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Tech professional, Amador alum Monith Ilavarasan running for Pleasanton mayor

Original post made on Aug 6, 2020

Pleasanton native Monith Ilavarasan is hoping to shake up city politics by offering "a more youthful and diverse energy" as he campaigns to win the mayor's seat on the November ballot.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, August 6, 2020, 6:43 PM

Comments (32)

4 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 6, 2020 at 8:46 pm

Pete is a registered user.

Pleasanton native Monith Ilararasan is hoping to shake up city politics...something the Weekly is endorsing/hoping for.
The Weekly will endorse, hands down, Jerry Pentin...that’s a given. Hopefully, Monith impacts the election in a positive way...and receives enough support to have a voice to draw votes from both incumbents for Mayor. He brings up some good points.


8 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 6, 2020 at 9:00 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

City council candidate Nancy Allen supports Karla Brown for Mayor.

City council candidate Jack Balch supports Jerry Pentin for mayor.

It is not a given the Weekly will endorse Pentin.

Although Pentin has the most impressive endorsements. Endorsements can hinder as much as they might help a candidate or an issue.

In the last PUSD bond election for Measure M, the endorsements supporting Measure M defeated the Measure M bond. If people and organizations had stayed out of the endorsement business, Measure M would have passed. It was defeated by a very small margin.


19 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 7, 2020 at 9:05 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I have a question about Jack Balch; will his affiliation with the real estate business create situations where he has to recuse himself? And if the answer is yes, will it be on all developments? It is something voters should know.


14 people like this
Posted by Lee Denlinger
a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2020 at 10:09 am

Lee Denlinger is a registered user.

I am in complete agreement that Pleasanton has outstanding schools, an inclusive demographic and is environmentally aware of growth patterns. All of this didn’t just happen overnight! Our excellent voices on the City Council led us to this point. Let’s vote for a mayor with perspective and experience. Karla Brown speaks for these values. She is the voice of Pleasanton residents who want sustainable growth that assures continued outdoor space, a growing economy, and a just inclusiveness for all. Go Karla Brown for Mayor!


11 people like this
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Aug 8, 2020 at 6:57 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Pleasanton has outstanding after normal school hours tutoring/teaching. Which helps the students learn, comprehend, and advance tremendously.

Many of the after normal school hours tutoring instructors are Pleasanton school teachers.

I have never understood why the after normal school hours tutors/teachers do not apply the same methods of instruction, tutoring/teaching in the classroom during normal school hours.


9 people like this
Posted by Linda Kelly
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 8, 2020 at 9:21 pm

Linda Kelly is a registered user.

Kathleen Ruegsegger, did you ask the same question about Karla Brown, whose profession is real estate?


17 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 9, 2020 at 7:56 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

It’s a good question, but she is not a builder or owner of multiple locations or developer.


3 people like this
Posted by @MichaelAustin
a resident of Ruby Hill
on Aug 9, 2020 at 2:44 pm

@MichaelAustin is a registered user.

Your "teaching methods" question/confusion is a bit odd - but I will take a chance at answering.

Full time teachers who also teach at night in tutoring centers to make ends meet financially do not change their method of teaching or come up with entirely new curriculum because it is after 5 PM.

Most tutoring centers promote and advertise that their staff is made up of Pleasanton teachers - so the process and methodology is the same as the kids will see (or have seen) in class hours.

The difference may be that the tutoring classes are more like 10-15 kids, not 35.... so for many kids that makes all the difference. And the motivation is high, now the parents are paying for something their kids did not get the first time around in class.

Many kids just need to hear things a second and time and need more 1:1 support that is not possible in a class of 35 kids. Math classes, for example move pretty fast as there is a lot to cover - so many kids just cannot keep up without extra help.


9 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 9, 2020 at 4:45 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

@Michael, but they are getting paid and it presents a problem. If they are teaching well during the day, there wouldn’t be a need for the many tutoring centers open after school. But I suspect that these are mostly students who want A’s.

The locations using Pleasanton teachers are not supposed to advertise they are district teachers. Unless something changed.


2 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 9, 2020 at 7:45 pm

Pete is a registered user.

Kathleen, what parents/grandparents/aunts/uncles do with their money should not be of any concern. “ If they are teaching well during the day, there wouldn’t be a need for the many tutoring centers open after school.”
With close to 50 nieces and nephews Kathleen, with varying interests, intellects/focus and drive, your statement does not hold water in the 21st century...with all the constraints a teacher has to deal with, to teach...all...collectively. You share many thought provoking answers. Not that statement.


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 9, 2020 at 10:05 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Pete, I said most of the students likely want A’s.


3 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 10, 2020 at 6:11 am

Pete is a registered user.

Will tutoring guarantee an “A”?Comprehending subject matter is a tutors main focus...first. If that has changed, Forgive the intrusion.
Bizarre, I don’t drink the kool-aid that an election year tends to serve us. When someone says they are your voice...I run. When another has all the endorsements, they owe favors...which hinders them useless.


5 people like this
Posted by Fact Checker
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 21, 2020 at 10:21 pm

Fact Checker is a registered user.

Kathleen, Jack Balch is not a builder or a developer. His family company leases office space to small businesses. He has served successfully on city commissions, including Planning Commission, for 11 years. Nice try.


9 people like this
Posted by Denise
a resident of Grey Eagle Estates
on Aug 22, 2020 at 6:37 am

Denise is a registered user.

I am so tired of candidates using their supporters as mouth pieces to stir the pot or defend them. I would have much more respect for both Nancy Allen and Karla Brown if they would simply participate in this forum directly instead of using Kathleen Ruessegger as their proxy. Nancy has repeatedly "suggested" that Jack will have to recuse himself from votes due to his job. However she never mentions that, by profession, he is a CPA. Furthermore, I would much rather have a council member who lives and works in our community making decisions instead of a council member who barely lives in Pleasanton full-time, such as Nancy. Please be forthcoming in discussions. It is painfully easy to connect dots in a small community like ours. I don't trust someone to be a transparent leader when they cannot run a transparent campaign.


5 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 22, 2020 at 8:39 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I support Nancy Allen. I am also speaking for myself and not for Nancy. Nancy has come on these forums to respond herself.

Jack Balch had to recuse himself from voting on the downtown plan while on the planning commission. How big a problem might he have if he makes it onto the council? It is important for voters to know who they might be putting into office. It’s a crowded race, and this is a fair question.


3 people like this
Posted by fackchecker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2020 at 9:06 am

fackchecker is a registered user.

Kathleen,

Why is it a problem for jack balch to have to recuse himself on the downtown specific plan and not for julie testa who also had to recuse herself? Shouldn't the voters have known prior to the 2018 election that she had to recuse from downtown issues as well? You are not being consistent as you supported julie who has the same issue.


1 person likes this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 22, 2020 at 9:54 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I believe Julie had to recuse herself because she lived within the limits of the Bernal/Main St. intersection. I am not aware that she had to recuse herself on the downtown matter. What would the reason have been?


3 people like this
Posted by fackchecker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2020 at 10:14 am

fackchecker is a registered user.

Julie Testa had to recuse herself after a ruling from the FPPC (Fair Polical Practices Commission) that she that she lived to close to the DSP (downtown specific plan) boundry. Here's the article Web Link

So again I ask why is Jack Balch's recusal a problem and Julie Testa's recusal not with regard to the DSP?


Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 22, 2020 at 11:09 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Julie fought to be in on the vote then and lost; unfortunate. Jack Balch has more than the downtown to worry about, so it is still a question worth a response.


9 people like this
Posted by PamelaA
a resident of Ironwood
on Aug 22, 2020 at 12:52 pm

PamelaA is a registered user.

Back to the topic. Now is not the time for a council member-in-training. We need an elected official who has been involved with the City issues by sitting on a commission or appointed to any committee at least. It sounds exciting to say “shake up” things up but seriously, we desperately need experience. It can take a couple of years or more to get fully vetted on a myriad of regulations, issues, processes, etc. in order to make sound and balanced decisions


3 people like this
Posted by PamelaA
a resident of Ironwood
on Aug 22, 2020 at 1:06 pm

PamelaA is a registered user.

@ Kathleen Ruegsegger.
You noted that Karla Brown is not a builder or owner of multiple locations or a developer so she did not have to recuse from voting on the DSP.
However, in the last election, she accepted thousands of dollars from a quarry company next to the East Pleasanton Specific Plan area. She should have recused herself from that discussion and in the future.
Several people in this platform constantly talk about developer contributions But in the case of the aforementioned do not challenge Ms Brown’s ethics, conflict of interest in this election, or honesty.


Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 22, 2020 at 1:18 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

It is my understanding that Karla Brown is not taking money from developers. You’d have to check that.


1 person likes this
Posted by fackchecker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 22, 2020 at 1:33 pm

fackchecker is a registered user.

I find it very troubling that Julie Testa fought to be able to vote on the DSP. The fact she apparently had to go to the FPPC for a ruling rather than just recuse based on perception is troubling. Just as troubling is that Kathleen seems to think this is ok because she fought to vote. This just confirms Kathleen's lack of objectivity especially when she didn't realize that Julie couldn't vote on the DSP.

The quarry company next to the east side is a special interest especially given they are vocally opposed to development of the east side. I ask Karla Brown to state whether or not she is taking money from the quarry for this election cycle or after the election. (She received a significant donation from the Cox family AFTER the 2016 election that didn't have to be disclosed until July 2017 for her support of Measure MM which opposed Costco on Johnson dr.)


6 people like this
Posted by Bryant Annenberg
a resident of Downtown
on Aug 22, 2020 at 5:01 pm

Bryant Annenberg is a registered user.

Campaign contributions

How many of the current, City Council have taken a campaign contribution or endorsement from any organization with connections to the Pleasanton Police Department?

Applying the same criteria used for Brown & Testa, those City Council members who have received an endorsement or $$$, should recuse themselves of the current discussions of Police policy.

Police and their unions are a special interest group.
A very powerful one.

Bry


2 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 22, 2020 at 7:31 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I do not follow the city council much, so I missed/forgot about Julie’s fight to vote. Again, unfortunate.


6 people like this
Posted by RonnieF
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Aug 23, 2020 at 4:01 pm

RonnieF is a registered user.

@ Kathleen Ruegsegger. You don’t follow the City Council much?! Really!? You have posted an awful lot then on something you don’t know much about. C’mon, your rationalizing of Tesla’s bad behavior is painful.


Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 23, 2020 at 7:50 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I said I don’t follow it much. I didn’t rationalize what Julie fought for because I would support her learning about what she could or could not do. I mostly follow the police.


5 people like this
Posted by RonnieF
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Aug 24, 2020 at 9:57 am

RonnieF is a registered user.

I rest my case.


Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 24, 2020 at 10:23 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Clearly Testa didn’t realize she would be counted out of the vote and fought for the legal interpretation. So, she didn’t know when she was elected. There isn’t anything to rest your case on. In the meantime, she fought for changes and won. Glad she was there through it all.


3 people like this
Posted by fackchecker
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 24, 2020 at 10:35 am

fackchecker is a registered user.

Kathleen, could you highlight the changes she fought for and won please? If she wasn't eligible to vote then should she have been participating in discussions after she was elected anyway? All I remember is that she didn't realize the Rose Hotel is 3 stories.


Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Aug 24, 2020 at 11:18 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

She was at most if not all the downtown meetings before she was on the council.


6 people like this
Posted by Nancy Allen
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on Aug 27, 2020 at 10:19 pm

Nancy Allen is a registered user.

Hi,
To Denise or others who may have questons, i am not sure how to reach out to you. Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] or call me at 510-304-6691. We can schedule time to talk on the phone or meet in the park or downtown. I have an open door policy and you can reach out directly to me if you need help as I am not a regular user of the blog. Thank you for caring about our community and who who will represent you in the future.


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