We have lived in Pleasanton for five years, and as a real estate agent, I'm concerned about preserving the quality of life in Pleasanton. If you're looking for a way to differentiate the candidates for City Council, one of the best indicators is their position on planning for the east side of Pleasanton.
We have a huge, 400-acre, piece of land that will either be developed by Pleasanton, for Pleasanton. Or, the state will develop it to achieve their housing goals, and we will have no say.
State lawmakers are working on legislation that could jeopardize our local control of open space because they need to increase the amount of new housing in the state. Without a plan for the east side of Pleasanton, we run the risk of leaving this part of Pleasanton vulnerable to state control.
The candidates' understanding of this issue was on full display at the Pleasanton Weekly's candidate forum. On one end of the spectrum was Julie Testa, who wants to wait until 2022 when the state gives Pleasanton the next round of Regional Housing Need Allocation (RHNA) numbers, essentially laying out a welcome mat for the state to come in and dictate how we build on the east side.
On the sensible end of the spectrum was Kathy Narum who advocates for putting east side plan on the city's work plan in mid-2019 once the Downtown Specific Plan is complete, recognizing both the urgency of starting the planning process and the reality of city staff capacity.
Let's protect the sovereignty of Pleasanton to plan our city our way. Vote for Kathy Narum.
--Randy and Lisa Brown
Thank you for Livermore forum
I want to take this opportunity to thank you for hosting the recent Livermore candidates' forum, along with Livermore's Chamber of Commerce and Livermore Indivisible.
I very much appreciated the opportunity to listen to the concerns of my fellow Livermore residents, to hear what other candidates have to say and to express my views. Civic engagement begins with information and dialog -- thanks for making that possible.
Livermore City Council candidate
Future Teachers scholarships
California Retired Teachers Association (CalRTA) Division #85 recently awarded five $2,500 scholarships to students in the Tri-Valley area who are planning to become teachers.
Each of these young people submitted an application with an essay explaining their passion for this career. We wish these young women every success in their future pursuits.
Fatima Salazar and Gabriela Miller are both graduates of Amador Valley High School. Fatima will be attending Cal Poly State University in the fall to obtain a single subject credential to teach history or Spanish at the high school level. Gabriela was educated in a bilingual classroom and will be attending San Diego State University to also become a Spanish teacher in a middle school or high school.
Nicole Butler and Janelle Barbier both graduated from Dublin High School. Nicole will be attending Cal Poly State University to pursue a bachelor's degree, teaching credential and master's degree in five years. Janelle will be attending San Diego State University to become an elementary school teacher, which she has wanted to do all her life.
Katherine Campbell is a graduate of Livermore High School, and she will be attending Sonoma State University to become an elementary teacher.
Lap pool at Aquatic Center
Enough! This morning at water aerobics, a piece of cement dropped off the ledge into the pool. We have complained about the conditions of the pool for the past three years. The tiles are broken, the cement is cracked, exercise equipment is falling apart.
In addition we have requested a set of portable stairs be placed in the shallow end of the pool. I have priced these stairs; they run from $70 to $600. These stairs are removable.
80% of the water aerobics class is over 70 years of age. Portable stairs would make entering and exiting the pool much easier and much safer. The answer to these requests has either been silence or a "No."
Currently the bathrooms are being renovated. Perhaps one of the workers could bring some tile and grout and fix the tile. Another could throw a little cement over the fence and patch the cracks in the concrete. It would not cost much.
I urge the City Council and the council candidates to take a field trip to the lap pool at the Dolores Bengtson Aquatic Center. If that does not spur some action, we are dead in the water.
Spotorno Ranch project
I am a resident within the Happy Valley district impacted by the Tim Lewis Community planned development. At a neighborhood meeting last week, I was alarmed by two discoveries that I think should be brought to Pleasanton residents' attention:
1. It was reported that there is documented evidence that the property contains valuable evidence of the last Californian Ohlone settlement.
2. During the winter rainy season, natural run off from the hills above Alisal Street dumps water into the area of the property that is at street level. This water accumulates and percolates into the groundwater supply and replenishes the watershed of the majority of nearby residents who rely on wells for their water supply. Apparently under the current draft development report, this water will instead be pumped into drains and end up in the waste water.
The properties being proposed are on lots as small as a third of an acre, which clearly violates city standard. All of this sets a dangerous precedence for the Happy Valley area where there is a lot of open land and an infrastructure that clearly cannot support a high population. There are no sidewalks in the area, and the extra traffic alone would cause a huge problem.
I also learned that there have been historically many endorsements by the council to keep the area semi-rural, including a court ruling regarding the access road to the golf course. Surely these have to be respected and endorsed by whoever finds themselves in power today?
Julie Testa has my vote
Julie Testa is my only candidate for Pleasanton City Council.
There is only one candidate for Pleasanton City Council who will prioritize citizens over developments. Julie loves Pleasanton and has worked hard to maintain the quality of life and the small-town character.
Pressures to continue with excessive growth are enormous; the potential for financial profits involved are huge. Julie is the only candidate to point out the flaws of the plan to "redevelop" the historic downtown. $200 million for taxpayers to foot the bill to move the police station, city hall and the library while including big housing developments in the downtown location.
Julie will fight for residents on issues such as overcrowded schools, traffic congestion and preservation of the historic downtown. Let's vote to turn back the stranglehold that special interests have over Pleasanton. Vote for Julie Testa.
Streng, Narum for council
In the upcoming City Council election, it is important to consider the candidates past experience. That is why I am supporting Joe Streng and Kathy Narum.
Kathy's civic experience speaks for itself: Parks and Rec Commissioner, Planning Commissioner and City Council member for the last five years. Her insight, knowledge and sound decisions need to continue as we move forward.
Joe Streng has a long history of service to this community: Joe served nine years on the Parks and Recreation Commission and also on the Bike, Pedestrian and Trails Committee several years before that. He has a strong track record of working with city staff and the City Council to deliver plans and projects for this city.
He also has an outstanding reputation as a consensus builder who helps people find common ground. I believe Joe Streng has the experience needed to serve you well and will be an excellent City Council member.
Please join me in voting for Joe Streng and Kathy Narum for City Council.
Former City Council member
Chamber PAC backs Baker
The Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce Business and Community Political Action Committee (BACPAC) is pleased to announce its endorsement of Catharine Baker for re-election to the 16th Assembly District seat.
In her first two terms representing the 16th District, Baker delivered on her promise to bring a fresh perspective and bipartisan solutions to Sacramento at a time when needed most for public education, labor and environmental law, unfunded pension liabilities and economic development.
As evidence of her success seeking bipartisan solutions, Gov. Jerry Brown said, "Catharine Baker is the kind of independent leader we need in Sacramento. She has worked across party lines to fight climate change while protecting California's economy."
Baker is a champion for small business, strongly supporting the 40-hour work week vs. the 8-hour work day, holding the line on minimum wage, limiting BART workers capacity to strike, and protecting families and businesses from tax increases and efforts to repeal Proposition 13.
Catharine Baker deserves re-election to the 16th Assembly District.
We support Testa
We support Julie Testa for City Council. Her views have been printed in this paper many times. We are always impressed by how prepared and knowledgeable she is. Her proposals are always well thought-out.
Our city is about to decide on several very important issues, including Costco, the new Civic Center, what will go on the existing Civic Center site and east side development. We look forward to having Julie's voice on the council when these and other important decisions are made. Please vote for Julie Testa.
--Tom and Beverly Gill
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