With a number of candidates for mayor and City Council campaigning in support of actions being advanced by the Save Pleasanton's Hills coalition, it's fair to ask if this new citizens' group could become a major political force in Pleasanton. It wouldn't be the first time that a political team put together a partisan ticket in Pleasanton, which generally favors non-partisan candidates and elections. Back in 1976, three candidates for the City Council ran as a team and were soundly defeated, although no one remembers if it was because of their political organization or voter dissatisfaction with the position their ticket took. Many here remember the Dream Team of former mayors Ben Tarver and Tom Pico and councilwoman and one-time mayoral candidate Becky Dennis. Tarver was elected mayor in 1992, Pico was elected to the council, and then the two of them supported Dennis in a special council election in 1993 to gain majority control of the council. The Dream Team's goal was to slow the rapid--some said uncontrolled--residential growth of the 1980s and to also organize neighborhoods so that what one group didn't like, others would come to its aid in the form of a referendum or strong opposition before the council. For the most part, the plan worked. Growth has slowed and continues to shrink as the city nears buildout, and, as we've seen with projects ranging from Applied Biosystems' difficulties in obtaining approval for its projects or Home Depot's failure to gain council support for a second store, neighborhoods pitted against neighborhoods often rules the decision-making process.
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posted Friday, August 1, 2008, 12:00 AM