Former BART board member Erlene DeMarcus campaigning for Pleasanton City Council

Three now in race to win two open seats on council in Nov. 6 municipal election

Erlene DeMarcus, a former BART board member and long-time Pleasanton resident, has announced her campaign for Pleasanton City Council in the November 6 municipal election.

She joins Planning Commission chairman Jerry Pentin and Realtor Karla Brown in the campaign for election to two seats that will be available this fall. Both Councilwoman Cindy McGovern and Councilman Matt Sullivan are stepping down because of term limits after serving for eight years on the council.

Two others on the council, Cheryl Cook-Kallio and Jerry Thorne, who each have two years left to serve on the council, are seeking the mayor's post in the upcoming General Election, a position that is being vacated by Mayor Jennifer Hosterman, also because of term limits.

In her election campaign announcement, DeMarcus said she led the community effort to persuade BART to extend service to Pleasanton through her effort to gain voter approval for a countywide transportation tax necessary to fund it. Once elected to the BART board, she pushed the Pleasanton extension to the top of the project list, making it the first extension since BART was built.

"Pleasanton is my home and I want to continue to do what I can to improve the quality of life for all of us," DeMarcus said in announcing her candidacy for the City Council.

She said she plans to focus on issues of transportation, jobs, public safety and children's services as ways of improving that quality of life here.

Erlene DeMarcus is owner and principle of the DeMarcus group, which specializes in transportation management and planning. While a congressional staffer, she advised the Congressman on Regional Transportation issues. She was one of the founding board members of the Pleasanton-Dublin Livermore WHEELS bus program.

DeMarcus has support from State Senator and Senate majority leader Ellen Corbett, State Senator Mark DeSaulnier, State Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan, Mayor Jennifer Hosterman, Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti, BART President John McPartland and Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern.

Other supporters include Jan Batcheller, Bob Butler, Cheryl Cook-Kallio, former Livermore mayor Marshall Kamena, Ro Khanna, Mary King, former Pleasanton mayor Ken Mercer, Karin Mohr, James Tong, Mary Warren and Ayn Wieskamp,

DeMarcus will hold a $100 a plate fundraising breakfast at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15 at the Palm Pavilion at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.

For more information, email


Like this comment
Posted by pt
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Hum, the article did not mention that Erlene actually worked (works?) for James Tong/Charter Properties, one of the people trying to get the Oak Grove houses built and suing the city and residents left and right. Having Erlene on the Council will result in a green light for all James Tong's projects. You can be sure that Tong will be a big finance-er of her campaign as if she gets in, Tong can make Pleasanton look like Dublin with all the homes that Tong built in Dublin. You can go through the archive of city minutes of different commission meetings and seeing here speaking with Tong on all his projects (Oak Grove, Vintage Hills Shopping center (when he intentially made the center look bad as he wanted the center removed and replaced with high-density housing)).

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Posted by DeMarcus-Tong Connection
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2012 at 1:28 pm

To that end, from the May 6, 2004 Pleasanton Housing Commission minutes, in order of speaking:

Erlene Demarcus, 4542 Mohr Ave., Pleasanton, addressed the Commission. Ms. Demarcus spoke in favor of the Vintage Hills project. She supports 100% affordable senior housing and feels the project needs to move forward to be able to get bond financing. Ms. Demarcus stated that the shopping center has been vacant for 15 years and has been unable to attract an “anchor” in that area. This is an infill project and she feels it fits perfectly within the City.

James Tong, Charter Properties, 4690 Chabot Dr., Suite 100, Pleasanton, addressed the Commission. Mr. Tong gave an overview of the “Vintage Hills” proposal. Currently he is proposing a 188-unit senior housing apartment that is 100% affordable. The ratio will be 10% of the units at rents affordable to households at 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI). The other 90% of the units will be at 60% AMI. The project consists of 8,500 sq. ft. of neighborhood-oriented retail space. Mr. Tong stated that currently interest rates are favorable. He urged the Housing Commission to recommend expedited processing to move the project forward. Mr. Tong showed conceptual plans to the Commission.

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Posted by Bill
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Oh goodie, another tax, buy a bond, and spend Democrat.

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Posted by DeMarcus-Tong Connection
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2012 at 1:50 pm

And here's a letter to the editor from DeMarcus to the Pleasanton Weekly supporting the Lin/Tong Oak Grove project and their competing measure to PP:

Opinion - Friday, May 14, 2010
Letter: Voters OK'd Oak Grove as residential

Dear Editor,

Don't be misled by the reasoning used to support No on D arguments. The facts on the Oak Grove development and its potential impact are readily available and should ease any concerns of any Pleasanton resident. I have lived here almost 40 years and know firsthand that every project is fully vetted before it is approved.

Pleasanton voters approved the General Plan that designated the Oak Grove property as residential. The proposal that we'll uphold on June 8 comes as the result of two years' collaboration between Oak Grove and Pleasanton neighbors. They worked to create a plan Pleasanton would support, a plan that included a reduction of Oak Grove's housing development plans by half and multiplied the benefits Pleasanton will receive. School systems will receive millions, alongside significant sums for traffic improvements and city services.

The ridgelines won't be compromised. Ninety percent of the property will be donated, serving as open park space to protect the ridgelines and permanently prevent further development. Home designs for the mere 51 homes requested must following strict guidelines and receive approval from the city before they are built. The mega-mansions some fear will not be prolific, and our views will not be meaningfully impacted.

We need to remember that our Pleasanton neighborhoods have shared in this entire process. The plan we're voting on is a plan we helped create, and a plan that will benefit Pleasanton tremendously. Vote Yes on D on June 8.

Erlene DeMarcus Former BART Director

Like this comment
Posted by Frank
a resident of Valley Trails
on Jul 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I did not know about her connection to the Lin/Tongs, but BART can't manage security officers like Mehserle, they overpay their drivers in the range of $100K a year, they wanted to force BART to Livermore, shall I go on? Save Pleasanton now - send her to Dublin.

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Sycamore Heights
on Jul 30, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Some lady named Jan B is throwing a party for her. I guess they both want Pleasanton to be run like BART, over paid and under served.

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Posted by pt
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2012 at 5:24 pm

I guess that will be her campaign slogan, "I want the City of Pleasanton to be run like BART." She did such a fine job with the union contracts there.

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Posted by chris
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2012 at 9:01 am

DeMarcus was BART director prior to the Pete Snyder-Zoyd Luce era, so your criticism of recent BART actions means you agree that things were better back when she was helping lead BART?

Like this comment
Posted by angela
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2012 at 9:25 am

Not all bonds are created equal, especially 8 years ago. Pleasanton, like everyone else, was drinking the Redevelopment koolaid. When you take Redevelopment money, the state requires that you spend a portion of it building affordable housing. If we have to build more affordable housing, building housing for seniors, where they can downsize, still be independent, and afford to stay in the community they love is the way to go. Housing Setaside Bonds are ok, since the money can't be used for anything else. They just need to offer a local purchase option, so we can benefit from the higher interest rates.

Like this comment
Posted by William Tell-it-like-it t-i-is
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2012 at 9:44 am

Why is it all of the local Democrat politicians are in bed with unions and developers? Unfortunately the voting public is so ignorant, they can pretty much be out in the open with their graft and corruption. Some people get it, but most people vote for the person who spends the most.

Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Jul 31, 2012 at 9:47 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Pleasanton never had a redevelopment agency. What do you mean we took redevelopment money? That's false.

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Posted by pt
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2012 at 9:57 am

BART has had problems for a long time going back to DeMarcus. DeMarcus era was just as bad as the Pete Snyder-Zoyd Luce era. However my biggest concern is she works for James Tong (convicted on money laundering and other FPPC offences). If you love how BART has been managed and you want Pleasanton to look like Dublin with all of their housing, you will like DeMarcus.

Like this comment
Posted by Shelia
a resident of Laguna Oaks
on Jul 31, 2012 at 10:07 am

Are you saying Erlene DeMarcus was the person responsible for the work force/low income housing near BART Dublin station that is such a sham they can't even rent it out? Shame on her and a total waste of funds redevelopment or otherwise. And no one wants to put their businesses on the first floor. A total waste of taxpayer money! And the tiny strip of grass was the only couple of square feet that could be called a park. When the Dems suport a candidate they support what she stands for = a BIG waste of money.

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Posted by Voter
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 31, 2012 at 11:11 am

As a Jerry Thorne supporter, I'm assuming Cook-Kalio will not be Mayor, but still be on the council. Since I'm voting for Jerry Pentin, I'm puzzled.
I do not want to risk a Cook-Kalio & DeMarcus council and no Pentin ! Gambling is a dangerous strategy. Remember about 8 years ago, the first-time candiate pretender, that screwed up the entire lineup, as they planned, and we're still suffering. What guarantee do I have this isn't a plot to keep somebody off. I'm not for Brown, but she does have a block of followers. Elections don't come with guarantees. Sometimes meddling strategists really botch the outcome.
A Pentin-Demarcus council would be fine, but I'm not willing to risk musical chairs would be as wanted....then we'd be really stuck with major burdens that have not yet been fixed, and I don't think Demarcus with help us with our largest battle.
I liked DeMarcus on BART and she did a great job...BUT, our city has OTHER, different, forever issues that are looming.

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

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