Pleasanton Weekly endorses re-election of Mayor Thorne, City Council members Brown, Pentin

'Now is not the time to change what has been an effective council,' newspaper's editorial states

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.

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29 people like this
Posted by Marie
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 14, 2016 at 9:30 am

Sorry Pleasanton Weekly I disagree. Mayor "build on every piece of open land" Thorne needs to go. If our council stays put there will just be more traffic. They obviously don't care about the streets being gridlocked as there is never any road expansion along with their multi unit apartments going up, lack of water and over crowding in schools.

21 people like this
Posted by Karla supporter
a resident of Parkside
on Oct 14, 2016 at 11:04 am

Karla Brown is the only one that fights for slow growth. No more growth is what I want, so I will VOTE FOR KARLA.

Please join me in voting for KARLA BROWN

17 people like this
Posted by Jim C
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 14, 2016 at 11:30 am

Good job PW. Impressed that you bucked the Chamber, and showed no bias. Karla has done a great job and was awesome in the forum last night. Too bad neither Pentin or Ritter showed up. She would have crushed them!

Did you cover the forum/debate?

21 people like this
Posted by M. Smith
a resident of Val Vista
on Oct 14, 2016 at 11:37 am

M. Smith is a registered user.

I was on the front row- just as I said that I would be- at forum last night. Had name tag "Mary". No one came to me to debate MM.

Karla did an outstanding job, and gets my vote.

Yes on MM.

11 people like this
Posted by Krc
a resident of Vineyard Avenue
on Oct 14, 2016 at 2:51 pm

Krc is a registered user.

Nice job by PW on election endorsements. I support Mayor Thorne because he has demonstrated he supports the community as a whole not just the no growth faction. While i dont like all the growth we are seeing now we need to remember that this is all a result of 24 years of religious no growth single issue Mayors in office, for the most part. Jerry had nothing to do with our current situation.

Ms. Brown seems to not support letting staff and elected officials do there job and then make considered decisions. That is the process we need for the current Johnson drive commercial issue. In my opinion we should only referend issues after they have been more welled defined. Therefore i will support PW's endorsement but will vote for Mr. Ritter.

20 people like this
Posted by Carol
a resident of Birdland
on Oct 14, 2016 at 3:36 pm

I will not be supporting Jerry Thorne. It has been said that we have met our RHNA requirements and in fact are good until 2011 as far as the number go. Then WHY does every new development that gets approved is said to be 'because we were sued and lost'
I am sick of him blaming all his new building approvals on that law suit!

14 people like this
Posted by Carolyn S
a resident of Ponderosa
on Oct 14, 2016 at 3:59 pm

I support Karla. She made a good argument for Yes on MM. She does not think we should give a $70 Billion (as in B) corporation millions of dollars of financial aid. ($20 million)

I agree!! She gets my vote. She obviously is not supported and controlled by the Chamber who wants to give away our money. All other council people are! Including Ritter, who the Chamber controls.

14 people like this
Posted by SR Mayora
a resident of Valley Trails
on Oct 14, 2016 at 4:09 pm

I support Karla Brown, and feel that she is the way to try and keep growth down the best she can do alone.

Julia Testa also does not want this building to continue.

Vote for these two to keep growth down

12 people like this
Posted by Todd- C
a resident of Country Fair
on Oct 14, 2016 at 4:10 pm

I like Karla's idea to slow down the planning of East Pleasaton. If we plan it now, it will get built now. Developers will influence building houses now.

Other candidates want it planned, so they can build! Not Karla. Let future generations decide. All this scare tactics about RHNA is just an excuse for more development. We need to slow down. Let the schools and infrastructure catch up. Let CalTrans have time to mitigate our I-580 / I -680 disaster!

Karla! Yes!

11 people like this
Posted by Erik
a resident of Country Fair
on Oct 14, 2016 at 5:39 pm

Todd-C, I totally agree that all the RHNA talk is just scare tactics.
I have heard way to many times, "we have to do this because we don't want to get sued again"
We are good with required numbers until 2011!,

13 people like this
Posted by Gee whiz
a resident of Grey Eagle Estates
on Oct 14, 2016 at 5:47 pm

Did anyone see Thorne, Pentin or Ritter last night. Wonder if they would have said pay $20 million for Costco? Dodged for some reason. Too much heat in the Firehouse?!! What's hard to answer about a $20 million giveaway? Done all the time right? No, Karla said never!

Would have loved to hear the answers. Forgot, FPPC says Thorne has conflict of interest and can't participate.

3 people like this
Posted by Flightops
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 16, 2016 at 9:34 pm

Flightops is a registered user.

Our choices for mayor are worse than our choices for president of the United States, wishing we could hit the "delete" button and maybe get some better choices!!

6 people like this
Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 19, 2016 at 10:59 am

Fact Checker is a registered user.

The City is not giving $20 million to Costco! Sigh.

8 people like this
Posted by ptrox
a resident of Hacienda Gardens
on Oct 19, 2016 at 6:02 pm

ptrox is a registered user.

Everyone seems to want to commend Karla on her no growth/no housing/no development position but the reason we are seeing so much construction going on right now is because the city lost a lawsuit with the state for NOT building enough housing. And now it has to play catch up instead of absorbing the growth more slowly over a longer period of time. Also, the pace of growth is fixed until the next RHNA cycle at 235 units per year so it doesn't matter how much land is zoned for housing - it can't be built at a rate of more than 235 units per year. This idea that you shouldn't plan for growth or housing until you're forced to doesn't make sense and certainly won't result in the best type of development, with the best amenities for the community. I'm glad more sensible candidates like Thorne, Pentin and Herb Miller understand that.

8 people like this
Posted by Concerned about water and schools
a resident of Parkside
on Oct 19, 2016 at 8:51 pm

Concerned about water and schools is a registered user.

We are not under orders to build any more homes, and the Mayor, Pentin and Ritter still want to build more.

We need to first have new schools, and more water before we add ONE more unit.
That is not happening

Vote KARLA to help us keep growth down.

Like this comment
Posted by Valleygirl
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 20, 2016 at 2:44 pm

Valleygirl is a registered user.

What a minute, The Pleasanton Weekly is endorsing: the re-election of Mayor Jerry Thorne and City Council incumbents Karla Brown and Jerry Pentin?

The Pleasanton Weekly is speaking for everyone who works for the paper?
The Pleasanton Weekly is not remaining impartial as a NEWSPAPER reporter should be doing?

This is unbelievable. Because this was written in the local newspaper and the reporter is using this forum as a newspaper reporter/writer in the newspaper which is paid for by the those who subscribe, I WILL NOT BE VOTING for Jerry Thorne, Karla Brown, or Jerry Pentin.


Susan Valley

3 people like this
Posted by patcher
a resident of Downtown
on Oct 21, 2016 at 10:12 am

patcher is a registered user.

Mayor Thorne, Pentin or Ritter haven't given any indication or assurance of being slow-growth proponents, nor have they provided answers to address the costs and needs associated with what we now face as a result of over-building and multi-density housing, our impacted schools, roads, traffic, water.

I don't have faith in a Mayor who used his position to influence the Measure MM Costco initiative. Thorne had a conflict of interest, which he just didn't tell us, and then proceeded to meet with a city task force he appointed that was considering land-use zoning changes that would allow big box stores like Costco to build on Johnson Drive. Once the conflict came to light, he had to recuse himself.

Costco demands incentives to locate within a community. A No vote on MM means millions of our taxpayer money will be required for infrastructure improvements. If the No votes win, let their tax dollars be burdened, not mine.

An email from Nelson Fialho, City Manager, to Mike Dobrota , Costco Regional Manager, revealed the following:

$7,500,000 – Pleasanton Contribution, borrowing from Costco for 25 years, total with interest $10,067,006
$3,100,000 – Nearon Contribution, ($4,780,000 less credits $1,700,000)
$5,335,000- Pleasanton Contribution from Traffic Impact Fee Reserve Fund
$16,005,000 Total Cost (engineers’ estimates)
$15,402,006 Pleasanton’s Contribution (with interest)

Finally, Mayor Thorne's bid for re-election falls flat on its face:

"It has been my honor and privilege to serve you as your Mayor for the last four years! Our work is not done. Our city is facing a number of challenges that will continue to require a Mayor with a solid background in financial and business management as well as considerable experience in results oriented local government leadership."

My vote is going to Julie Testa, who has taken a stand against excessive development, who is willing to work on addressing our overcrowded schools, traffic and road congestion, water needs, and who is truly interested in protecting our quality of life.

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

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