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By Tim Hunt

Happy New Year

Uploaded: Dec 31, 2012

May 2013 be a healthy, prosperous and fulfilling year for each of you.
Looking ahead for some decisions/actions of note:
? The Pleasanton City Council seated last month will operate with four members until a special, vote-by-mail ballot is conducted on May 7. Mayor Jerry Thorne's council term—with two years remaining—will be filled in that election. In the meantime, Thorne, Cheryl Cook-Kallio and new council members Karla Brown and Jerry Pentin will take care of business. Incidentally, because Livermore voters extended their council members terms to move to even-year elections, there will not be a council race in the Livermore Valley next year.
? Talk of big jobs and shoes to fill—that falls to Janet Lockhart, former Dublin mayor and current c chair of the Alameda County Fair Association. Their 14-year CEO Rick Pickering departed last week to take over the top job at the suffering Cal Expo state fair in Sacramento. The prior board hit a home run with Pickering when it moved him from the No. 2 spot at the Orange County Fair to take over the Pleasanton operation. Revenue and attendance are both up sharply during his tenure.
? Democrats now control both houses of the state Legislature and all statewide offices, which leaves their elder statesman and governor, Jerry Brown, in a powerful position, yet one that likely will have an element of herding cats. The state, after the governor with lots of financial help from the big public employees unions convinced voters to raise taxes, is substantially better off financially. The legislative analyst estimates just about a $2 billion shortfall when the governor releases his budget proposal next week—nothing serious will happen until the governor submits his May revise in five months. In the meantime, the Democrat legislators can all breathe relatively easy given that the shortfall at year ago was $15.7 billion.
? The seats in the Legislature will take a while to settle down because two Senators are moving to Congress this month and it will require special elections to fill their seats. Assembly members already have announced their intentions to run in those races. The results likely will leave empty seats in the Assembly and require another round of special elections. The musical chairs game, however, is very unlikely to affect the balance of power in Sacramento.