News

Editorial: Setting the record straight on Leadership Pleasanton

We welcome -- even encourage -- different voices and viewpoints on our Opinion page. You might have noticed a number of Guest Opinions published over the past several weeks in this space.

Our editorial board, though, owes you an apology in regard to the July 2 Guest Opinion written by resident David Pascualy concerning Leadership Pleasanton. It contained inaccurate factual information, and some pretty inflammatory statements were made based on that information.

Pascualy's motivation for the Guest Opinion is laudable.

"The goal of my Guest Opinion submission was to express my concerns about Leadership classes that are expensive, almost impossible to attend if you work during the day, and that the program is supported by my tax dollars," he wrote in a subsequent email.

That's a fair and logical opinion.

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Where our editorial board failed was that we didn't question a few assertions that were presented as fact in the Guest Opinion. After publication, we were alerted that some factual elements may have been incorrect, so we started seeking new information.

In addition to doing our own research, we reached out to Pascualy for a response as the author, and he became defensive and argumentative. This sent up red flags that should have gone up pre-publication.

We found the Guest Opinion relied on an outdated contract from 2018 signed by the former chamber CEO, Scott Raty. This led to one of Pascualy's main points about selection of program participants being left solely to the chamber being false. One of the other key inaccurate statements was that city employees do most of the work for the program and most meetings are held at city facilities.

As journalists, if we allow inaccurate, misleading or false information to be published as fact (even within an opinion piece), we need to acknowledge it and set the record straight as soon as possible. The author said he stood by his statements, so we tried to arrange a meeting to discuss the points and counterpoints.

Unfortunately, after weeks of an email exchange, it became clear a timely meeting would not come to fruition. But this also allowed time for our reporter to research and write a comprehensive news story on the debate over Leadership Pleasanton oversight, which published this week. We apologize that it took us so long to bring this to your attention, but we needed to do our due diligence.

Acknowledging mistakes takes maturity and humility, but it can teach valuable lessons to the people and news organizations who have the strength and professionalism to do so.

Going forward we commit to more thoroughly reviewing statements presented as fact in Guest Opinions. This means we will no longer accept a Guest Opinion submitted less than 10 days before publication to allow adequate time for such a review.

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Editorial: Setting the record straight on Leadership Pleasanton

by /

Uploaded: Thu, Aug 12, 2021, 9:48 pm

We welcome -- even encourage -- different voices and viewpoints on our Opinion page. You might have noticed a number of Guest Opinions published over the past several weeks in this space.

Our editorial board, though, owes you an apology in regard to the July 2 Guest Opinion written by resident David Pascualy concerning Leadership Pleasanton. It contained inaccurate factual information, and some pretty inflammatory statements were made based on that information.

Pascualy's motivation for the Guest Opinion is laudable.

"The goal of my Guest Opinion submission was to express my concerns about Leadership classes that are expensive, almost impossible to attend if you work during the day, and that the program is supported by my tax dollars," he wrote in a subsequent email.

That's a fair and logical opinion.

Where our editorial board failed was that we didn't question a few assertions that were presented as fact in the Guest Opinion. After publication, we were alerted that some factual elements may have been incorrect, so we started seeking new information.

In addition to doing our own research, we reached out to Pascualy for a response as the author, and he became defensive and argumentative. This sent up red flags that should have gone up pre-publication.

We found the Guest Opinion relied on an outdated contract from 2018 signed by the former chamber CEO, Scott Raty. This led to one of Pascualy's main points about selection of program participants being left solely to the chamber being false. One of the other key inaccurate statements was that city employees do most of the work for the program and most meetings are held at city facilities.

As journalists, if we allow inaccurate, misleading or false information to be published as fact (even within an opinion piece), we need to acknowledge it and set the record straight as soon as possible. The author said he stood by his statements, so we tried to arrange a meeting to discuss the points and counterpoints.

Unfortunately, after weeks of an email exchange, it became clear a timely meeting would not come to fruition. But this also allowed time for our reporter to research and write a comprehensive news story on the debate over Leadership Pleasanton oversight, which published this week. We apologize that it took us so long to bring this to your attention, but we needed to do our due diligence.

Acknowledging mistakes takes maturity and humility, but it can teach valuable lessons to the people and news organizations who have the strength and professionalism to do so.

Going forward we commit to more thoroughly reviewing statements presented as fact in Guest Opinions. This means we will no longer accept a Guest Opinion submitted less than 10 days before publication to allow adequate time for such a review.

Comments

Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Aug 13, 2021 at 9:01 am
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 9:01 am

It’s long been known that the Pleasanton Weekly is a mouthpiece for the Chamber of Commerce, developers, and business interests. But today’s editorial takes that role to another dishonest and disgraceful level. This piece is essentially a character assassination of David Pascualy. His crime? Challenging the power structure in the City of Pleasanton.

David received documentation from the city through a Public Records Act Request showing dozens of payments to the Chamber in excess of $20,000 per year going back several years. There was little or no justification of what the payments were for, except that they were made to the Chamber of Commerce or to Leadership Pleasanton. I’ve seen the documentation, so I know it’s true. David provided the documents to the Weekly editorial staff when they questioned him about the Op-Ed accuracy. For some reason, the Weekly ignored the payment documents and took the word of Chamber President Steve Van Dorn, claiming that the article was inaccurate. However, Van Dorn provided no documentation backing up his statements.

It’s also not true that Pascualy refused to meet with the Weekly and Van Dorn to discuss the payments. Pascualy agreed to meet, but only after seeing the information to back up Van Dorn’s statements. This was never provided.

to be continued due to limits on characters ....


Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Aug 13, 2021 at 9:02 am
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 9:02 am

The truth is the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce is a political body. They recruit residents and business people who support the Chamber's 2025 Community Vision of business Uber Alles and further indoctrinate them with the taxpayer-funded Leadership Pleasanton program. Based on their influence over the City Council (whose past majority of members received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the Chamber for their elections), these program graduates are placed on city commissions and committees and help influence pro-growth and pro-business policies at the expense of the larger community. If they do a good job on the commissions, they are then groomed to be City Council candidates and will receive the largess of the Chamber PAC so they can be elected and implement the Chambers goals from a position of power. This is not a conspiracy theory. I’ve seen it up close and personal as someone who has participated in Pleasanton civic activities for over 20 years, 8 of those as a City Council member.

The Pleasanton Weekly has produced a hit piece on David Pascualy on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce and the City Manager of Pleasanton, who authorized the payments. I’ve known David for many years and can vouch for his character. He should be celebrated as a hero for trying to expose this cozy relationship between the city and the Chamber. Instead, he is attacked and portrayed as a liar by the establishment powers. That’s what happens when you challenge the establishment. I know from personal experience.

The Pleasanton Weekley editorial staff should be ashamed of themselves. Instead of producing a hit piece on Pascualy, they should be doing real investigative journalism on the city payments to the Chamber. They already have the evidence. But they won’t because their masters won’t let them. Actions like this lead to distrust in media in general and the concept of “fake news.” So much for the role of a free press in a functioning democracy.


Gina Channell, Publisher
Registered user
Downtown
on Aug 13, 2021 at 9:19 am
Gina Channell, Publisher, Downtown
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 9:19 am

Not a hit piece -- admitting our mistake and setting the record straight, which is what credible journalists must do.
Pascualy did a public records request and they apparently gave him the 2018 contract. We saw the payments made to the chamber and that is addressed in the story referenced in the editorial.
If we wanted to do a "hit piece" on Pascualy, we would quoted some of the emails he sent.


Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Aug 13, 2021 at 9:59 am
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 9:59 am

Gina - if you want to admit your mistake and "set the record straight" you should take a closer look at the payment information David provided. He is not the villain you make him out to be. He has exposed questionable activities between the Chamber and the city using taxpayer funds in an inappropriate manner. That's the story you should be investigating as "credible journalists" must do.


Gina Channell, Publisher
Registered user
Downtown
on Aug 13, 2021 at 10:08 am
Gina Channell, Publisher, Downtown
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 10:08 am

Never said Pascualy was a villain. Actually said his motivation was laudable.

As for the payments, which wasn't part of the editorial because it was accurate information, this is from the story: "According to Van Dorn, the chamber's $10,000 annual payment from the city pays for four to five city employees to attend the program every year and "partial payment for chamber staff time, meals, rental fees and transportation.

Though the city manager is authorized to sign contracts up to $10,000 on their own, Brown said, "This kind of contract should be approved by the City Council."

Web Link



Jeremy Walsh, editor
Registered user
another community
on Aug 13, 2021 at 10:20 am
Jeremy Walsh, editor, another community
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 10:20 am

From my perspective, I would hope people read our editorial board's commentary closely. We did not (and do not) blame the Guest Opinion author for including outdated information in his piece, and I take him at his word that any such mistake was unintentional. All blame for any misinformation being published falls strictly on our editorial board, as always. We recognize that, and will do better in reviewing future Guest Opinions.

This also serves as a good reminder of something journalists often face: Even if one element or several phrases in an article include incorrect or misleading information presented as fact, that doesn't mean an entire article is false or misleading -- but it does fairly cast some doubt in the eyes of readers and sources. Even opinion pieces (Guest Opinions, Columns or Letters) have to be rooted in fact, in terms of details presented as fact therein. We do not adjudicate fair opinions. As we articulated, this Guest Opinion presented a fair and logical opinion. But unfortunately, several factual elements were miscast and not caught by our board before publication. You can note, too, this editorial comment was not a retraction, but a set of corrections or clarifications that left the Guest Opinion intact in our archives.

And to address the heart of Matt Sullivan's other claims, I would invite readers to contact the key sources from our news story to see just how happy some stakeholders are with our well-rounded coverage of the Leadership Pleasanton debate. That could be illuminating to the false contention our coverage was somehow sponsored by or in support of one side over the other.


Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Aug 13, 2021 at 10:36 am
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 10:36 am

Jeremy and Gina,

It seems your argument is that those who disagree with you are providing misinformation or making false contentions about your coverage. In otherwords, we're all liars. But you have the evidence provided by Pascualy in black and white but for some reason you refuse to see it. You did the same when I provided PRAR documents that the city was in secret negotiations about subsidies witho Costco and denied it during the MEasure PP elections.

I understand your desire to protect your facade of journalism credibility. But those of us who understand how the city really works don't buy it.


Jeremy Walsh, editor
Registered user
another community
on Aug 13, 2021 at 11:58 am
Jeremy Walsh, editor, another community
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 11:58 am

Matt: We are very clearly not saying that, and your continued strategy of unsubstantiated mud-slinging is unfortunate. Opinion authors, and readers at large, are encouraged to share their fair opinions in our paper and on our website, provided they follow our terms of use -- including that factual details are accurate and in proper context. To present details from an outdated contract as evidence of the current terms (when there is a different, current contract) is clearly an error.

And so it's said, making one error or even multiple small errors, especially when deemed unintentional, does not make a person a liar in my book. We all make mistakes, fact of life; the goal is to reduce preventable mistakes and own up to them.

I stand by our decision to publish the Guest Opinion, which presented effective and persuasive arguments in the opinionated elements -- a perspective that it's fair to say is shared by a number of residents and perhaps even a majority of the City Council. Had we caught the factual errors sooner, we would have discussed that with the author before publication. Unfortunately, we did not, so we had to publicly clarify that we subsequently found factual details to be incorrect or out of current context.

And to reiterate the obvious, our editorial board has not taken a formal position on the Leadership Pleasanton oversight debate, in part because we are waiting to see how the public discussion plays out leading into and through the anticipated City Council hearing. I guess you're within your rights to surmise what someone's opinion might be even when it's not on the record, but I do not consider our editorial board's opinion as fully formed on this issue -- nor do I consider our silence during deliberations as an indication one way or the other.


Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Aug 13, 2021 at 12:18 pm
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 12:18 pm

Jeremy,

It's not unsubstantiated. It's the facts from a public records request. You have it, please read it.

And it's not mudslinging. It's exposing malfeasance in city government. And you seem to be part of a cover-up for it.


Gina Channell, Publisher
Registered user
Downtown
on Aug 13, 2021 at 12:32 pm
Gina Channell, Publisher, Downtown
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 12:32 pm

@Matt Sullivan - To your point about Costco coverage, and "cover-ups," we continue to be willing and ready to speak with you on the record about your lawsuit -- specifically what your motivations are and who's funding the effort.


Doug Miller
Registered user
Ironwood
on Aug 13, 2021 at 12:50 pm
Doug Miller, Ironwood
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 12:50 pm

I appreciate Gina's effort to correct certain aspects of a guest editorial. It is disappointing to read comments from Matt Sullivan that are full of numerous hostile and inflammatory words. It is very difficult to have a discussion with someone who uses words like: hit piece, Uber Allies, villain, liar, mouthpiece, character assassination, dishonest, disgraceful, indoctrinate, their masters, cozy relationship, etc.

To my knowledge, for the eight years Matt was on the Pleasanton City Council, Leadership Pleasanton was never one of his concerns. Matt never misses an opportunity to criticize businesses or the Chamber of Commerce. Pleasanton needs a strong and diverse business community and those businesses need the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce to promote their interests. Just like Matt appreciates the efforts of unions to represent some working people.


George
Registered user
Vintage Hills
on Aug 13, 2021 at 1:15 pm
George, Vintage Hills
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 1:15 pm

The bias of the Pleasanton Weekly in favor of the Chamber is showing clearly in the new Editorial and sends a message not to challenge the Chamber. In the interest of full disclosure and good journalism shouldn't the Pleasanton Weekly disclose any financial and staff ties to the Chamber (e.g. Publisher Gina Channell as past Board Chair of the San Ramon Chamber of Commerce)?
I have seen the email thread between the Weekly and Mr. Pascualy and reviewed the attachments provided by him to the Weekly (e.g. info from a Records Request provided by the City to Mr. Pascualy). Mr. Pascualy responded to the Guest Editorial from Mr. Olson (who was concerned that the new City Council majority might replace the Chamber's Leadership Pleasanton program). Mr. Pascualy presented info he received from the City (from his Records Request) and he suggested replacing the current Chamber program with one that was free (no taxpayer money to the Chamber) and would be less biased.
In the email thread one can see that an email was sent to Mr. Pascualy from Jeremy Walsh (at the Weekly) stating vaguely that they had received complaints of inaccurate statements in the Pascualy statement but they provided little or no factual evidence that would show Mr. Pascualy was incorrect in his assertions (a newer contract between the City and the Chamber was shown but that should have been provided in the City's response to the Records Request).
The emails show that Mr. Pascualy would meet with the Chamber/Weekly if the evidence/response was provided for review prior to a meeting. The Chamber wanted the meeting at their HQ but the requested facts/evidence were not provided so no meeting was held.
I suggest the Pleasanton Weekly provide the email thread (with attachments) that Mr. Pascualy provided to the Weekly. This could be attached to this Editorial comments section and/or the Pleasanton Weekly website. Let the readers review the info and decide for themselves about accuracy and credibility.


Gina Channell, Publisher
Registered user
Downtown
on Aug 13, 2021 at 1:56 pm
Gina Channell, Publisher, Downtown
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 1:56 pm

@George, I don't think Pascualy would want us to disclose email threads -- especially the ones in which he refused to acknowledge me and made some pretty disparaging remarks about me, which I believe is because I'm a woman.

If I wasn't concerned about putting Pascualy in a negative light, I would release the threads (or the ones I was cc'd on). It would clarify the statements in the editorial that said "defensive and argumentative" and "after weeks of an email exchange, it became clear a timely meeting would not come to fruition."

On July 30, via email, I gave Pascualy the option of selecting the date, place and time of the meeting.

I will link the contract (2018) and the payment documents he sent after we asked for clarification. I'm sure the city sent him those documents and he unknowingly based some of his comments on an outdated contract.

I wanted to believe that most people, when presented proof they made a mistake - like basing inflammatory statements on an outdated contract signed by a former CEO - would have the maturity and humility to acknowledge the mistake. I really, really wanted to believe that.


David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer
Registered user
Jensen Tract
on Aug 13, 2021 at 2:36 pm
David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer, Jensen Tract
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 2:36 pm

Gina and Jeremy,
I provided all the documents I received from a Records Request to the city when Jeremy said people were questioning my facts. The fact is that these were not regular readers questioning it or even the editorial board of the Pleasanton Weekly, but the Chamber, and it took a few emails to tease out that it was its president. It is clear as day that the issue you have is that the Chamber is upset with my opinion because I had the temerity to air the facts.
The contract that I received was from 2018-19, however, this program has been going on for decades and if a change was made to the contract in the last year, that doesn't change the fact that the Chamber selected the candidates for Leadership Pleasanton for the past many years. These candidates were then groomed for committees, commissions and at times for higher office. Their campaigns funded in part by the Chamber, which made it difficult for grass root candidates to get their message across and run competitive campaigns when they could not match the war chest of these anointed candidates.
The editorial says my piece “contained inaccurate factual information, and some pretty inflammatory statements were made based on that information”. But you don’t point any inaccurate factual information from the 2018-19 contract to back-up your assertions. Plus, you don’t point out what was inflammatory. Instead, you spent paragraphs talking about how great you guys are in finding out misstatements and then setting the record straight. (...Continues)


David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer
Registered user
Jensen Tract
on Aug 13, 2021 at 2:37 pm
David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer, Jensen Tract
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 2:37 pm

Gina intimates that she could have written a hit piece, if she wanted, by using the emails we exchanged after my piece was questioned by the Chamber. Well, let me tell you, I have released the email exchanges to the people who contacted me after reading the Guest Opinion and going through weeks of exchanges with the PW. I did this because you had threatened to write an editorial (as you actually did), if I did not meet in person with the PW and Pleasanton’s Chamber President, at the Chamber at a time of their choosing. I said I would meet at a public location once I saw corroborating documentation that proved I had misled or misstated something. I requested that several times but instead...crickets.
I do believe this editorial was a warning for others who may questions this program which has been run for along time in this city, underwritten by the city of Pleasanton but without contractual oversight by the City Council.


Jan Batcheller
Registered user
Downtown
on Aug 13, 2021 at 2:40 pm
Jan Batcheller, Downtown
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 2:40 pm

No one is disputing the amount of money paid by the City of Pleasanton to the Chamber of Commerce. The City is a co-sponsor of Leadership Pleasanton.


David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer
Registered user
Jensen Tract
on Aug 13, 2021 at 2:41 pm
David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer, Jensen Tract
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 2:41 pm

Gina,
I don't think that mentioning that you are a past Chair of the Chamber of Commerce in San Ramon, or that I don't think you could be a fair arbiter of this Guest Opinion piece becase of your relationship to the Chamber is disparaging. The first is a fact and the second is my opinion.


David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer
Registered user
Jensen Tract
on Aug 13, 2021 at 3:43 pm
David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer, Jensen Tract
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 3:43 pm

Please publish the entire email exchange about the Opinion Piece, as I already have released it to interested parties. Also, you say my piece was inflammatory, so my question is, why would the Pleasanton Weekly publish a inflammatory Guest Opinion? Odd


Gina Channell, Publisher
Registered user
Downtown
on Aug 13, 2021 at 3:57 pm
Gina Channell, Publisher, Downtown
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 3:57 pm

@David Pascualy - naming me as a former chair of the SR chamber is not at all disparaging and it's accurate, and you are entitled to your opinion.

I'm referring to your consistent refusal to cc me on emails and insisting on dealing only with Jeremy, even when you obviously knew my title as president and publisher, and my tenure with the organization. (Obviously because you knew I was the former SR chair.) Then there was you calling me a "scheduler" (basically a secretary) in an email sent only to Jeremy and eluding to me being "emotional" in another email that, yet again, I wasn't copied on but was forwarded.

If it were me, I'd be embarrassed to have some of those emails you wrote in public.

I gave you the option of choosing a time, date and location in my July 30 email: "Mr. Pascualy, Jeremy forwarded another communication from you that you neglected to cc me on.

I am the president and publisher of the Pleasanton Weekly. I am ultimately responsible for the content published in the Weekly. If we allowed you to publish incorrect / misleading / false information in the paper, I am responsible for acknowledging the error and setting the record straight.

You said you stood behind your statements in the guest opinion. Mr. Van Dorn said he has information that proves some of it is incorrect.

I want a meeting where you can both present information and, based on facts, we can get to the truth.

You seem reluctant to meet with Mr. Van Dorn, me and Jeremy. If you still stand behind your comments, then meet with us this week. You can choose the date, time and location."

As was explained in the editorial, this process went on far too long and we owed it to the readers to set the record straight.

I don't believe (or don't want to believe) you intentionally mislead us or the readers. However, we needed to correct the situation as soon as possible.

I will link the 2018 contract, your email chain with the city clerk and the payment register you emailed to us.


Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Aug 13, 2021 at 4:39 pm
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 4:39 pm

The fact that the Weekly is engaged in this back-and-forth is an indication that they are in damage control mode trying to justify a clearly unjust act attacking Pascualy. Maybe they should "own up to their mistakes" and print a retraction?


Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Aug 13, 2021 at 5:10 pm
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 5:10 pm

Gina,

The motivation for the Costco lawsuit is plainly described in the complaint, which you have access to. Who is funding it is irrelevant to the issues.

Maybe you should have been concerned about the city's secret activities at the time which would have been relevant to the outcome of an election, but you weren't. Just like you are not concerned about what's happening now. How do you justify your actions as a newspaper that is supposed to present the facts and hold power accountable?


Jason
Registered user
Golden Eagle
on Aug 13, 2021 at 5:25 pm
Jason, Golden Eagle
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 5:25 pm

After reading this back and forth, it seems Mr. Pascualy has not gain or agenda but is just pointing out some interesting angles to his experience. Why not just respond to his comments without all the fanfare?


Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Aug 13, 2021 at 6:07 pm
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 6:07 pm

Doug,

I am not anti-business. I own my own small business and that's how I make a living. What I don't support is business control over government, which is what this is all about.

I honestly don't remember the city funding Leadership Pleasanton when I was on the Council. I remember funding the Downtown Association, which I wasn't happy about.

And sorry if you don't like my choice of words but I think they are appropriate in this case.


David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer
Registered user
Jensen Tract
on Aug 13, 2021 at 6:11 pm
David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer, Jensen Tract
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 6:11 pm

As I said I've already released all the emails so obviously you are trying to continue the character assassination, but I've lived here too long, and people know me too well to believe anything coming from the Pleasanton Weekly that you may say about me.
I think it's a good local paper if you want to read about the happenings around town, concert in the park, farmer’s market, and homes for sale… things of that nature.
You still haven't been presented any corroborating documentation against my piece.
I think that your “editorial” confirmed what everybody with a critical mind already knew.


David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer
Registered user
Jensen Tract
on Aug 13, 2021 at 6:34 pm
David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer, Jensen Tract
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 6:34 pm


David Pascualy
Tue, Aug 10, 2:44 PM (3 days ago)
to Gina, Jeremy

Gina and Jeremy,

I never received an acknowledgement of my email from over a week ago, but I trust you received it.
I have not seen documentation that proves the Chamber's assertions.
Again, I am happy to meet with you and whoever is challenging my Opinion piece once I see some documentation.

Best,
David Pascualy

On Mon, Aug 2, 2021 at 11:17 PM David Pascualy <[email protected]> wrote:
Gina,

Let me start that as a Pleasanton citizen I support the Pleasanton Weekly’s regular publications. Through your paper, Tri-Valley residents have an opportunity to learn about their community, see their own faces on many of the pages, and are given the chance to voice their opinions, support or concerns about local government. I also appreciate many of the things our local Chamber of Commerce does to help small businesses, to help them grow and build their networks to be successful.


The goal of my Guest Opinion submission was to express my concerns about Leadership classes that are expensive, almost impossible to attend if you work during the day, and that the program is supported by my tax dollars. I truly believe when public funding is involved in programs, these programs should be totally open and transparent and any contacts be readily accessible. I think this arrangement between the Chamber and the City involving tax dollars being spent to support a private organization’s training program, a program that is about many things, including our own government , is not acceptable. The terms should be public and posted on the city's website for all to see. I also want any contract such as this one to be vetted by the city council and the mayor, and not just signed off by the City Manager. Open government is good government and tends to be careful with tax dollars because our residents can review the expenditures, challenge them and force change if need be.
(...continues...)


David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer
Registered user
Jensen Tract
on Aug 13, 2021 at 6:37 pm
David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer, Jensen Tract
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 6:37 pm

My goal was to shine a light on many of the facts that had surprised me when I read the financial details of the contract between the city and the Chamber of Commerce. I want the public to learn about these details, so I voiced my concerns regarding the program in the Guest Opinion section and used the facts I obtained through my request for records from the city and used them in my piece.

I did not know it was a requirement to have an in-person meeting if the Chamber challenges an Opinion Column or that the Pleasanton Weekly has a 30-day deadline to write an Editorial against an opinion piece if someone complains but provides no evidence, even if the column writer does.

I responded promptly to Jeremy Walsh who brought up what could have been legitimate challenges from various readers, but after further contemplation I'm assuming that it was only from the Chamber or Chamber fomented emails/calls. In any case, I responded with a strong defense of my piece, then responded to the redlined piece that came from the Chamber and submitted documentation to back up my main points. Interestingly enough Arnie Olson didn't appear to challenge me, although I was challenging his Guest Opinion. Why would that be?



On the other hand, it appears that the Pleasanton Weekly is not interested in requesting any documentation to back-up the Chamber's challenges but does continually repeat that "Mr. Van Dorn said he has information that proves some of it is incorrect." I've already shown that the information is correct and actually found that the amount of money that goes to the Chamber is over $20K not including unknown reimbursements to the Chamber on a monthly basis year after year.

On July 25 you said you forwarded my emails to Van Dorn, which would be weeks after I started responding to Jeremy's correspondence about the Chamber having issues with some statements. Is this lack of interest in obtaining documentation from the Chamber supposed to be a true investigation...


David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer
Registered user
Jensen Tract
on Aug 13, 2021 at 6:38 pm
David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer, Jensen Tract
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 6:38 pm

...into the facts? Also, I think it would be hard for anybody reviewing the email thread with Jeremy, and now with you, to believe that the Pleasanton Weekly has taken an unbiased position. In addition you have links to the SR Chamber of Commerce which brings into question if you can truly be a true arbiter in this situation.

Why is The Pleasanton Weekly reluctant to demand the documentation from the Chamber to back up their assertions? I trust that your story you are pursuing, as per Jeremy's email on 7/20 about "Leadership Pleasanton, including its funding sources, selection process and oversight" is going to happen or has already started?

I have received a lot of emails, mostly in support of finding out more about how Leadership Pleasanton is funded, and some inquiries from people who want to meet with me to share their experience of how they had been snubbed when wanting to be considered candidates for commissions. In light of that I will share my experience including correspondence and release all the information that they will need in pursuing documents from the City of Pleasanton. Also, I want to support people so they will feel free to investigate and speak up and find out what is happening in city government, participate in council meetings, demand accountability of our representatives to make all contracts publicly available for review. Lastly, I will educate them in the process of writing a Guest Opinion and explain that in my experience, rules were teased out week by week so they know what to expect.



Before I read your email, I was going to propose that the Pleasanton Weekly have a Point / Counterpoint column so these things like the expenditure of tax dollars by the City can be aired out publicly while simultaneously shining the light on issues that many may find interesting and maybe even help them participate more fully in civic life.

Again, I am happy to meet after I see the documentation to back-up the Chamber's assertions against my ....


David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer
Registered user
Jensen Tract
on Aug 13, 2021 at 6:39 pm
David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer, Jensen Tract
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 6:39 pm

... opinion piece, and as long as there is no documentation behind the Chamber's statements then they must be taken as opinion and my statements stand and my opinion remains my opinion.



Sincerely,
David Pascualy


On Fri, Jul 30, 2021 at 12:00 PM Gina Channell <[email protected]> wrote:
Mr. Pascualy,

Jeremy forwarded another communication from you that you neglected to cc me on.

I am the president and publisher of the Pleasanton Weekly. I am ultimately responsible for the content published in the Weekly. If we allowed you to publish incorrect / misleading / false information in the paper, I am responsible for acknowledging the error and setting the record straight.

You said you stood behind your statements in the guest opinion. Mr. Van Dorn said he has information that proves some of it is incorrect.

I want a meeting where you can both present information and, based on facts, we can get to the truth.

You seem reluctant to meet with Mr. Van Dorn, me and Jeremy. If you still stand behind your comments, then meet with us this week. You can choose the date, time and location.

It is important that you know we will write an editorial about this situation. Since we are quickly approaching a month since the GO was published, this will be soon.

If you will not meet with us, we will have to include in the editorial that you refused to meet with the person who challenged you, which leads our editorial board to believe you really didn't present true and accurate information.

I look forward to your response.

Gina Channell, PHR, BA, MBA
President / Publisher
(925) 600-0840 | Fax: (650) 223-7554


David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer
Registered user
Jensen Tract
on Aug 13, 2021 at 6:41 pm
David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer, Jensen Tract
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 6:41 pm


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: David Pascualy <[email protected]>
Date: Tue, Jul 27, 2021 at 4:17 PM
Subject: Re: Additional Attached Document Re: 7/2 Guest Opinion questions
To: Jeremy Walsh <[email protected]>


Jeremy,
I got some communication from G Channell who I guess is arranging Van Dorn's schedule. I never agreed to a date, time, location or who would attend a possible meeting. I would assume that you are interested in seeing the facts backing up the Chamber's statements arguing against my opinion piece...you are the editor of a newspaper, not me. I've provided my response and additional documentation to back up my piece and have been responsive to your requests that came from the Chamber. The meeting attendees would be you, Mr. Olson and myself.
In any event, I want to review the Chamber's backup information before we set up any meeting, in a public place as I mentioned earlier.
I have not heard from your investigative report yet.
Best,
David Pascualy

On Fri, Jul 23, 2021 at 5:06 PM David Pascualy <[email protected]> wrote:
Jeremy,

I trust you are trying to get a response from the Chamber to support their statements against my Opinion piece, plus I assume you are looking into the information I submitted and you are digesting it. I doubt you knew about the Chamber's huge lobbying power at the national level which sets the stage for their work at the local level in the cities where they have set up shop.

I am out in the Sierra Foothills and won't be back till end of next week.

Let's plan a meeting for the following week after you get some back-up info from Van Dorn to support the Chambers comments.

Best
David


David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer
Registered user
Jensen Tract
on Aug 13, 2021 at 7:00 pm
David Pascualy _Guest Opinon Writer, Jensen Tract
Registered user
on Aug 13, 2021 at 7:00 pm

So, as you can see it's a little different than what Gina is trying to portray. I have managed people for a long time, so as a manager and/or company owner, I don't just take over a conversation or business relationship that my employee is handling, without having my employee introduce me and say, ok, he is taking over from here. I was taken aback when all of sudden, out of the blue, she is asking if I'm meeting with the Chamber president, which I had never agreed to. I thought she was dismissing Jeremy as the Editor and saying: I'm the big boss so let me do my thing.


Gina Channell, Publisher
Registered user
Downtown
on Aug 14, 2021 at 5:30 am
Gina Channell, Publisher, Downtown
Registered user
on Aug 14, 2021 at 5:30 am

@mr. Pascualy— you conveniently left out the emails that included the information Van Dorn presented that opposed what you stated in the opinion piece and included the one I’m almost positive you didn’t write. Based on the other emails, the last one had to have been written for you by someone else. Basically I’m at the point now that I was on July 30 — I’m done wasting my precious time.


Doug Miller
Registered user
Ironwood
on Aug 14, 2021 at 3:43 pm
Doug Miller, Ironwood
Registered user
on Aug 14, 2021 at 3:43 pm

I say again to Mr. Sullivan, using highly inflammatory words does not move any issue toward resolution. He maintains that his choice of words are appropriate. People can draw their own conclusions about his intentions.

Mr. Sullivan admits that he never found Leadership Pleasanton to be an issue during the eight years he served on the Pleasanton City Council.

I amend my comment about Mr. Sullivan's dislike of the business community. He pointed out that he likes his own business. There are plenty of examples of businesses he does not like.


Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Aug 14, 2021 at 5:13 pm
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Aug 14, 2021 at 5:13 pm

Doug

This issue is about public funding of a Chamber program a PW attack on Pascualy. Why are you trying to make it about me? Talk about counter productive to a debate


Doug Miller
Registered user
Ironwood
on Aug 14, 2021 at 5:43 pm
Doug Miller, Ironwood
Registered user
on Aug 14, 2021 at 5:43 pm

It is useful to understand Mr. Sullivan's background so as to put his comments into proper perspective.


Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 14, 2021 at 5:44 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Aug 14, 2021 at 5:44 pm

It’s also a well known fact that Matt Sullivan is paid by the Cox family special interest group to deny Costco in Pleasanton


Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Aug 14, 2021 at 5:56 pm
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Aug 14, 2021 at 5:56 pm

Ahh yes this is all about what a scumbag Matt Sullivan is! That’s what you two and others resort to with every issue. Your behavior is much more inflammatory, objectionable, and unproductive than any thing I’ve said. Why don’t you address issues instead of just attacking people personally that you disagree with? I guess that is too much work and takes critical thinking of issues


Doug Miller
Registered user
Ironwood
on Aug 15, 2021 at 6:03 am
Doug Miller, Ironwood
Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 6:03 am

I had forgotten that Mr. Sullivan was attempting to protect the Cox family gas stations by trying to deny Costco an opportunity to do business in Pleasanton.


Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Aug 15, 2021 at 2:00 pm
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Aug 15, 2021 at 2:00 pm

Parent and Doug

I’m not being paid by anyone for my opposition to Costco. It’s not a “well known fact”, it’s a lie. How does spreading lies about someone lead to a productive debate? Perhaps you believe you can create your own alternative facts, but that doesn’t change the actual fact that it’s a lie


Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 16, 2021 at 10:05 am
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Aug 16, 2021 at 10:05 am

Actually Matt I've thanked and defended you in the past because unlike most today (at least it seems) I'm able to compartmentalize areas of agreement and disagreement with indviduals.

I disagree with you on Costco in Pleasanton, I think your true motivations are masked with legal excuses (i.e. there is no scenario you'd support it).

I do appreciate and think your service to the community is meaningful, I think your insight on the city council and chamber based on your experience is valuable. I also think anyone that serves there community is due thanks and respect, and I do hold you in that regard. Still doesn't mean I agree or align with you on Costco or how I perceive you addressing your interests in that matter.


Jan Auerbach
Registered user
Ruby Hill
on Aug 16, 2021 at 11:36 am
Jan Auerbach, Ruby Hill
Registered user
on Aug 16, 2021 at 11:36 am

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Sheila James
Registered user
Gatewood
on Aug 17, 2021 at 1:47 pm
Sheila James, Gatewood
Registered user
on Aug 17, 2021 at 1:47 pm

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RobertD.
Registered user
Bridle Creek
on Aug 18, 2021 at 6:51 pm
RobertD., Bridle Creek
Registered user
on Aug 18, 2021 at 6:51 pm

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