Cook-Kallio launches bid for re-election

Priorities include extending Stoneridge Drive, developing Staples Ranch

Pleasanton City Councilwoman Cheryl Cook-Kallio has launched her campaign for re-election to a second four-term in the Nov. 2 municipal election.

Cook-Kallio, who teaches civics, government and American history at Irvington High School in Fremont, was first elected to the council in 2006. Council members can serve two four-year terms. She recently received the American Civic Education Award from the Alliance for Representative Democracy.

"When I was first elected I remember driving downtown one morning," Cook-Kallio recalled. "It was twilight, just one of those beautiful moments. I thought how fortunate I was to live in such a wonderful place, to have raised my children here and now to have the opportunity to serve my city."

She said that when she ran for the council in 2006, she emphasized three issues: Improving traffic circulation, the need for more affordable housing and building community.

"We have made some progress but it is not enough," she said. "We need to do more. We need to be proactive in order to meet the needs of our residents and to thrive in the coming decades.

Among her goals is to complete the extension of Stoneridge Drive to El Charro Road and Livermore.

"It has taken too long and we need Stoneridge Drive built," she told the 75 supporters assembled at her campaign launch breakfast. "It is crucial for traffic circulation and it will benefit all of Pleasanton.

"In addition, we must move forward to develop Staples Ranch," she continued. "We need what that parcel has to offer us as a city; the dream of a wonderful retirement community, some businesses, perhaps a retail center, and, of course, a park with amenities, maybe an indoor ice skating rink. All of these things will generate needed revenue. It is time to move forward."

Cook-Kallio also said Pleasanton needs more workforce and affordable housing.

"We want to have a place where young families, young professionals, young people at the beginning of their working career, can afford to thrive--people just like most of us when we were just starting out," she said. "We want people who work in Pleasanton to be able to live here and if they can't work here, to be able to get to work without contributing to the congestion on 580.

In that regard, she called for the redevelopment of Kottinger Place and Pleasanton Gardens, a project now before the City Council. The need for these types of facilities will increase as the people of Pleasanton 'mature,'" she explained, and the city and organizations need to provide the types of senior housing "where we all would be proud to have our parents reside."

"I have talked about building community," she said. "What does that mean? I believe it means working together to make sure we have the things that make this city great. We want to live in a place with excellent schools, with a thriving economy, with recreation areas for the entire family, including neighborhood parks as well as open space."

"In 1986, my husband and I bought the house we live in so that our children could walk to school and so that our family could stroll downtown to have a leisurely dinner or an ice cream cone," she added. "We still run into the families of my kids' childhood friends and maintain close relationships with longtime neighbors. It's that same hometown feel that all of us still enjoy that we need to preserve."

Cook-Kallio highlighted key advantages and challenges.

* Economy. While Pleasanton continues to offer many amenities, ultimately it must address the slowed economy. The city has already taken steps to reduce spending. Departments have been consolidated, managers have reorganized personnel, attrition has reduced the work force, and like many cities, Pleasanton is examining ways to reduce its pension liability.

* Business. In order to provide services, the city must have revenue. That means strengthening the businesses here now. It means shopping downtown so that sales tax dollars stay here. There's also a need to continue making Pleasanton attractive to new businesses and making it easier to do business in Pleasanton.

* Downtown. It's the city's center. That means working with downtown property owners in an effort to increase occupancy with a variety of businesses that residents and visitors want to frequent. This spring, the Firehouse Civic Arts Center will open stimulating the local economy and strengthening its commitment to the arts.

* Housing. Young people want to live in this community and eventually raise their children in Pleasanton. People who are here want to have their parents close. The city's leaders should make it possible for this to be a family town, where there are young people with children, where our grown children return. That is how you build community.

"The reason the downtown events, like the Farmers Market, First Wednesdays and Concerts in the Park, are so successful is because we have an opportunity to connect with families with whom we have shared our life's benchmarks," Cook-Kallio said. "We are a not just a city, we are a community. Those of us who live in Pleasanton know it's a special place."

"That's why I want to continue serving on the City Council - to tackle these issues and finish what we have started," she added.

Besides the Pleasanton City Council, Cook-Kallio also serves on the Alameda County Congestion Management Agency, Alameda County Mayors' Conference, Associated Community Action Programs, Association of Bay Area Governments, League of California Cities, East Bay Division, and the Livermore-Amador Valley Water Management Agency.

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by sam
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Apr 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm

Build, build, build, and grow, grow, grow.

that is Cook-Kallio's magic plan to fix the problems in this town.

Bring in more people so that there will be less traffic! the idea might be beyond we ordinary folks, but hey who let us not beging the great Cook-Kallio .

also to her, people has the consitutional right to live where they work! we could only imagine the agony she suffered while she was teaching at Fremonent and living in Pleasanton at the same time. Apparently she never had the means to move to Fremont so she ended up living with us. for that reason, her supporters should really vote for her because finally she lives where she works now!

Like this comment
Posted by Howard Neely
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Apr 17, 2010 at 8:13 pm

I've known Cheryl Cood-Kalio for almost 30 years, 15 of which I taught with her in the Fremont Unified School District. She is one dedicated lady and one fantastic teacher, who is a long term constructive thinker. She knows the importance of doing her own homework on the various issues which confront City Council Members.

Someday I hope she will run for Mayor or.....perhaps our citizens will realize that our Council might be better off if we could go back to the old system in which the Mayor was simply nominated for that position on a rotational basis, thus giving all the members the opportunity of being Mayor. Most of the Commission's Chairmen are nominated on the rotational basis, and it works quite appropriatly.

Personaly I appreciate all the candidates running for office in our town, so let's show our support and vote both in June and November.

Howard Neely....resident since 1966.

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Downtown
on Apr 17, 2010 at 10:48 pm the words of the immortal chola...teeheehee. Mayor, me not think so. Wait, a community of character or was that a community of "characters"? GAME OVER.

Like this comment
Posted by Amy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2010 at 8:38 am

She is one dedicated Obama-loving, Obama-worshipping, collectivist.

Collectivism destroys economies, individual motivation, innovation.

Like this comment
Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 18, 2010 at 10:07 am

Wow . . . name-calling from the Tea Party faithful . . . now that's totally unexpected! LOL!!

"Collectivist" and "collectivism" must be the latest ist/ism we can expect to see in the Tea Party’s repertoire of oft-repeated derogatory terms! I’ve frequently thought that there must be a contest within the Tea Party to see just how many Tea Party buzz words and phrases each Tea Party poster can squeeze into a single post!

Howard Neely has the right idea . . . While I may not agree with Ms. Cook-Kallio's positions on Pleasanton issues, I do appreciate the fact that each and every Pleasanton Council candidate is willing to put in the hard work and long hours it takes to sit on our City Council. Show your support for the candidate of your choice by voting!

Like this comment
Posted by Amy
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2010 at 11:45 am

You are critical of "name calling' and you call me a "tea party faithful" !??? Curious...given that I have never been to a Tea Party in my life ... now what name should you call me? (I do however feel a strong bond with those who have attended...simply because they long for America to return to the principles on which it was founded...the US Constitution. BTW: Our Constitution is NOT a LIVING and BREATHING I am sure you would argue.

Is your home mortgage and car loan a living and breathing contract???

I absolutely feel the democrats are our enemy within...and as dangerous..perhaps moreso... as Al Qaeda.

Like this comment
Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm

LOL!! I’m not sure how the phrase “Tea Party faithful” can be termed name-calling, since those folks espousing Tea Party rhetoric, just like you, are pretty darn faithful to its use. Somehow “Tea Party faithful” doesn’t have quite the same ring as all those ist’s, ism’s and terms like moron, thug, stupid, oh, and let’s not forget terrorist and traitor, that you throw into your postings.

In regards to your “long[ing] for America to return to the principles on which it was founded...the US Constitution”, I guess that means you wouldn’t mind, assuming you’re a woman, not being able to vote, or, if you’re a person of color, being considered only 3/5th of a person as well. Me, I happen to like the fact that the Constitution has been amended so that, not only can I can vote, but that I don’t have to pay a poll tax in order to do so.

Oh, and as for all Democrats being traitors and terrorists . . . I’m pretty sure that there are plenty of Democrats who, being true American patriots *not* of the Tea Party kind, have served and fought and died for our country. Many are doing so right now - and not just Democrats.

Unlike what you seem to be advocating, I happen to think it’s a truly good thing about America and Americans that we don’t all ascribe to a specific political belief, just as we are not all of a specific race, ethnic origin, religion or sexual preference. As a nation, we Americans cannot, and will not be so narrowly defined as you would like to make us.

Like this comment
Posted by Karen
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Apr 19, 2010 at 10:45 pm

Are we off topic?

The subject is Cheryl Cook-Kalio running for Council again. A few issues that were not mentioned in the article:
* She stood on the corner of our downtown with a petition and sign to "Do NOT sign the petition" to back out Oak Grove or PP.
* She helped put a Council backed initiative on the ballot called QQ with one goal, to confuse voters about which initiative would better protect our hills and ridges.
* She wanted to block the ability for voters to hear the rebuttal of her misleading statements - and not be held accountable - in the voter's pamphlet for Oak Grove/Measure D.
* She pushed to put Oak Grove on the Ballot in June to avoid debating it with her own election. That decision costs Pleasanton Tax Payers an est. $85,000!! A major waste of money!
* She continualy votes the "party line" with Jerry T and Jennifer H for a 3 council block. Does she have a mind of her own-- EVER?
* Strongly backed by the Chamber, she votes their party line virtually 100%. Anyone wonder why their threw a $100 per plate fundraiser for her?
* She got special permission to 'call in' for a crucial developer backed vote, when she was out of town. No other council member has ever got that right before.
* She was backed by Develpers for election the first time, then voted for develpment at each opportunity.
* She stopped listening to residents and opposing ideas long ago, but claims her talks at Safeway are a good way to tap into the public!

I say her term of "teaching us" her methods of running our city are done and over. She never has anything new to add and rarely asks a thoughful question during a meeting.

Vote NO for Cheryl in November. Enough is enough.

Like this comment
Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 20, 2010 at 7:31 am

Thanks for bringing this thread back on topic!

Although I appreciate the hard work involved in being on Pleasanton's Council, it is for those reasons you laid out that I also will not be voting for Ms. Cook-Kallio in her bid for re-election - just as I did not vote for her the last time due to her financial ties with the CofC and my concern with the influence that organization was beginning to exert over the Council.

I would add to your list the Council majority’s very public 2-year (2007-2009) witch-hunt to remove/replace Anne Fox in her Planning Commission job. The replacement of Ms. Fox with Jerry Pentin, another politician supported by the Chamber of Commerce, made it clear that individuals who do not agree with Council majority positions will be removed from our city government. Diversity of opinion is not respected. A person’s right to stand up, support and speak out about those issues they feel have an impact on their life will not be tolerated - unless you're part of the majority. Politics and campaign contributions definitely trump character in Pleasanton!

We need elected Council members who will represent Pleasanton's big picture, both business and residents, not just the interests that fund a political campaign.

Like this comment
Posted by Kim
a resident of Birdland
on Apr 20, 2010 at 11:59 am

I think Cheryl has done a great job. She has been consistent and accessible. She is intelligent and articulate and will engage even if she has a different opinion. She has changed her mind based on evidence and she has made difficult decisions.

Like this comment
Posted by Rat Turd
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2010 at 12:27 pm

I will vote against her because she is an incumbant. Voting against all incumbants. Out with the old I say.

Like this comment
Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2010 at 4:40 pm

I think folks in this thread are confused. So which is Obama loving Democrat or a Chamber puppet? Now I am confused.

Councilmember Cook-Kallio is serving the public well, as in representing the entire City, not just the squeaky wheels. I believe that her decisions, sometimes in favor of unions and sometimes in favor of the Chamber's position show leadership and the ability to decide on an issue based on the facts presented.

Like this comment
Posted by Oh no!
a resident of Country Fair
on Apr 20, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Hmmm. I'm confused too now that Rae is saying to vote against Cheryl.

Like this comment
Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Apr 20, 2010 at 6:18 pm

I have never endorsed Ms. Cook-Kallio, nor do I plan on it in the future.

I did, however, say that Mr. Neely was right and that I also appreciate the hard work and long hours it takes to sit on our City Council, and agreed that we should all show support for the candidate of our choice by voting. I guess you missed the part at the beginning that sentence where I said "While I may not agree with Ms. Cook-Kallio's positions on Pleasanton issues . . ."

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Be the first to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Couples: "When Good People Have Affairs" by Mira Kirshenbaum
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 2,098 views

One of Pleasanton's "characters" passes on
By Tim Hunt | 3 comments | 864 views