Thorne launches bid for re-election as mayor

Cites housing accord as major accomplishment

Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne has launched his bid for re-election.

Thorne, who was elected mayor last year, is ending his first term in an office where four terms, or a total of eight years, are allowed.

Reviewing accomplishments during his first two years as mayor, and before that as a member of the City Council for seven years, Thorne told a crowd of nearly 200 supporters at a Fairgrounds breakfast that the city is in good shape.

He cited as a major achievement the completion of rezoning measures that fully satisfied the demands of a court order and the state housing authority to provide opportunities for more workforce and medium-to-low income housing in Pleasanton.

"It has been a long and expensive road and it has included the efforts of past councils and mayors, but now for the first time in 10 years the city of Pleasanton has a certified housing element," Thorne said.

"In order to achieve certification and comply with court orders, we had to give up our voter-approved housing cap and immediately rezone approximately 70 acres of land within the city for high density housing," he added. "With that done, projects have come forward that will provide us with much needed workforce housing for our working families and young professionals."

He said the council and city staff were able to "turn lemons into lemonade" by putting development standards and guidelines in place that will ensure "a Pleasanton feel to these projects while providing the housing required.

These projects, Thorne said, included approval for 210 apartments and 97 single family homes near the Pleasanton Gateway shopping center at Bernal and Valley avenues, to be developed by South Bay Development.

E.S. Ring Corp. also received the council's approval two months ago to build 345 condo units and a 38,000 square foot retail center on Bernal Avenue at Stanley Boulevard.

Several other major high density apartment developments also won approval during his first term as mayor, Thorne said.

Earlier this month, Thorne reminded his supporters, he cut the ribbon for the long-awaited completion of Stoneridge Drive, which now connects the roadway from its western terminus at Foothill Road to El Charro Road and Jack London Boulevard in Livermore.

Shortly after that, he helped open the Stoneridge Creek retirement homes, where 870 apartments and single family homes will give those choosing to spend their retirement years in Pleasant a chance to stay in the city, Thorne said.

"A year ago I promised you that I would establish a system of performance measures and metrics so that you could better evaluate the performance of your City Council and city management and staff," Thorne told the breakfast group. "This week we are completing a customer satisfaction survey which will give us baseline data for that evaluation."

Thorne said he and the council will hold public meetings early next year on the plan and how the public can participate.

Thorne said that going forward, he plans to look at the economics of having several water and sewer agencies serving the people of Pleasanton to determine if some of these should be consolidated to provide more efficiency and less expenses. Although Pleasanton staff has been working with representatives of these agencies to develop a long-range consolidation plan, merging or eliminating some of these will face political hurdles.

"Unfortunately, the next level is a political level and we are more likely to encounter more parochialism as we move forward," Thorne said.

He also said the city needs to work as closely with the school district as laws allow to keep the quality of education Pleasanton enjoys.

"As you are aware, city government is quite limited in terms of what we can do to support the school district," Thorne said. "We already share facilities, maintain sports fields at middle schools, make low interest loans available to the district, furnish crossing guards and police resource officers in schools and at athletic events."

"However, I think we have to accept the challenge of finding new and better ways to help support our school district," he added. "A deterioration of the quality of our schools will ensure a loss of property values, fewer people and businesses wanting to locate here and a loss of city revenue."

Asked about improvements at the city-owned Pioneer Cemetery, Thorne said a seven-member committee has been formed to study conditions there and recommend changes.

"I will continue to support the upgrade of our cemetery to Pleasanton park standards," Thorne said. "Our cemetery is more than just a cemetery. It is a part of our history."


Like this comment
Posted by Jofus
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2013 at 8:23 am

While Jerry Thorne isn't perfect, it truly has been great not having The Hippy Mayor (Jennifer Hosterman) in office.

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Posted by Old timer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2013 at 8:47 am

My wife and I are third generation Pleasanton residents and own two burial plot's in our local pioneer cemetery. We always knew and accepted the fact that this was not a manicured park like setting. It is sad to see the city has felt it necessary to vow to the demands of newer residents by creating a committee of seven to determine how to upgrade this historical cemetery to a park like standard. Why? Surely there are still choices in the Bay Area where folks can find the green grass cemetaries they are intent on being interred in, please leave this historical pioneer cemetery alone!

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Posted by Not buying it
a resident of Apperson Ridge
on Nov 21, 2013 at 8:55 am

(Post deemed inappropriate by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff)

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Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2013 at 9:26 am

Just wondering Mr.Major,

Were you a random receiver of the customer satisfaction survey evaluation...conducted by the City? If you were, could you honestly say that it was a valid indicator, of those areas of need, required by our residents of Pleasanton? What were your thoughts on survey? If you didn't participate, how would you really know if it was valid data, to future requirement needs of "your" citizens. Maybe a written format of evaluation survey could be posted on website to further explain questions asked, in better detail, than in a generic form.
Working with the Pleasanton School District will be a just said so yourself. Who is we..."have to accept the challenge of finding new and better ways to help support our school district." Is that to mean, safety, having a whom? where, how?
Having said what was just written, whether making sense or not, placing yourself out there early, in your re-election is a good thing. Thanks! does that provide the necessary time for citizens/residents to communicate further to a most positive way, what is important to us?
Something to think about...or not. By the way, maybe survey was on web-site. Just didn't see it.

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Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2013 at 9:27 am

Mr. Mayor...correction

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Posted by Jackie
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Of the more than 200 that attended, I am curious how many were developers or land speculators? How many were from the Chamber, and more importantly, how many were from out-of-town and use Thorne and Pleasanton as a way to make a the BIG Bucks by building apartments all over town and in the East side?

They flock to Thorne because he is their golden ticket.

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Posted by Truth
a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 21, 2013 at 9:59 pm

With the high density wave heading our way......are we hiring more cops? Are the cops positions built into the design of the new increase of residents? Has the Mayor thought of the amount of calls for service and crime increase this influx will bring? Let's get ahead of the issue.

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Posted by Lugnut
a resident of Avignon
on Nov 22, 2013 at 10:03 am

Mayor listens to Chamber, Developers, and rich donors. Hears luttle else

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Posted by Claire
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Nov 27, 2013 at 7:50 am

I keep hearing about how Mayor Jerry Thorne is proud of his approval for all these new houses and apartments he has been approving. Why? I am not proud of thousands of ugly apartments, crowds and tons more students coming to town that we can't afford.

What has he been drinking?

Like this comment
Posted by Apples and Oranges
a resident of Amador Estates
on Nov 29, 2013 at 9:24 am

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff for containing unverified or personal information.)

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

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