Pleasanton Election Debate
Original post made by Stacey on Nov 1, 2008
(This is sort of my response to you from the thread on "Letters: Council majority hasn't listened to people" Web Link)
You wrote in the other thread that you thought Brozosky "kicked butt" in the mayoral debate. I saw the City Council candidate debate first, then the mayoral debate, and lastly the PP/QQ debate. Here's my take on all three of them.
It is my opinion that all the candidates are in need of some more formal debating practice, which is not to say that they didn't try. The City Council candidate debate was mostly people just answering questions. Maybe this is a result of having three at once or maybe it is just the nature of local politics that there aren't real big issues to divide upon (so people have to make some up). The mayor debate was more like a real formal debate, but not by much. There were some rebuttals, but also some stuff was allowed to slip through unchallenged. The only one who seemed really capable of formal debate was Cook-Kallio in the PP/QQ debate, but she's not running this time around.
Body language. Sullivan's excessive eye blinking was distracting. Hosterman looked unnecessarily giddy rebutting Brozosky's statements about her attendance to that regional traffic congestion group. Ayala kept either shaking or nodding her head and then smiling. It reminded me of Biden in the VP debate.
Brozosky appears to be of the school of "repeat it enough times and people will believe it". He's actually pretty good at misrepresenting facts to his benefit. In the PP/QQ debate he referenced the "23,000" square foot home approved by Council on Vineyard and no one took him to task on that. This "fact" has been repeated on this PW site before (Web Link). There is no 23,000 sq ft home. The house is 9900 sq ft. I suppose that one could add to that the square footage of all the other structures that aren't yet "entitled"/approved for that property and it could equal 23,000 sq ft, but one could also do the same for Brozosky's property, with the two barns, gazebo, and decking and also come up with something similar to 23,000 sq ft. But hey, if we repeat this idea that Council approved a 23,000 sq ft home and call them pro-development, people will believe it!
The other thing Brozosky did which was kind of funny was to quote from "three" newspaper endorsements for PP in the closing. As he read them, it became clear he was reading only two endorsements. The one from the Independent and the other from the Valley Times/Contra Costa Times. He actually counted the Valley Times/Contra Costa Times endorsement as two different endorsements. Those papers are owned by the same company. They print the same thing!
The best quote from all three debates was from Brozosky, "If you don't vote, you can't complain." It sounds confrontational. If you didn't vote, will Brozosky listen to you if he's mayor?
Ayala put on a poor show with her personal attack on Cook-Kallio, the only personal attack in all three debates. I suppose I'm in the wrong job as a voter if I cast a vote for Cook-Kallio because I want someone who I feel is more concerned with the public trust, making sure there are proper mitigations in place, and what benefits the larger public than kowtowing to small nimby factions. If some small group of citizens go before Council every two weeks asking for the establishment of Sharia law in Pleasanton and the Council doesn't do it, does that mean the Council isn't listening to them?
More later I guess. This post is getting long.
on Nov 1, 2008 at 12:54 pm
If I recall correctly that personal attack was Ayala saying to Cook-Kallio something to the effect that if you are concerned about possible litigation in Pleasanton, then you don't belong on city counsel.
This was in response to Cook-Kallio explaining how a goal of QQ is to avoid litigation because of how PP was written. Clearly, since Ayala and her cohorts behind closed doors wrote the language of PP, Ayala inappropriately took Cook-Kallio's words personally and lashed out. It was clearly an inappropriate response. Cook-Kallio was simply explaining QQ and what it does.
on Nov 1, 2008 at 11:23 pm
Both McGovern and Brozosky had the same basic stance on so-called affordable housing. They both advocated for "small homes/townhomes", the thinking being that smaller homes, being cheaper than larger homes, will be "affordable". Pentin pointed out that that kind of housing may not work out well to achieve the goal of providing affordable housing considering that that kind of housing in Pleasanton is not affordable for many _now_. Pentin, Sullivan, and Hosterman all seemed to lean towards TOD in order to achieve affordability.
McGovern and Sullivan's stance on funding priorities was also somewhat the same, spend money building things that will bring consumers downtown and form, as Sullivan called it, a "critical mass" of people. The expectation is that those people will spend money downtown. Sullivan also focused on the TOD idea to boost the "Hacienda economies". Pentin wants to focus on being business friendly in order to help generate revenue. Sullivan mentioned TOD around an ACE train station downtown. I think that's excellent. People complain about the lack of business downtown. Let's get some businesses there that could cater to TOD, like a small grocery in the old Domus location (which is what that building used to house). Let's also build a better ACE train station. Too bad there's no Tri-Valley light rail system that brings shoppers easily to downtown. If the housing cap goes away, we might want to rethink using the rail corridor for parking.
on Nov 2, 2008 at 2:48 am
As to the Mayoral debate - I'll stand by the comments I made on the "Letters: Council majority hasn't listened to the people" thread.
One can, when critiquing political debates, "nitpick" a couple of answers that candidates give that may, or may not, be "entirely factual". Those answers are not the entire debate.
Hosterman weighed heavily on "her accomplishments" as Mayor, which, in fact, she couldn't have "accomplished" with out the consent/support of a majority of the council/city staff...
Overall, Brozosky was more professional and straight forward during the entire debate. No "Uh, blah, blah, Uh" or "And ya no, blah,blah". He was more relaxed, carried himself in a professional manner, his answers were concise, to the point and without hesitation...
That's the debate I saw...