City council picks date to discuss hillside initiative when Sullivan & McGovern cannot attend Around Town, posted by Barbara, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 9:20 am
I am thoroughly disgusted by the article in today's Times (page A3) stating that the Pleasanton City Council has deliberately chosen to discuss the hillside initiative on a date when both the dissenting council members, Matt Sullivan and Cindy McGovern, will be absent. Talk about stacking the deck...
What's even more galling is the quote from our mayor, openly slamming the initiative in advance of the meeting. Thanks, Ms. Hosterman, for deliberately setting this up to fail. My respect for you has dropped again. Many of us will remember your slanted politics during future elections.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 9:24 am
I guess you missed the part where it was Sullivan who wanted to continue the item to another meeting in the first place? Or this comment from Sullivan "As important as it is for the council to be here, it is more important for the public to be here"! Check out how the Independent reported the story: Web Link
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 9:40 am
I'm glad the initiative is being put on the ballot so I can cast my "no" vote on it. It would have been a crime for the Council to adopt the initiative outright. I'm less worried about the supposed fiscal impact of the initiative as discussed in the staff analysis than the three different interpretations possible with the language of the initiative. The intent of the initiative, especially the housing cap part, is to prevent the City from taking creative interpretation of "housing unit", but in fact the initiative introduces MORE interpretations. That will only open the City up more than it already is to being sued.
Another worrisome issue is how the initiative has the potential to wipe away the Happy Valley Bypass Road due to the vague language. That would be a crime too given the history of the Bypass Road.
Posted by SK, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 2:32 pm
Stacey, the staff report was directed by the council majority to make the initiative look bad. I have never seen so much BS in a staff report. I am surprised it did not question what the definition of the word "is" is. I have never seen so much contempt for the public than what the mayor was doing. Her and Cheryl's spin machine (Angela Romeriz - representative of the developers and the mayor and Cheryl) has told them to confuse the issue.
I for one thought there was a definition of a housing unit when it was approved by the voters in 1996. Or maybe I thought there was no need to define it because it seemed obvious. Now you have a council that is trying to approve more housing in Pleasanton than fits under our housing cap and the only way they can get the developments approved by their friends, the developers, is to not count some of our housing. First they say not to include senior housing. Another conversation they said not to include housing in the Hacienda Business Park since it is by BART (what is the logic of that?). Next they will probably say to exclude houses with solar panels. I for one am tired of seeing all the traffic in Pleasanton that this council is not focusing on as well as the crowded schools.
I am sure most people thought you could not build at the tops of ridges or in areas with high slopes but once again this council found a way around that also.
The public needs to wake up and be made aware that the city has been taken over by development interests. This has much to do with the current cost of elections and the developers will contribute the most.
What is also amazing to me is that the Council has known about the initiative for a long time, and they have been talking about a hillside preservation ordinance almost a year ago, but they wait until the last possible moment, and hold a special meeting during a holiday week, to work on a competing measure against the citizens initiative. As one speaker said at the Council meeting, this Council is working "under the table". It was no more obvious than by watching the last council meeting.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 3:08 pm
SK wrote: "they have been talking about a hillside preservation ordinance almost a year ago"
It is my understanding that this goes much further back than a year ago, considering that the directive is in the 1996 General Plan.
SK also wrote: "The public needs to wake up and be made aware that the city has been taken over by development interests."
Considering that this Council has a record so far of approving far less housing developments than past Councils, I find the above statement rather inflammatory and not helpful in the larger discussion.
SK wrote too: "I for one am tired of seeing all the traffic in Pleasanton that this council is not focusing on as well as the crowded schools."
Sadly, this initiative does nothing to address that. And if you want to believe the staff report, the initiative will actually exacerbate this problem since State law requires Pleasanton to still build the housing units we've obligated ourselves to build. Restricting development in the hills will just mean higher density housing somewhere else in Pleasanton.
Lastly SK wrote: "Stacey, the staff report was directed by the council majority to make the initiative look bad."
You could interpret it that way, but I consider the initiative to be bad from the beginning. I've written previously on this forum regarding the initiative and the vagueness of the language in it (PS I'm not a lawyer) months before this staff report was written and the interpretations given in the report are eerily similar to my arguments. Maybe staff is reading what I wrote here?
Posted by SK, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 5:28 pm
Stacey, this council HAS approved more homes than the previous two Councils. But don't let facts get in the way of politics. If you think otherwise, since you keep stating that argument, please show me the developments approved this term compared to the previous term. I can tell you for sure that this Council has approved the cutting down of more trees than compared to the last 4 or 5 councils.
I thank Councilman Sullivan for feeling the public does matter. Yes he does typically come in with certain thoughts, especially for protecting our environment from development, but he will have a conversation with you and actually work with you to solve an issue. I have a hard time watching the "The Jennifer Hosterman Show" with a studio audience who is allowed to talk but if you don't agree you are ignored. She is not there listening to public input. She is there to try to find people who agree with the decision she has already made.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 6:26 pm
We weren't talking about trees. We were talking about housing units and what you wrote above: "The public needs to wake up and be made aware that the city has been taken over by development interests."
Since you made the claim first, why don't you provide the facts?
Posted by just wondering, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 19, 2008 at 8:18 pm
I'm wondering why it was okay for Kay Ayala to serve on the Council for eight years (after the 1996 General Plan) and didn't do anything about a hillside protection ordinance while elected. Then when she is defeated by the current Mayor in what many would consider an upset, now has gotten religion so to speak about the southeastern hills, enough to do an initiative.
This seems politically motivated to do the initiative now. . .like its creating an issue for someone to run on. Could that be for Kay to make another attempt at Mayor? Shame on Councilman Sullivan for falling into the trap with Kay rather then doing the right thing which was to at least let people speak who attended the council meeting the other night.
Pleeeez, can we do what's best for Pleasanton rather then create a platform for someone to run on that has lots of unintended negative consequences for the city.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2008 at 12:53 pm
I apologize if you're confused. I did not write the post after yours regarding the public. That is the imposter. Actually it is Pleasanton Weekly who should be apologizing. They chose to have the forum open to such fraud.
Posted by just wondering, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2008 at 1:03 pm
Isn't this interesting. . .I posted some 16 hours ago but by no means just did the posting asking Stacey why she is calling just wondering an imposter. So now we have at least one person using at least two people's screen names.
Posted by Mai, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2008 at 1:23 pm
Hello "Stacey". How do we know your name really is Stacey? Unless you are using your real first and last name, and then somebody posts using that real name, there is no "impostering" going on.
The instructions here on the forum say "We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish." Those instructions make it quite clear that anybody can call themselves any name they want and if it conflicts with a real person, it is just a member name so there is no fraud. I could make my member name "Stacey", "Frank", "Jennifer Hosterman" or whatever, and it is not fraud. Just like a movie that says, "The following is fictional and any resemblence to a person, living or dead, is purely coincidental."
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2008 at 3:30 pm
This forum is really a place for us politicians and political consultants to test a message to see how people respond before we feed a message to the public. I have a profile set up so that I get notified when anybody posts a message. Pretty easy way to judge the response.