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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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A short honeymoon for new Pleasanton city manager?

Uploaded: Jun 30, 2022
Did Councilwoman Julie Testa take a public potshot at new Pleasanton City Manager Gerry Beaudin during the June 21 meeting.
The council was discussing the mid-year capital budget adjustments and the staff recommendation to avoid dipping into the “rainy day” fund created during the pandemic shutdown in 2020. After the discussion, Testa asked a couple of questions and then said that Beaudin had only been there two weeks while she and other councilmembers had been listening to the public and its desires for years.
The remark ignored the four years Beaudin led the planning department in Pleasanton from 2015-19 before leaving to take an assistant city manager position in Alameda. It also missed that two days later he would hit his one-month anniversary in the city’s top staff role. He’s worked in municipal government for 19 years.
As someone who called it to my attention said, “short honeymoon.”
Big news out of San Ramon where Chevron announced its was selling the 92-acre campus it has occupied since the early 1980s. Chevron was the first major San Francisco-based company that Sunset Development Co. lured to Bishop Ranch. The campus includes 1.4 million square feet of office space in 13 buildings with about 2,000 people working there. The facility was upgraded when the company relocated its San Francisco headquarters there in 2001.
In a statement, the company said it was offering voluntary transfers to Houston where its workforce has been steadily growing to nearly 8,000 and would lease headquarters space in San Ramon that was appropriately sized for the employee count remaining here.
In another day, you could imagine a growing tech company such as Google or LinkedIn or even Workday in nearby Pleasanton purchasing the entire campus. But in these days of remote work, most tech companies have struggled to convince knowledge workers to return to the office. Others have gone completely remote. My daughter started with Robert Half in San Ramon when she was living in Memphis last year before relocating back to the valley. She’s been in the office once—to pick up a computer.
I checked in with commercial real estate broker Mark Triska who has worked in the Tri-Valley for 33 years. His view was he could not imagine an office user taking the park. Instead, he suggested that redevelopment was more likely with either a conversion to residential, potentially with the existing buldings, or rebuilding them into a vertical industrial park. He said that industrial land is in short supply in the Tri-Valley and developers are willing to pay in the mid-$30 per foot for it-- rates that typically are found only for residential builders.
It will be interesting to see what type of interest and what type of plans are offered for that campus. Sunset is well on the way to transitioning Bishop Ranch from a business park to a mixed-use area by adding the popular City Center retail and entertainment complex to be surrounded by 4,500 high-density residential units. That’s involved knocking down 1980s vintage two-story office buildings that were ripe for redevelopment.
A Collier’s report on San Francisco market vacancy said that 23.8% or 23.2 million square feet was available. Just how many tech companies that drove the Class A space environment for the last 20 years will continue to lease expensive space remains to be seen, but the flood of subleases as companies shift to a hybrid work schedule shows the trend.
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Posted by Michael Austin , a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Jun 30, 2022 at 10:01 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

That was a classless cheap shot by Testa. Testa's ongoing iniquitous demeanor undermines credibility of the entire city council as well as city staff, who work diligently, tirelessly, to help council be professional and credible.

Posted by Rich Buckley, a resident of Livermore,
on Jun 30, 2022 at 10:27 am

Rich Buckley is a registered user.


It's probably okay if other opinions take flight.

You ever stand up at a public meeting to speak your little piece and sense the politicians listening are all captured fools with minds made up?

My intuition is the Universal Sandbox would cut out much of the distrust between lobbied-to-corruption perceptions much of the public feels towards government.

The general plan could include a voluntary resident-only planning Universal Sandbox play area where citizen participants would be allocated public accessible presence directly off the landing page of the official city website to openly discuss any matter. But this sandbox would have zero legal authority and elected officials and city staff officials would not directly comment.

The Universal Sandbox would have the powers inherent in gathering real time information on all non-personnel, non-lawsuit related finance information. All income, all expenses would be broken down to a granular level. It would also link to lists of all city assets, physical or financial and interactive spread sheet downloads for off-site refinement by citizen participants. This vast information library could for example create alternative development solutions, re-price city assets, illustrate alternative methods of generating budgets. Mitigate discussions on complex issues by creating alternative revenue stream ideas.

City managers would probably harbor a love-hate relationship with this volunteer sandbox idea no doubt. We need to change a lot of things over the next few years and government that does not listen to the people is the greatest concern as far as my feelings are.

The Universal Sandbox will plumb a new level of citizen-community participation. Real names, in-city primary residency would be required. No one would be allowed to hide behind avatars. Participants on the other hand could even seek proxy non-binding opinion polls.

The idea for Universal Sandbox could even start to spread... like to MTC

Posted by Andrew L, a resident of Country Fair,
on Jul 3, 2022 at 1:12 pm

Andrew L is a registered user.

Tim, this article takes Julie's words out of context. Sure, she may not be perfect with her word choice, but all Julie meant by hre comment was that new current City Manager was not apart of the Pleasanton council or city management during 99% of the entire talk about the new skatepark. Julie has listened to the Pleasanton community for the last three years while Gerry Beaudin was working for Alameda. Julie understands that the 1 million dollars moved from a healthy reserve fund into the skatepark is still just sitting in Pleasanton's reserve land. BUT, with the passing motion, the council who voted 3/5 in favor to move the money understands better than our new city manager how important this move was to the larger community.

Tim, this skatepark is for the YOUTH.

Thank you to the councilmembers who voted to send the extra recreation money to the skatepark last week. It makes me smile everytime I receive a thank you from a Pleasanton teenager who dreams of using this new skatepark. The community is excited because of this money. The emotions among the community are getting stronger and more passionate as the city moves closer to full funding. We know there is still work to do, and this extra million keeps the momentum growing.
Our numbers are only getting bigger because word gets out that the skatepark now has proper partial funding. The non-believers among the community who did not think this park was possible (but really want it) are becoming believers. It is amazing what a simple vote can do.

On behalf of our voters and supporters, the children who live in Pleasanton, and the community of skateboarding and beyond,
Thank you to the entire city council for approving this motion.

We aren't done yet. Let's give Pleasanton's children something to look forward to and use while they are still children.

Posted by Andrew L, a resident of Country Fair,
on Jul 3, 2022 at 1:24 pm

Andrew L is a registered user.

The council did a great job to not go below the city's recommended 30% reserve level while still moving 1 million to the skatepark. A great move for Pleasannton's youth who are looking for a fun physical activity. The council did an excellent job staying at the 30% reserve mark, while also giving money back to the skatepark because it was originally supposed to receive 3 million during this mid year plan. The city manager made it seem like this mid year plan was not the time and place for such a motion. Very misleading because the council meeting 1 month prior involved a direct conversation about how much every project should receive during the mid year budget planning, skatepark included.

Posted by ryleeuso, a resident of Amador Estates,
on Jul 4, 2022 at 2:05 pm

ryleeuso is a registered user.

Hello, I wanted to thank you for sharing this useful article. Frankly speaking, I haven't heard about this event. One of my friends who works at Web Link made a report about it as well.

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