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Pleasanton City Council candidates debate

Original post made on Sep 15, 2022

New housing developments, the drinking water supply and public safety were just some of the topics that five Pleasanton City Council candidates running in the November election addressed during a public forum this week.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 14, 2022, 9:59 PM

Comments (23)

Posted by keeknlinda
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 15, 2022 at 11:55 am

keeknlinda is a registered user.

Thanks to Pleasanton Weekly for recognizing the importance of local elections and introducing the voters to the candidates for those positions. Especially thanks for presenting it in video format, so we can re-examine points we may have missed on the first viewing. Now more than ever before, we the people must inform ourselves before we mark that ballot. Without the extraordinary lengths to which you've gone in presenting these forums for all the tri-valley voters, we would have fewer opportunities to really learn who the candidates are and what they stand for. Bravo, team. This is the role journalism is meant to fulfill in our daily lives.


Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 15, 2022 at 10:20 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

I did not realize there was a candidate forum until I saw this article on the Weekly. So, I clicked on the link and watched the two-hour forum, screen went black for a period, then the volume was lost for a period.

(Removed because it focused on personal attributes and not the candidate's stance on the issues or other statements to determine his qualifications.) Nibert seemed to be candidate for assembly with attacking Dean Wallace employer.

Testa said crime was down in Pleasanton. (Removed pending verification.) Testa's police oversight demand is ludicrous. The chief of police is the police department oversight, reports to the council.

(Removed because it focused on personal attributes and not the candidate's stance on the issues or other statements to determine her qualifications.) Jamie Yee described this candidate forum as "sick fun."

Two candidates stand out, Dean Wallace and Joel Liu. Dean Wallace will represent district one very well, Joel Liu will represent district three very well. I support these two candidates for city council.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 16, 2022 at 8:51 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

A correction, Michael. The chief of police does not report to the council, but to the city manager. There does need to be some oversight, such as the independent group I believe Palo Alto uses so corrections and changes can be proposed.


Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 16, 2022 at 9:19 am

Michael Austin is a registered user.

To the council through the city manager.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 16, 2022 at 12:45 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Unless things have changed, the council has little to do, or is even informed, with the day to day operations. They get some communications and a yearly report. It isn’t oversight.


Posted by Karla Brown
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 16, 2022 at 1:10 pm

Karla Brown is a registered user.

Thank you Gina and Jeremy for the opportunity to learn more about all 5 candidates for Pleasanton's city council 2022. I have been in their seats, and televised interviews with surprise questions can be quite challenging. I thought all 5 candidates did a good job of expressing their goals for Pleasanton, and should be commended. All of these candidates that have the kind of values that makes them want to get involved, and to support the city of Pleasanton as a wonderful place to live and work, and actually run for office.

There are many factors I would consider before endorsing or voting for a candidate, but honestly none of them would include chair movement or being nervous during an interview. I would expect a little nervousness because public speaking commonly makes people a bit uncomfortable.

I know I am not alone when I say, these 5 Pleasanton residents deserve respect, not petty criticism.


Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 16, 2022 at 2:39 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

In job interview, body language is noted when receiving, answering questions. One wants to know how well a candidate will hold together in a crisis.

That is why candidate Wallace and candidate Liu stood out in this forum. The two of them were eager for questions, their eagerness to serve, their confidence was obvious.


Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 16, 2022 at 5:24 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

(Removed because it places blame where it does not necessarily belong. While the detection of contaminates in water came about during the current council's term, it does not mean the contaminates weren't present before.)


Posted by Karla Brown
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 16, 2022 at 6:28 pm

Karla Brown is a registered user.

Mr. Austin- I would suggest you reread the Pleasanton Weekly in better detail. It is an excellent source of actions the city and the Zone 7 Water Agency have taken to provide clean safe drinking water to our residents. Another source of information is the supplier for over 80% of the city's water supplies, Zone 7.

For a technical source of information is the City of Pleasanton's website using the link below. In addition, I supported the city joining a lawsuit against the chemical manufacturers. Here is an excerpt of a policy I 100% supported in subcommittee, and at the city council:

"Pleasanton test results showed detection of PFOS above the Response Level for Well 8. Upon receipt of these results, the City placed Well 8 on Emergency Standby Status and has not operated since the beginning of June 2019."

"Zone 7 has been blending groundwater wells and/or treating groundwater at their Mocho Groundwater Demineralization Facility to ensure that all drinking water is below Response Levels before being delivered to Pleasanton’s water distribution system. Zone 7 test results showed no detection of PFOA and PFOS in their treated surface water supplies."

The PFAS chemicals, often referred to as Forever Chemicals, are tested as Parts per Trillion. As soon as they were identified in our well 8, the well was shut down and has not operated since. At the direction of the Mayor and Council, the city continues to work with our water engineers, zone 7 engineers, outside experts, and state law makers. I personally spoke to Congressman Swalwell about funding, and he has earmarked $2.5M in federal funds to help remediate and remove the PFAS on one of his bills going through the process at this time. I along with my Mayors of the Tri-Valley are advocated for state funding. In my meetings with the EPA earlier this year, much of the funding for PFAS removal will go to the States for allocation.

Web Link


Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 16, 2022 at 8:04 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

A lot of good work by a lot of other good people.
I appreciate all of them.


Posted by keeknlinda
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 16, 2022 at 10:22 pm

keeknlinda is a registered user.

Kathleen, I believe you will find that under the latest police policies, the Chief does report directly to City Council every 6 months. In fact, it is on the agenda for next Tuesday's council meeting.
There is no need for another oversight group. Council requested the bi-annual reporting and it was implemented immediately.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 17, 2022 at 8:03 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

I am glad the council gets two reports. It is not oversight, which I believe all police departments need. There are retired policemen providing the service—one of their own. Again, they are involved in day to day operations and can suggest changes to the system, if warranted.


Posted by keeknlinda
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 17, 2022 at 10:24 am

keeknlinda is a registered user.

Kathleen, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Candidates Joel Liu and Dean Wallace both stated that should a need arise, it could be addressed, but since there is no need, the City Manager and City Council perform a two-layer oversight function in Pleasanton and our police department policies are regularly monitored, there is no need.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 17, 2022 at 11:12 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

Hmmmm. The city’s insurance company paid $5.? Million to a family for a death of their son . . . and we don’t need oversight?


Posted by keeknlinda
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Sep 17, 2022 at 12:19 pm

keeknlinda is a registered user.

Policies have been changed as a result of that tragic event. The department was immediately responsive to council, public meetings were held and yes, city council oversight worked perfectly, swiftly, and effectively.


Posted by Bay Area Native
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Sep 17, 2022 at 2:56 pm

Bay Area Native is a registered user.

It gets old seeing one individual constantly criticizing others while he fails to run for public office himself. If he runs he will discover how much the community as a whole values his opinions and candidate endorsements.

Running for local office is not easy. Campaigning in and of itself requires huge time and emotional commitments for fundraising, interviews, public appearances, securing endorsements, etc. Serving once elected requires significant time plus being subjected to criticism from people who often don’t understand the facts of the issue they complain about. It’s remarkable anyone runs for local offices anymore because it’s certainly not for the money.

Talk is cheap. Run yourself since you are so enlightened.

Thanks to PW for facilitating the debate and thank you to all of the candidates for running. I would enjoy seeing PW follow-up by fact checking some of the candidates’ statements. I think there were a few factually incorrect statements on some of the key issues.


Posted by Karla Brown
a resident of Downtown
on Sep 18, 2022 at 4:16 pm

Karla Brown is a registered user.

Mr. Austin's angry, rude and disrespectful responses to a reasonable question, prohibit many thoughtful Pleasanton residents from using the Town Square. Why does the Pleasanton Weekly continue to allow him unfettered access to your website? The use of his name should not grant him the ability to be disrespectful to others.

I decided to post after I read his insulting words about some of the city council candidates actions during their panel interview. Why is this acceptable? He rarely offers a reasonable discussion about issues, instead he takes personal jabs, he is meanspirited and he is unkind. He should be blocked from posting.


Posted by Just Another Resident
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 19, 2022 at 9:55 am

Just Another Resident is a registered user.

Interesting to hear the Pleasanton mayor advocating for suppression of free speech.

Word to the wise, Mayor Brown: Be careful with what you say on the Internet. You may be running uncontested, but you still need to be able to count to 3 to get anything done in this town.


Posted by Mica
a resident of Alisal Elementary School
on Sep 19, 2022 at 12:25 pm

Mica is a registered user.

I have lived in Pleasanton for 30 years. For a long time the elected counsel always talked about slow growth which was really no growth and always approving housing at a very low density if at all. That was in part due to a large NIMBY segment of our town. How the pendulum has swung. If we had addressed housing in an appropriate and thoughtful way throughout the years we would not be faced with losing local control and mandates for affordable housing. The anti-housing began with Mayor Ben Tarver, and other counsel members such as Matt Sullivan and many others some of which on the council presently lacked leader ship. I still remember the nice senior care housing facility on Stoneridge being reduceed in the number of needed apartments because of neighbors a rosd the street worried about losing part of their distant view. Now our city has to build really high density like Dublin to catch up and meet its fair share of amount of affordable housing comply with the state. The city blew it and now we are faced with losing local control in order to provide housing


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 19, 2022 at 3:09 pm

Matt Sullivan is a registered user.

(Portion removed) ... many, many others over the years because I have interfered with their demand for a Costco. They provide no value to a discussion or a policy debate, only personal attacks. And Karla is also right that these attacks deter people from posting for fear of attack. This is political intimidation, and as I mentioned in the other thread, is a form of fascism. But at least (removed) uses his real name.

I won't suggest that the PW ban these people from the blog, but I would encourage strong guidelines against intimidation and remove posts that violate this. After all, free speech doesn't mean you can scream "fire" in a crowded theatre.

This blog could serve a useful purpose for legitimate political or social debate but not while it's controlled by a few toxic individuals who try to limit others' views.


Posted by Karl A
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2022 at 3:29 pm

Karl A is a registered user.

Mr. Sullivan

I don’t believe my outlining your activities over the last 15 or so years constitutes a ‘personal attack’.

I’ve only identified the issues Costco and others before Costco where you have taken the path of attacking the people who disagree with you. Stating facts is not an attack.

Anybody can do a Google search and validate what I have highlighted. The great thing about the internet is everything you do is stored as 0’s and 1’s in the memory of a server in some data center located somewhere in the world.

The real issue that needs to be addressed is you think it is ok to personally attack others. I guess you think being an ex-city council member means it is ok for you to act the way you do.

Any reasonable person who goes back and reviews all of your posts will see your attacks contribute very little to the conversation.

I suggest the PW brings in an independent person to review all of your posts and letters over the last 15 years to pass judgement on how much you have contributed to Pleasanton in a positive, helpful way.

A little self awareness or emotional intelligence on your part might help you learn how to contribute to conversations in a more positive way.


Posted by Matt Sullivan
a resident of Stoneridge
on Sep 19, 2022 at 4:06 pm

Matt Sullivan is a registered user.

Karl A - you are confusing legitimate criticism of elected officials with personal attacks. I have criticized the ACTIONS of these officials many times, which is my right and responsibility in q democracy. I don't attack them as a person, which is what you and your pals do as a form of intimidation. A perfect example is your condescending post just now "A little self awareness or emotional intelligence on your part might help you learn how to contribute to conversations in a more positive way" and your continuing insinuations that I am mentally ill. THOSE are personal attacks.


Posted by Karl A
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Sep 19, 2022 at 4:53 pm

Karl A is a registered user.

Mr. Sullivan
I’ll sign off with one more condescending comment (or by your definition an attack)- sharing the definition of a bully, which you have been with the people who disagree with you your entire political career:
Avoids and denies responsibility for the consequences of that behavior (abdication and denial are hallmarks in bullying) through denial, blaming others and feigning victimhood. Is unable and unwilling to recognize the effect and harm the behavior has on others. Is unable and unwilling to conceptualize a better way to behave.

After 50 years I will be leaving Pleasanton. I will miss my friends but definitely will not miss you nor the highly negative political environment Pleasanton is now drowning in.

I’ve never been a member of Costco, but with the endless recommendations you have made to try the hotdogs, I may join just for that.

Hope you have a more positive future.


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