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Twas the Week Before Christmas (aka Pleasanton Revolts)

Original post made by PeasantUprising, West of Foothill, on Dec 21, 2010

Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the town
Not a councilman was stirring, not one could be found
the contract was signed and tucked safe away
The payback was done, for those deals made that day.

The employees were snoring all snug in their beds
while the tax payers labored to pay them their bread.
With Hosterman all smiling and Cheryl in her tower
they had just settled down to plan for more power.

When out in the town there arose such a clatter
they sprang from their beds to see what was the matter.
To the online Town Square they flew like a flash
popped open their laptops their plans soon were dashed

The words on the page of the screen that did glow
Gave warning of tidings they hoped not to know
When, what to their wondering eyes should appear
but a small band of citizens blogging the sphere.

Some warned of a budget that did nothing but grow
from ballooning entitlements that we all now owe.
They are sounding a warning for all to best heed
or our town may be doomed by the union's own greed.

The liberals are saying this is not a big deal.
It's overblown, just posturing, and definitely not real.
"Just give us more taxes", we have to complete
with all those state workers who's deals are so sweet.

Then off in the distance, but what did they hear
even more angry citizens were soon to draw near.
Their voices were low and grumbled at first
but soon did crescendo to a voluminous burst.

They shouted and cried of the pain in their backs
From the state, fed and cities who do nothing but tax.
Why can't we just keep what we earn as our share
And we'll gladly pay taxes as long as it's fair.

The mayor feigned interest and gave her best smile
and asked of the mob to behave for a while.
It's best we talk later, perhaps in the spring.
After it is really too late for this thing.

Condescension's not advised for a crowd ready to bolt
So Pleasanton has started their own tax revolt.
If the ones we elect will not watch carefully the purse
Then our words and our actions will need to grow worse.

Oh yes my dear mayor we shall talk in the spring.
If you and the council do not handle this thing.
Our talk will not be words that you are able to hear
But a voter initiative that speaks loud and clear.

For the peasants are rising, demanding what's fair.
Enough is enough for our city we care.
So stand up for the voters and make them all proud.
For if you do not, we'll REALLY get loud.

Merry Christmas Jennifer, Cheryl, Matt, Cindy and Jerry! And to all a good night!

Join the revolt here: Web Link

PS - Apologies to Clement Moore for butchering his fine poem. :)

Comments (28)

Like this comment
Posted by Spike
a resident of another community
on Dec 21, 2010 at 9:23 am


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Posted by Bart Hughes
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2010 at 10:10 am

Quite creative!

Let's hope that we achieve some serious compromises in the new January contract. BTW, the City has pushed out the dates for the contract by two weeks. First public reading is on 1/18 and Council vote two weeks later.

Like this comment
Posted by bellummonger
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 21, 2010 at 10:29 am

Si vis pacem, para bellum! Google it.

Like this comment
Posted by Concerned
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2010 at 11:11 am

You are hereby appointed Poet Laureate.:)

Like this comment
Posted by Phil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm

What a bunch of right wing, Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell, Creationist rubbish! Say yes to higher taxes and a better way of life for all of us! Workers of the world unite!

Happy Holidays!

Like this comment
Posted by Pablo
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 21, 2010 at 12:38 pm


Well, well, well, we have heard from you our own socialist or communist, swinging lib. Never did answer the question about what you think the tax rate should be on someone making %500,000 did ya. Oh well have a very Merry Christmas and I hope more of the same next year for your dark side.

Like this comment
Posted by Phil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2010 at 1:03 pm

"Never did answer the question about what you think the tax rate should be on someone making %500,000 did ya."

Oh sorry, I missed the question. I would say about 75% seems right to me, but I'm no expert.

Like this comment
Posted by Pablo
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 21, 2010 at 1:08 pm


Amazing! so in your opinion a person making $500,000 per year should net $125,000 after taxes?

Like this comment
Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 21, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Rae is a registered user.

While the poem as rewritten is clever, and the need for fiscal accountability and responsibility from our elected officials is something I think we all agree is absolutely necessary, I would urge Pleasantonians to be aware of the organization that is actually behind this particular post.

The weblink noted in the post from “PeasantUprising" takes you to the “Citizens of Pleasanton for Fiscal Responsibility” page, which is actually a front page for the Tri-Valley Patriots, one of Pleasanton’s two Tea Party groups. (See the URL as well as the contact information at the bottom of the home page when you select the weblink above and here.) Web Link

Note that as one of the “Recommended Actions”, the “Citizens of Pleasanton for Fiscal Responsibility”/Tri-Valley Patriots have pledged to “identify, recruit, and support candidates who will represent the citizen's expectation of careful fiscal stewardship.” Interesting.

The Tri-Valley Patriots are one of the two Tea Party organizations that endorsed Mr. Fred Watson in his recent run for an open Pleasanton City Council seat. Mr. Watson, if you remember, is a ten-year resident of Pleasanton who made it clear in candidate debates that he has little knowledge of recent, current or future major issues we have had, or will face, here in Pleasanton -- including the upcoming city contract negotiations. Mr. Watson was also a candidate who, while promoting “accountability, responsibility and transparency” on his website, filed multiple campaign finance reports that failed to include all of his expenditures, even when asked by the city clerk to file addendums.

So, do the “Citizens of Pleasanton for Fiscal Responsibility”/Tri-Valley Patriots really have the “fiscal stewardship” of Pleasanton at heart? I'd bet that we just seeing the TVP Tea Party trying to hitchhike onto an issue that concerns many of us here in Pleasanton in order to run another (or the same) unqualified candidate who has Tea Party rhetoric down pat, but fails to recognize that “careful fiscal stewardship” begins with his/her own campaign finances.

This issue is big (aren't they all!!) and affects every resident and business owner in Pleasanton. I urge everyone to do your own research on the city contract issue and not rely on just the facts and figures put out by an organization with a partisan political agenda. Thank you.

Like this comment
Posted by Locally grown
a resident of another community
on Dec 21, 2010 at 4:41 pm

Yet another great drive by shot from Rae:

As if she/he ever stepped up to the plate on this forum (or anywhere for that matter) to give us a forth right comprehensive recommendation on how to fix any problem she/he so quickly condemns those who try to.

Rae you pontificate so much, why don't you enlighten all of us how to go about fixing this issue, as well as any issue for that matter facing the city of Pleasanton. Based on your blogs, no one appears to have the right answer(s) or approach(s) to the problem(s).

Could you share with us what has given you your wealth of knowledge and first hand experiences that makes you so much wiser?

Instead of being a public thorn in the side of those who actually care and are willing to try to do something about the problems of this city and are willing to stick their neck out and make recommendations and changes, why not try being a solution to these issues and bequeath upon us your extraordinary knowledge and wisdom. By your badgering comments you appear to know more about anything or anyone than those who post here.

And while your at it, please share with us what your political affiliation is. What your educational background is. What have you done to make this community a better place. Where do you stand on issues? When will you be running for a public office?

I know all of us are waiting with baited breath.

Locally Grown

Like this comment
Posted by no tail rotor
a resident of West of Foothill
on Dec 21, 2010 at 5:25 pm

I know Fred Watson personally and I take great offense at the characterization made by Rae. Fred is a dedicated public servant who has the best interests of Pleasanton at heart - someone who believes in leaving more money in the citizens' pockets, encouraging individual responsibility and volunteerism, and making the world a better place than it was before he came.

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Posted by Rest of Story
a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 21, 2010 at 7:50 pm

The poem is a beautiful creation and an wonderful device for communicating how our(?) elected officials are willfully ignoring the citizens' demands for some fiscal sanity. Rushing this contract with giveaways through during the Christmas holidays is the height of arrogance. Contact your council representatives and tell them that the city employees need to be contributing in a significant way to their own retirement, and furthermore that what additional funds are required for these pensions should be budgeted in the year they are obligated, namely now. We cannot behave like so many other governments that obligate taxpayers to fund retirement plans without setting aside the necessary money to pay for them. When the city ages to the point that a large number of folks retire, the impact on the city's budget will be enormous if the funds have not been properly set aside each year.

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Posted by fred4pleasanton
a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Dec 21, 2010 at 7:58 pm

fred4pleasanton is a registered user.

Rae you are now warned that you stand on the edge of defamation of character. Nothing would please me more than to serve you with papers. Hiding behind and IP and MAC address wont keep you hidden for long.

Fred Watson

Like this comment
Posted by Livermore Girl
a resident of Livermore
on Dec 21, 2010 at 8:05 pm

LOL I love this. Now shed some love over in Livermore too! I'm so sickened that garaspendy won. blech. Oh and Phil - I work too but I don't want people to hand me money. I like to pay my own way and if I need a job I like someone with some extra cash stored around and not some company that has to fork out a ton in taxes because the one who can't afford the taxes is the next one who will probably have the next round of layoffs.

Like this comment
Posted by Phil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2010 at 8:41 pm


With deductions it would be closer to 50%. And with deductions we would be encouraging behaviors that benefit us all. One example would be the mortgage interest deduction.

Like this comment
Posted by Phil
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 21, 2010 at 8:43 pm

"We cannot behave like so many other governments that obligate taxpayers to fund retirement plans without setting aside the necessary money to pay for them."

I agree with that. That is where so many governments went wrong.

Like this comment
Posted by Yet Another Teacher
a resident of Hart Middle School
on Dec 21, 2010 at 9:27 pm

You know, increasingly I do find *some* Pleasantonians "revolting".

But so long as you confine your "political activism" to posting derivative verse on the Internets, I think the rest of us are safe.

Like this comment
Posted by SteveP
a resident of Parkside
on Dec 22, 2010 at 9:31 am

SteveP is a registered user.

Internets?? There are more than one? Is that why you have to capitalize the word? What is it you teach? Not English.....

I'm so glad you feel safe---must be that teacher's union you contribute to...makes you feel safe and warm knowing your dues are going towards liberal politicians who pick our pockets to promote their agenda.

Like this comment
Posted by b
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Fire up the torches! Git your tea bales. Let's put those lazy, overpaid bums out on the street this Christmas. Hey, I bet we could eliminate all our taxes, if we just made them work for free.

Like this comment
Posted by b
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2010 at 12:02 pm

My mistake earlier in this dialogue was trying to think rationally about the whole situation. This fire-and-brimstone approach is much more fun.

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Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 22, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Rae is a registered user.

Really, Mr. Watson??? Defamation threats?? What exactly was I untruthful about?

As noted on the “About” page of your campaign website, two of your three endorsements WERE from the Pleasanton Tea Party groups – the Tri-Valley Patriots and the PTP. Web Link

I certainly wasn’t the only one who thought you were less than knowledgeable of the issues facing Pleasanton, Mr. Watson. In declining to endorse you, the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce stated: "Two challengers, Karla Brown and Fred Watson, lack experience and are simply not well versed enough in the issues to keep Pleasanton on the right track," according to the BACPAC report. "Over the next two years, in a challenging economy, Pleasanton will need the experience of proven leaders, and cannot afford the distraction of the kind of 'on the job training' both will demand." Web Link

As far as your Campaign Finance Reports go, you filed four reports, the second of which was an addendum to the first report. On Sept 23, 2010 the Pleasanton Patch published a picture of you downtown standing next to a table covered with campaign literature/giveaways and in front of your campaign yard signs. On Oct 13, 2010 the PW reported: “Watson, the operations manager at Open Heart Kitchen, shows in his 460 that he's spent nothing so far, although he must have paid a filing fee of $1,142 to get his name in the Sample Ballot, which the other candidates have reported. He also has a few campaign signs on home yards in Pleasanton. City Clerk Karen Diaz has asked him to re-file the campaign expenditure report.” As of your last filed Campaign Finance Report, there is still no accounting for your filing fee, let alone any expense associated with your literature/giveaways and signs. Web Link Web Link

“For my campaign I have selected three principles of integrity that describe my approach to government and public service. These three principles are: ACCOUNTABILITY RESPONSIBILITY TRANSPARENCY” Those are your words Mr. Watson from the “Home” page of your campaign website. Honestly, do you think you followed your own “principles” in your campaign finance reporting, the first example of your “approach to government”?

Again I ask: What exactly was I untruthful about?

Like this comment
Posted by fred4pleasanton
a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Dec 22, 2010 at 1:31 pm

fred4pleasanton is a registered user.

All required candidate forms were legally submitted (addendum's etc) as required by Federal, Local and State agencies. If you choose to insinuate anything less, continue on. You should try reading the forms before you imply any unlawful activity occurred.

BTW: Locally Grown had some great points, care to respond?

Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I'd be interested in seeing those reports Mr. Watson. Accountability is important, just as you and others are asking for here, yet I have also been waiting to see how your transparency has been upheld.

When I first looked into your profile, available to anyone searching the Internet (Yes Steve it is capitalized when "the" is in front of it, as a proper noun) I was surprised to see it change in not only your profile, but quotes and writings from various websites and organizations changed as well. Upon reviewing the previous editions of those pages, I see you had reason to hide your opinions from the people of Pleasanton. Now threatening lawsuits because someone posts facts about your behavior? How can I take your comments seriously when the rules don't seem to apply to you? And I wonder how questioning the City's pension plan is any different than questioning the motives of those who post comments here, Locally grown thinks you can't do that.

Mr. Watson, I waited for your response to Rae's straight forward questions about how you would run things in Pleasanton as a City Council member and you never replied. If you were in my shoes, wouldn't you question your transparency, responsibility, and accountability, just as you now question Pleasantons?

Like this comment
Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 22, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Rae is a registered user.

Locally Grown,
I'm supposed to give my qualifications for daring to have, and express, an opinion??? I think not! Nice try at deflection though! LOL!!!

Frankly, I always find it suspect when an organization (or corporation) hops on a issue (or funds a proposition), but then hides their involvement behind a feel-good name like, in this case, the “Citizens of Pleasanton for Fiscal Responsibility”. If the Tri-Valley Patriots Tea Party wants to get involved in Pleasanton’s city employee contract negotiations, then just step up as the Tri-Valley Patriots Tea Party so we all know. BTW, local Pleasanton issues and our leadership elections are non-partisan.
Mr. Watson,
Did I say that you were involved in any unlawful activity? If I thought the holes in your campaign finance reporting were illegal I would have flagged the FPPC. That, however, is not the case, nor have I *ever* said or implied that it was.

Campaign financing, money in as well as money out - both for candidates and referendums - has always been looked at and discussed as a part of our Pleasanton elections. As I've stated repeatedly, for me, it's all about seeing how a candidate, elected official, or referendum backer(s) live up to the principles of accountability, responsibility and transparency in their campaign and in office. Since you chose these very same principles as your platform in your run for City Council, you seem to think they are important as well. You even went on to say that "All our elected officials are accountable to the citizens of their community." I happen to think that includes candidates running for office. You obviously believe you have adhered to your principles. So be it.

Like this comment
Posted by fred4pleasanton
a resident of Fairlands Elementary School
on Dec 22, 2010 at 4:26 pm

fred4pleasanton is a registered user.

Hi John:

If I have indicated the rules do not apply to me please be more specific where I have indicated this, and what if any laws have been violated. So far the campaign police have not come knocking on my door.

I believe I gave Rae and the community 3 solid foundation points of my campaign, found on my website. As far as answering each of the important individual concerns from the tax paying community, please read below.

As per the city clerks office all candidate's campaign contribution information is readily available on the city website. Please contact Karen Diaz, who oversees this process. Over the counter requests from the community can also be made. I recommend you contact them directly if you have any concerns about illegal campaign funds. Transparency in our Government and it's processes are still very important to me.

The facts concerning my campaign contributions and documentation are lawful and within Federal, State and Local guidelines. Let me know when you find otherwise. Rae conveniently left out the legal follow up addendum's which are part of the campaign contribution process and were done within the legal time frame. I have a CPA who assures the accuracy of all timeline requirements and forms.

As far as my campaign and answers to questions from the community, I offered on many occasions an open invitation and opportunity to talk one on one or with groups. No one ever took me up on it, including Rae.

I was for many weeks at the Farmers market on Saturday and was available to the community for questions, of which only a few folks took the time to ask.

I do not believe in short and "generalized" answers to serious problems and sometimes it takes a detailed and lengthy answer to be thorough and comprehensive. I found talking in a question/answer forum to be a better method of delivery. Often times the person asking the question will ask it in a way, I may not have considered when answering in a written forum. Therefore losing some of the intended message to the reader.

You already see how much effort and time goes into this blog. Imagine trying to convey lengthy written answers (back and forth) to complex city problems. Which is the reason I offered an open dialog forum.

I for one am not questioning the city council on anything at this point. Please tell me where you see this? (which is my point earlier about miss information when you read something) I was not the party who opened this particular discussion. My concern was the miss information Rae was portraying. And no my comment was not a threat, it was a guarantee.

The Mayor and City Council members have a daunting task ahead of them. I believe each of them are very concerned and have both parties interest at stake in resolving this complex and important issue within our community.

To shorten the process of any continued questions, I offer you and anyone reading this, the same opportunity I did when I was campaigning, to meet with me at some local coffee shop and talk. You can post your opinion on our conversation as you see fit. Let me know.

Fred Watson

Like this comment
Posted by Minimum Wage Taxpayer
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 22, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Creative poem - and while I might agree with some issues - especially the entitlements - one thing I noticed on the link - "Parcel Tax Issue: Alert!! - Another Parcel tax initiative is in the works. We are organizing to oppose. Sign up for updates." This has nothing to do with City Council - it is a PUSD issue.

Fred - I respectfully have to agree with Rae - there was nothing about the post that suggested anything illegal was done.

Like this comment
Posted by Locally grown
a resident of another community
on Dec 22, 2010 at 6:13 pm


What has been your great contribution to the community of Pleasanton? I'm sure some of the readers of your opinions are curious. I know I am.

Locally grown

Like this comment
Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 23, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Rae is a registered user.

“Locally Grown”, I’m going to ignore your condescension and give you an answer.

I feel that my contribution to Pleasanton over the last 20 years is shared by every other concerned resident and business owner who lives and works in our town.

I research the issues that are affecting Pleasanton, and the candidates who would lead our town. I look at facts, figures and commentary from a variety of sources. I look for the true source of the information I’m gathering because motivation can skew data. I look behind the rhetoric to try and find the truth. I believe that *civil* discourse from all sides of an issue leads to better decision-making.

I watch or attend candidate forums. I look at what a candidate does and says before they are running for office because once they’re in campaign mode, and have their "play nice with the potential voter" public facade up and running, it’s unlikely that you’ll see their true character. I watch or attend our City Council meetings to see and understand what our elected leaders are doing and the decisions they are making. If I have questions, I ask them. If I have concerns, I share them. When I feel particularly close to an issue or believe in a candidate, I get involved – sometimes with a monetary contribution, sometimes with my time.

Finally, when it comes time to cast my vote, I know that I’ve done everything I can to make my vote one that I believe in – win or lose.

Now, you may not feel that I, and those who do what I do, have contributed to Pleasanton. I, however, like to think that because of our efforts Pleasanton was, is, and will continue to be, one of the best little towns in the nation.

Have a great holiday one an all!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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