By Tim Hunt
Cheryl Cook-Kallio served Pleasanton wellUploaded: Dec 9, 2014
The City Council welcomed former Arne Olson to its ranks last week and said farewell to Cheryl Cook-Kallio.
Arne has big shoes to fill as he steps into the seat that Cook-Kallio had to vacate because of term limits. During her eight years on the council, she has served the community very well.
The most significant achievement was her willingness to buck public pressure from a couple of neighborhoods and put the extension of Stoneridge Drive back into the city's planning process. It had been dropped during prior councils that viewed issues from a very narrow neighborhood prism as opposed to looking at what is good for the entire community.
Cheryl flatly refused to play neighborhoods against each otherrecognizing that the residents bordering Valley Avenue between Santa Rita and Busch were significantly impacted by the refusal to connect Stoneridge.
Her leadership led to fulfilling the General Plan as it was envisioned after Hacienda Business Park and other business and retail developments in North Pleasanton were planned. The connection also opened the way for the long-awaited Stoneridge Creek senior housing complex and a major auto retailer in that area.
The current council is going to face similar very important decisions concerning what happens to the east side between Valley Avenue, Mohr Avenue and El Charro Road. A well-conceived plan that builds out needed transportation links (connecting El Charro to both Busch and Stanley Boulevard heads that list) as well as providing for both commercial and residential development will enhance the community.
A short-sighted plan will do just the opposite.
Well, Frosty is inflated and hyping Johnny Moore's Christmas tree business after Mayor Jerry Thorne suggested that the city staff "overlook" the blatant code violation.
While it may be a seasonal "feel-good," the city is going to be hard-pressed to say no to any other Christmas tree lot operator who decides they want to fly inflatables to attract attention to their lots.
Moore, in what City Manager Nelson Fialho described as a "brilliant marketing move," inflated Frosty (a staple of his Christmas tree lot when it was located on the Alameda County Fairgrounds where the city has no enforcement authority). Moore lost his prime location at the corner of Valley and Bernal avenues two years ago and this season relocated to near the corner of Stanley Boulevard and Valley.
When a city code enforcement officer showed up and told Moore he needed to take down Frosty, Moore went to the media and got a couple of TV stations to bite. When a couple of moms joined the protest to allow Frosty, the mayor weighed in and Frosty is in its full 25-foot glory.
I wonder if the mayor is willing to weigh-in when the seasonal pumpkin farm decides to fly a 25-foot-tall witch or when Santa Claus shows up at other lots.
The city manager made the right call in this case and it should have stood.