I'd like to draw attention to the full page ad the Spotornos took out in yesterday's Pleasanton Weekly. Did anyone not see it? It is an "open letter" to Pleasanton voters regarding PP and QQ urging a no vote on both. This letter is a prime example of the negative effects of direct democracy. Direct democracy allows for the impingement of a majority's desires upon a minority generally in violation of the minority's rights. The gist of the letter is that PP and QQ both violate private property rights and discriminates against long-time landowners (which is correct). No one could ever blame the Spotornos for printing such a thing. The Spotornos conclude that private land should be purchased at its "full-potential" fair market value.
I've tried to point this out here before that PP amounts to land taking without just compensation. It seems hypocritical for anyone who voted yes on the eminent domain proposition in the last election to vote yes on PP. The hard questions arise. Why hasn't Save Pleasanton Hills stepped forward with organizing groups to purchase Oak Grove from the Lins? Why is Mary Roberts, who sits on the board of the Tri-Valley Conservancy, supporting such an unfair and unjust measure as PP when the TVC involves itself in working _with_ landowners and purchasing land? We have only to look at what other communities are doing such as for Banning Ranch down in Orange County (Web Link and Web Link) to see that the Save Pleasanton Hills group's communist-like tactics don't normally fly elsewhere. ""We see the property being purchased from the owners at a price that is not only reasonable to the city but reasonable to the owners, because they have a right to the land," Welsh said."
The Spotornos have also provided the only interesting argument I've seen against QQ based upon QQ itself (and not upon emotional ploys like "developers are now funding QQ"). But it seems like their argument rings a little hollow considering that if PP and QQ both fail, all residents still have the opportunity to participate in the process.