Town Square

Pleasanton Council OKs pay-off of $20-million in golf course bonds

Original post made on May 10, 2013

The Pleasanton City Council Tuesday authorized dipping into available cash reserves to buy down $20.6 million in outstanding bonds used to finance the construction of Callippe Preserve golf course 10 years ago.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, May 10, 2013, 7:29 AM


Posted by Dan, a resident of Birdland
on May 10, 2013 at 8:43 am

Excellent! Congrats to all those involved in city finances

Posted by just wait Dan, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on May 10, 2013 at 8:59 am

I agree with you Dan that this City is in excellent fiscal shape and always making sure we are doing everything we can to keep expenses down while still providing great services. BUT, just wait for the tea-party clan to come out and yell for more pension reform and reduced services/costs. I am so tired of the tea-party minority claiming the City is in bad fiscal shape by comparing us to other cities. We weathered the recession without layoffs or furloughs, without reductions in services, and without draining our recession fund, what other cities can say that?

Posted by Potholes, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2013 at 9:04 am

If the City of Pleasanton is in such great fiscal shape, why are our streets in such bad shape? If this problem is not due to lack of funds, then is it due to gross incompetence, or left wing loons trying to force us out of our cars?

Posted by Marie, a resident of Birdland
on May 10, 2013 at 9:15 am

The city was wise to hire Emily Wagner again, she truly cares about our city and does a great job! Thank you Ms Wagner

Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2013 at 9:57 am

The question isn't about today but about tomorrow, about a future mountainous debt that threatens to crush us. Our assumed fiscal health is an illusion. All one has to do is look at the too-well-fed public workers, their outrageous salaries and pensions. A quick look shows the obvious. There is a tsunami coming, not tomorrow or the day before or even the day before that, but sometime in the future. Even the most cursory look at Calpers and Calstrs indicates that we are all in a huge heap of trouble. The debt-ridden waters are rising, and who will stick their finger in the dyke? Only eliminating redundant fire fighters and cops (50% of current levels), and decertifying the teachers union will give us a swimming chance. Europe recognizes this as indicated by a distinct uptick in Ron Paul teashirts. What about us? Let's not fool ourselves. The tsunami is forming, is in its latter stages, and those of us without a life preserver will be left at the mercy of unionized teachers.

Posted by Thruth, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on May 10, 2013 at 10:12 am

Arnold you are hilarious...Mr doom and gloom...typical. As far as the roads Mr Pothole please consider the Federal Funding Arterial Roadway Act which provides funding for maintenance. These funds are released bi-annually and Pleasanton relies on these funds to fix our roads. This also ties us into Federal Funding for section 8 housing, thus, requiring Pleasanton to fall within the Federal guidelines to continue receiving funding.

Posted by Brian, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm

If what Arnold says is true, then it would be in the best interest for public employees to negotiate a sustainable retirement plan, otherwise they will have to live with the possibility that the state and/or cities they worked for will need to file for bankruptcy at some point in the future, in which case pension obligations will likely be cut.

Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Yes, very well thought out, Brian. It all hinges on me telling the truth. And, contrary to what experts tell us about the health of the city, I can tell you definitively that we're a tiny little island out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and there is a towering tsunami roaring toward us, soon to hit us perhaps not in the foreseeable future but certainly in the future sometime or another. If public workers were smart -- and most aren't because if they were they'd have gotten jobs in the private sector -- they'd draw straws and half would step down from their bloated positions; the remaining half would agree to eliminating their union ties and paying their own pensions and benefits, like the rest of us who were smart enough to find employment in the public sector. We don't want to become like Greece where college grads are selling Ron Paul teashirts in downtown Athens.

Posted by simple, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2013 at 1:07 pm

The simple thing to do with pensions is to make the employees responsible for any shortfall in projections; not the employer (the taxpayers).

The unions keep saying that we don't have a problem, so let them take all the risk. How could they object to this since they are so confident?

As long as the employer takes 100% of the risk, the unions will always say there is no problem. That is because it is no problem to the employees, they will be covered by the taxpayers.

This applies to pensions.

For retiree medical, that should be funded 100% at the time the benefit is given. It really should be paid for by the employees, or they should have some financial interest in it also. But if the city pays 100%, they should not be allowed to give out that benefit unless they 100% pay for it at the time the liability is incurred.

Posted by Arnold, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2013 at 1:26 pm

I meant to say in the PRIVATE sector, that's where the smart people are located. They just couldn't have anticipated the revolutionary coup achieved by public workers who have now become the wealthy and powerful political class who lord over all of us. But I can tell you, there will be no lords when we're faced with the avalanche of water caused by the tsunamic force created by stupendously high salaries, pensions, and benefits.

How did this happen? How did a class of inferior workers, who went to work in the intellectual dump called the public sector, end up being the tyrannical political class? They unionized, that's how. And us smart ones in the private sector, who value freedom, 401k's, and exchanging sick days for vacation days, were too busy living the American Dream to even have noticed what was taking place. Well, now the worm has turned as indicated by Calpers and Calstrs. like I say, a day will come sometime in the future....

Posted by Thruth, a resident of Apperson Ridge
on May 10, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Arnold is obviously jealous. Wait till Obama taps into your 401K as he recently purposed....then we will talk. Check your facts toolbag.

Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm

It is indeed confusing when we are told that we don't have sufficient resources for our schools while we throw 20 million at a recreational facility.

Sure, saving 10 million on interest is great. However, the excitement about the potential savings muddles the more important issue: why did we borrow money for a golf course when we couldn't afford schools?

Who knows? Maybe the golf course is a part of the city's retirement benefits package.


Posted by Gabe Athouse, a resident of Canyon Oaks
on May 10, 2013 at 10:38 pm

I'll tell you why Mike. The golf course was conceptualized and financed at a time when the economy was booming. When the economy took a dump and the .com yuppies stopped golfing, the revenue went in the dumper and the stupid golf course just became a money pit.

the solution for such a poor financial decision? Punish the city workers. i mean they were the ones who built the thing. let's dock their pensions for it.

fortunately only few radical right wing nut jobs on this forum subscribe to the above solution.

Posted by Jen, a resident of Birdland
on May 10, 2013 at 11:03 pm

I'll tell you why mike. Because the city and the school district are SEPARATE.

Learn a little before you post please.

Posted by hey gabe, a resident of Birdland
on May 11, 2013 at 11:29 am

Gabe, the workers did not build the golf course, and they do not run it. All contracted out. In fact the golf course is being run with non-unionized employees. Thank heaven. Could you imagine the money pit if we paid the golf course employees the same benefits and pensions as city employees? I thank the previous administration that had some sense here.

So it is the taxpayers who built the golf course, not the city workers. I wish we could dock the workers pensions however. Their benefits are so unrealistic and unsustainable. However, the council will keep kicking the can down the road so our kids will be left holding the bag.

In fact to pay off these bonds, we took money that has been put aside for replacing our city capital equipment in the future. So that means we robbed Peter to pay Paul. Being we are in serious debt this was a good thing to do now because of the difference in the return on our investments vs. the bond price but we are now a bit more in debt for replacing our capital equipment. That is ok since we probably will not have enough money then to pay for the same number for fire fighters because of their pension cost so no need to replace the fire trucks.

Posted by Jack, a resident of Downtown
on May 11, 2013 at 12:38 pm

But then again if the original approved Kottinger Hills project was allowed to go forward, the city of Pleasanton would have had a public golf course for free! No bonds, no reserves, no nothing! Free!

Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on May 11, 2013 at 3:51 pm


The city and the school district are separate in much the same way that your left hand is separate from your right.