Letters | April 12, 2013 | Pleasanton Weekly | PleasantonWeekly.com |


Pleasanton Weekly

Opinion - April 12, 2013


Roads equal structures

Dear Editor,

Last week's Weekly article on "Pleasanton City Council holds off Measure PP vote" provided insight that city staff is recommending to the City Council that a road or street not be deemed a structure. City staff originally supported a road being a structure but then changed its mind. The former City Council once and the Planning Commission twice have voted 5-0 that a street is a structure.

Concern about roads on hillsides and ridgelines were a major reason Measure PP was written. Roads are referred to in both the Argument in Favor of PP and the Rebuttal to the Argument Against PP. In the Arguments in Favor it states, "They approved massive grading of hillsides, a mile long road spanning the top of many of out Southeast Hills." In the Rebuttal to Argument Against PP it states, "This council majority approved mega-mansions housing developments on ridgelines that move more than 70,000 truckloads of dirt to create roads and housing pads."

If three council members deem roads are not structures they will essentially nullify Measure PP. Roads requiring drainage structures and retaining walls will again be built on 25% or greater slopes and within 100 vertical feet of a ridgeline. Permanent scarring of our hillsides and ridgelines will occur. Please email your City Council l before the next hearing on April 16.

Cindy McGovern

PP means roads

Dear Editor,

I can't believe these tactics are still happening. Although past General Plans had language that should have protected our hillsides, Pleasanton city staff constantly recommended, and City Councils approved, hillside developments that should never have been contemplated. Finally, in 2008, our citizens took matters into their own hands by referending the Oak Grove development above Kottinger Ranch with its mile-long road atop the ridge and collected enough signatures to put Measure PP on the ballot. Measure PP passed overwhelmingly, which should have protected our remaining hillsides because exceptions could only be approved by the voters.

Now the city staff, four years after its passage, is trying to manipulate Measure PP so roads can be built on slopes over 25%. They claim a road is not a "structure" so is not covered by Measure PP. But a road is a structure, and the ballot arguments mentioned roads several times; both the Planning Commission and City Council have already unanimously determined that a road is a structure. If they succeed with their tactics, Measure PP ceases to exist and development will scar our hillsides.

Please write your council members at citycouncil@ci.pleasanton.ca.gov before the April 16 council meeting and tell them to support their voters, and the law we put in place, by stating a road is a "structure" and is covered by Measure PP.

Janet Winter

Narum: The only choice

Dear Editor,

Caring, committed, and concerned are words that exemplify Kathy Narum and are reasons to support Kathy for the vacant seat on the Pleasanton City Council.

For over 10 years, she has served on the Pleasanton Planning and Park and Recreation commissions and numerous task forces. She cares that Pleasanton lives up to its motto as the City of Planned Progress. She is committed to demanding the best from developers seeking to build in our community and for the businesses that chose to make Pleasanton their base. She is concerned that, even with the financial constraints that all cities face, our recreation, parks and sports facilities continue to be developed and maintained.

Kathy is a realist who knows the city has to think out of the box and forge new partnerships in order to strengthen the city's fiscal sustainability. Continued and increased collaboration with the school district is critical for both organizations. She is committed to maintaining and enhancing downtown Pleasanton, which is the heart and soul of the city. She is also committed to the continued development of the Bernal property to serve all our residents.

I urge you to join me in marking your mail-in ballot for Kathy Narum.

Christine Steiner

Miller is best

Dear Editor,

I am supporting David Miller for the open city council seat in Pleasanton. While I have great respect for the other candidates in the race, I believe that David is the best choice because of his strong business experience and leadership skills.

There are two critical issues. First, we need to continue the effort under Mayor Thorne to put our fiscal house in order as other California cities and towns face bankruptcy. While the city of Pleasanton must continue to be the most attractive city employer in the region, we must reduce the proportion of revenue spent on personnel. Last year 80% of our funds were spent on employees, leaving little to spend on services. Almost nothing was spent on capital improvements.

Second, we need to be a more attractive place for business so that more businesses are contributing to our revenue stream. While too much of the 40-year-old Hacienda Business Park is either undeveloped or vacant, large businesses have chosen to locate across I-580 in Dublin. For too long Pleasanton has had a reputation of being almost hostile to businesses. The previous mayor and some City Council members would express their distaste for some businesses already located here. These same people wanted to decide which businesses could do business here. As a result, fewer businesses decided to locate here. Hence, we see the commercial success in Dublin.

As a veteran who takes elections very seriously, please join me in supporting David Miller for Pleasanton City Council.

Doug Miller

Anyone but Miller

Dear Editor,

First of all, I want to thank Matt Sullivan for his years on the City Council and for his brilliant letter regarding the huge mistake it would be for our City Council to support an anti-environmental agenda. Speaking of anti-environment, I cringe to see David Miller, known Tea Party personality, running for City Council. As many of you know, the Tea Party is funded by the Koch brothers, who own many large polluting corporations and who find kindred spirits in the "no taxes at all for anyone and privatize everything" Tea Party.

David Miller may do some nice things for veterans; however, he was the main opposition to the Resolution Against the USA PATRIOT Act that was passed by our City Council back in the days when people actually treasured liberty. David would show up at the City Council to show his support for all portions of the USA PATRIOT Act, including those involving the government spying on what we read, listening in to our phone calls, and reading our emails. For someone who claims to be against big government, he chooses a strange way to show it. I hope people will vote for anyone but him.

Paulette Kenyon

Strong leadership

Dear Editor,

Please join me in supporting and voting for David Miller for Pleasanton City Council.

Pleasanton needs strong leadership as we move forward in challenging economic times, and with outside entities trying to dictate unfunded mandates that are not in our best interest. David Miller will provide that leadership. He will stand up to outside interests, and work to preserve Pleasanton's small-town charm.

With a strong business background, Mr. Miller understands the need to make Pleasanton a business friendly environment. He will work to insure that the city takes a common sense approach to growth and resists efforts to force unwise projects that will have long-term negative economic and lifestyle impacts.

I would urge Pleasanton residents to visit David's website at votedavidmiller.com, especially the section on "What David Will Do." David very clearly explains what his priorities are, and what he will do as a member of the City Council.

Patrick Carroll

Narum's experience

Dear Editor,

Why Kathy Narum? She has paid her dues to be on the Pleasanton City Council. With the Eastside Pleasanton Plan before the community, we need someone with Kathy Narum's judgment, experience and independent thinking to ensure that that plan is topnotch. Her five years as a planning commissioner will be useful, but more important is her co-chair role and liaison to the East Pleasanton Task Force itself.

Kathy brings experience to the task force: Because of her chairing of the Heritage Tree Board of Appeals and because of her five years on the Parks and Recreation Commission, Kathy will introduce a thoughtful and informed vision for the Eastside Pleasanton Plan, where the chain of lakes, parks and open space, adequate infrastructure and the right mix of housing and commercial will inter-meld,

much to the benefit of all Pleasanton residents.

Also, she'll support family-oriented sports and recreation facilities worthy of the quality of life we already enjoy in Pleasanton. She has a broad base of support and endorsements as residents recognize she is fair and independent.

Yes, I know Kathy. She cares about the quality of life in all of Pleasanton, and she is no slouch when it comes to championing what she believes is in the best interest of our wonderful community. For 16 years, she has done so.

A vote for Kathy Narum is a vote for experienced leadership in Pleasanton and a vote for "quality of life" and for "community synergy" in order to grow Pleasanton into the future.

Dave Wright

Miller will analyze

Dear Editor,

With elections for City Council right around the corner, I want to encourage Pleasanton voters to support David Miller.

While attending past City Council meetings, I heard David speak on important issues before the city: providing support for our schools, encouraging sensible growth and addressing the city's unfunded pension liabilities. David has demonstrated his ability to express his concerns and make suggestions to the council on these issues.

David's business knowledge is needed to strengthen the economic well-being of our city. I believe he will analyze each matter and keep us informed. He is the clear choice for Pleasanton. I urge you to cast your vote for David Miller.

Linda Harmeson

Citizen alert

Dear Editor,

Over the last several years, the city of Pleasanton has been embroiled in unbelievably costly and failed litigation. The city has spent over $5 million of our precious revenues on outside lawyers trying to prevent housing from being built in Pleasanton only to be soundly defeated in court.

David Miller, a candidate for City Council in our special election has vowed to continue the fight. I am imploring my fellow citizens to reject his misguided position. It is precisely his bellicose attitude that resulted in the court imposed obligation to rezone property in Pleasanton in the first place. Read between the lines. David Miller has a beef with the State legislature and Congress (who doesn't) and anyone else that he perceives is imposing on him. Don't give him access to your bank account to pursue his vendetta.

None of us is happy with the court ordered rezone of property in Pleasanton but doubling down on this bet is a fool's game. When we spend $5 million on lawyers it comes at the expense of ball fields, public safety, senior programs, street improvements -- well, you get the picture. I want my City Council to defend the citizens of Pleasanton vigorously and skillfully, but I also want them to know when to pick a fight. It's easy to play fast and loose with legal fees when it's not your money being spent.

Elect a City Council that will represent your interest not their own special interest. Reject David Miller.

Marty Birk


Posted by Chemist, a resident of Downtown
on Apr 12, 2013 at 11:43 am

Anyone who votes for Narum is voting for high-density development. What she says about measure PP, roads and structures sounds great. But follow the money. The people who build the roads and structures are funding her campaign. It's an old trick: say one thing, do another. Please vote for someone who will represent you. Not Narum.

Posted by Lou, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Apr 12, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Harlan Gelderman has already left one visible scar in Pleasanton in the form of that death-trap road up Pleasanton Ridge that can be seen all over the Tri-Valley. I don't know what the official name of it was but Harlan Gelderman built it, then the county shut down because it was so steep.

Miller's property rights mantra 'let them build roads as steep as they want' would have Pleasanton paved hillside to hillside with subdivisions.

I was thinking originally of voting for Miller because he lives in my neighborhood, but no way.

I'm voting for Narum.

Posted by Jane, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 13, 2013 at 6:53 am

I agree with Chemist, I will not vote for anyone but Narum.

Posted by Jane, a resident of Birdland
on Apr 13, 2013 at 6:56 am

Sorry, I mean Narum will NOT get my vote

Posted by No Grading on ridges, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Apr 13, 2013 at 10:38 pm

I voted for PP and I want my ridges left alone. Structure or not a structure, I don't care, just leave them alone! Thank you!