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By Tim Hunt

Coronavirus puts politics on hold

Uploaded: Mar 24, 2020

The coronavirus is so dominating the news that anything else is an after-thought at most.
So, it was last week when former vice-president Joe Biden moved closer to the Democrat nomination with three victories over Bernie Sanders, his lone remaining opponent. It got a whisper of coverage Wednesday morning and little has been reported since.
It’s reached into the Pleasanton November City Council election that is a pivotal one. Three of five members (Mayor Jerry Thorne, Councilman Jerry Pentin and Councilwoman Karla Brown) are termed out. So, there will be two open council seats plus the possibility of a third one if Councilwoman Kathy Narum runs for mayor and is elected.
Two candidates for the City Council seats had events scheduled that were postponed. Randy Brown, a real estate broker and chairman of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce, had scheduled his kickoff event for last Wednesday, March 18, and postponed it.
The same goes for Planning Commissioner Jack Balch who had a breakfast fundraiser set for April 16 at Goal Line Studios in Pleasanton.
Before the shelter in place mandate was issued last Monday, I had reached out to the termed-out councilmembers asking their plans plus Narum. I heard back quickly from Pentin who said he had made no decisions. Brown responded with a no comment, while I did not hear back from Narum.
So it goes with everyone, understandably, playing it close to the vest until the picture is clearer about the coronavirus.
The third weekend in March just passed and with it went a Pleasanton tradition.
That’s free dumping for green waste at the transfer station on Busch Road. I have taken advantage of the spring clean-up day, both for my yard and for our church, for several years. There’s some pruning that needs to be done at church and, given its location less than ½ mile from the transfer station, it’s easy to make multiple trips.
As I tracked down what happened with the city and its 2018 contract with Pleasanton Garbage, it turned out that the city traded the fall and spring green waste days for the three curbside pick-up days, according to Becky Hopkins in the city manager’s office.
The bulk sidewalk pickup of stuff in an 5x8x 3 ¾ area was an excellent tradeoff. That can be green waste, but it also can be bulky items that cost a small fortune to get rid of at the dump—refrigerators, dishwashers, mattresses to name a few. It also includes electronic waste, another category that can be costly to recycle.
Having taken advantage of the bulk pickup four times to date, I can affirm a wise decision by the city leaders. It’s an excellent tradeoff.