The Pleasanton Weekly Friday endorsed the re-election of Mayor Jerry Thorne and City Council incumbents Karla Brown and Jerry Pentin.
"Voters will be electing a mayor and two City Council members this November, and the outcome will have ripple effects for years to come because of the issues facing the city now," the newspaper stated in an editorial in Friday's print edition.
The editorial continued:
"The city is growing, and change is inevitable. We have approximately 2,000 housing units under construction or already built as a result of a court- and state-mandate resulting from a city-imposed housing cap in 1996 that was declared illegal. The current council has put a growth management ordinance in place that will limit future growth.
"Also at issue is Measure MM, which, if passed, would curb needed sales tax opportunities for the city.
"With these and other issues in mind, the Pleasanton Weekly is making the following endorsements for mayor and City Council.
"These endorsements are based on the Pleasanton Weekly's candidate forum, interviews of these candidates by the newspaper's publisher and editor at Tri-Valley Community Television (TV30) and extensive coverage of this year's candidates by our news staff. We believe now is not the time to change what has been an effective council."
The Weekly recommended the re-election of all three incumbents.
Mayor of Pleasanton
Vote to re-elect Mayor Jerry Thorne
Jerry Thorne is an easy choice for re-election. He serves on numerous local, national, state and regional boards, commissions and committees. Elected four years ago after seven years on the City Council, his policies and leadership have added to the city's fiscal strength, wiped out all construction debt and encouraged the addition of multimillion-dollar business growth, including Clorox, Workday, CarMax and a new auto mall on Staples Ranch, adding significantly to the city's job and tax base.
Julie Testa, his opponent who is best known for her advocacy of slow growth and reducing what she claims are overcrowded schools in Pleasanton, has served on the city's Human Services Commission but otherwise lacks the private sector and elected public municipal governing experience of our current mayor. Her long involvement with school issues makes her a better spokesperson in that arena, possibly even as a candidate for the Pleasanton school board in the 2018 election contest.
Pleasanton City Council
Vote to re-elect Karla Brown, Jerry Pentin
For City Council, we are endorsing incumbents Karla Brown and Jerry Pentin. We like the third candidate, Herb Ritter, who is chairman of the Pleasanton Planning Commission. If elected, he would continue his excellent service to the city. We just see no reason to replace incumbents who are also performing admirably on the council, which would allow Ritter to stay in place on the Planning Commission where he is needed.
Karla Brown is seeking her second term as a councilwoman. Known as a "slow growth" candidate, Brown says she will continue to offer slow and metered growth policies along with hillside protection. She often respectfully challenges fellow council members' positions and lends an alternative viewpoint and different voice to a council with other members who are somewhat more uniform in their positions.
She has also served as the council's representative on 10 city and regional organizations, including the Zone 7 Water Agency Liaison and Regional Water Policy Roundtable committees and is currently vice chair of the Livermore-Amador Valley Transit Authority/Wheels bus board.
We like her stated goals if re-elected: Continue to support slow and smart growth policies through programs to develop and maintain our award winning status as a great place to live; plan a new library and civic/community center; expand recycled water systems to irrigate more of our parks and landscaping, thereby making more potable/drinking water available; and support a prosperous downtown, expand its parking capacity and limit residential development downtown, especially on Main Street.
Councilman Jerry Pentin was elected to a four-year term of the Pleasanton City Council in November 2012 and has been actively involved in local government since 1997. He was appointed vice-mayor in December 2013 for a one-year term. Prior to his election to the council, he served on the Planning Commission for four years and chaired the panel in 2012. From 2003-09, he was a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission, which he chaired in 2007.
He currently sits on a number of local and regional committees and commissions, including the Alameda County Waste Management Authority, Altamont Landfill Open Space Committee, Altamont Landfill Community Monitor Committee, Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority, Livermore Amador Valley Water Management Agency and Tri-Valley Regional Rail Policy Group.
He also serves on the Dublin Liaison Committee, Dublin San Ramon Services District Liaison Committee, Legislative Advocacy Committee, and Waste and Recycling Committee.
For more than three decades, Pentin has been the owner of Spring Street Studios in Pleasanton, where he produces and directs documentary, corporate and environmental programs for broadcast and use on the internet.