News


Editorial: Don’t sign that petition until you research

Another ballot measure to stop Costco could cost taxpayers $250,000

“There’s a deadline, so you should sign the petition now and get it on the ballot. Then you can research it and vote.”

This is what one of the many signature gatherers strategically placed throughout Pleasanton said. He and the others want Pleasanton voters to sign a local initiate to, according to a signature gatherer outside the Safeway on Bernal Tuesday, “stop the City from giving away $21 million to Costco so they will build a store on Johnson Drive,” which “the city council wasn’t authorized to do.”

The signature gatherers are most likely paid per signature, and are not unbiased as their goal is to get Pleasanton residents to sign so they are paid. We say “most likely” because we have asked Matt Sullivan of Pleasanton Citizens for Responsible Growth, the driving force behind the petition signing effort, and he has not answered who is paying them.

There is nothing illegal about having people paid per signature; the petition says it’s the potential signers right to ask.

But there is misinformation, and missing information, that every Pleasanton taxpayer should know before signing. And it won’t be offered up by these people who are paid per signature.

Here is what you won’t hear.

If 10% of registered Pleasanton voters – 4,374 - sign this petition, Pleasanton could be headed for a second citywide vote in less than a year concerning a Costco warehouse store being developed on the former Clorox site near the I-580/I-680 interchange, known as the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone (JDEDZ).

To quote Yogi Berra, it’s déjà vu all over again.

Signatures are currently being collected for a ballot measure regarding city officials' effort to rezone land in the JDEDZ to accommodate new development including a Costco club store, two new hotels and other retail areas.

The initiative, led by Matt Sullivan, who served two terms on the council from 2004 to 2012, would place the measure on the ballot in the statewide primary election ballot June 5, 2018, with an estimated cost to the city (taxpayers) of $250,000, according to city staff.

This is basically what we have already voted on, and we don’t want the expense or the delay of another ballot measure.

Measure MM voted on last year would have limited retail uses to less than 50, 000 s.f. and was, for all intents and purposes, aimed at stopping the development of Costco. That measure, launched and funded primarily by Citizens for Planned Growth (not to be confused with Sullivan’s group) and Bill Wheeler of Black Tie Transportation, cited ” traffic impacts and related air quality impacts,” and was defeated 63% to 37% when it went before voters during the general election Nov. 8, 2016.

This ballot measure is also to stop the development of Costco, but takes a different tack – arguing rezoning instead of building size.

Sullivan’s main arguments concern “secret negotiations for unprecedented subsidies” and what he claims are false environmental and traffic impacts in the certified EIR, all of which “deviates from our long history of transparent public participation in city decision making” and that if voters were” fully informed of these facts last November, the outcome of Measure MM may have been much different.”

Sullivan is correct that the voters did not know of the final infrastructure financing agreement at that time. The project was put on hold until after the vote. But the options for financing were made known to the public before the vote and again well before the Council vote to approve in September.

Let’s address some of Sullivan’s other criticisms:

“Secret negotiations for unprecedented subsidies”: Sullivan filed a public records request for emails and other communications between city staff, Nearon and Costco representatives. After reviewing these documents, the editorial board finds nothing untoward or startling. One document that contained three emails was titled “Let’s meet privately,” but that statement is nowhere in the document.

Let’s be clear that it is the role of a city manager and staff to meet with and negotiate agreements like this that are presented to the public and the City Council. It is the duty of the public and the Council to review what is presented.

The JDEDZ was discussed at three council meetings since August, and Sullivan spoke at none. It was also discussed at an Economic Vitality Committee meeting in October. The agreement the Council approved 4-0 is the same one discussed at length during these public meetings.

These tax-sharing agreements are not common, but they are not uncommon. Actually, an agreement like this was done when the San Francisco Premium Outlets were built in Livermore. And, while using Transportation Impact Fees (TIFs) collected for traffic mitigation for other developments is not common, it is not uncommon or illegal.

False environmental and traffic impacts: Sullivan contends that the certified EIR is incomplete and flawed. The EIR presented to Council Nov. 7 is unusual in that it concludes there would be significant and unavoidable impacts on two areas - transportation and air quality - but this is because the study was completed with numbers representing the area at build out. If anything these numbers are overstated for the Costco project because it includes traffic expected to be generated by the two hotels and the other retail when development is complete. However, the document concludes that, the JDEDZ project can establish mitigation measures to reduce the project's impacts on a range of environmental conditions to a less-than-significant level.

In summary, if 4,374 signatures are collected, this initiative will most likely go on the ballot in June. This will further delay the project and cost Pleasanton taxpayers an estimated $250,000 for something that has, basically, been voted on: A Costco on Johnson Drive and the start of a thriving economic zone.

Think twice before signing.

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Comments

111 people like this
Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 25, 2017 at 4:01 pm

Jake Waters is a registered user.

Thumbs up to the Pleasanton Weekly Editorial Board for this piece. I am so done with the fear-mongering by the sore losers. This is an example of Democracy; we voted and the majority won. So on with the project. The nay-sayers will be shopping and filling their cars with gas once it is complete; however, if for some Clintonian reason they force this to a second ballot, then our Democracy has been betrayed. This isn’t the European Union where you keep voting until they get the outcome they want.


75 people like this
Posted by SHale99
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 25, 2017 at 4:12 pm

SHale99 is a registered user.

oh boy Matt S won't like this at all. Perhaps this time he'll attend one of meetings where the zone actually is voted on. Beleive next is 12/5. Last one he and ANYBODY anti-costco didn't show. hmmm


59 people like this
Posted by Brian D
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Nov 25, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Our city’s finest... Sullivan and Testa. Pick a whack a doodle cause and the two will be behind it.


71 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 25, 2017 at 5:34 pm

BobB is a registered user.

Like the editorial says, we already voted on this. Build the Costco!


58 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 25, 2017 at 5:58 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Wish this editorial was published ten days ago.
The signature gathers have been out there for more then a week.


51 people like this
Posted by Vicki LaBarge
a resident of Mission Park
on Nov 25, 2017 at 8:30 pm

It’s unbelievable! Again a huge cost to taxpayers. We voted on this already. Please Matt take your toys and go home, enough of the lying paid signature gathers in our town. One guy outright lied to me about what the initiative is about. Please Pleasanton voters just say no to these paid signature cillectors.


31 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Oak Hill
on Nov 25, 2017 at 11:28 pm

I think that if the Pleasanton Weekly had any journalistic integrity then the editors would allow Matt Sullivan to speak for himself rather than trying to put words into his mouth. I also noticed that the Pleasanton Weekly deleted a comment by Matt Sullivan in a recent forum on this topic, apparently because they didn’t like what he said on this topic. Shameful and disgraceful journalistic behavior.

The Pleasanton Weekly: Journalism at its Pettiest.


44 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 26, 2017 at 6:42 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

This referendum is nothing more than a vindictive rant by Matt Sullivan!


11 people like this
Posted by WOW
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 26, 2017 at 7:26 am

Sam. The PW is still allowing you to rant call names and be generally demeaning.


26 people like this
Posted by Ron
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 26, 2017 at 8:29 am

Yes, MM won last year by trickery! Most voters voted NO thinking they would stop Costco, but a NO vote meant pro Costco. Yes the city will get tax dollars after they repay Costco the borrowed millions they have agreed to pay to get Costco. How many years will that take and how many millions. Costco is a multi billion dollar corporation, why do the residents of Pleasanton need to fund any thing for them. How many customers will be from Dublin, Castro Valley, Hayward, Fremont and will they help with their tax dollars? The final impact will be millions of dollars in taxes to Pleasanton residents. Why not spend $250,000.00 to vote again and make sure all the facts, figures and EIR reports are accurate and updated so the Pleasanton residents have true transparency? The City already has millions of dollars in unfunded pensions that they should address, but they have not even listed them in this years budget. Politics is politics and we the tax payers are always caught on the short end of the stick, hopefully. To this time....


32 people like this
Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Stoneridge
on Nov 26, 2017 at 8:42 am

Matt Sullivan is a registered user.

The role of the press in a functioning democracy is to educate the public so they can make good decisions about their elected leaders and to hold them accountable. It should also function as a watchdog on government wrongdoing, which is why the 1st Amendment of the Constitution was established as a protection for the free press.

But when it comes to Costco, the “Editorial Board” of the Pleasanton weekly has forgotten this, or perhaps never learned it in the first place. The Pleasanton Weekly is nothing more than a propaganda mouthpiece for city government, developers, and the Chamber of Commerce. They have ignored direct evidence and impartial analysis demonstrating both the economic flaws of the subsidies for Costco and the Environmental Impact Report which significantly downplays both the traffic and health impacts of the project.

The Editorial Board also seems to forget that the 1st Amendment also grants the right of the public to petition their government to redress grievances. Instead, they use the tried and true political tactic of trying to discredit a dissenting view (mine) to undermine my arguments, and to cast doubt on my integrity because I didn’t attend the City Council meeting when this was approved. In other words, a smear campaign. In the 20 years I have been involved in Pleasanton politics I have attended literally hundreds of city meetings, both as an elected or appointed official or as a citizen. I have sent dozens of emails to the Council about this project over the past couple of years expressing my concerns, and have not received one single response from my so-called representative leaders. I didn’t attend the last two meetings because I knew I would be wasting my time and because of my contempt for a government that deceives the public and blatantly serves corporate interests at your and my expense. That fact that I, or any citizen of this city feels they are wasting their time participating in government should send chills up the spine of any honest representative. But it won’t because this is what they want.

The Editorial Board seems fixated on who is paying for signature gatherers, and somehow use this against me as well. Well, why aren’t they as fixated on who bankrolls the election campaigns of the City Council? If they were, they would discover that the same developers, businesses, and associations that benefit from projects like this and are the ones who provide massive legalized bribes in the form of campaign contributions to get what they want. And speaking of transparency, who is on the Editorial Board, anyway? Scott Raty, the president of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce?

I agree with the Weekly on one thing. Please do your research about this project. If you do, there will be no question in your mind why we should overturn this horrendous decision by the Council.


26 people like this
Posted by WOW
a resident of Bridle Creek
on Nov 26, 2017 at 8:47 am

It is always nice for we, the poor, ignorant and unwashed masses to be educated by the elitists such as MS. Thank you so much!


30 people like this
Posted by SHale99
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 26, 2017 at 9:13 am

SHale99 is a registered user.

Matt: You didn't attend because you would be '...wasting your time'? Care to explain why you just don't accept what has been approved, will be approved and what a mandated majority voice their opinion (voted) on? If your issue doesn't cause you to defend in public, then why bother at all?

Do tell us who is paying for the signature attempt. Do tell us who will pay $250k if the signature drive receives enough valid signatures (note the word valid)?
Also, again, I ask you to provide a developer that will buy all the parcels and do your bidding? Has it occurred to you if drive is successful and enough people vote for your issue the developer can then sue you for illegal taking of land? Not thinking big picture, aye?


40 people like this
Posted by justthefacts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2017 at 9:20 am

Matt, since you clearly are unwillingly to disclose who is funding this at least answer the question why you are unwilling to disclose the information. One can conclude that it would hurt your effort to get the signatures.

Speaking of economic analysis, YOUR economic consultant stated that the loan/advance from Costco was a good deal for the City and the City should take it. You keep ignoring that fact.

I think its time to move on. There are plenty of better uses for the $250,000 cost of the election.


27 people like this
Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 26, 2017 at 10:29 am

Common sense should prevail and the homeowners in Pleasanton need to ask themselves, do we want to pay millions in taxes for The privilege of having a Costco in Pleasanton? It seems no one is paying attention to what are elected officials are doing... Take Patelco Park on Bernal as a example of the poor thought process, design and waste of money spent. The downtown initiative is another farse and waste of our tax dollars. Are we that lazy that we can not drive to San Ramon or Livermore to shop at Costco? There should be transparency with all costs brought forward and a public viewing of the updated EIR. Who cares who is paying for the petition, and $250K is worth it to have a revote if it saves the homeowners of Pleasanton millions of dollars in new taxes.

Matt, where and when can we sign this petition???


4 people like this
Posted by Me
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2017 at 10:43 am

@Ron - yes the ballot was confusing on purpose - the opponents of Costco made the yes vote would result in supporters mistakenly voting to oppose the Costco. The voters were not fooled. Time to move on. It would be interesting to review who funded Matt,s historical campaigns and the petition drive. Black Tie. Cox Family? Funny how the coward calling for transparency does not practice what he preaches.


16 people like this
Posted by justthefacts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2017 at 10:49 am

CS, please elaborate what taxes we would be paying to have a Costco in Pleasanton. Traffic impact fees (TIF) are paid by developers not you and me, Costco is paying money and Costco is advancing the City money to be able to finish the road improvements. Other lots in the economic zone will pay fees that will be used to pay off the Costco advance such as the 2 proposed hotels. More importantly, 60% of the sales tax dollars will go to the City until the advance is paid off and then 100% will go to the City.

I think residents should know who is funding this effort. For example, we have some of the highest gas prices in the bay area now. What if the gas station owners/gas companies are funding this to keep competition out--I think that would affect how some of the residents feel about this referendum. My only point is that Matt makes a big deal about secret negotiations yet refuses to disclose where the money is coming from. Seems like he is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. He will eventually have to disclose if this qualifies for the ballot anyway just residents won't have the benefit of knowing before they sign.


21 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 26, 2017 at 11:21 am

Without question this is being financed by special interest gas stations (Cox family).

And the first go around, what was their position - traffic. Comical at best. Deceitful in reality, ok to have a position, but own it. Dont hide from it.


Gas stations thrive on traffic, it was even used to justify the expansion of the Valero/ 7-11 on santa rita.

Just shows how much they've been raping Pleasanton residents and how much they have to lose if they are willing to throw $250k+ on a hail Mary play. There is only upside to them if they pull this off, they're already on a path towards competitive pricing given the previous vote - $250k is pennies on the dollar for the real impact. Must have been nice raping people for their hard earned money for decades to have that kind of throw away money.

I dont think Matt s is being deceitful I think his interest is keeping Pleasanton quaint and the Cox family is using him as a puppet. Matt you think they really care if more traffic comes to Pleasanton? I promise you tgey would throw money the other way if this were an Ikea, target, shopping bazar, etc


23 people like this
Posted by Common Sense
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 26, 2017 at 12:36 pm

justthefacts;

The article in Pleasanton Weekly dated 9/15/17 lists the fees as follows:

19.7 million (recently updated to 21.47 million)
6.4. million Pleasanton pays from TIF (Traffic Impact Fund)
6.785 million Pleasanton pays by borrowing from Costco @ 1.5% interest annually and paid back via a 60/40 % tax sharing. The note will be forgiven by Costco after 25 years if not paid.

Looks to me that the City will be paying 13.1785 million to have a Costco in town. I am sure there is more information out there and it seems that there should be full disclosure on All The Items listed in All these posts, including who is paying for the petition. This is the only way Pleasanton residents can make a intelligent decision. It would be nice to see a non-partisan posting of ALL FEES by the City via Pleasanton Weekly along with a revote... This whole thing just does not feel right and leaves too many unanswered questions for Pleasanton Residents. Looks like the petition needs to be signed. It is understandable that most people want a Costco here in town; "But At What Expense to The Residents??????


37 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Las Positas
on Nov 26, 2017 at 12:48 pm


Very biased article. We deserve the right to vote now that the details are know about the revenue sharing subsidy. I don't think that the majority of voters who voted for the process to continue expected this outcome:
1) The infrastructure costs went from $16 million to $21.4 million and counting
2) The City will pay 2/3's plus all right of way costs
3) The developer will pay zero
4) The City will get only 40% of the sales tax revenue from Costco for 20-25 years
5) Their will be significant cost overruns. We will pay more.

Many trusted the City to make a better deal. As has been said by a Costco supporter: Costco asked for the moon....well, in my words, they got it.

If the signatures are gathered the City has options. It does not have to call a special election. They can rescend their vote and try to negotiate a fair deal, or wait for a general election. Anything is better and cheaper than spending $18 million, plus overruns that we don't have to spend.

Sign the referendum. The City did not negotiate. They gave Costco the moon.


28 people like this
Posted by Sam
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2017 at 2:08 pm

Is there anybody out there besides Matt Sullivan that can perform basic arithmetic? It doesn't even take a spreadsheet to see how the numbers fall in favor of the developer + Costco. I support another vote, because even the cost of a vote is far cheaper than the cost the city and taxpayers will bear to build this albatross.


25 people like this
Posted by Vicki LaBarge
a resident of Mission Park
on Nov 26, 2017 at 2:29 pm

There are some ridiculous statements being made. All the financials were disclosed previously. None of the information was hidden. Let it go Matt and who ever is backing this insanity of trying to put on the ballot AGAIN - let’s get our Costco built.


31 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Las Positas
on Nov 26, 2017 at 2:43 pm


You say all financials known?? This lacks knowledge and credibility.
Before the November vote, 2016:
1) We did not know $21.4 million
2) We did not know we would pay 2/3's
3) We did not know that we would pay at least $1.5 million for right of ways
4) We did not know that Nearon would contribute zero
5) The 40% revenue sharing of our sales tax was not decided

Pro- Costco people said "there is no deal" last November. Now there is a deal. A very bad one!


22 people like this
Posted by Ron
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 26, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Does anyone know where we can sign this petition ????


3 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 26, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Disagreement with the terms of the deal is the only reason to contest costco at this point. Traffic, smog, big box, etc arguments lost in Nov.

A referendum however is an attempt to stop costco, not negotiate better terms. Write the petition and requested action for what it is, not some grab all funded by people who don't reside in Pleasanton


17 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Las Positas
on Nov 26, 2017 at 5:19 pm


If the referendum is successful, it can be overturned by the people with another vote.

I say kill this very bad deal. Make our leaders negotiate, not giveaway the moon, not make this one of the worst deals in history of the United States for a Costco.

Then, if the public wants a Coatco...let the public overturn this referendum.

Sign the petition, or we will be stuck with this for 20-25 years.


13 people like this
Posted by Ron
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 26, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Hello People, Someone out there must know where to sign this petition!!! What are the locations where the petitioners are collecting signatures??? What days are they at these locations??


12 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2017 at 6:22 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@ Ron,

Don't let the NIMBYS scare you. This is a good deal.


8 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 26, 2017 at 6:29 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Anyone not knowing where or how to sign a referendum is demonstrating how uninformed they are and how quick they are to sign what ever is in their face!


2 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 26, 2017 at 6:46 pm

It requires you get away from your keyboard and go out, can't armchair quarterback it.

"....oh...well in that case maybe Costco isnt so bad"


16 people like this
Posted by Alice
a resident of Country Fair
on Nov 26, 2017 at 8:01 pm

I signed the petition the other day. I would like the opportunity to vote again. The vote last November was confusing and misleading. Yes meant No and No meant Yes!

Seems like the people against the idea of voting again might be worried! Why?

Let’s vote!


15 people like this
Posted by Too Close to Call
a resident of Pleasanton Heights
on Nov 26, 2017 at 8:02 pm

Getting the signatures should not be too hard. I doubt one person against Costco feels differently. On the other hand, I do believe many that backed Costco will have more information about the true impact, and thus, be swayed.
To me, the question is who will win the election, not if it will go to vote. I truly believe that even in the past 6 months, traffic is much worse. I think the vote will be close. Just my 2 cents.


4 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 26, 2017 at 8:09 pm

Alice, the same people that purposely wrote misleading wording on the previous ballot are the ones pushing for this one.

You asked who is afraid of voting again....if you couldn't figure out the last ballot, and are asking for another from the same people......well, quite frankly, I'm concerned.


8 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2017 at 8:14 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@Sam,

You support this vote because you are against building Costco or anything else, as you have consistently said in these forums.


17 people like this
Posted by Vicki LaBarge
a resident of Mission Park
on Nov 26, 2017 at 8:18 pm

@Alice not afraid. That’s the wrong emotion. I am angry. Why am I angry? How about that it will cost US the taxpayers $250,000.00 or more to put this on the ballot, when it was already voted on. The whole thing is being driven once again by fear mongers and NIMBYs. If this goes to ballot And loses AGAIN - who should pay? Seems the same people that brought it to the ballot the first time - but that won’t happen - We the taxpayers will pay for the ballot measure. Instead of signing petitions why don’t you all that want to vote again show up at the council meeting on the 5th and voice your opinion?


15 people like this
Posted by Soccer Mom
a resident of Val Vista
on Nov 26, 2017 at 8:20 pm

Do your reasearch! There are many reasons I object to this project. I encourage all Pleasanton residents who care about our city to sign the petition.


14 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Las Positas
on Nov 26, 2017 at 8:27 pm

As I said, it doesn't really have to cost us very much to have the right to vote:
...the Council could overturn its decision
...could wait for general election

Whatever the cost, it's less than $20 million.


19 people like this
Posted by Hansen Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 26, 2017 at 8:56 pm

Hansen Curious is a registered user.

@ Matt Sullivan - if a Costco does not go into the space, what is your proposal for use of the lot? What other businesses are interested in the property? Why haven't they come forward with a better deal? Will those other options produce less traffic? Please cite at least one alternative use for the property. Thank you.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood

on Nov 26, 2017 at 9:14 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


8 people like this
Posted by J
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2017 at 9:17 pm

Ron-
They were at the Santa Rita Safeway a few days ago.


12 people like this
Posted by Kelly K
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Nov 26, 2017 at 9:26 pm

Kelly K is a registered user.

Hansen Curious,

Matt is no developer....But, other retailers will come forward, if Costco is not there. We have no way of knowing interest expressed by others already. Nearon would say "none."

Surely, you would not suggest that it's Costco or no one?

If the referendum is successful, there will be others interested. Others that will pay their way.


20 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 26, 2017 at 9:46 pm

BobB is a registered user.

@Alice,

Why not vote every week until we get the result we want? This is crazy. We keep wasting time and money on this!


12 people like this
Posted by Jake Waters
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 26, 2017 at 9:48 pm

Jake Waters is a registered user.

If you Clintonites get this new ballot approved, which will be through disingenuous means (and have our vote reversed), then those of us that voted for it should respond in kind and have a third vote. You are all making a mockery of our Democratic process of voting. Let me also take account of your fear-mongering of the number of vehicles a day if Costco is built: I think you are up to 3 million cars a day.


Like this comment
Posted by Jen
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 27, 2017 at 1:02 am

I asked the Santa Rita signature gatherer who was paying for them to gather signatures and he said it was a current city council member (!!!!). Who is it??


9 people like this
Posted by Joe
a resident of Las Positas
on Nov 27, 2017 at 8:05 am

Why do we need to subsidize a wealthy developer who pays zero, and a $100 billion corporation which pays only 1/3 with our taxpayer funds.

This bottom line : Is This The Best Deal That Our Leaders Can Make?

I say kill it. A better deal can be made, just like other cities make. Some pay zero. We pay close to $20 million.

There is something wrong with this picture!! Sign the referendum.


32 people like this
Posted by Vicki LaBarge
a resident of Mission Park
on Nov 27, 2017 at 8:38 am

I decided to do some research on other cities in California that have recent Costco initiatives. Guess what I found. Costco and the cities involved have made similar financial arrangements. And guess what else....sales taxes to those cities are exceeding expectations of the completed ones.

As for a council member paying for the signature collectors - I can guess who it is. She was behind the last MM measure to try to defeat Costco. Although I doubt if she is funding it alone. But this group is too afraid to expose who is behind it. Matt is the spokesman, but he won’t say who all is funding it.

Again next week is your chance to speak to the council - whether you are in favor or opposed.

I plan on attending to continue to voice my opinion that this attempt at referendum is ridiculous. We the voters have already spoken. Let’s get on with the building of Costco.


11 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2017 at 9:42 am

FYI, the company Matt Sullivan, Karla Brown and others who opposed Measure K (back in 2016) used is PCI Consultants, Inc. of Calabasas, CA. The company that he and other No on K supporters absolutely refused to publicly identify.

Check 'em out: Web Link

No on K supporters, including Matt Sullivan, paid PCI over $26,000 (at least) to collect signatures to put Measure K on the ballot.

SOURCE: Search of/enter 'Save Pleasanton Hillsides', then see pp. 10, 12, and 13: Web Link

Pretty certain Matt, et al are using the same company for this effort, with the same group of folks who will say/do anything to get their $$ per signature, which was the case during the failed No on Measure K campaign in 2016.

If not them, then feel free to speak up, Matt.


11 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2017 at 9:49 am

BobB is a registered user.

So this looks like the same people who tried to stop Lund Ranch 2? They failed at that. Let's hope they fail at this. Too bad they are wasting so much of our money.


10 people like this
Posted by Rose
a resident of Parkside
on Nov 27, 2017 at 10:24 am

If Costco doesn't go in there - brace yourselves for rezoning and maybe two of those 350 apartment complexes - no traffic, school or resource impact there!


Like this comment
Posted by Gina Channell, Pleasanton Weekly Publisher
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 27, 2017 at 10:41 am

Gina Channell, Pleasanton Weekly Publisher is a registered user.

@Vicki LaBarge: Would you please post links here so others can see that information?


9 people like this
Posted by Marc
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2017 at 10:42 am

I don't expect our mayor and city council to act as smart businesspeople - they're politicians, after all, and they're elected to lead and set policy. But I do fully expect the city manager, Nelson Fiahlo, to fully comprehend the terms and conditions of the proposed contract. I believe Mr. Fiahlo to be a competent individual, which leads me to think that he does in fact understand the terms and conditions...but supports it anyway.

In other words, costs be damned, build it anyway, and kick the financial can down the road while all of us that live and pay taxes here end up paying for it.


26 people like this
Posted by SHale99
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 27, 2017 at 10:43 am

SHale99 is a registered user.

very odd comments here referred to the money as 'theirs'. One fund is paid into by developer(s), so nobody in Pleasanton directly pays those amounts. the sales tax amount will come from a zero sales tax area previously, so hardly 'your' money. Plus, keep in mind it will NOT just be Pleasanton folks shopping in the 'zone'. So, if you are really really against the 'deal' never shop there so none of 'your' money will be used.
Sure hope the nimby's show up for the next public meeting coming very soon; otherwise all hot air.
Hello, calling Matt. Clear your calendar so YOU can attend.


10 people like this
Posted by Vicki LaBarge
a resident of Mission Park
on Nov 27, 2017 at 12:03 pm

@ Gina - I didn't save the links. The last one I searched was Ukiah Costco. It's a google search that anyone can do if they search for recent Costco stores in California, then drill down to the cities with the stores and search for financing of Costco stores in xx city. Ukiah was a 5 to 6 million city investment- from what I ready they didn't have the road infrastructure that required more than that - its breaking ground was in September. I wish I had more time to post all the links, but cities info is public so it's not a hard search.


25 people like this
Posted by Bella
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Nov 27, 2017 at 12:08 pm

Bella is a registered user.

Same old antics by Matt Sullivan. Just like Walmart, Walmart grocery, Stoneridge Drive construction, Lund Ranch, etc. its finger pointing, filing for public docs, accusations, conspiracies, doomsday scenarios. And finally he states he is a member of the resident political group, PCRG who fights all of the new developments after he chastizes everyone who posts without giving their last name but he does not list names of people who are also part of that group. Those cited developments have not ruined Pleasanton!! I always feel great about living here for the past 30 years until I read one of his negative posts. Costco project will help get funding for freeway on ramp improvements, street upgrades, add to local economy and provide convenience and jobs


2 people like this
Posted by Jetson
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 27, 2017 at 2:40 pm

@Ron there was someone outside Trader Joe's today gathering signatures


20 people like this
Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 27, 2017 at 2:45 pm

Fact Checker is a registered user.

Facts are apparently hard but we can do hard things!

Research!
-All documents for this three and a half year process are available on the City website, including City staff power point presentations.
Web Link

-Want the quick version? The EDZ FAQs can be found here...
Web Link

-People are asking who is paying for the signature gatherers because they want to know if there is an ulterior motive at play. So, who is paying Matt? As to City Council campaign contributions that you reference, these can be found on the City website all of this info.
Web Link

Facts!
-Money for infrastructure is based on traffic. Costco's contribution of traffic is only 44% of the Economic Development Zone. Guess what? Costco is actually paying MORE than 44% of the infrastructure costs to the City. There is NO SUBSIDY. In addition, Costco is fronting the money to the City for the other development to come. Those developments will then pay the City back when they develop.

-The 680/Stoneridge onramp improvements must be done anyway due to current Pleasanton plans for buildout. This improvement will be done with or without a Costco! It was looped in to this project for environmental studies and to incorporate a seamless work product with additional improvements due to the EDZ. These funds come from developers, not taxpayers.

-This has been a public process. There have been 10 public meetings. There is another one on December 5.


2 people like this
Posted by The Donald
a resident of another community
on Nov 27, 2017 at 3:44 pm

I’m paying for the petition...the bills gonna be Yuge!


3 people like this
Posted by Bob12
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 27, 2017 at 5:23 pm

The vote was worded in a confusing way, a NO meant yes for Costco - how this got by legal, us Pleasantonians will never know??
- - Issue is simple, in Pleasanton, we are facing GRIDLOCK on our key traffic streets. Adding a Costco on Stoneridge, with the Stoneridge Mall at Christmas, the new Bart station, and the increasing big office businesses near the Mall with COSTCO will simply add more traffic to Stoneridge Drive.

Now that Stoneridge Drive is a new connector drive through to Livermore, the number of motorists using Stoneridge will just increase and increase. If you want COSTCO, you want more GRIDLOCK. Very simple quality of life decision.


18 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2017 at 5:27 pm

BobB is a registered user.

Build the Costco. We already voted.


13 people like this
Posted by highdiver
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 27, 2017 at 5:51 pm

I can see the arguments on both sides, but having a Costco in Pleasanton is a plus. The main consideration is traffic in the area, only 2 ways to get to and from the site. However, is it possible to put an onramp near the hotel to feed into the Hopyard 580 offramp? The other consideration is that if a Costco is built in Pleasanton it will relieve the congestion at both Livermore and Danville Costcos, especially Livermore. Has any study been made about how many Pleasanton residents are Costco buyers? At any rate, the site considered is not in a residential area. Having read the financing arrangements on the Pleasanton city website, I don't feel the city will be in any financial crisis.


21 people like this
Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 27, 2017 at 5:54 pm

Fact Checker is a registered user.

Confusing? The sign was crystal clear..."No on MM, We Want Costco!" (picture at link)

Web Link


10 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 27, 2017 at 6:29 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

highdiver:

More than forty thousand Pleasanton residents are Costco members.


18 people like this
Posted by Erik
a resident of Mohr Park
on Nov 27, 2017 at 6:52 pm

Hey Ron. Thanks for explaining to us how stupid we are. That explains it! Pleasanton voters couldn't have overwhelmingly voted for something you disagree with. We were just to stupid to understand a simple ballot measure!


4 people like this
Posted by Irene
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 27, 2017 at 8:27 pm

Do the math people...It's going to cost Pleasanton voters a lot more for a longer period of time than a revote. If we were told everything, this discussion would not be necessary. Too bad Matt Sullivan is not back on the city council, "HE GETS IT"!! Hey Matt, run for Mayor!
Irene


19 people like this
Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 27, 2017 at 8:33 pm

Fact Checker is a registered user.

Irene,

You must do the math...with the facts. What is it going to cost taxpayers? There is no subsidy being given to Costco. The City GETS sales tax revenue on day one of the new Costco store.

City FAQs here:
Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Irene
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 28, 2017 at 12:38 am

Fact finder, if you really believe it was all crystal clear, you must need glasses. Why is it that your facts don't jive with most of the replies? Hmmmm...
Irene


5 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 28, 2017 at 6:09 am

I certainly didn't see this type of mobilization when they brought Walmart to Pleasanton.

Now, truthfully, would you rather have a Walmart or a Costco in Pleasanton?

Just kick Walmart out and put Costco there. A much better use of space.


20 people like this
Posted by SHale99
a resident of San Ramon
on Nov 28, 2017 at 9:44 am

SHale99 is a registered user.

Irene: There is no direct cost to the Pleasanton taxpayers. Well, except those who chose to shop in the 'zone'. You might want to do a bit more research before rolling.


23 people like this
Posted by Perry Mason
a resident of Castlewood
on Nov 28, 2017 at 10:15 am

Matt Sullivan and his shadow organization that he represents is now claiming that the costs ballooned to $20 mil. That our city officials are corrupt, that anyone who publicly supports Costco is a troll, on and on and on. He also claims that no one new the costs going into the Measure MM vote.

Nice try, but all of the costs were known and advertised by Matt and the "Yes on MM" folks. Take a look at the signs that were posted at every corner of the city and every gas station. It clearly states "Yes on MM, No $20 million give away" here is the link (thanks @Fact Checker)
Web Link

The voters knew the costs and what they were voting for. Simple as that. I hope this latest initiative crashes and burns.


23 people like this
Posted by Hansen Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 28, 2017 at 10:18 am

Hansen Curious is a registered user.

I wish everyone would be honest about the traffic issue. I drive down Johnson drive from both ends everyday, at different times of day, and have never encountered "gridlock". Westbound Stoneridge around commute times can be heavy, but it flows well and does not cause any long delays. Has anyone tried to drive Eastbound on Bollinger Canyon from 680 at commute time? Now that is gridlock. It can take 15 minutes just to get to Alcosta.

The Livermore Costco also only has two ways to get to it. I've been going there for over 20 years and have never experienced any gridlock. Sometimes on a Saturday during free sample times, the parking lot get a bit full, but I have always been able to find a spot.


23 people like this
Posted by Flightops
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 28, 2017 at 9:05 pm

Flightops is a registered user.

Keep in mind what got shoved down our throats when Home Depot got chased away from Stanley and Bernal, hows that plan working out for all of the NIMBYS? If you don’t like this Plan A don’t be in a big hurry to trust the city with a great Plan B. Who is funding this petition??


4 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 29, 2017 at 1:55 pm

The lady at Safeway is asking people to sign multiple petitions not one. No property taxes for retirees over 55, clean water, diaosos, costco. 6 petitions in total. I asked her who she worked for and she said Urban Habitat.


16 people like this
Posted by Eric
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Nov 29, 2017 at 2:26 pm

I just left the Walgreens and the woman outside asked me to “Sign the petition for the Costco”. FOR THE COSTCO. She didn’t like me calling her a liar. I don’t like being lied to so I guess we are even. She didn’t know who was paying her to lie. From all of the posts I can only assume that the lies are coming from and being directed by Matt S.


8 people like this
Posted by Vicki LaBarge
a resident of Mission Park
on Nov 29, 2017 at 5:48 pm

@Eric I am not surprised. The people gathering signatures will tell people anything to get paid for a signature - happened last time too. Might I make a suggestion that everyone who is in support of Costco show up at the council meeting on the 5th. Maybe if that happens Matt etal can see he/they are fighting a losing cause.


18 people like this
Posted by Christina Nystrom Mantha
a resident of Walnut Grove Elementary School
on Nov 29, 2017 at 7:34 pm

To my fellow Pleasanton residents:

I strongly discourage Pleasanton residents from signing the latest Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone ("JDEDZ") referendum for the following reasons:

- Pleasanton residents voted in favor of a Pleasanton Costco one year ago - and we have been talking about it for at least 3 years. The JDEDZ plan has gone through numerous public hearings at the city commission and city council level - receiving support from our elected and appointed officials. We have talked enough, it is time for action.
- JDEDZ is not only about Costco. JDEDZ is a plan to rezone land and make traffic improvements to transform an underutilized plot of land into a vibrant business area. Yes, this would include bringing a Costco to Pleasanton. But it also may include 2 hotels and other retail centers.
- At some point, property owners should be able to realize their investments. They have jumped through every hoop that has been put in their way thus far. If they want to develop their property (with limits already set by the City), they should be able to.
- Our City staff and Council have worked on the JDEDZ for years. They want our City to be successful - they have no motivation to make a bad deal for Pleasanton.
- Traffic can be bad on Stoneridge as it is - that is why some of the slated JDEDZ traffic improvements were in future traffic plans anyway, regardless of what businesses inhabit Johnson Drive. The City has been collecting money from developers since 1998 to fund the Stoneridge/680 onramp project. Costco accounts for only about 44% of additional post-JDEDZ traffic.
- This rather unattractive land butts up against 2 major freeways. There are limited practical uses for this property - retail and hotels seems like a pretty good fit. Leaving it empty - not a good fit.
- Most Pleasanton residents shop at Costco - but the sales tax dollars go to Livermore and Danville. Under the JDEDZ Costco will advance Pleasanton about $7 million for transportation improvements. Some of the Pleasanton Costco-generated sales tax (40%) will go towards paying Costco back for this advance. But the majority (60%) will immediately go to our City's general fund. If other developers build/redevelop in the zone, they will have to pay traffic impact fees as well, which will be applied to the Costco advance. And, if we can't repay the advance after 25 years, or if this Costco location closes, the advance is forgiven. And, once the advance is paid, 100% of the sales tax dollars will go to the general fund.
- Other cities also encourage economic development through tax-sharing agreements including Mountain View, Dublin, Livermore, Manteca and Pittsburgh.
- It should be stressed that Pleasanton residents will not be paying Costco back. A portion of the sales tax (40%) from Pleasanton Costco shoppers - who may come from Pleasanton, Dublin, Sunol, etc. - is how Costco will be repaid. They will also be repaid from other developers wishing to build/redevelop in the zone.
- Signing this referendum means the process will be drawn out even further. It will cost the City money to put it on the ballot. It will waste time. And it will likely have the same outcome as the last measure (MM - from November 2016).

Pleasanton residents have already spoken on this issue. Pleasanton wants a Costco. The JDEDZ makes sense for our community. Please do not sign the referendum petition.

Christina Nystrom Mantha


14 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Nov 29, 2017 at 7:53 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Christina Nystrom Mantha:

WELL STATED.

Matt Sullivan - get out of the way!


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