George Bowen will file his nomination papers today making him an official candidate for the Pleasanton City Council on the Nov. 4 municipal election ballot.
Others said they also will file their signed nomination papers, probably tomorrow. They include Councilwoman Kathy Narum, who was elected in a special ballot-by-mail election in May, 2013, to fill Jerry Thorne's unexpired term on the council after he was elected mayor in 2012. Also planning to file tomorrow is retired bank executive and former Planning Commissioner Arne Olson, who is holding a reception tonight for supporters who want to sign his nomination papers.
Bowen recently retired from a 32-year career as a corporate insurance executive and principal of an insurance brokerage. He and his wife Jane are 29-year residents of Pleasanton and live in the Parkside neighborhood, where they raised their three children.
"I am running for the City Council because I am convinced that the people of Pleasanton need a council member that will hold the line on further unnecessary residential growth," Bowen said. "The Council's upcoming decisions about adding thousands of new homes make Pleasanton's growth the most important issue facing the city in the years to come."
"Unchecked growth will have a major, detrimental impact on the things we hold dear in this city such as our award winning pubic schools, abundant clean water, open space, and reasonable traffic," Bowen added.
He said most residents he has talked to are not aware that across Pleasanton high density housing units for more than 1,800 tenants are already approved with some now under construction.
"All of these are exempt from our Growth Management Ordinance, which means they can build as fast as they like," he said.
"It may also surprise many to learn that our Housing Element Update has in its current draft document zoning for nearly 1,300 more high-density housing, he added. "Beyond that looms the development of East Pleasanton, for which the Council recently voted 4-1 to continue planning up to 2,200 more homes!"
Bowen said these additional housing units are not needed to meet the city's regional mandates, but will add costs of $100 million or more for roads, sewer and water lines and other infrastructure.
"There is not enough water for our current residents, and our schools are overcrowded," Bowen said. "Development on the East Side, at least in the foreseeable future, is not good for Pleasanton."
"I will be a Pleasanton Council member who strives to keep our residents aware of these critical issues, who holds true to the 'spirit' of our former housing cap, and I have no ties to big developers'" he said.
A graduate of Excelsior College, a private, non-profit university headquartered in Albany, N.Y. that offers courses online, Bowen holds the professional designations of Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, CPCU, and Accredited Advisor in Insurance, AAI.
Although he has never served on a Pleasanton commission or in an elective office, Bowen has been actively involved in serving the community. After two Pleasanton teens died in auto crashes in 2007 and 2008, he founded "Impact Teen Drivers," the country's leading evidence-based educational non-profit focused on reducing teen driving related deaths and injuries due to distraction. He continues to serve on that group's board of directors.
He also serves at a national level as a committee member on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Living Donor Committee, advocating for safe and transparent practices in living donor organ transplantation.
With a son who recently completed service as an infantry Marine, Bowen has been a member of the Pleasanton Military Families organization. He spearheaded the "Tri-Valley Concert for Wounded" last year at Wente Vineyards, a fundraiser to help cover the financial needs of six local wounded soldiers.
A musician, Bowen performs in a Bay Area band as well as locally in his church band, is an avid surfer and a long-distance swimmer.
Bowen is one of three candidates seeking election to two seats that are available this year on the City Council. The filing deadline is at 5 p.m. Friday.