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Candidates disagree on local government's direction

Original post made on Sep 16, 2010

Candidates for mayor and City Council sparred Tuesday over the question about the direction of the municipal government in Pleasanton with very different and blunt answers.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, September 13, 2010, 5:55 AM

Comments (49)

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 16, 2010 at 8:48 am

Stacey is a registered user.

It seems a bit disingenuous to say one won't take money from a special interest group only to end up taking money from a special interest group. I guess our definitions of "special interest group" diverge. I take my definition from Federalist #10: Web Link

"By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community."

Posted by Dominic, a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 16, 2010 at 9:06 am

All I know is anyone who is against the Oak Grove Development is not getting my vote...As much as I don't care for Hosterman, I do believe she is on the right side of this issue...and look where the city is now, facing a lawsuit from the developers...Voters were buffaloed in large measure on this issue.

Posted by Paseo, a resident of Parkside
on Sep 16, 2010 at 9:23 am

Interesting how most of this article shows only comments from the incumbents who want this town wide open to residential growth in any manner to bring in more revenue. There is almost a 3 to one rate. The existing politicians have been ignoring what the majority of the town wants as they know better. Arrogance incarnate.

Posted by jaded, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2010 at 9:45 am

Just a continuation of Jeb's love fest for the incumbents.

Posted by olfthfl, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 16, 2010 at 10:28 am

That would be Jeb and MANY, MANY others!

Posted by Firehouse Arts, a resident of Parkside
on Sep 16, 2010 at 11:56 am

Thank you Steve Brozosky and Greg Resnick for making the Firehouse Arts Theater a reality!

Posted by Firehouse Arts, a resident of Parkside
on Sep 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I find it odd that the article fails to mention that the Hosterman, Cook-Kallio and Thorne were not even on the City Council when the Firehouse Arts Theater project was started, yet they take credit for it?

The Firehouse Arts Theater, via a resolution to convert the fire station to a theater and gallery, was approved by the city council July 16, 2002 (before any of them were on the city council) by a motion made by former City Councilmember Kay Ayala (resolution 02-085).

Thorne, Hosterman, and Cook-Kallio hadn't been elected and were nowhere to be found during this meeting. They did not contribute to this discussion as a member of the public speaking from the audience.

Again, the trend continues....they take credit for something the citizens initiated.

Posted by Joanne, a resident of Val Vista
on Sep 16, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Jerry Thorne was on the Parks and Recreation Commission and voted to approve this project. Strange that you would not mention this.

Posted by Not favored few, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Commical that McGovern says she won't take certain 'special interest' money like the Chamber. HA ! They wouldn't give it to her anyway, which she KNEW, so just she's just trying to con the gulible. The Chamber supports people that want a viable, successful town....not just 'pockets' of her favored few. The Chamber & I want council members who are interested in the good for all of Pleasanton

Posted by Barry, a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Sep 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Hey Stacey,

How can you equate $50-$100 individual citizen contributions to the $ 600,000.+++
donated (bribed) to ram Measure D down our throats!

Cindy is on the right track....

You can watch any old political movie and see the old corrupt business people controlling their puppet politicians against the real people.

This is American as apple pie and Sarah Palin! As always, keep an eye on where the big money is flowing and you see where the action is.

I guess you agree and approve of our corrupt Supreme Court making Corporations the same as individual citizens.

Hopefully our individual citizen voters will beat the big bad ($600,000.+++) special interests again this November. Unless they have enough cash to steal more elections.

Remember this November is Measure D for the whole City!

No on D! No on Hosterman, Cook-Kalio, and Thorne!

Let's take Pleasanton back and let individuals back in control!!!

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 16, 2010 at 1:23 pm

Stacey is a registered user.


Try reading Federalist #10.

And no, I don't agree with that SCOTUS ruling, which you would realize because I told you I use the definition from Federalist #10.

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2010 at 2:25 pm

The Chamber of Commerce, which ostensibly represents the business community (but only a small portion because major companies like Apple have withdrawn from it), mocks "global warming," opposes climate change solutions, and continues to advance their agenda that addressing climate change will somehow be bad for business and cost us jobs.

The Chamber is completely out of touch with contemporary business and economic realities.

Posted by Barry, a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Sep 16, 2010 at 2:48 pm

I just read Fed 10...

I still think $600,000.++++ raised to ramrod Measure D is totally different than the $ 10,000. Raised to help defeat it...

Fed 10 talks about the public being protected from cabals of the few.

I think the Pleasanton voters will decide this for our republic.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 16, 2010 at 3:08 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Glad you read it. :)

What it talks about protecting isn't the public, but the public good, i.e., the common interests of the whole. And what it needs protecting from is not only cabals of the few, but the majority as well. The ugly truth about democracies is that they are prone to implosion when a majority votes in a way contrary to its long-term interests. Here's an example of that: Web Link

Posted by Brad, a resident of Birdland
on Sep 16, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Paseo- you refer to incumbents wanting wide open building. Don't get excited . The City has issued 41 new residential building permits past 33 months.
Barry- When you refer to the old, corrupt businessmen please include your doctor, grocer, pharmacist, CPA etc. When you want individuals to take back Pleasanton don't forget to give credit to the individual business owners who have lived, worked, done business, and CONTRIBUTED over the past 50-60 years. Pleasanton was not painted on a canvas in one day.

Posted by Federalist Elitists, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2010 at 5:25 pm


Quoting the Federalist Papers doesn't make you right. The Federalist Papers, Hamilton, Adams et al were afraid of a true democratic society and wanted to maintain control by the wealthy elites. Now in Pleasanton, we have our own homegrown bumpkin elites: The Pleasanton Chamber of Concrete. And they've bought control with campaign contributions to Hosterman, Thorne, and Cook-Kallio. When business controls government you have neither a republic nor a democracy, just a plain old P-town oligarchy.

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Pleasanton, the fully paved canvass it is becoming, may have issued 41 actual residential permits, but approved over 450 residential units that developers are poised to build, but have held off construction because of the economic downturn. In addition 1,200 more are waiting in the wings, and have been re-zoned for residential units.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 16, 2010 at 10:16 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I never said it makes me right. I said that is the definition I use. I use it because it aligns with the founding principles of the Constitution. The Founders had every right to be afraid of a pure democracy. They wanted to create a new and great nation that would last, not descend into tyranny as the Greek democracies did. Most of them were Freemasons and, as you know, masons build strong structures designed to last the ages. They knew that strong property rights help create a strong economy and they wanted to protect that against the short-term passions of a majority faction.

It seems that the point I'm trying to make is not understood. I'm not advocating for the Chamber. They're a special interest group. I'm saying that the individual citizens who came together to oppose Oak Grove are also a special interest group, a faction. Their backyards were more important to them than the interests of the rest of Pleasanton. Take Mr. Roberts, for example, who injects himself into the new lawsuit because he has a personal stake in seeing that Oak Grove doesn't get built, but he certainly won't be paying the City's legal fees. The average voter in Pleasanton cannot identify with Mr. Roberts, but he's part of a faction that presents themselves as the average, typical Pleasantonian. And all Pleasantonians are supposed to believe that he is only looking out for Pleasantonian interests.

So to me it rings hollow when McGovern says she won't take money from any special interest groups. What she really means is that she won't take money from _specific_ special interest groups. The Founders recognized that, given Liberty, there will always be factions and they believed that the effects of factions must be controlled rather than to take away Liberty. So this isn't to say that citizens have no right to create factions in pursuit of their own special interests, only that one needs to be able to recognize factions in order to be aware of when you're being controlled by one instead of you controlling it.

Posted by Barry, a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Sep 16, 2010 at 11:15 pm

Hey Stacey,

Fed 10 was a great read. Madison could really write. That skill is really missed these days.

I understand your point, but disagree that developing and paving more of Pleasanton is in the best interests of the whole city. It would benefit a few and enrich the business interests involved. Who knows where that money would end up.

I like and trust the majority of Pleasanton voters. They have gotten us this far and not destroyed this area with sprawl. Dublin looks like a nightmare.

We'll see in November where we go. Hopefully we'll get our good character back in our local government.


Posted by Matt Morrison, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 16, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Matt Morrison is a registered user.

I can confirm it with Cindy, but it's pretty clear to me that when Cindy said she is only accepting contributions from individuals - not special interests groups, that "groups" is the operative word here.

Obviously some individuals will have interests in common, but looks like Cindy is refusing money from interest groups like BACPAC and other political action committees. This probably includes companies like PG&E as well.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 16, 2010 at 11:42 pm

Stacey is a registered user.


I'm glad you liked it. I agree that those guys knew how to write. They didn't have TV or videos so writing was the classy art form. You can download the entire Federalist Papers for free from Google Books if you want to read the entire thing.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 16, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

P.S., The Federalist Papers should be required reading in high school civics, if they're not currently. My first real exposure to them was from a computer science assignment in college.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 16, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Stacey is a registered user.


So if individual members of the Chamber were to donate to McGovern's campaign, would she accept that money?

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2010 at 11:55 pm

We'd better mine all of the gravel to be found in the Bay Area! With the construction, paving and parking lots, the Vision 2015 Chamber roadmap is quite a roadmap indeed...."roads" indeed and of course the West Las Positas Interchange is back on the table. As you know, those endorsed by the Chamber must buy into the Vision 2015 plan. For those of us on the West side, that means the I680 West Las Positas Interchange becomes a reality in the not too distant future. Oh joy.

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Stacey--You seem to be fixated on Cindy McGovern. Why don't you contact her yourself with your questions?

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 17, 2010 at 12:22 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Perhaps because I anticipate the answer. She's only accepting money from individual supporters of her campaign. The myth you're supposed to believe is that all individual supporters are not also members of the anti-Oak Grove faction. Were you expecting an individual member of the Chamber who supports Oak Grove to also support McGovern when she's running on an anti-Oak Grove platform? There might be such individuals, but I think they would be rare.

Posted by Matt Morrison, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 17, 2010 at 12:36 am

Matt Morrison is a registered user.

Ha! Yes, Stacey, I expect Cindy would accept money from individual members of the Chamber of Commerce. :~)

Anyway, form 460 filings are due October 4th - should be fun reading!

Posted by Barry, a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Sep 17, 2010 at 10:09 am

Thanks Matt,

I will mark 10-4 on my calender. If it is anything like measure D we should see where the money is... (If it's traceable.. :/)

This should be a great political season. Right up my alley, I have a Political Science degree... I love the back and forth and uniquely American noise.

I hope the No on "D" voters are mobilized and ready to get out there and spread the facts around and most importantly VOTE. It seems like the Yes on "D" people on the Council don't respect and discount the No on "D" voters as serious thinking people. (They are just misguided! :?)

Measure "D" makes it crystal clear where our public servants stand. There is little wiggle room.

I'm not sure, but I think this is one of the most important elections that we will have for a while. It is a pretty clear choice.

We need a great turnout in November. I think I know which side is more excited and motivated... We'll see...

SoapBox Barry

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2010 at 10:53 am

I would disagree with Stacey's analysis. As you know, at the Chamber function prior to the June 2010 election, when the mayor in her speech said "What are you going to do on June 8th?" many Chamber members said "Vote No on D!"

Some businesses are Chamber of Commerce members, but that certainly does not mean at all that employees of those businesses drink the Chamber of Commerce political manifesto kool-aid. Many believe the Chamber of Commerce should be involved in solely facilitating business interaction, and not be a political organization as it has become.

Many employees of Chamber of Commerce business members eagerly signed the referendum on Oak Grove and the citizens' ridgeline initiative.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 17, 2010 at 11:20 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Actually, we're saying the same thing, that individuals diverge from their groups. As I wrote, it would be rare for a Chamber member _who also supported Oak Grove_ to support McGovern because of her anti-Oak Grove platform. That isn't saying that there are not Chamber members against Oak Grove. Of course there could be. There's also Kottinger Ranch and Grey Eagle residents who were for Oak Grove (and Stoneridge residents for the extension). When the campaign filings come out, let's count how many individuals donated who were _for_ Oak Grove and compare it with those who were active and vocal in the campaign against Oak Grove (and also how many individuals who didn't care). Such numbers will reveal faction (and it can be seen also on looking at any other candidate's filings).

Posted by Matt Morrison, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 17, 2010 at 11:34 am

Matt Morrison is a registered user.

Here is the link to the City of Pleasanton's e-filing data base:

Web Link

From the link go to the Public Access Portal then you can search by candidate or, at the bottom of the page, go through the November 2, 2010 election sections directly.

Posted by Walter F., a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Sep 17, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Why the push by McGovern, Sullivan, Anonymous, et al to demonize special interests? Wouldn't it make more sense to push transparency and let the voters make up their own minds on what is acceptable or not? It seems the special interest bashers don't trust the voters ability to choose for themselves.

And thanks for the link Matt.

Transparency, yes! Bashing and micro-managing, NO!

Posted by Scott Raty, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 17, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Dear Anonymous,
A few clarifications about the Chamber and a personal invitation.

Apple withdrew its support from the US Chamber of Commerce, headquartered in Washington DC; they are an entirely separate organization from the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, and other chambers of commerce across America. Local chambers are not branch offices of the US Chamber, nor are they a branch office of the state chamber of commerce. We, like most local chambers of commerce, are a stand-alone 501c6, not-for-profit association.

Thank you for reading Pleasanton 2015: A Community Vision. I appreciate that you found one of its 45 community goals in the areas of Arts, Culture, Recreation, Education, Public Safety, Housing, Local Economy, Health and Transportation to disagree with. My first question to you is: Which, if any, of the remaining 44 might you agree with, and are you taking an active hand in making any of them a reality?

Pleasanton 2015 was thoughtfully prepared by business and community leaders across a variety of disciplines. By my own observation their combined number of years working in Pleasanton totals more than 250, and their combined number of years living in Pleasanton totals more than 350. In short, for every two years the authors of Pleasanton 2015 have worked in Pleasanton, they have lived here for three years. Simply put, the Pleasanton Chamber is a business organization with a community focus.

We don't mind being called a 'special interest', the world's full of them; from homeowners' associations to public employees unions and countless numbers in between. We understand that to brand one as a 'special interest' is nothing more than a divisive move to discredit, or minimize a point of view.

We do, however, take exception when our interests are purposely misrepresented. The Chamber thoughtfully and openly communicates its interests time and again through Pleasanton 2015. Since the eight-page document was first published in September 2008, more than 40,000 copies have been printed and distributed throughout the community.

Pleasanton 2015 is also available on our website, as is a recently completed progress report. I hope you get a chance to read this progerss report as well. While there's of work remaining toward 2015, there's much our community has to be proud of, especially given the challenging economic times that surround us. Tonight's opening of the Firehouse Arts Center is just one example.

My second question of you is, why Anonymous? I invite you to attend any one or more of our monthly Pleasanton 2015 Forums. Come and participate in our open exchange of ideas about elements of Pleasanton 2015 and how to continually move our community forward, not hold it back.

Scott Raty, President/CEO
Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce

Posted by Scott Walsh, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 17, 2010 at 1:48 pm

I question the monetary wisdom of a city that would spend $10 Million on a 250 seat theater. How much did this thing cost the citizen/taxpayer of Pleasanton per square foot? Talk about "over the top"....Yeah I know it's cultural these bad economic times, go figure.

Posted by Barry, a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Sep 17, 2010 at 4:33 pm

And our lovely mayor is trying to take credit when it was voted on before her time...

I heard the seats are very uncomfortable... Yikes!

Posted by Julia, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 17, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Look in the mirror are the cause of the problems.

The new motto..."VOTE THE DAMN INCUMBENTS OUT" and start fresh.

If not...just look in that mirror for the cause of all the problems.

Julia from Alamo

Posted by art supporter, a resident of Downtown
on Sep 17, 2010 at 10:38 pm

What a wonderful event. Downtown Pleasanton and the residents will benefit from this venue for many years to come. Thank you to the arts community and the city of Pleasanton partnership that made this possible.

Posted by Barry, a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Sep 17, 2010 at 10:56 pm

Firehouse was awesome!

Seats were comfortable!

Posted by Gunslinger, a resident of another community
on Sep 18, 2010 at 7:06 am

If the chamber is advocating greater development against most of the community's wishes, than the chamber is a special interest group, and the worst kind to boot- a special interest concerned first and foremost with making money regardless of how it's neighbors feel

Posted by Dumslinger, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2010 at 7:22 am

Gunslinger, are you referring to the wishes of the community of Pleasanton or the community YOU live in? I'm not sure why you feel empowered to speak for a group you don't even belong to...

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2010 at 8:10 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Note that "most of the community's wishes" does not necessarily correspond to the "permanent and aggregate interests of the community". This isn't to say that "greater development" is in the common interests of this community, only that Gunslinger's comment shows a naive understanding republican principles. Wishes can constitute the short-term passions which can divide a community and lead a majority to perform adversely to the whole's common interests. See the chess game analogy I posted earlier.

What are Pleasanton's common interests? This community has attempted to define its common interests. The General Plan is one place to start reading.

Posted by Gunslinger, a resident of another community
on Sep 18, 2010 at 10:36 am

Stacey, I know republicanism versus pure democracy. I know that sometimes a community doesn't know what's good for it in the long run. I also know people like you debate in a way that almost seems to purposefully talk over peoples heads. It's arrogant and condescending. I also think the attitude that these chamber people know better than us what's good for our community is extremely paternalistic and insulting. All these towns in this area are going through the same BS. We all have traitorous forces in our government, aligned with developers, working against the interests of the community. Just because some arbitrary boundary line divides us doesn't mean you're in another universe. So yes, what happens in Pleasanton is very much of interest to me.

Posted by Dumslinger, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2010 at 10:49 am


You don't really have a stake in Pleasanton property values, or our schools, or on the development of our ridgeland, or the crime rate.

Neither do you have the perspective of a homeowner in our town, of someone who would be affected by construction or road extensions, or someone whose view might be affected by local development issues.

Neither do you have the insider's view (or ear) of our community, the neighborly relationships with our people, the insight that comes from actually living in our community, the personal relationships with the local movers and shakers.

In other words, you do NOT share Pleasanton's risks or benefits. Why not get involved in Danville's politics instead?

I swear, with you and jimf01 here all the time, you'd think Pleasanton has become carpetbagger central. Oh, and Harmer, too...

Posted by Jean, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Can anyone please tell me what party affiliation the local candidates are? I have a difficult time assessing these people and simply knowing their party affiliation will help me understand their mindset and ideals a bit better.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Stacey is a registered user.


I cannot be held accountable for your personal feelings of intellectual inadequacy. That's your own problem, not mine.

Posted by Not favored few, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2010 at 9:01 pm

So Jean, you admit you don't THINK or weigh issues, just vote as some party or union TELLS you to vote. Mindless. that's pretty sad.
I usually disagree with my party...I decide myself on all issues.... no mon rule for me.
We should never know the party for ANY city positions. City issues are usually different than national issues. And, most of all, these are NON-partisan positions ...intentionally NON-political positions ! ! !.....just neighbors wanting what is BEST...for the WHOLE TOWN and EVERYBODY in it today and TOMORROW...BUILDING a BETTER TOMORROW ! ! Ideally. Tragically, there's always some selfish, close-minded who favor some neighborhoods over others.

Posted by truth, a resident of Birdland
on Sep 19, 2010 at 11:53 am

Its pretty sad when canidates are proud of shrinking the firefighters pensions in a cost cutting move but always have money to spend on new parks. They should be ashamed of themselves! Pehaps we should shrink Pleasanton's government size and pay the firefighters what they deserve as they put their lives on the line for us.

Posted by Barry, a resident of Southeast Pleasanton
on Sep 20, 2010 at 12:26 am

Dear Truth,

Great take on the sadness of Cook-Kalio and Thorne bragging about cutting the firefighters pay to cover their own medical insurance. I'm glad they can so easily raise so much money for the Developers... maybe they can call the developers when they need a EMT or any other emergency service. GREAT WORK!

Jean, they sound like real Republicans with that one. I'm sure they didn't think about it when they raised over $ 600,000. to try to pass measure "D". I think Thorne maybe more of a republican and Cook-Calio may be more apolitical and just going along....

I beleive Hosterman calls herself a democrat but maybe just for show...

Is it November yet?

Posted by Patriot, a resident of Country Fair
on Sep 20, 2010 at 8:36 am

City Council and Mayor Offices are suppose to be Non-Partisan. They have not been for the past several years; especially since the last election. Both Hosterman and Cook/Kalio (liberal Democrats) were heavily supported and backed financially by the Democrat Party and Unions. They push their agendas. They just happen to be pro-development. Follow the money! The last I looked, Jerry Thorne, Fred Watson and Karla Brown are Republicans. McGovern is a Democrat. As a past Chamber member, I know for a fact that not all Chamber members are happy about which candidates get the PAC money. The Board decides and not individual members. The last I looked, Scott Raty is a Democrat. The Chamber is much different than it was 8 years ago. Yes, things have changed in Pleasanton and not always for the good. Just look what happened to our School Board and how (with no transparency) spent the District's money inefficiently.

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