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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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Smart decision by college trustees to extend interim superintendent's contract

Uploaded: Nov 29, 2018
The Chabot Las Positas Community College trustees made a wise decision when they decided to extend the employment contract of interim Las Positas President Roanna Bennie until June 30, 2020.

She has been serving as interim president since summer 2017. Trustees supported the recommendation by the interim chancellor, Thomas Fallo. Trustees currently are searching for a new chancellor after they did not extend the contract of Jannett Jackson last June. She resigned in August after serving for five years.

It makes sense for the new chancellor to play a key role in the search for the Las Positas president who will report to the chancellor.

More importantly, it will maintain Bennie’s steady hand at the Las Positas helm and not subject the faculty and staff to another transition. It may, however, be one of the longest “interim” tenures on record.
Good move by the Tri-Valley’s five chambers of commerce to formally band together in a new alliance.

The alliance represents more than 3,000 businesses and organizations that employ more than 87,000 people. Those numbers provide real clout when it comes to influencing public policy on valley-wide issues.

It also complements other Tri-Valley-wide groups such as Visit Tri-Valley and the Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group as well as the cities that routinely band together when visiting Washington D.C. to lobby for capital improvements.

These area-wide collaborations help build the Tri-Valley brand and build awareness of the economic vitality and quality of life here.

It was a split decision for real estate professionals on the November statewide ballot.

Proposition 10, the measure that would have allowed rent control, was soundly rejected by about a 60-40 percent margin.

By just about that same number, voters rejected Proposition 5, the measure that would have allowed homeowners 55 years and older to transfer their Proposition 13 property tax assessment to another unit statewide. At the core of that decision was the Legislative Analyst’s report that it would cost local governments more than $1 billion. The Realtors had argued it would eliminate the disincentive for older folks to move and thus free up more housing.

The Realtors associations, like rental property owners, focused on Prop. 10 which had the potential to exacerbate the housing shortage statewide.

For the BayEast association, that serves Alameda and Contra Costa county Realtors, they lost on a transfer tax that passed in Hayward but were successful in defeating one in Union City. Cities, facing huge increases in pension costs, are desperate for revenue.

Three other election notes:
• Much larger turnout (62 percent in Alameda County) likely spelled an unfortunate defeat for Assemblywoman Catharine Baker. She was leading after election night, but challenger Rebecca Bauer-Kahan steadily closed the gap and went ahead as counting continued this month. Baker easily had topped Bauer-Kahan in the June primary by more than 13 points with 122,629 votes cast. The turnout in unofficial results was almost 208,000 in the general election with Bauer-Kahan leading 50.7 percent to 49.3 percent. Baker, the lone Republican in the Bay Area, worked across the aisle on occasion and landed the funding for the new parking structure at the East Dublin BART station. It’s sad to see an effective representative defeated.
• It was heartening to see the “pay to play” water bond issue go down to defeat. It’s well past time for the state to start using bond monies that already have passed (think 2014 water bond that included money for reservoirs (have you seen any new construction).
• About 60 percent of voters liked year-round daylight savings. It still faces a major uphill trek given that the Legislature must approve it by a two-thirds margin and Congress must change federal law.


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