With 14 weeks to go, Pleasanton's election is already heating up

2 now seeking mayor's post, 4 running for council

Pleasanton's municipal election is still 14 weeks off, but already it's shaping up as a humdinger.

Mayor Jennifer Hosterman has pulled papers with the intention of filing for re-election to a fourth two-year term of office, which, because of term limits would be her last if she wins at the ballot box.

She'll be challenged by Councilwoman Cindy McGovern, the longest serving elected official in Pleasanton, who is in the middle of her final four-year term on the council. A retired cardiac and intensive care nurse, she was a trustee on the Pleasanton School Board for 10 years before winning a council seat in 2004.

With two seats becoming available o the council, four candidates have announced their intentions to run, so far. Councilman Jerry Thorne already has filed for re-election, seeking a second four-year term in office. Another incumbent, Cheryl Cook-Kallio, pulled papers Wednesday, also seeking re-election to a second term on the council.

Karla Brown, a Realtor with Keller Williams, and Fred Watson, employed by Open Heart Kitchen, also have pulled papers from City Clerk Karen Diaz with the intention of filing as a council candidates.

Brown served as co-chair of the Save Pleasanton's Hills citizen coalition, which was organized by former Councilwoman Kay Ayala. The two campaigned vigorously to obtain signatures on petitions that laced a referendum on last June's ballot reversing a City Council decision to allow a 51-home development called Oak Grove to be built in the southeast hills.

The Oak Grove issue and an earlier successful referendum that now blocks hillside development are expected to be major issues in the Nov. 2 municipal election. Hosterman, Thorne and Cook-Kallio favored Oak Grove and opposed the hillside referendum; McGovern and Brown held opposing views. Watson's views on those issues are unknown.

A final decision on developing Staples Ranch, due next month, also could split the candidates. Hosterman, Thorne and Cook-Kallio have said they're prepared to vote in favor of the development, which includes an independent and assisted living complex for seniors as well as the extension of Stoneridge Drive. It's not clear how McGovern will vote when it goes before the Council Aug. 24. In the past, she said she wanted assurance Stoneridge wouldn't become a shortcut for commuters between I-580 and I-680 if it's extended.

McGovern also has the advantage of running from a "safe seat." Even if she loses, she'll still have her council seat for another two years.

Hosterman's strengths include key positions with regional and national groups. As co-chair this year of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Water Council, she will host a meeting of mayors and others who sit on the council in October, just a few weeks before the municipal election.

McGovern said she is bowing to public pressure by running in this year's mayor's race.

"I kept saying no, but now I have some concerns about the way things are going," she said. "One of them was when our citizens were sued over their effort to hold a referendum on Oak Grove. The city clerk and city attorney also were sued but our council chose not to appeal that case. I think we should have appealed."

McGovern added: "I also was upset when our residents put a hillside and ridgeland protection initiative on the ballot, something that had been called for in the General Plan for 11 years but nothing had been done about it. (The majority of) our council did not support that initiative. In fact, they put a competing initiative on the ballot. I thought that wasn't something that should be done. They should have let the public's initiative go to a vote."

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Like this comment
Posted by Alice G.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2010 at 8:56 am

Only 14 weeks before the election! Come on, Pleasanton voters - this is a very important election. Pleasanton has really suffered from the tenure of the Mayor Hosterman, Thorne and Cook-Callio. There isn't a development they don't support and our quality of life in Pleasanton is degrading as a result. Hosterman is a left-wing zealot that is interested much more in national left-wing politics than she is in running our city. Pleasanton voters that have had enough of these three need to turn out the vote and oust them.

Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce members can help as well. Call Scott Raty and tell him if the Chamber endorses any of these three again, you will cancel your membership.

Enough is enough.

Like this comment
Posted by maja7
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Jul 22, 2010 at 9:08 am

I look forward to election day and casting my vote against Mayor Hosterman. Time to get her out of there. Pleasanton has morphed into something that it has never intended to be, an affluent, liberal wasteland. For those of us that grew up in this town, we liked it the way it used to be (that's why we've returned/remained here). Where's the town we love? Once a wonderful, safe, conservative, simple town (without all the political games) where we can raise our children, P-town is now overrun with political ambition and chasing the dollar.

Let's get back to simpler things and a simpler Pleasanton!

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Posted by cosmic-charlie
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 22, 2010 at 9:11 am

cosmic-charlie is a registered user.

"I've had all I can stanz, and I can't stanz no more!" - Popeye the Sailor Man

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 22, 2010 at 9:20 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Alice G.,

I look forward to learning your details regarding how you determined that the current Council has turned Pleasanton into some sort of development wasteland. Which horrible developments have they approved, how are these developments so damaging, and what is the rate of development approval compared with previous Councils?

Like this comment
Posted by Walter
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2010 at 10:30 am

Interesting that a city's affluence is 1) blamed solely on the mayor (yes they have a part, but come on, how many of us commute to ANOTHER city for our employment) and 2) is bad. If a city is affluent, isn't it in turn then able to provide more for its residences, such as the parks, programs, and other amazing benefits we derive from living here?

Apparently we need to be a less affluent city, maybe something bigger than the mayor (ie economy) is more of a factor?

Do you really believe voting for ANYONE will allow Pleasanton to return to its "olden days"? Get real, Pleasanton's next mayor will not be able, nor has the authority, to raze buildings, parks, homes, or anything already established.

You keep your olden days mentality, lets take away your cable, high speed internet, and make sure when you get older you have no place to help care for you like a community senior center or a park or a transit service to help you get around, lets let you live in the olden days.

- Walter

Like this comment
Posted by Vinelander
a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Jul 22, 2010 at 10:33 am

Pleasanton is #63 on the list of "100 Best Places to Live". That says it all!!!

Like this comment
Posted by Gelson
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 22, 2010 at 11:04 am


You say "For those of us that grew up in this town, we liked it the way it used to be (that's why we've returned/remained here). Where's the town we love?"

If that isn’t thinly veiled racism, I’m not sure what is. Does that mean Pleasanton isn't "white enough" for you anymore? If Pleasanton is such an "an affluent, liberal wasteland", then why do you still live here? Go move to Idaho if you don't like it here.

Like this comment
Posted by sknywench
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Jul 22, 2010 at 12:12 pm

sknywench is a registered user.

Im not sure Gelson is being entirely fair to assume that your comments about wanting Pleasanton to be "the way it used to be (that's why we've returned/remained here). Where's the town we love?" is veiled racism. I have been here for over 20 years and visited often since I grew up in Fremont. So I remember Pleasanton the way it used to be 50 years ago. Let me say, the vacant and dilapidated downtown with its 9 or 10 scuzzy bars is not the bucolic Mayberry RFD that many people seem to remember in the "simpler times". Come on, the downtown was terrible, scary place to be at night, no retail and forget any kind of decent restaurant. The hot spots for fine dining was the Buttercup Pantry on Hopyard/I580 and Denny's. Fact is, our town is now sophicated, quaint, affluent and desirable. The reason is because we have a strong tax base that yes,is a result of new development which is needed to attract the amenities many take for granted.

Like this comment
Posted by Tim
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 22, 2010 at 1:40 pm

We are so affluent, half of the buildings downtown are banks!

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Posted by maja7
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Jul 22, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Gelson.....Gelson....Gelson.....Did I say anything about the color of anyone's skin? NO YOU DID.....How common in this day and age that you jumped on the racism bandwagon. Shame on you! I'd love to move out of State, then maybe my opinion is not judged so harshly and inaccurately.Can't we all just get along? Even with our differences?

Thanks for the back-up. I think I joined this topic with a different perspective.Yeah, the downtown with it's multiple bars, etc. wasn't what I was really talking about.For me, it's more about the changed values of the world at large, this is a more dangerous world to live in and I am 'wishing' for the innocent days of my youth. Where my children can grow up without being sexualized before the age of 8 years of age and people feel pride in their work ethic, when people didn't jump to conclusions (Gelson) before knowing someone and people knew their neighbors and you could leave your doors unlocked at night. What about a youth center, encouraging and having jobs for our teenagers so that they learn the value of working for money?Yeah, I may be an idealistic but I am also a conservative Christian.

So, thanks for the feedback. Appreciate it. It proves my point that not only has Pleasanton changed but society in general has morphed into something that I find ugly.

Like this comment
Posted by Alice is Smokin' Caterpiller
a resident of Downtown
on Jul 23, 2010 at 12:34 am

Alice G.,

The Chamber of Commerce does not elect city council candidates and individual members of the Chamber do not vote one way or another simply based on the Chamber's endorsements. If you don't agree with their position on a candidate or issue, that's your choice. Hollow threats are just that!

Like this comment
Posted by Ron C
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2010 at 7:58 am

Alice G,it's probably time to rethink why you live in Pleasanton. I've been in Pleasanton since back when it was a "cowtown". There was nothing here except for gravel pits and horse training going on. Pleasanton has grown into the place that we all love because of the planning that has taken place over the years from our past councils, with input from the business community through the Chamber of Commerce. Because of the Chamber of Commerce's efforts in promoting business in Pleasanton we have a business tax base that is the envy of all communitites in the Bay Area. Hacienda Business Park, Stoneridge Mall and the downtown business's are just a few examples of where Pleasanton gets its money to pay for everything. If you want to keep Pleasanton the town that you say you love so much, you should encourage people to join the Chamber of Commerce, not turn against it.

Like this comment
Posted by Wow!
a resident of Amador Estates
on Jul 23, 2010 at 8:24 am

Wow! Everything is racism if people don't agree with every liberal agenda. Liberals believe in free speech as long as they are speaking. Many people who were poor worked their way up. They rented, bought a small house, then bought a better house in Pleasanton. Nothing should ever be given to anyone except education chances. That's how people improve their lot. Not affordable housing.

Like this comment
Posted by Alice G.
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2010 at 8:49 am

Alice is Smokin' Caterpiller:

If you think the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce (through their PAC) does not have a major influence on elections for City Council and Mayor, you need to do some research on political contributions in the last two elections. Perhaps you should do less smokin' and more readin'.

You have resorted to the in-vogue left-wing-loon tactic -- shouting racist at any and every opportunity. I said absolutely nothing about race in my remarks. In the mode of Nancy Pelosi, I suspect the next aspersion you might try to affix is Nazi. Or, you might resort to the vulgar "tea-bagger" aspersion that is popular with loons these days.

Like this comment
Posted by Mandy
a resident of Val Vista
on Jul 23, 2010 at 9:02 am

I'm a real estate agent and I have clients daily that are looking in Pleasanton for a number of reasons...the downtown, the schools, the parks and the job opportunities, to name a few. We have an outstanding city and we have the City Council, including the Mayor and city staff to thank for it. I'm not a huge fan of electing Cindy McGovern to the office of Mayor. I really like Cindy, but (in my opinion) she doesn't vote on issues based on what is best for the entire city of Pleasanton. She frequently votes on her gut or what will please the minority. I think city officials should look at the better good. Cheryl is an outstanding City Council Member. She votes based on what is best for all of Pleasanton. She is a teacher, so she understands why we need to maintain the quality of our schools. By the way, like I said before the schools are a HUGE draw for families looking to move here. We NEED to maintain them to maintain our property values and the quality of the young people who come out of them. Before you vote this year, please take the time to watch a couple of City Council Meetings. They aren't exciting...well most aren't exciting, but they will give you a good idea of the people you might be re-electing. One more thing, we need to support downtown and keep it successful. It is another major reason for people wanting to live here. When people want to live in keep property values up!!

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Posted by Long-timer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 23, 2010 at 10:34 am

Dear Alice G: I would be happy to recommend a good Realtor to you, as you are SO obviously unhappy here. Or, is it EVERYWHERE and with EVERYTHING that you are unhappy??? We've lived here for almost 40 years, and my wife's family has roots here back to the 1870's. We LOVE Pleasanton, although, admittedly, not always its political bent, especially of late. The NIMBY's have arrived, and think the whole world revolves around them; NEWS: it doesn't!! Thank God we are still free enough to have a Chamber of Commerce, and that they are FREE to voice their opinions. (Given full implementation of the Obama plan, there will be no C of C, as there will be NO Commerce!)
We're still one of the BEST places in America to live!!! And, that's not just my opinion............Smile, Alice, and cool down!

Like this comment
Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Jul 23, 2010 at 4:39 pm

I saw a couple of weeks ago where Dr. Melson's Pleasanton Tea Party was going to run a Council candidate, and it looks like from this article he's pulled the papers.

Fred Watson is an Executive Board member of the PTP and is the "Director of Security" for their events.

Web Link

Mr. Watson is, of course, a member of the same board that gave Orly Taitz 4 of 5 stars because she's such a great conservative role model.

Given the low regard, including name-calling, that Tea Party enthusiasts who post on this forum have shown for anyone who expresses an opinion that is anywhere left of far right, I don't see how Pleasanton can consider electing a Tea Party Executive Board member to the City Council.

Remember, this is the same Tea Party whose enthusiastic posters on this forum have imbued their position on the issues with a view in which God is on the side of the "right people", the only "true Americans", "patriots" standing together to fight the "evil" socialist/Marxist/communist/nazi/statist Democrats that are out to “destroy America”.

Thanks Tea Party, but no thanks! Pleasanton doesn't need that kind of representation!

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Country Fair
on Jul 24, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Dear Mandy, If I understand you correctly you are a fan of Cheryl Cook because she is a teacher. She will be running for a City job, not school board. Perhaps she would be fine in that capacity, but as a council person, does not bring new ideas to the table. She has no background in developing business and bringing to our town like Jerry Thorne. She has never been part of a ballot box initative like a referendum on Oak Grove. And personally, I am tired of her teaching from the dias. Is there 1 thing she can really take credit for besides backing rich land owners?

Like this comment
Posted by Clueless
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2010 at 9:20 am

What's a NIMBY?

Like this comment
Posted by -
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 25, 2010 at 9:26 am

Clueless (appropriate name),
Not In My Back Yard

Like this comment
Posted by Pro-Business
a resident of Carlton Oaks
on Jul 30, 2010 at 12:29 pm

The point is clear, if we want the great schools, amenities, parks, low crime, etc. we need the funds to pay the piper. More people means more expenses, and that will not pay the bills. We need successful businesses in town, and we don't have enought of them-especially our downtown. Whoever can bring business to town gets my vote! I say oust the Council majority, Mayor and Economic Vitality committee. Before long the $1.9M in payouts and the $700K to the mobile home park will drain our budget.

Like this comment
Posted by Lillian Vernon
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 8, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Fred Watson has posted racists remarks about President Obama. This is for all to view at . His handle is fcwatson. This is what he wrote.
"I knew this the minute I heard him talk. I use to arrest his kind for a living, and you soon learn the thug talk; shuck and jive, and nothing good is going to come out of it."

The link is not clickable however it can be copy and pasted in your Web browser to view.

On his Facebook page he has joined a Facebook group the wishes for
Obama to die.

He can be found on Facebook as fcwatson.

It has been reported in other news articles that he has never been on any city committees or commissions. Probably never attended a city council unless he does because it happens to be on the Tea Party calendar. So that begs the question if he ever attended a city council meeting before he joined the Tea Party. Next question is
has he ever been involved or attended any community functions?
He may just have a dark side or be a radical or extremist.
There is something just not right here.

Voters do your due diligence and find out about the candidates before
you vote.

Like this comment
Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Aug 9, 2010 at 1:07 pm

It looks like the Pleasanton Tea Party is trying to tone Mr. Watson down to launch him onto the City Council. Since I posted on this thread July 23rd, they’ve changed his title on their Executive Board bios from “Director of Security” to “Lead Volunteer”. Web Link

I also visited the "resistnet" site and found another comment from Mr. Watson that I found very interesting, especially in light of his declared candidacy for a Pleasanton City Council seat. Better hurry and take a look before he hides his true feelings. Web Link

Note that he displays his location as "Pleasanton, CA", then scroll down to a post he made on June 22, 2009. Mr. Watson said: “I live in one part of the moral filth pit of California, known as the S.F. East Bay.” Nice commentary on Pleasanton and those of us who live here! It would seem that as a self-described “practicing 1st century biblically defined New Testament Christian” (see his PTP bio), Mr. Watson finds Pleasanton and its residents sorely lacking!

Pleasanton may have its issues, but we certainly don’t need to elect a City Council member who considers his constituents “moral filth” and the town he’s representing a “moral filth pit”!

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

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