Northern Cal PAC. And with that money they were able to pay $6,000 in consulting fees to Alliance Campaign Strategies in addition to the costs for the flyers and ad.
Now that makes me wonder what this is all about for home builders to be putting up virtually all the cash. It makes me suspicious when that much comes from a PAC and a builder.
If only the city council had put a moratorium on building while the language under QQ is worked out, I probably would have voted for it. But they didn't and now seeing these large contributions come in makes me wonder what they are trying to push through in the meantime. This cinches it for me. I will be voting Yes on PP and No on QQ.


Comments (100)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anna
a resident of Ironwood
on Oct 22, 2008 at 11:47 pm

Thank you, Mary, for sharing that. I am also voting against QQ.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JT
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 23, 2008 at 12:06 am

Mary, could you provide a link to PP funding? I've tried with no success to find out who wrote PP, and am trying to "do my homework." When I signed the petition, my intention was to learn more, but PP background info has been cloudy at best. Thanks for your help on this.

BTW, do you know who wrote PP?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2008 at 6:06 am

I would like to know who wrote PP too. I do know that almost all of the initial promoters of PP live in the hills on 25% slope or more and don't want any development near them.

It;s amazing that one can't get any information on who wrote it or who is funding it.

Some of that group's funding came from someone planning to build on the neighboring ridge overlooking Oak Grove. What is his motivation? I guess he doesn't want neighbors.

You can see Brozosky's home from Vineyard because it is on top of a ridge and required grading an displacement of dirt, McGovern's is certainly on 25% slope. Karla Brown's is close enough to Oak Grove that when it is built she will have more neighbors instead of the undeveloped land that is there now. NIMBYISM (Not in MY backyard!)

In an open and democratic process groups are not excluded. Much of the parks and trails in and around Pleasanton were done in cooperation with builders. I would venture to say that all of the homes we live in were built by developers.

PP is purely political. It is not simple and will cost YOU time and money.

Yes on QQ
A Better Way

In an open and transparent way you CAN get information on QQ. That should tell you something.

WWW.YESONQQ.COM


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 23, 2008 at 7:53 am

Mary,
Interesting! Maybe you could find out which PP person paid for their full page ad in the PW many months ago?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2008 at 7:58 am

Mary,

Maybe its because the landowners want to have some imput on restrictions to be put on their land. What's so surprising about that?

I have problems with an initiative where we don't know who authored it and what their stake in the game is. What's the big telling about disclosing the names of people involved unless of course there really were only a couple of people who wrote it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Will not tell
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 23, 2008 at 9:55 am

If PP were as had the purest of intentions as it would seem, we would have known long ago who wrote it and who is paying for a similarly funded campaign for PP. Simply said, "The silence is deafening"!

PP is a disceptive attempt to stop Oak Grove by any means possible. It has been intentionally deceptive. QQ is meant to be crystal clear, and defensible if necessary. The reason developers support such propositions is to have clear language as to what the rules are. Mary makes it sound as if when QQ passes the developers will "run wild" somehow as a result. Nothing could be further from the truth. Please read both sides and make an informed decision.

Yes on QQ. Funny how even Mary with all her diligence can't/won't come up with who wrote, and who is paying for the PP campaign???


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 23, 2008 at 10:13 am

Mary's post sounds like an advertisement. You know, like the Geico commercial where "ordinary people" talk about their experience with Geico and how great it is. Anyone else notice this?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 23, 2008 at 10:29 am

Somewhat like this...

"Before I vote for a candidate, I always take a look at who is supporting them. Yesterday I received a slick flyer in the mail for Hosterman and there was a rather long list of people endorsing her. Many of the names on the list are from current City commissioners. I've also noticed all the political signs for Hosterman posted up everywhere. Naturally, I thought about how much it must have cost to print the signs and this flyer up and mail it out."

Naturally? Really?!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 23, 2008 at 10:36 am

Maybe this is a better example...

"Before I clean my floors, I always take a look at the ingredients of the floor cleaner. Yesterday I received a coupon in the mail for new Zing floor cleaner. It was a pretty good deal, buy one, get one free. Naturally, I thought about what chemicals are contained within this product.

I was able to get my answer by going to the store and looking at the label. It is just great that labeling laws require such disclosure!

For those who don't have the inclination to go to the store and look, here's what I found. Zing contains a chemical known to the State of California to be carcinogenic. I only use floor cleaners with all natural ingredients. That cinches it for me. I'm never buying Zing!"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 23, 2008 at 10:38 am

Mary,

If you're against QQ because you don't like the donors to the campaign, just say that instead of trying to wrap it up with all the trappings of an advertisement.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Thankyou
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 23, 2008 at 3:23 pm

As a longtime resident, I thank Mary for finally clearing up the confusion. QQ is being paid for by developers. When I got that fancy expensive glossy folder, I knew there had to be big money backing this.

I looked on the website and they aren't even Pleasanton developers, but an out of town Political Action Committee of builders. Even Greenbrier, the developer, is out of town.

Anyone can find out who wrote PP. Just look at who signed it and ask at the Farmers Market. I'm glad actual residents that live here wrote it.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bill
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 23, 2008 at 3:37 pm

Gee whiz. Those developers and politicians tried to fool us. Those so called

"Citizens for Ridgeline Protection-Committee for Measure QQ"

are actually the Home Builder PAC of California here. Web Link

Look at the cast of characters! Signature Properties, Ponderosa, KB Homes, Summerhill. Instead of "mouseteer roll call, count off now!" it is "developers backing a fake initiatve, count off now!"

Thank goodness that Pleasanton voters are intelligent enough to see through this fraud. I am very disappointed that some of the elected officials were part of this set-up. Is there anyway to do a recall of them? I heard there was the mayor (Hosterman) and two city council officials that were part of this.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2008 at 3:47 pm

Speaking of fraud, that reminds me of all the tax dollars that have been wasted on behalf of these developers so far. According to a past Pleasanton Weekly article, the city of Pleasanton and the school district sued Ghielmetti from Signature properties for fraud and deceit.
Web Link

I agree with Bill. A recall would be in order for all the elected respresentatives that are part of this fraud and deceit initiative. And I would think that citizens could sue all the individual backers that are front people for this QQ thing for fraud and deceit as well.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by iwastheretoo
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 23, 2008 at 4:06 pm

Had the council agreed to a moratorium while QQ got worked out, it would have garnered wide support. THey didn't. You have to ask yourself why. What would be the downside if QQ were only going to take a year??? If they (the three) didn't want the moratorium, could it be so that developers get their projects approved before any substantive works get done.

I was hesitant about PP until the council refused the moratorium. Now I am a PP supporter and will vote no on QQ. Hopefully, our now pro-growth mayor will not get re-elected. It is amazing what PAC money and developers can do.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JT
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 23, 2008 at 4:10 pm

Thankyou, I don't go to Farmer's Market (I work on weekends) and when I asked at Safeway when I signed the petition months ago, I got a vague answer. Could someone please post a link or just give me the info here?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Don't be fooled
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 23, 2008 at 4:12 pm

Thankyou, Bill and Anonymous ALL likely live in Kottinger Ranch. DO NOT be fooled by these random untrackable posts.

BTW Thankyou, If "anyone" as you say in you post above can find out who wrote PP, then why hasn't it been posted here? Better yet since your obviously "in the know" based on your post above, why don't you simply tell us the names? You likely then also know the funding source for PP? Please tell....

I GUARANTEE you won't because it would turn your conspiracy theory right back on the PP campaign.

Don't be fooled!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PARCsupporter
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 23, 2008 at 4:26 pm

First of all, thank goodness for the Preserve Area Ridgelands Committee (PARC) and all the great work they have done with preserving the ridgelands in this community. I believe it is great this work has continued. Otherwise, Pleasanton will look like San Leandro and Castro Valley in the next 5 years with building on the hills.

Web Link
I watched this city council meeting on TV where the subject of the initiative PP was discussed. It included:

Margaret Tracy, 1262 Madison Avenue, Livermore, speaking for Preserve Area Ridgelands Committee, indicated it is important to return to the General Plan policies in place before passage of Measure F. These policies did not allow development on hillsides of 25% slope or greater. These slopes were excluded in density calculations. In the past months there have been many articles regarding the 100th anniversary of the action on the San Andreas Fault. Land slipped up to 21 feet along the fault line. Knowing that similar action is expected on the Hayward fault within the next thirty years and anticipating similar action possible on the Calaveras fault west of Foothill Road, it seems wise to exclude development in that area to lessen the liability to the city. General Plan land use decisions made on a case-by-case basis for such a major area of the City, visually important to all residents, seems unwise. Case-by-case decisions lead to unreasonable speculation on land. PARC urges Council to go back to the previous General Plan designation, which does not allow development on slopes of 25% or greater and excludes these slopes from calculation."

I also went to a another city council meeting in 2006 that this was discussed. Jerry Iserson, the city planner, told everyone the old general plan did not allow development on slopes of 25% or more. Prohibiting development on 25% or more slopes used to be part of the general plan. Measure F changed all 25% or more slopes to open space, but part was missed.

It is wonderful how this loophole is being fixed in Measure PP. Thank you Preserve Area Ridgelands Committee!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 23, 2008 at 4:46 pm

Thanks for the history lesson. The information about PARC is interesting. Too bad the development proposals for west of Foothill Rd. are exempted from PP because they are under 10 units.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by proud of PARC
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 23, 2008 at 5:02 pm

I found the website for PARC in the internet archive and love the motto "Beautiful hills can be paved for the profit of a few, or saved for parkland for all."

Their webpages on Oak Grove are very good "We want to stop this from becoming another Dublin Grade development."

And I think the idea of an Eastern Pleasanton Ridgelands park is brilliant.

It was my understanding from the farmers market (the PP side, not the QQ/Do Not Sign Petition side -- the QQ/Do Not Sign Petition side seems a little like deer in headlights) for developments west of Foothill Road since 1990 have to follow the West Foothill Road Corridor District in the municipal code. I actually saw the brown book at the table when PP was collecting signatures. If the municipal code for Pleasanton is on-line (where is it on the city's webpage?), I could put a link to it here.



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 23, 2008 at 5:13 pm

"If the municipal code for Pleasanton is on-line (where is it on the city's webpage?), I could put a link to it here."

I don't see anything in this regarding slopes or ridgetops. Web Link

"And I think the idea of an Eastern Pleasanton Ridgelands park is brilliant."

And how will that park be created? PP does not address that. PP supporters have basically said that land will remain mostly in private hands and hope that property owners will sell off parts in conservation easements. QQ supporters are trying to defend the pre-existing vision to create over 2,000 acres of public parkland in those hills. That's why QQ was created.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by proud of PARC
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 23, 2008 at 5:40 pm

Thanks for the web page. I see that building on or near ridges is addressed.

"Building sites within lots shall not be allowed if they are located on or near ridges which do not have a background of Pleasanton or Main Ridges when viewed from Foothill Road."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 23, 2008 at 5:59 pm

That's considered a sightline requirement. PP doesn't have that kind of requirement. PP basically says "any" ridgeline, which could mean a ridge inside a valley that isn't visible from the valley floor. A yes vote on QQ would allow such a thing to be considered.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Heather
a resident of Highland Oaks
on Oct 23, 2008 at 6:01 pm

Thanks Mary for the posting. Developers and builders are financially supporting QQ in order to build houses on those 2,000 acres, not to put parks there.

I'm surprised by the comments from some on this message board. Do you actually think for a minute developers are contributing money for empty space and park space? That is hilarious.

QQ supporters (have you seen the list?) have wanted to build houses on every blank piece of land in Pleasanton. They wanted houses on the San Francisco Water District property. It is the same list of pro-development supporters that come out of the woodwork in every election.

I think the Independent and Valley Times are exactly right. If these people listed in these glossy-developer paid for ads were serious about land conservation, they would have done it long ago. Also if the elected officials like Becky Dennis or the former parks director Dolores Bengston had been serious about conserving open space, they would have championed and passed a ridgeline law years ago when they were part of the city.

These QQ supporters are the ones that have opposed every park measure to ever come before the voters of Pleasaanton. Deja vu...those supporting houses on open space this year are the same people that supported buildings houses on open space years ago Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2008 at 7:05 pm

Heather, thank you for that weblink from the past election. Though I have lived in Alameda County all of my life, I am new in town and thankful to know about this.

Also, I can't believe the way some of these people stretch the truth. They actually said in 2002 "There's no other City-owned land available for future city senior housing." Didn't the city just build a senior assisted living center next to the Senior Center on Sunol Blvd?

I look at the "NO ON V" list and many of those are the ones that support QQ.

s/SHARRELL MICHELOTTI Councilmember, Pleasanton City Council
s/PAT KERNAN Managing Partner, Hogue, Fenton, Jones and Appel, Inc.
s/JERRY THORNE Vice Chairman, Parks and Recreation Commission
s/DOLORES BENGTSON Former Director, Pleasanton Parks and Community
Services Department, Trails Council of the Livermore-Amador-Valley
s/CHRISTINE STEINER Chairperson, Housing Commission, City of Pleasanton
s/PATRICIA BELDING Chairperson, Citizens for a Caring Community (CFACC), Member, Tri-Valley Interfaith Poverty Forum
s/DAVID WRIGHT President Elect of Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council
s/RICK PICKERING Member, Bernal Property Task Force
s/BECKY DENNIS Vice-Mayor, Pleasanton

Also, these same people did not support the Alameda County Measure D Open Space Initiative a few years ago and instead supported the developer's initiative. It all making sense to me now.

City of Pleasanton

Becky Dennis, Councilmember
Sharrell Michelotti, Councilmember
Ken Mercer, former Mayor
Bob Philcox, former Mayor
Ed Kinney, former Mayor
Dolores Bengtson, former Director, Parks and Community Service
Bob Harris, former Planning Director

at this web site

Web Link

Thank you for enlightening me. I will vote yes on PP and no on QQ. It is really helpful that the League of Women Voters has such a site that you can look up these things and then come to your own conclusion about what the truth actually is. And you can pull up old elections and see that these QQ people just support building more houses over and over again.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 23, 2008 at 7:11 pm

Yea, the comments are surprising indeed. To think that developers contributing money to the QQ campaign somehow absolve PP of all its failings, like its lack of definitions, vague language which leads to multiple interpretations, 10 unit exemption, lack of consideration of sightlines, geotechnical data, etc.

When in doubt, vote NO on both QQ and PP.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 23, 2008 at 7:16 pm

One of my favorites is when PP supporters say PP will protect hillsides "now" and then say QQ will require "study, study, study". The truth is that considerable work will need to also be done in order to implement PP.

From the Agenda Report for June 26, 2008:
"if the Initiative is adopted many definitions (eg ridgeline, slope, independent living, etc) would need to be clarified and processes (eg how to measure slope, which developments are exempt) developed consistent with the intent of the Initiative"


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jean
a resident of Avila
on Oct 23, 2008 at 8:11 pm

Anonymous, you say it all makes sense to you now. Well then explain, why do they all support the developers?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 23, 2008 at 9:30 pm

Vote in Measure PP and then stand back and watch the lawsuits that will in time be filed. Also watch the 10 acre mansions on the ridges appear. Meanwhile any public access to the southeast hills of Pleasanton will be locked out for beyond your lifetime. There will be much to argue about in future posts. Jerry will enjoy his popcorn while he muses over the postings. For me, it will be fun following the lawsuits through the courts and analyzing the briefs filed by each side. I hope the anonymous authors of Measure PP have a big kitty to pay for the attorneys. (No, the authors are not the signers of the petition like one poster seems to think.)


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 23, 2008 at 9:35 pm

Yes, quite interesting. Mary doesn't explain her leap in logic for why someone should vote yes on PP just because developers are now funding the QQ campaign. Developers funding QQ don't fix the problems with PP!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joey
a resident of Mission Park
on Oct 23, 2008 at 9:49 pm

QQ = Don't worry, our "we know what is best for you, we don't really need your input..."

PP = Not very well planned & prepared.

It looks like both are flawed. At what point did I indicate that I wasn't willing to provide guidance. If it is a large enough project, just let me vote on it during the normal voting time.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ed
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 23, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Developers sue (like the Lins) all the time and their lawsuits are thrown out time and time again. Measure D prohibited development on ridgelines and steep slopes. The developer sued and lost. Then they appealed and lost. Big deal. Happens all the time. Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 23, 2008 at 10:03 pm

Think the language of PP is simple? That's the problem. It is too simple. Considerable work would need to be done in order to implement PP and resolve any conflicting policies. City staff suggests in the staff report on PP that development proposals would probably have to be looked at individually, i.e., PP will not be closing any loopholes but creating new ones.

"If the Initiative is adopted it would be advisable to designate the ridges to which the 100 vertical foot restriction would apply and it may be necessary from time to time to review a proposed development in light of the Initiatives intent rather than a literal application of its terms"

"a case-by-case approach would better accomplish the Initiatives intent of creating development that is not visible from offsite and/or that has a backdrop"

None of these problems with PP are fixed because a developer contributed money to the QQ campaign. So what's the reason to vote yes on PP again?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pat
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 23, 2008 at 11:45 pm

I just read QQ and it is more like a rambling diatribe that meanders on. And on. And on. It doesn't really say or do anything. I guess that was the point of it after all. Measure PP is understandable and everyone knows what the word slope means if they have attended 8th grade. I read the Valley Times editorial and it says "It's a reasonable measure that would prohibit grading on slopes of 25 percent or greater or within 100 vertical feet of a ridgeline." No need for quantum physics. Forget QQ. I'm voting for PP as is most of my neighborhood.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mary
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2008 at 12:59 am

Stacey, I understand you have different criteria to look at than I do but to criticize what I say just by how I present it??? You might as well say to me in person, "I'm not going to listen to anything you have to say because I don't like the clothes you are wearing! Facts are facts. I just posted some info I found.
I don't have all your answers but anyone can find the PP information as well through the city links. Here is the link to find all city candidates as well as the measures. It doesn't look like it is some big secret to me the way some of you are indicating.
Web Link
Then specifically for the PP disclosures.
Web Link
Then there are also links to be found on SmartVoter.
Web Link
As for who wrote PP, I do not know. I would assume that the people who had their name on the original documents were involved. On the Form 410 you can get to from the link posted you can see the organization with William Rasnick and Kay Ayala listed. I am glad they brought the issue to the public to point out that 3 people on council can (and have) override the guidelines in place. The same form for QQ only lists Janet Yarbrough yet she is not even listed on the pamplet I received. So what is up with that? Is she an employee of the political consulting firm that is being used by QQ?
The newspapers have been interviewing representatives, you can look at the campaign reports to see who is financing it, you can read who supports and endorses each measure and most importantly, you can read the language for yourself. To me, it doesn't matter who, by name, wrote it but it clearly is an issue for some of you. I certainly don't know who wrote all those other propositions on my ballot.
And to curious, are you trying to say that the Builders PAC owns land in Pleasanton? I don't think so. But if anyone knows of what Greenbriar owns, I would appreciate hearing that info.
It turns out that there are reports at that city link for the Chamber PAC also. They too, received $10,000 from Greenbriar Homes plus $5,000 from PG&E. Can't wait to see what comes in the mail from the Chamber as a result of all that money.
I don't like PACs and I get extremely suspicious when they start throwing money in any one direction. But that is just my opinion.
I tried to keep it more on point just for you Stacey.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Still no answer
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 24, 2008 at 9:06 am

Who is paying for the PP campaign??????????? Can/will ANYONE answer this quesion?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by iwastheretoo
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 24, 2008 at 9:16 am

Take a look at the Hosterman disclosures - same PAC's - same developers. Who was it that said - follow the money.

It is really nice that this stuff is online. Very easy to see who is getting funded and by whom. At least now we know why Jennifer has turned so pro-development.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 24, 2008 at 9:28 am

Who is paying for PP? Well if you look at the online campaign contribution site you can find that answer out. The real question is who paid for the Oak Grove referendum campaign? Save Pleasanton Hills never filed campaign finance disclosures for that.

While everyone is busy reading the campaign finance site, I highly recommend a reading of the staff report on Measure PP: Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Beth
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Oct 24, 2008 at 4:55 pm

Is this QQ developer the same Janet Yarbrough who is the treasurer for the chamber of commerce here ? I see for myself that developers are also pouring money into their Political Action Committees. Guess Yarborough's accounting business must be pretty slow so she is the treasurer for the developers.

Personally, I toss all those expensive fliers in the trash that I receive in the mail, including those QQ things. I keep receiving hit pieces on Abram Wilson from Joan Buchanan for the assembly race on almost a daily basis in the mail. I figure if someone has all that money from corporations and developers to spend on PR firms and extravagant ads in these tough economic times, I'm not voting for them or it. Those Abram Wilson hit pieces are pretty ridiculous. I'm voting for Wilson. And for PP.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Kim
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 24, 2008 at 5:12 pm

I love the Joan Buchanan commercials (did anyone notice how she doesn't talk and there is a voice over from someone else) with that red pen talking about balancing the budget. Just kidding. All we need is someone from the good old San Ramon Valley Unified School District, with their multiple parcel taxes, in the Assembly.

I can't believe all the money that is being spent on commercials. There are more Buchanan commercials than presidential commercials.

I hear they are about to try again on yet another parcel tax in the Contra Costa times article "San Ramon Valley schools headed to another try for a parcel tax." It was interesting that the Valley Times didn't endorse her because Buchanan wants to keep salaries of public officials and employees secret. I'm voting for Wilson also and I am a democrat.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by sickofbuchananmaillerstoo
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 24, 2008 at 6:58 pm

Hey, I just went out to my post office box and I received yet another San Ramon Mayor H. Abram Wilson slam mailer. I've lost count. Is the Buchanan campaign for Assembly team the same as the Torrico campaign team? I've rarely seen such an exceptional negative set of gutter political material be mailed in such volume. Enough! Enough! It really makes the Democratic Party seem like a bunch of hardcore racists. I think I'll get on the Wilson web site and order a lawn sign. Now,


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2008 at 8:56 pm

There is no excuse for negative campaigning. But it seems that once it starts the bandwagon is full!

Have you seen the Wilson ADS on TV????
Can't there be a civil discussion about the issues?

I have seen the forums with Wilson and Buchanan. I will take the one who knows the issues and knows how to get things done.

It's Buchanan for me!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Salaries secret? All public salaries are public knowledge. Buchanan voted against revealing individual teachers' salaries. If you want to know how much teachers make in any district all you have to do is go online and look at the salary schedule. if you know the teachers' education background and number of years you can get pretty close. The Valley Times is notorious about getting things incorrect.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by RS
a resident of Danbury Park
on Oct 24, 2008 at 9:16 pm

I would have to agree with the Times. I don't agree with Buchanan wanting individual public sector employees' salaries to be hidden, regardless of whether they are municipal employees (look at the disaster in Vallejo and how it caused the city to go bankrupt), public school teachers, state or federal employees. As a taxpayer, we pay taxes and fund their salaries so we should be able to see what salaries they make.

Here is what the Times says:

"Buchanan insists that salary and other compensation of individual public employees should be kept private — a position in complete opposition to this paper's successful legal fight to make government workers' pay public. As Wilson correctly put it, "The public has a right to know what they're paying their employees. "... You work for me. I should know what I'm paying you."

Web Link

Mr. Wilson, you have my vote!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2008 at 9:22 pm

I think it is smart to look at who is supporting QQ. It is a cross section of people, many who have absolutely no vested interest except to want what is best for Pleasanton. Many have little in common but support of Measure QQ

Here is a way to evaluate a proposition or measure put out by the League of Women voters.

Criteria for Evaluating Ballot Propositions

* Who are the real sponsors and opponents of the measure? Investigate the names of groups with which you are not familiar.

If you can't identify who wrote it or who is paying for it that should be a red flag.

* Does the measure deal with one issue which can easily be decided by a "yes" or "no"? Or is it a complex issue which should be thoroughly examined in the legislative arena?

Are there absolutes contained in Measure PP that have t be clarified? Will this send Pleasanton to court? Could this be rectified with a more inclusive measure?

* Is it written well? Are there conflicts in the measure that may require court resolution or interpretation? Is it "good government" or will it cause more problems than it will resolve?

Are terms vague? Does it mix elements. Does it box the city into a corner? Does it amend our general plan? Has everyone affected been able to weigh in on it? The council majority that put QQ on the ballot did so because they are obligated to act responsibly and make sure that any ordinance is good law.

* If the measure amends the Constitution, consider whether it really belongs in the Constitution. Amending the Constitution is cumbersome and costly and requires a vote of the people. Would a statute accomplish the same purpose?

* Does the measure create its own revenue source? Does it earmark, restrict, or obligate a specific percentage of General Fund revenues? Consider the effect on the overall flexibility of the budget.

* Examine the measure by its merits. During the campaign, be wary of distortion tactics and commercials that rely on image, but tell nothing of substance about the measure.

The decisions made affect Pleasanton long after the current political personalities disappear. Ask yourself what is the motive of the council? Even when the five of them disagree, none seem to be the kind of people who are doing this for any other reason than to serve the community. People ought to be able to civilly disagree.

Finally, if the questions can't be answered by you. If it can't be figured out on its merits then voting no on both is the best idea.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Duh
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 24, 2008 at 10:57 pm

Of course there are more Buchanan commercials here than Presidential. The 15th assembly district is actually in play! The presidential candidates decided long ago that CA was solidly in the Obama column.

Hey Kim, If you are a member of the Vintage Hills Community, you can't vote for Wilson or Buchanan. You happen to be in the 20th assembly district.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Susan
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Oct 24, 2008 at 11:03 pm

Look closely at the endorsement list for Measures PP and QQ. With QQ, not only do you have almost every former Mayor in Pleasanton, but a majority of every City Commission. There are community leaders, environmental leaders and advocates, and regular citizens.

Interesting how so many from so many walks of life actually come together and agree on QQ. Business and labor, environment and developers. Doesn't it make you wonder why groups who don't often agree are all on the same team backing QQ?

Seems simple to me...Measure QQ is a better way. Vote Yes on QQ and No on PP. PP is turning out to be Purely Political.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 24, 2008 at 11:19 pm

Okay, in fairness then let's look at the funders of PP. 60% of PP's funding comes from the new residents of the recently completed Bridle Creek development because they do not want the promised bypass road to the golf course completed. Apparently, their main street would no longer be a dead end. This isn't as selfish as the developers motives you claim?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Josh
a resident of Country Fair
on Oct 25, 2008 at 7:57 am

Developers-they are vile...then again this town would not be all it is without good developers and good councils. There have been some neat projects built by developers. Carla Brown from Kottinger Ranch is one of those. It is easy to call developers every name in the book and some are bad apples. I am not a developer but everything in moderation---please. I believe thaqt there is at least one good developer out there. After all, Brozowski got the development he wanted at the base of his hillside home and Mary Roberts probably will get her upscale village near her hillside home, I don't know about Cindy, she has homes already below her hillside home. There is YING and there is Yang...go figure. I think many of the players hands on this PP and QQ issue are dirty. I wish they all would leave town and go infect someone else.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by QQ is lame
a resident of Danbury Park
on Oct 25, 2008 at 11:55 am

I agree with the Valley Times. QQ is probably the most "lame excuse for ballot measure" I've ever seen. Cook-Kallio, Thorne, and Hosterman are probably being advised by the most idiotic political advisors around. They won't be re-elected.

Tom Pico is now a paid consultant for a developer so of course he supports QQ. Duh! I asked one of those commissioners who was listed on the QQ brochure, and they said they weren't even asked to put their name on there. They support PP.

Hosterman, Cook-Kallio and Thorne should be very embarrassed.

7/02/08 Valley Times Editorial

Should have done job

THE PLEASANTON CITY COUNCIL should be embarrassed by the lame excuse for a ballot measure that it's planning to pawn off on voters in November.

It's been more than 10 years since the city adopted a general plan that called for developing a ridgeline preservation ordinance to guard against "negative visual impacts" of building in hilly areas.

Since then, the council has done nothing to carry out that mandate. Meanwhile, last year, the council approved the Oak Grove subdivision of 51 custom homes, ranging in size from 6,000 to 12,500 square feet, in the southeast hills.

Not surprisingly, residents were upset. They are fighting the subdivision approval in court. At the same time, they have collected more than 5,000 signatures to place an initiative on the ballot that, if approved by voters, would finally establish some hillside development guidelines.

The initiative would amend the city's general plan to prohibit grading on slopes of 25 percent or greater or within 100 vertical feet of a ridgeline.

The measure would also establish a stricter definition of a housing unit, reducing the number left under the voter-approved citywide 29,000-unit housing cap.

A majority of the City Council — Cheryl Cook-Kallio, Jerry Thorne and Mayor Jennifer Hosterman — doesn't like the initiative. They've known since last fall that it was coming. They've had plenty of time to develop alternatives, or, better yet, to approve the ordinance that residents were promised more than a decade ago.

Instead, the council last week voted to put a second, competing measure on the November ballot. It's the old political trick of putting up a competing measure with hopes that both will fail.

So what is the bold solution the council is proposing? Why, it would commit the council to preparing a comprehensive hillside regulation ordinance.

In other words, the council is planning to put up for a vote whether it should do what it promised more than 10 years ago it would do. How's that for bold leadership?

If that's the best solution the City Council can offer, it should keep its alternative off the ballot and allow residents to vote on the citizens' initiative by itself.

If the initiative loses, nothing would prevent council members from preparing a reasonable alternative. It's a shame they couldn't do their job when they were supposed to.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by QQ is a lame excuse of a ballot measure
a resident of Country Fair
on Oct 25, 2008 at 12:25 pm

I remember that article! I work in Oakland and this was also printed in the Oakland Tribune. Here is the original. As a former realter, I know that houses on ridgetops in communities will bring property values down for all Pleasanton residents. It will effect everyone in the city. That is why I will vote for PP.

Web Link

Should have done job
Oakland Tribune, Jul 3, 2008 by editorial
E-mail Print Link THE PLEASANTON CITY COUNCIL should be embarrassed by the lame excuse for a ballot measure that it's planning to pawn off on voters in November.

It's been more than 10 years since the city adopted a general plan that called for developing a ridgeline preservation ordinance to guard against "negative visual impacts" of building in hilly areas.

Since then, the council has done nothing to carry out that mandate. Meanwhile, last year, the council approved the Oak Grove subdivision of 51 custom homes, ranging in size from 6,000 to 12,500 square feet, in the southeast hills.

Not surprisingly, residents were upset. They are fighting the subdivision approval in court. At the same time, they have collected more than 5,000 signatures to place an initiative on the ballot that, if approved by voters, would finally establish some hillside development guidelines.

The initiative would amend the city's general plan to prohibit grading on slopes of 25 percent or greater or within 100 vertical feet of a ridgeline.

The measure would also establish a stricter definition of a housing unit, reducing the number left under the voter-approved citywide 29,000-unit housing cap.

A majority of the City Council -- Cheryl Cook-Kallio, Jerry Thorne and Mayor Jennifer Hosterman -- doesn't like the initiative. They've known since last fall that it was coming. They've had plenty of time to develop alternatives, or, better yet, to approve the ordinance that residents were promised more than a decade ago.

Instead, the council last week voted to put a second, competing measure on the November ballot. It's the old political trick of putting up a competing measure with hopes that both will fail.

So what is the bold solution the council is proposing? Why, it would commit the council to preparing a comprehensive hillside regulation ordinance.

In other words, the council is planning to put up for a vote whether it should do what it promised more than 10 years ago it would do. How's that for bold leadership?

If that's the best solution the City Council can offer, it should keep its alternative off the ballot and allow residents to vote on the citizens' initiative by itself.

If the initiative loses, nothing would prevent council members from preparing a reasonable alternative. It's a shame they couldn't do their job when they were supposed to.

c2008 ANG Newspapers.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 25, 2008 at 12:29 pm

Read the measure closer. A yes vote on PP does not prevent homes on top of hills.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Jack
a resident of Valencia
on Oct 25, 2008 at 1:00 pm

With all of this-"THE PLEASANTON CITY COUNCIL should be embarrassed by the lame excuse for a ballot measure that it's planning to pawn off on voters in November....In other words, the council is planning to put up for a vote whether it should do what it promised more than 10 years ago it would do. How's that for bold leadership?"

...I am stunned that the mayor had the audacity to vote herself a 75% pay raise last year.

There is no way I will vote for Hosterman again.

How can something go on for 10 long years with no action? That is unacceptable. I get angry every time I think about how my taxes are spent.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Buddy
a resident of Ironwood
on Oct 25, 2008 at 3:08 pm

Let's see, Ayala, Borzoksy, McGovern, and Sullivan were or are all members of the council in the last 10 yeats. What did they do about it while in office?

PP is a lame excuse for the hypocrites who live on hillsides and ridges and areas around Oak Grove (Grey Eagle, Kottinger Ranch, Bridle Creek, etc.) to keep everyone else out. Please...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 25, 2008 at 4:26 pm

Ayala, Brozoksy, McGovern, Sullivan--what did they do in office? I have no idea, but since I haven't seen the bulldozers and construction crews driving up in the ridges, I would guess they voted no on ridgetop mansions.

I have a friend who used to work in the city and he said during the Tarver and Pico years, noone would dare even bring submit a plan for mcmansions while they were mayor.

Seems to me that sfter his failed run for the state assembly, Pico couldn't get a job so he hired himself out to developers to get mansions approved in Pleasanton.

So now Hosterman, Pico--slaves to the developers and the development money and once voted no to ridgetop mansions and now promote ridgetop mansions. Hosterman gets paid in campaign contributions. Pico gets an actual salary.

Very sad.











 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 25, 2008 at 4:40 pm

"during the Tarver and Pico years, noone would dare even bring submit a plan for mcmansions while they were mayor. "

What?! Then how did Ruby Hills and Kottinger Ranch ever get built?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 25, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Those were pre-Pico and pre-Tarver. Ken Mercer was the mayor then.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 25, 2008 at 7:14 pm

You are right. Mercer was mayor when Ruby Hill was annexed. Tarver voted against it. Kottinger Ranch was even earlier. Web Link
Maybe Stacey is new to Pleasanton.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Karen
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Oct 26, 2008 at 10:55 am

I don't think PP supporters are 100% against any development, I keep hearing them say they are against development on the top 100 vertical feet and away from 25% slopes. Sounds good to me. Simple language too. Ruby Hill is basically flat land. Most of Kottinger Ranch is flat land too. KR is a blend of patio homes and town homes, plus stand alone houses.

At this point it is best not to put down old council members (some like Ed Kinney that have passed away) and talk about FUTURE growth in our city and protecting our natural resources from developments.

Vote Yes on PP
Vote No on QQ - put on the ballot for 1 reason - to confuse voters.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bonnie
a resident of Foothill High School
on Oct 26, 2008 at 10:59 am

If QQ's big supporters are developers NOT local homeowners - who are they going to listen to in their so called "open process"? The Dolores B, Becky D, Chery Cook, Jerry Thorne and Jerry Pentin - if not elected will have the first chance to sway the final interpretations of QQ - in a year or two if ever.

Do paid lobbyists affect decision makers?! You Bet!

I agree!

Yes on PP
No on QQ


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 26, 2008 at 11:26 am

"if not elected will have the first chance to sway the final interpretations of QQ"

Interesting comment. The final interpretation of PP will also be subject to "swaying" during its implementation phase if it gets adopted. Don't think so? Read the staff report, section 4.2. PP will require some amount of consideration and clarification in order to be implemented. Does it affect the Happy Valley Bypass road or not? Will Sullivan fight for the bypass road or will he bow to pressure from Bridle Creek NIMBYs?

"Do paid lobbyists affect decision makers?! You Bet!"

Support the right to petition government!

Joe,
I'm almost 30 years new to Pleasanton, but during that time I was busy trying to graduate high school instead of paying attention to local politics. Memory is therefore fuzzy on local politics from that era. How about yourself?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Lou
a resident of Jensen Tract
on Oct 26, 2008 at 6:03 pm

I used to work for U.S. Geological Survey in Reston as well as locally and slopes of greater than 25% are generally considered unbuildable in most of the country and should be preserved in their natural state. In Alameda County, you can't even build on slopes of 20% or greater. What is Pleasanton thinking??????

So close to the Calaveras and Hayward faults, it is insanity to think that building housing structures would be allowed on 25% or greater. Are the elected representatives who don't support PP out of their mind?

Most of the country doesn't allow building on slopes greater than 25%:

Critical Environmental Areas (CEAs)
1. CEAS are 100 year flood plains, slopes in excess of 25 percent, and the area within 100 feet of perennial streams, perennial springs, and the discernable edge of sinkholes.
2. Structures requiring building permits shall not be located in CEAs.
3. CEAs shall not be included in maximum or minimum lot area or any density calculations, or be used to meet open space requirements.

I'm voting for PP. Forget QQ.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2008 at 7:36 pm

The reason QQ was put on the ballot is because of the vague language of PP. It WILL put the city at risk. It will guarantee litigation.

On Thursday the city's appeal in the Urban Habitat Case was denied by the CA State Supreme Court. That means that our housing cap and urban growth management policy is at risk. The city vigorously defended the cap. The Supreme Court did not take the appeal, which means the lower court's ruling in favor of Urban Habitat stands. Pleasanton is the only city in the state that still has a housing cap. This news alone will guarantee that PP will end up in court on the basis of the narrow definition of a housing unit.

Citizens' measure can't be clarified except with litigation or another measure. A citizens' measure has no public meeting, no minutes no agendized public forum. The people who stand up and say this is what is meant, may or may not have been even in the conversation when the measure was written. Certainly the people who signed it wanted something on the ballot but were not necessarily aware of the issues at stake.

The is why the city council believed it best to put forth Measure QQ. A council measure can be carefully deliberated and there is a public record available that the judge can reference. This is state law and public information.

My concern with the above posts is that they somehow suggest that the council has some motive, some hidden agenda. Council members live in Pleasanton. They care about this city. They serve this city sometimes to the exclusion of family needs and job requirements. The amount paid to a city council member at times does not cover expenses. My sense is that all of them struggle with how to balance the needs of the entire city. To suggest that any of them could be bought off is insulting. And to what end? The job of a public servant is difficult at best. Would any of you put yourself in this undeserved line of fire?

The risk is too great with PP.

QQ was not meant to cloud the issue but clarify what needs to be done. QQ is the result of responsible leadership and it includes everyone!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by P-town taxpayer
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Oct 26, 2008 at 8:13 pm

I think the city council members that made city employees write QQ should have to pay back the voters. Those officials are THAT awful! To think those three elected representatives are paid actual salaries is incredible. I want my money back. I heard yesterday Hosterman was paid $5000 in exchange for voting for a monster hotel-like house on the top of a hill near Ruby Hill. I looked on the city's website today and there it is, in plain English.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 26, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Wow, P-town taxpayer. What a charge! Willing to prove it? Post who you are so those who may be slandered and libeled by your statement can challenge it. I'm waiting to see your information that Hostermann was paid $5000 for her vote as you state.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Sam
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 26, 2008 at 8:29 pm

I agree with the taxpayer above.

I saw those Hosterman signs in Downtown along First Street today in a public park. How unfair! The mayor to use city property to campaign?

And is this the link you were referring to?

Go here

Web Link

Click Public Access Portal

find Jennifer Hosterman

Click on the filing for Form 460 filed 10/22/2008

Go to page 6

OH MY GOSH! I'VE LIVED IN PLEASANTON FOR MANY YEARS AND HAVE NEVER SEEN A $5,000 CONTRIBUTION.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Then you missed the one Brian Arkin received last election for $5000 in one check and I think that was in addition to other donations he received from the same source.

You are also probably not familiar with a practice called "bundling", i.e. smaller checks from a variety of people associated with a business or group which add up to a huge chunk. That is the way that some disguise from where money originates.

Much of what Brozosky received last time was bundled. Often you can't tell it's bundled until you see the entire report after the election.
Much of what Brozosky received last election was from developers or people connected with developers. Many developers and business owners donate to many candidates, some running against one another.

We saw very little outrage over the $80,000 Brozosky raised and spent on the 2006 election.

The fact that the amount was reported the way in Hosterman's report means it's honest and transparent.

Mud is what you sling when you have nothing else.








 +   Like this comment
Posted by justateacher
a resident of Rosepointe
on Oct 26, 2008 at 8:58 pm

Sam, when I started as a teacher, I didn't make five thousand dollars in an entire month's salary. I can barely afford to live in Pleasanton and here we have people paying huge chunks of change to the mayor. I am very disappointed. But I am grateful you have let people like me know about this information. I had no idea. I thought people got elected by tiny $25 dollar checks from people like me. I see what you refer to here. Web Link
I didn't even know there were 13,000-square-foot houses. And Mayor Pico is a paid consultant for developers? I didn't know that.
I won't be voting for Hosterman, Cook-Kallio and Thorne or even Pico if he runs again.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Iwastheretoo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2008 at 9:10 pm

Gosh, can we finish this election before we start the next campaign?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by JJ
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 26, 2008 at 9:13 pm

Thirteen thousand sq foot is something like 10 times the size of my parents' house. I can't wait to drive by the Aaron Spelling estate. Ugh. Sounds like "Pleasanton Hills 90210."


 +   Like this comment
Posted by thefactsplease
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 26, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Just a teacher should check the facts. Get your information from the source. Call the city, or better yet call the elected officials listed above. Do yourself a favor and get both sides and then make up your mind. I hope you teach your students to base their decisions on evidence that can be proven, not election rhetoric.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Barb
a resident of Rosepointe
on Oct 26, 2008 at 9:28 pm

13,000 SQ FEET? You can't be serious.

That's bigger than the Beverly Hills Tom Cruise or the David Beckham/Victoria what's her name estates. This article says they are $22 to $35 million dollar estates.

Web Link

Wonder if the mayor of Beverly Hills got five thousand big ones out of the deal?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 26, 2008 at 9:32 pm

"OH MY GOSH! I'VE LIVED IN PLEASANTON FOR MANY YEARS AND HAVE NEVER SEEN A $5,000 CONTRIBUTION. "

HAHA! This thread just turned "popcorn".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 26, 2008 at 10:48 pm

"In Alameda County, you can't even build on slopes of 20% or greater. What is Pleasanton thinking?????? So close to the Calaveras and Hayward faults, it is insanity to think that building housing structures would be allowed on 25% or greater. Are the elected representatives who don't support PP out of their mind?"

I'm wondering if Lou has read the current General Plan? There's several sections that talk about steep slopes. There's also a whole section dedicated to geologic hazards such as the earthquake fault zones.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by frank
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 26, 2008 at 11:41 pm

Here's the original statement:

"Hosterman was paid $5000 in exchange for voting for a monster hotel-like house on the top of a hill near Ruby Hill."

Here are the facts as I was able to assemble. Rather than give you a bunch of weblinks and tell you to figure it out yourself, I will give you weblinks as reference but will interpret what the relevant content is to make it easier.

The donation of $5000 was made by Belinda Sarich on October 4, a few weeks ago. The poster's accusation appears to be linked to council approval on April 1 of a 10,000 sq. ft. home on a 20 acre lot in the Vineyard Corridor, a lot next to Ruby Hills (Lot 27, former address 1630 Vineyard Avenue). Look for Ordinance 1794 on the city web site. This location is 3 lots away from Brozosky's lot, which is also a 20 acre lot and has a large house that is on the top of a ridgeline ("top of a hill"). The council approved the Sarich's development plan with the usual two (Sullivan and McGovern) voting in the negative. This vote appears to have occurred after appeal to the council and more than 3 years of languish and denial in the Planning Commission. Web Link Apparently, the Sarich's wanted to build a larger house and with a design that was objectionable to a neighbor. The controversy was originated with Mary Roberts, who lives on the 20.5 acres next door and objected to the development. Mary Roberts was a former Planning Commission member.

It appears her house is also on a ridgeline, which you can determine with Google Earth.

To compare this approval to the houses that are already there on the ridgeline, we should know what the size of Brozosky's house is as well as that of the Roberts. I estimate from Google Earth that Brozosky's house is 6000 to 7000 sq. ft. The Robert's house is smaller. So, the Sarich's would have yet a larger house. You don't see the existing houses from Stanley Blvd. because they are largely hidden by trees. Which brings us back to a basic point, that large houses on ridgelines are not necessarily visually obtrusive, whereby the opposite assumption is used to justify in people's minds the reason for Measure PP. This assumption is simply false.

Let's return to the original contention. Hostermann voted on April 1, 2008 for approval of this development. More than five months later, a $5000 contribution was made to her campaign by the beneficiary of her previous vote. How does it come about that she was paid for her vote? P-town taxpayer, are you saying that the Sarich's approached Jennifer and said that I will put $5000 into your re-election campaign if you vote for my project? Tell us what you are claiming.... We want to hear your story.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fletch
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2008 at 1:13 am

Come on Frank. Have you been to Brozosky's house? If you have, you would know that it is NOT on a ridgeline. The new water tank recently put in by the city sits high above his property absolutely looming over. I believe there are a couple of homes that also sit higher but that is impossible to tell when looking down from those aerial shots on Google maps.
You are also totally guessing on the size of his house. You always like to be a man of facts so why are you now "estimating" the size of his house. You can't tell from those photos if it is one or two story, split level, basement, etc. So don't throw out made up numbers. He bought an old house and remodeled it about 10 years ago he once told me. I've been in the house and bet it is way less than half what Frank is claiming it is. Spacious it was not.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by backpack
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 27, 2008 at 1:33 am

Heather - Thanks for the websites on Measure V.

I can't believe the list of pro-development people against Measure V (the 2002 Bernal Park measure to stop more housing there) are the same pro-development people in favor of QQ: Becky Dennis, Sharrell Michelotti, Dolores Bengston, Jerry Thorne, Pat Kernan, and Christine Steiner.

And the list of PP supporters includes many of the same people that preserved our open space and parkland at the Bernal Park by backing Measure V: Steve Brozosky, Cindy McGovern, Kay Ayala, Mary Roberts, Julie Testa and Brian Arkin.

A real eye opener when trying to figure out the true motives of those behind the two hillside measures. Of course the list of money donors really seals it tight.

Glad I didn't vote yet...I'm switching to "yes" on Measure PP.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Iwastheretoo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2008 at 7:54 am

backpack and others, be fair and follow the money from PP donors as well and you'll find well over half is from two neighborhoods, Bridle Creek and Hearst Dr. What are their motivations? Let's see no houses and no by-pass road, true nimbyism. The funding on both sides is rather curious and indicates special interests on both Measures. I'm voting no on both measures.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mary
a resident of Mohr Park
on Oct 27, 2008 at 7:54 am

backpack, most of the pp supporters you list have all been voted out of office or never got voted in- Arkin (a multiple loser for council), Ayala, Brozoski. And McGovern is the one who brought us the losing Neal School litigation while she was on the school board. I'm not so sure we want to trust this cast of characters.

Also, I find it troubling that Measure V wouldn't set aside even a few acres for affordable senior housing. PP isn't the first time Brozoski stuck it to the seniors! He likes to say one thing and then does another, and that's worrisome to me. Like saying he's for transportation improvements, but not including an ACE station on the Bernal property in Measure V.

And don't you find it even a little hypocritical that many you listed live on hillsides, ridgelines, or big homes behind gates? Brozoski, McGovern, Roberts, Testa all fit the NIMBY description to a tee.

True motives? PP is Purely Political, a platform to try and get Brozoski elected. Without some puffed up issues, voters might actually think we live in a pretty nice place.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2008 at 9:23 pm

I checked out the Valley Times endorsements for Brosozky, Sullivan and McGovern in the newspaper this morning. They actually unendorsed Hosterman. What a disaster of a term she seems to have had. First The Independent, now the Valley Times endorsed Brosozky. I'm voting for him. Will he get sworn in right away once he wins or do they wait until January like the President.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2008 at 10:25 pm

Nice to see that Borzosky has the "out of town" support from Walnut Creek (Times) and Livermore (Independent). I'm going with the local knowledge- the Pleasanton Weekly endorses Hosterman!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2008 at 6:18 am

Just for the record, The Valley Times did not interview any of the candidates, that's right, NO INTERVIEWS. In addition in their "Fair and Balanced" reporting of the measures did not contact ANY people from QQ for comment or interview.
That speaks volumes to me!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by iwastheretoo
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 28, 2008 at 8:39 am

Of course the Weekly will endorse Hosterman. Let's see, developers and PACS (BACPAC) putting money into Hostermans Campaign. Who pays for those nice full-page ads that the weekly loves to get? As usual, follow the money. Have you ever known the weekly to endorse someone for Mayor who was not endorsed by the Chamber and the PAC. THe weekly will never challenge these guys. It isn't a real newspaper; it is a rah rah sheet for Pleasanton.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Pat
a resident of Del Prado
on Oct 28, 2008 at 8:48 am

I agree with iwastheretoo. The Valley Times is located in Pleasanton on Spring Street. I think the Valley Times and The Tri-Valley Herald and the Independent's endorsement of Brozosky and their unendorsement of Hosterman speaks volumes. We need change in the White House (I'm voting for Obama/Biden) and in city hall (I'm voting for Brozosky). The fact that the Chamber of Developers and the Pleasanton Weekly endorsed Hosterman confirms for me that Hosterman just wants wholescale urbanization of this town.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by TJ
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 28, 2008 at 8:58 am

I think you are right iwastheretoo. The PW follows the Chamber of Developers, oops I mean Chamber of Commerce. If the Chamber likes a candidate or a project, the PW almost always agrees. It is never a surprise.

What is most telling about the Hosterman campaign happened recently when Hosterman was asked point blank how much developer money she had received and she absolutely refused to answer saying "I don't know" over and over and over again. She would not even give a ballpark figure or an educated guess.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Wrote and paid
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Oct 28, 2008 at 9:17 am

We know who wrote and who is paying for QQ. We don't know who wrote, nor who is really paying for PP. All of this talk about "follow the money", yet for PP no trail exists, and not a word publically about who paid.

PP is a NIMBY agenda to stop Oak Grove PERIOD. QQ is a much broader attempt to articulate a defensible plan to ridge development. Haven't we learned our lesson about "vauge" with the Neal School debocle? I would think any resident of Pleasanton would lean toward a tighter more detailed plan than a one paragraph, vauge and likely indefensible plan?

No on pp

YES ON QQ!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 28, 2008 at 9:22 am

I wonder sometimes what the percentage of people who complain about the "Chamber of Developers" and the "evil" businesses in Pleasanton that just want to buy off our local politicians also complain about the perceived vacancy of downtown and the loss of companies like Robert Half.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Janet
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Oct 28, 2008 at 9:58 am

The mayor promised to do a ridgeline law ten or twelve years ago, didn't come through with one, it never happened, and now has come up with QQ to re-promise to maybe do one, which doesn't have to be adopted, which won't be voted on by the people. Right. Oh sure, I'm voting for that (sarcasm). Promises, promises. Sort of like lighted soccer fields.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by iwastheretoo
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 28, 2008 at 10:16 am

You are WRONG. PP has NOTHING to do with Oak Grove. Oak Grove has been approved by the Council. If PP passes, it does not stop Oak Grove or any other already approved development.

How quickly we forget that there is a separate initiative to overturn Oak Grove but that is tied up in the courts. Of course, it is convenient to do so during political season and make a completely inaccurate statement associating PP and Oak Grove.

So for those of you who believe that PP is NIMBY'ism, nothing could be farther from the truth. PP is to protect the hills of Pleasanton do they don't look like Fremonts or Dublin's. Don't fall for the half truths.

The Oak Grove Ballot initiative (which would, in fact, undo the council approval) is under appeal. If the judge rules in favor of the 5000 folks who signed the petitition, then the Oak Grove development will be put to a vote of the people. If the judge rules against the 5000 folks who signed the petition, Oak Grove proceeds. PP is needed to prevent OTHER Oak Groves from occuring. So you see, it is not NIMBY'ism. PP will protect our hills and enforce our housing CAP so that the anticipated 46% traffic increase (read the EIR of the General Plan) does not happen.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by just the facts, please
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2008 at 11:58 am

The mayor was not on the council 10 or 12 years ago.

The people who signed the initiative did so for one or more of the following reasons:

They really thought it would protect the hills.

They needed a political base from which to launch a campaign.

They wanted something on the ballot to protect the hills but did not give much thought to exact wording.

They will sign anything to put it on the ballot but will decide the issue when the issue comes up.

They wanted to get out of the grocery store and the easiest way around the signature gatherers was to sign the thing.

We all want to protect the hills. I implore you to do your homework.

There are are NO plans for additional developments in the hills at the planning department. The general plan allotments are there but no plan has come forward. If a plan was delivered tomorrow it would still take longer than a year to get to the council. By that time the QQ commitment of Nov 2009 would be reached and it would impact the planning of any development.

The language of PP may look simple but it s sometimes broad. there is no definition of a ridge in the measure. (Does Brozosky's house sit on a ridge or a knoll? You can see it from Vineyard on top of the Hill/knoll but it is lower than another hill/knoll if you look at it from another angle.)

Sometimes the language is restrictive. The definition of a housing unit may include assisted living units or extended stay hotels. Most would concede that the authors' (whoever they may be) did not mean to include extended stay hotels but that's what it says. Who will clarify this? The courts, that's who. Who will pay for this? WE WILL.

A citizen's measure can't be amended or changed. It stays as written. The authors' could have attached clarification but they didn't. If the authors were people who had experience they would have known that the exact language is what is used. One could come to two conclusions about this. They did know and meant for it to be vague or they really didn't know what they were doing and now the city may be put in the position of litigating poor language. (Sounds familiar? Yes, it sounds like the Pleasanton Unified/ Signature Property Neal School example.)

So what is the risk if you vote for QQ? None. It gives all a chance to weigh in and it gives the city a chance to make sure the law is written well. It is the fiscally responsible thing to do. It honors representative democracy because it excludes no one.

Vote YES on QQ






 +   Like this comment
Posted by iwastheretoo
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 28, 2008 at 12:03 pm

There are plans for hillside development. Meetings have been taking place and the development plans have not yet been submitted to the planning department.

The main reason for voting NO on QQ is that it undoes PP even if PP gets more votes. If what you stated is true, then how come the City Council woudn't agree to a moratorium on hillside development until the QQ process is finished. The answer is simply. The developers will flood the city with their applications if QQ is passed.

THe City COuncil majority has been overly transparent to everyone on their agenda.

The only way to protect the hills and not have our city concil make exceptions is to vote YES on PP and NO on QQ


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 28, 2008 at 12:13 pm

PP is not the only way to protect the hills. If it were, there would be much wider support from open space and trail advocates. Instead they're pretty much split down the middle between PP and QQ.

Calling this council "pro-developer" is like a vegan calling a vegetarian a "meat-eater".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by more than disgusted
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2008 at 1:06 pm

Can Brozosky/Ayala/McGovern and co. ever run a campaign without trying to destroy the reputations of everyone who does not agree with them. The pettiness that comes out of this crowd is kindergarten mentality. Once again I can't wait for this election to be over. Of course if Mr Brozosky loses it will be another 2 years of back stabbing and trying to justify his loss.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by iwastheretoo
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 28, 2008 at 1:10 pm

PP does affect Oak Grove. . .if Oak Grove loses the appeal, it will then be subject to a vote by the referendum. If the referendum is successful, then any new project put forth for the land becomes subject to PP. That was the entire initial strategy of the Oak Grove referendum/Measure PP. Successfully referend Oak Grove, pass Measure PP so that any new project submitted for the Oak Grove land then becomes subject to the restrictions in place from Measure PP.

All I can say, is follow where the money is coming from for Measure PP. The great majority of it is coming from just two neighborhoods, Hearst Dr/Grey Fox Ct. and Bridle Creek. Look where the Oak Grove property lines are for a good definition of nimbyism.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by iwastheretoo
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 28, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Notice how the arguments keep changing on why PP is so bad and QQ is so great...

FIrst it was NIMBY'ism
Then Oak Grove
Then why not QQ - no risk
THen it was an attack on people
Now it is someone claiming that PP affects Oak Grove.

Sigh...must be political season

Don't be fooled - vote YES on PP and NO on QQ

Good luck to the other iwastheretoo...


 +   Like this comment
Posted by iwastheretoo
a resident of Amador Estates
on Oct 28, 2008 at 1:39 pm

BTW, if the Oak Grove initiative loses the appeal in front of the judge. It is over. Oak Grove proceeds - period end of message.

If the judge allows Oak Grove to proceed to referendum, it is still subject to a vote of the people. Oak Grove has been approved and is not affected by PP either way. It may be hard for you and perhaps the residents of the neighborhoods to accept that but it is true. ONLY if it is referended down by the people can Oak Grove NOT happen.

Only in that case would a new project have to be submitted (Oak Grove II) and that new project would be subject to PP but the original Oak Grove is not.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 28, 2008 at 2:19 pm

"Only in that case would a new project have to be submitted (Oak Grove II) and that new project would be subject to PP but the original Oak Grove is not."

Exactly. That is the Save Pleasanton Hills group's whole strategy. That isn't some argument QQ proponents are making up. That is what Save Pleasanton Hills has said. Why would that group go through the motions of trying to get Oak Grove referended without having something else to back it up and make it stick?

If there was no Oak Grove, there wouldn't have been Measure PP and the Council could have been done with the hillside ordinance development that was on their 2 year work plan. Why would the Council have City staff go through the motions of making a hillside ordinance with the initiative drive going on? You think QQ competes with PP? If Council really wanted to compete against PP they would have put a real competing measure on the ballot that did basically what PP does but with better language and definitions of words and processes. QQ is hardly "competing" in that regard. It wants to be inclusive of everyone, including the PP supporters.

Politics is a kind of game and this is how it is being played out. THAT is transparent!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by watchout
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2008 at 12:26 am

I agree with the poster above who said if QQ passes, the city will see a bunch of plans submitted. And while the normal time to process might be in excess of a year, don't you think that builders will be exerting pressure on city staff and council to expedite things?
If only council had put a moratorium in place, I could consider QQ, but they did not, so I cannot.
I will be voting for PP so that council will no longer be able to have 'flexibility' from what was intended in the 96 General Plan. 12 years is long enough. We don't need to wait further while it is all discussed again.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2008 at 6:07 am

The idea of a moratorium was introduced after the vote was taken to put QQ on the ballot. It was a suggestion made to include it in the language as an after thought by McGovern so she could say the council said no. If it was anything but a political ploy she would have suggested it as part of the language before the vote.

The fact remains that the council drives the decision, The council has made a commitment through the language of QQ to get this done. They had it on their work plan before countless hours and money was spent trying to create an antagonistic political climate for this election. You seem to suggest that somehow the purpose is to allow developments on the tops of the hills. It is a fallacious argument.

Remember, both Ayala and McGovern were involved when the Neal School deal was negotiated and look how that turned out. Do we want to risk that scenario again?

There are such multiple things wrong with PP that to say that you would vote for it in the absence of the council doing the right thing is cutting off Pleasanton's nose to spite its face.

QQ is a better way. It does not preclude any one even the proponents of PP. It preserves open space. It provides for environmental review. It is fiscally sound. Things that are important to Pleasanton.

Vote Yes on QQ


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Karen
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Oct 29, 2008 at 7:54 am

Sorry anon. but I was at that City Council meeting. 2 residents asked for a moratorium until either PP or QQ (which of course were not called that yet) were under discussion. These two ladies pleaded with the council to put a moratorium in place - and the idea was supported by Cindy & Matt. Yet again,, the 1 mayor and 2 council members voted to ignore the pleas and NOT put a moratorium in place.

Just goes to show the goal of the 3 has nothing to do with saving the hills.

Has anyone else noticed how the QQ forum speakers are NEVER Jerry P or Jennifer?? Perhaps they want to separate themselves from the whole topic because they know if it BAD LAW!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2008 at 9:52 am

You have gotten to be kidding! Why wouldn't the council want to save the hills? They live here too! None of the current council members live in the hills except for McGovern! What kind of pay back do you think they are getting! The accusations are bizarre and unfounded!

The actually work on the council when planning for developments takes up more time than the year it would take to develop the ordinance.

The council ordinance is transparent. Even now you can go back and watch the meetings, read the minutes, see who voted in what way. WE STIIL DON'T KNOW WHO WROTE PP.

The council has to follow rules. When people stand up and say things in front of the council as did Ayala et al, for months, the council can't comment as a body until it is on the agenda and noticed. The people who stand up and look into the camera can say WHATEVER THEY WANT without any check on the facts and the council must sit and listen. They can campaign from the podium and they can accuse staff and members of things with out evidence and the council must sit and listen. They can repeat things over and over as if they are true and the council can do nothing because they are an elected body and represent the people of Pleasanton and have to do things according to the Brown Act and Law.

We do know that two spokespersons are people who lost their last election for mayor and are trying to legislate by emotion and innuendo. They have stood up and made while, illogical accusations about people with whom they disagree and now the professionalism of the council is being called into question because they followed the rules.
What are their motives? They made no movement toward doing this when they sat on the council and now. . .????

It remains that PP is flawed, will cost the city money and a very small group of individuals have been able to manipulate the public using the public process and the council in the meantime. The public has been told this is simple, it is not.

There is no risk to voting for QQ. It's public, includes everyone and it protects Pleasanton from litigation. It's consistent with the General Plan and it was part of the city's work plan.

Vote Yes on QQ


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Vote YES on Measures 45, 46, & 47, NO on 48
By Roz Rogoff | 30 comments | 2,090 views

Prop 47: not perfect, just preferable.
By Tom Cushing | 2 comments | 767 views

The Vranesh situation heads to court
By Tim Hunt | 6 comments | 601 views