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Guest Opinion: Costco is coming soon to Pleasanton ... finally

The purpose of this writing is not to start a series of conversations once again debating the justification of a new Costco in Pleasanton. Most residents are aware of the long history and events leading up to the final resolution to finally bring Costco to Pleasanton and meet the wishes of the majority of the people.

Tom Murphy. (Contributed photo)

However, since Matt Sullivan was granted a featured article in the Opinion section of the Pleasanton Weekly on Aug. 19, I felt it necessary to voice a counter-opinion relative to his thoughts.

In his article, Matt pointed out that the current estimated cost of the traffic mitigation infrastructure had escalated to $34 million from $21 million. This reflects the cost of inflation since the original proposal date, something we are all currently challenged with.

Opposition to the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone project in 2016 resulted in Measure MM, which the citizens of Pleasanton solidly voted against in favor of developing Costco and the other proposed businesses. The additional lawsuits initiated by Matt Sullivan and the small group that he led, in an attempt to overrule the vote of the people on Measure MM, caused substantial delays and additional costs to the project.

In addition, the delays in opening Costco and the other proposed developments on the site have cost the city and Pleasanton residents the benefits of substantial tax revenue that would have been generated by an earlier opening date. This revenue could have been used to fund any number of additional projects benefiting the people of our city. A rough estimate is that it could have been approximately $2 million per year following the opening of the businesses.

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Assuming that Costco and the other businesses could have opened in 2020, that means that the potential cost to the city in infrastructure and lost tax revenue has been approximately $17 million. Matt Sullivan and his group of dissenters are responsible for this.

Matt Sullivan has contributed to the early development of Pleasanton having served on the Pleasanton City Council and the Pleasanton Planning Commission and for that he is to be thanked. However, he has been on the wrong side of this issue from the start and he and his followers have cost the residents tax revenue and lost opportunities for consumers by not allowing this project to move forward as desired by the people of Pleasanton.

Thanks to the current Mayor and City Council members for staying the course in delivering the project to the people.

Editor's note: Tom Murphy and his wife have lived in Pleasanton for 37 years and have enjoyed the benefits of Pleasanton planned development. They, along with many other residents, say they have been waiting too long for the benefits from Costco coming to Pleasanton. He believes that Costco is an American business success story and that it will be a positive addition to the Pleasanton business community.

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Guest Opinion: Costco is coming soon to Pleasanton ... finally

by Tom Murphy /

Uploaded: Thu, Sep 15, 2022, 10:16 pm

The purpose of this writing is not to start a series of conversations once again debating the justification of a new Costco in Pleasanton. Most residents are aware of the long history and events leading up to the final resolution to finally bring Costco to Pleasanton and meet the wishes of the majority of the people.

However, since Matt Sullivan was granted a featured article in the Opinion section of the Pleasanton Weekly on Aug. 19, I felt it necessary to voice a counter-opinion relative to his thoughts.

In his article, Matt pointed out that the current estimated cost of the traffic mitigation infrastructure had escalated to $34 million from $21 million. This reflects the cost of inflation since the original proposal date, something we are all currently challenged with.

Opposition to the Johnson Drive Economic Development Zone project in 2016 resulted in Measure MM, which the citizens of Pleasanton solidly voted against in favor of developing Costco and the other proposed businesses. The additional lawsuits initiated by Matt Sullivan and the small group that he led, in an attempt to overrule the vote of the people on Measure MM, caused substantial delays and additional costs to the project.

In addition, the delays in opening Costco and the other proposed developments on the site have cost the city and Pleasanton residents the benefits of substantial tax revenue that would have been generated by an earlier opening date. This revenue could have been used to fund any number of additional projects benefiting the people of our city. A rough estimate is that it could have been approximately $2 million per year following the opening of the businesses.

Assuming that Costco and the other businesses could have opened in 2020, that means that the potential cost to the city in infrastructure and lost tax revenue has been approximately $17 million. Matt Sullivan and his group of dissenters are responsible for this.

Matt Sullivan has contributed to the early development of Pleasanton having served on the Pleasanton City Council and the Pleasanton Planning Commission and for that he is to be thanked. However, he has been on the wrong side of this issue from the start and he and his followers have cost the residents tax revenue and lost opportunities for consumers by not allowing this project to move forward as desired by the people of Pleasanton.

Thanks to the current Mayor and City Council members for staying the course in delivering the project to the people.

Editor's note: Tom Murphy and his wife have lived in Pleasanton for 37 years and have enjoyed the benefits of Pleasanton planned development. They, along with many other residents, say they have been waiting too long for the benefits from Costco coming to Pleasanton. He believes that Costco is an American business success story and that it will be a positive addition to the Pleasanton business community.

Comments

Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Sep 16, 2022 at 3:13 pm
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Sep 16, 2022 at 3:13 pm

Wow! Where to start? I’m such an evil SOB that the Weekly will probably delete this post as soon as I submit it. But since people who disagree with my position on Costco routinely respond with personal attacks instead of facts, maybe I’ll give that a try too! Tom, I don’t know who you are, but it’s clear you are short on facts and long on consumerist fantasies that support your irrational attachment to a Costco. Let me elaborate.

Let’s see – me and my small group of dissenters have delayed Costco such that the city has missed out on $17 million in tax revenue. Never mind that the city’s own analysis says that the $24 million in taxpayer subsidies won’t break even for 16 years, and an independent analysis estimates 20 years. What missing tax revenue? Another way to look at it is our actions have greatly benefited the taxpayers of Pleasanton by keeping money in their pockets.

That the lawsuits that I have personally initiated with my small group of supporters have delayed the project causing inflationary increases to infrastructure costs? My position is that the city caused these delays and costs increases because of their faulty and disingenuous environmental reviews that understated the project’s environmental and public health impacts. Tom, do you love Costco so much that you are willing to sacrifice your neighbors’ wellbeing so you can go to a Costco? We were fulfilling our democratic rights to hold our government accountable to the citizens. Sound like you and many in your group of Costco supporters have a problem with this if it interferes with your mega rolls of toilet paper.

And you and your group of “Costco supporters at any cost” love to point to the Measure MM campaign as validation for building Costco. But you and they neglect to mention that the city government lied to the public about the taxpayer subsidies during the election campaign. - to be continued


Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Sep 16, 2022 at 3:14 pm
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Sep 16, 2022 at 3:14 pm

continued - I don’t know where you were during the campaign (maybe shopping at Costco?), but I was on the streets talking to dozens if not hundreds of people who supported Costco until they heard about taxpayer subsidies and then they immediately dropped their support. The Measure MM results are a false argument because the city lied to its own people which calls the result into question. Again, this is not democracy, but what would you call it?

Thank you for recognizing my contribution to Pleasanton city government over the years, but I am not on the wrong side of this issue. My motivation was and remains to protect local democracy in some form, and while no longer on the City Council, this is my current attempt to do so. What is so sad is that we don’t have a City Council now who is committed to this ideal and that they are willing to pander to a group of people who care more about their “rights” to a consumerist utopia than they are to the very survival of humanity and the planet in the name of votes. That’s what the Costco argument comes down to. Sorry to offend you, Tom, but YOU and others like you are the problem!

Frankly, I’m tired of the Costco fanatics whose only arguments are related to me personally. This has nothing to do with it. But since it’s the best you can do I guess it lets you feel better about yourself. But it points to the extreme dysfunction in our society that no one seems to have the guts to confront (especially not our City Council). Except maybe, me and my small group of dissenters.


Karl A
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2022 at 3:32 pm
Karl A, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 16, 2022 at 3:32 pm

Once again Mr. Sullivan complains about personal attacks against him and then launches his personal attacks against others.

I just feel sorry for him.

Get better soon Mr. Sullivan


SHale99
Registered user
Village High School
on Sep 16, 2022 at 3:42 pm
SHale99, Village High School
Registered user
on Sep 16, 2022 at 3:42 pm

> but I am not on the wrong side of this issue
Tell us if you aren't in the clear minority on a 'new' Costco, doesn't that mean you are on the WRONG side of this? You are aware you and your 'little' group of sponsors are in a tiny minority.

Go about the community and see for yourself. People, dude...not the few businesses that supported your crusade (that lost).


Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Sep 16, 2022 at 3:50 pm
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Sep 16, 2022 at 3:50 pm

Shale,

Numbers aren't the determinant of right and wrong. Especially when the numbers are in question.

Sorry, dude, but you just don't get it.


Karl A
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2022 at 4:34 pm
Karl A, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 16, 2022 at 4:34 pm

Mr. Sullivan

Numbers are important in elections held in democracies like we have in the United States.

We have hearing about threats to our democracy from “election deniers”. Are you an election denier?


SHale99
Registered user
Village High School
on Sep 16, 2022 at 6:56 pm
SHale99, Village High School
Registered user
on Sep 16, 2022 at 6:56 pm

>>> Especially when the numbers are in question.

Now you are just making stuff up. The majority WANT a new costco and that has been clear since day one. So soon you forget.

Why don't you provide us with all your sponsors; you are all about facts, right? Show us the voters who were against Costco and the development in general.

Or, are they all businesses?

You are simply wrong and on the wrong side of this; double whammy, sir.


Joe V
Registered user
Birdland
on Sep 16, 2022 at 7:00 pm
Joe V, Birdland
Registered user
on Sep 16, 2022 at 7:00 pm

Sullivan..The Weekly has given you and your supporters more free space than you all deserve, you should all be paying The Weekly for add space. After so many denials from you on what Pleasanton wants, it can start to get irritating for some, they don't want to hear from you any longer, is what you may think as personal attacks. We are currently having to deal with Federal Election deniers, we don't need a local one. The City Council is representing the wishes of the majority, that is how democracy works, stop the personal attacks on them. If you are so concerned with Costco's footprint, why are you aligned with gas service stations and a transportation company that is using gas powered limos to transport one individual to the Airports. The only thing you got correct was your last line, "me and my small group of dissenters"


Jack
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 16, 2022 at 8:22 pm
Jack, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 16, 2022 at 8:22 pm

Blah, blah, blah. Build it and they will come...


Pleasanton Parent
Registered user
Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 16, 2022 at 10:31 pm
Pleasanton Parent, Pleasanton Meadows
Registered user
on Sep 16, 2022 at 10:31 pm

Watch how fast cox family gas stations magically drop prices. No defending Pleasanton residents
of the millions Pleasanton residents have been gouged for years at a private families benefit, but now, when taxpayer funds are at play there’s a moral call to action?

I appreciate your service to our community , but the hypocrisy on this one is laughable at best, criminal in intent.


JJ
Registered user
Birdland
on Sep 17, 2022 at 7:11 am
JJ, Birdland
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2022 at 7:11 am

The United States is not a democracy


resident
Registered user
Danbury Park
on Sep 17, 2022 at 12:17 pm
resident, Danbury Park
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2022 at 12:17 pm

Matt, who funded your lawsuits? why don't you lead with that? who are you speaking for?

The bottom line is you and your gas station buddies are clearly the minority. Regardless of all your "facts" , we want Costco. Also, The 3 year delay has cost the city money in both legal costs and lost tax revenue, thats irrefutable. You had a combative attitude from the start on this and it clearly has many residents , let's just say not really happy with you. Take some free advice, let this one go and take a long vacation.


resident
Registered user
Danbury Park
on Sep 17, 2022 at 12:23 pm
resident, Danbury Park
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2022 at 12:23 pm

Matt, multiple posts on here asking fro you to state who you represent? if you want us to make a fait decision, this information matters. Will you state publicly who funded your lawsuits?

If not, you really need to just stop talking about it. its very disingenuous and thats a huge reason people are upset.


resident
Registered user
Danbury Park
on Sep 17, 2022 at 12:29 pm
resident, Danbury Park
Registered user
on Sep 17, 2022 at 12:29 pm

and really: "My position is that the city caused these delays and costs increases because of their faulty and disingenuous environmental reviews that understated the project’s environmental and public health impacts. "

I think the courts have proven that your position was wrong, how many times now?

So thats not really a good defense, basically you admitted your position caused the delay because you felt they had "understated the project’s environmental and public health impacts." not because they did. Your (proven wrong by the courts) feelings costs a lot of us money, just sayin.


Karl A
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 18, 2022 at 2:15 pm
Karl A, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 18, 2022 at 2:15 pm

Mr. Sullivan has actually been very active over many years to do more harm than good for Pleasanton. This harm far outweighs anything good.

He was against the Stoneridge extension, siting the harm it would do to the community - pollution and traffic. Looks to me completing this project has been a big plus.

He was against the Walmart Market taking over the old Nob Hill store, mainly due to his personal objections to Walmart’s business practices. How is this store actually helping the community? Providing affordable shopping to lower income people and seniors - which becomes even more helpful with our high inflation.

As far as Costco goes, he’s wasted a great deal of the city’s funds with his lawsuits, again as with Walmart, his objection to their business model. I’ve lost count of the number of times he has insulted people that disagree with with his “cheap hot dogs” comment.

Finally he has very consistently over many years written to the PW and the Independent throwing insults at and telling out right lies about people who do not agree with him. Everyone who disagrees with him is a liar, a shady business person doing illegal backroom deals, corrupt politicians or just plain stupid.

In one letter he self diagnosed himself as being paranoid. Not sure why that was included, but maybe he should investigate.

When we have significant, important issues that need to be addressed, the ongoing battle over the Costco is ridiculous.

I’m more worried about heading back to the late 70’s / early 80’s extended high inflation.

Or how about the need to address a state that has one of the largest economies in the world that can’t ensure citizens have an adequate source of electricity. Third World countries have a more reliable power infrastructure than we do.

And what is the plan to provide power to charge all those EV’s we will be forced to buy.
Come on Mr. Sullivan, get over the insignificant Costco issue and start worrying about real issues.


P Town resident
Registered user
Laguna Oaks
on Sep 19, 2022 at 12:39 pm
P Town resident, Laguna Oaks
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2022 at 12:39 pm

It's amazing after so many voting and legal losses that Matt Sullivan remains as self-righteous and arrogant as ever. The majority of Pleasanton residents want Costco and have wanted Costco for the last 6 years. But Matt and his gas station buddies insist that we are wrong and too dumb to do our own research or make our own decisions. And he further insists that the city council members we elected are just pandering to the voters. Never mind that that is exactly what they are supposed to do - listen to their constituents! The ARROGANCE of Mr. Sullivan's post is perfectly revealing and I am for one can't wait to finally get the Costco that we voters approved.


Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Sep 19, 2022 at 2:45 pm
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2022 at 2:45 pm

So you people are angry at me for exercising my democratic and legal rights because you disagree with me. You insist that I stop and just go away. It's true that our country has a strong authoritarian streak and what you are advocating is fascism. Basically, you get to decide who gets to speak and who doesn't. Fascism so that you can go to an environmentally and socially descructive big-box store. This is pathetic.

You don't get to decide if I speak, so get over it and go to Costco. It will make you feel better about yourself.


Karl A
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2022 at 3:03 pm
Karl A, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2022 at 3:03 pm

Mr. Sullivan

Fascism?

Or are you just seeing the results of democracy where you are on the losing side. In a democracy there are always winners and losers.

It nice when the people who lose are gracious and respectful.

You are neither and that is why you are the most reviled person in Pleasanton.

You do have the right to speak and take whatever legal actions are open to you.

Verbally abusing and telling out right lies about the people who disagree with you just shows you are not supportive of the decisions made by this community through the DEMOCRATIC process.

As I noted it my first post, I just feel sorry for you.

And I hope you feel better soon.


Matt Sullivan
Registered user
Stoneridge
on Sep 19, 2022 at 3:30 pm
Matt Sullivan, Stoneridge
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2022 at 3:30 pm

Karl A,

As I said in the post about the candidate debate, what you and many other anonymous posters are doing is nothing but fascism. And to insinuate that someone who disagrees with you is mentally ill is simply reprehensible.


Karl A
Registered user
Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2022 at 3:59 pm
Karl A, Another Pleasanton neighborhood
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2022 at 3:59 pm

Mr. Sullivan

If you think real hard and recall an exchange we had you will know my full name.

I won’t comment on your fascism comment - but I will comment that my reference to mental illness was only highlighting your self diagnosis mentioned in a letter to the editor in the paper version of PW in mid-2016. It was a letter where you were ranting about corruption and back door meetings.

I will end with this thought - if you really want to help this city, drop the angry attitude and be more of a collaborator.

I have watched your entire political career and you ate not doing yourself or Pleasanton your best.


SHale99
Registered user
Village High School
on Sep 19, 2022 at 4:39 pm
SHale99, Village High School
Registered user
on Sep 19, 2022 at 4:39 pm

think it is telling Matt is embarrassed with those who bankrolled him on this crusade where clearly he is in the tiny minority.

Spill, publicly. You will feel better.


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