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About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Dave Hudson - In his own words

Uploaded: Oct 2, 2013

I'm planning to write my Endorsements for City Council in the next two weeks. I'm emailing some questions to each of the candidates.

1. Why are you running again for City Council?

1. I believe this city is positioned very well to come out of this recession if we (council) don't blow it.

Follow up to question 1. How would the council "blow it?"

Anyone who gets elected is capable with their vote of messing up approved projects. We just ended a three year lawsuit over CEQA thresholds that should have been automatic. Nothing is over until it is over.

2. What are your goals for being on the Council? Do you have any projects or plans you would like to see happen?

2. Fiscal responsibility, city center, build the new school, continue to improve our police force and give Greg the reins to hire prudently.

Follow up to question 2. Which new school? Isn't that the responsibility of developers and the school district anyway?

The new school was voted for in the last bond measure. It wasn't that long ago when the school district wanted to reneg on our middle school and put a third one in Danville. This would have put 8th graders at Cal High and leave us with only one intermediate school. That would reflect on our property values. I've been telling them they were short on campuses since 1995.

3. You have a lot of experience on transportation issues. Where do you stand on the Norris Canyon HOV lanes and why?

3. I was not on CCTA when this project was selected for measure J. I can tell you that Walnut Creek HOV lanes and Norris Canyon on/off ramps are the highest priority for CCTA now that Caldecott and Highway 4 are winding down. The why will take a lot longer (to answer) then we have here. I have offered to talk to people on Sat./Sun. to show why. So far only Abram has come in to talk.

4. You have been on the Council the longest. Why is your experience beneficial to the City? If voters are looking for a change, how would you convince them it's better to keep you than take a risk on someone new?

4. California changed drastically in 2008 with SB375 and the climate action plan. Do not underestimate the value of my seat on two regional executive board of directors, BAAQMD & ABAG. We are capable of being first in line or close to it for many grants. I am one of 20+ votes on these boards and Clayton will be the president of ABAG next year. There are 97 elected council members in Contra Costa and we are only allotted two seats on both boards. I am one of those seats on both boards. That will be gone if I am not re-elected. We may never see this again.

Follow up answer to question 4.

I was at a meeting (BAAQMD) this morning (9/9/13) about bike sharing and I have us next in line for a pilot program. I've learned that Sunset is also interested and I have been lobbying Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, and Pleasanton. You don't get into these battles unless you are at the table. No one else on this council even knows this $6 million project exists or that a lawnmower exchange program has been approved. Why should we give this position away. I may not give you the clarity you want in an answer but, I can point you in the right direction.

5. Where do you stand on the Mudd's property? This is one of my important issues. Matthew Larson has made an offer to buy it but wants a direct sale. Jim Gibbon wants the City to rezone Mudd's from Commercial to Park to limit other uses.

5. I wanted it to be a park from day one. That is why I convinced the council to pay 1 cent over the foreclosure price. Larson's offer will have to go through state procedures. Does this mean that Jim Gibbon and I agree?

Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Bill Wagner, a resident of San Ramon,
on Oct 3, 2013 at 11:10 am

So, here's what Dave Hudson states in his above response:

"...I was not on CCTA when this project was selected for measure J. I can tell you that Walnut Creek HOV lanes and Norris Canyon on/off ramps are the highest priority for CCTA now that Caldecott and Highway 4 are winding down. The why will take a lot longer (to answer) then we have here. I have offered to talk to people on Sat./Sun. to show why. So far only Abram has come in to talk...."

This is classic "side-stepping" or avoidance of publicly addressing his position on the "why" of HOV Ramps. Instead, Mr. Hudson states that he has openly invited the public to come in to City Hall on a Saturday or Sunday so he can explain it to us - because it is so complicated there is not enough time to answer this in a public forum. He implies that he has invited the citizenry to come visit him, but only Abram (Wilson, I assume) has taken him up on his private office invitation - and therefore, the public must not be interested in his detailed explanation. Really?

Posted by Resident, a resident of San Ramon,
on Oct 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Mr Hudson makes it sound like the reason San Ramon has a seat at these regional committee tables is because of him. Are we to assume our city being one of the largest in the county will no longer have a regional voice or representation on these bodies if Dave is not re-elected? Seems unlikely. Also, he's had 20 years to enact "fiscal responsibility" but instead chose to pay the highest city manager salary in the state and then be party to millions in long term bonds to pay for generous pensions instead of addressing the issue with labor. Hudson has had his chance.

Posted by Long Time Resident, a resident of San Ramon,
on Nov 4, 2013 at 3:47 pm

The huge $102,000,000Caltrans/CCTA HOV ramps project hinges on which two city council candidates are elected, as the new city council votes next year to approve or kill the HOV ramps. This project should be the biggest campaign issue, since it is a huge project that will forever damage quality of life for residents west of 680.

Over a year ago, Caltrans & CCTA inadequately notified residents, mailing vaguely worded postcards not mentioning huge $102,000,000 project scope, no pictures of 30ft.concrete ramps & 60 ft fwy widening. All neighbors I talked with are opposed to the HOV ramps. Neighbors said they had no recollection of ever seeing the post card notification, and said they must have thrown it away since it looked just like the frequent junk mail for recycling or donations. I attended the several meetings put on by Caltrans/CCTA and the city, and residents overwhelmingly are opposed to this HOV ramps project.

Many voters do not know that city council candidate Dave Hudson is on the board of CCTA and is strongly in favor of HOV ramps. Curiously, Dave Hudson does not so much as mention the HOV ramps project in his campaign web site, nor in his glossy four page color city council candidate mailed brochure. Instead of mentioning the HOV ramps, in his campaign literature, Mr. Hudson, touts his support of Measure J, which provided funding for the 4th bore of the Caldecott Tunnel. Measure J also funds the HOV ramps but the HOV ramps at Norris Canyon or at Executive Parkway in San Ramon were never mentioned to the voters before they voted on Measure J. Hudson cannot say that we knowingly voted for the HOV ramps.

Hudson's silence on the HOV ramps/680 freeway widening project while touting his support of Measure J & the 4th bore of the Caldecott is essentially an attempt to camouflage his strong support for the HOV ramps project. Would knowledge of Mr. Hudson's strong support for the HOV ramps/680 widening project adversely affect his chances for re-election? Hudson must think so, otherwise he would not be silent in his campaign literature on the $102,000,000 HOV ramps issue.
Only two city council candidates are firmly opposed to the HOV ramps. Harry Sachs & Thomas Von Thury.

City council candidate positions on HOV ramps are:
Harry Sachs ---------------------Opposes all HOV ramps
Thomas Von Thury ----------------Opposes all HOV ramps
Dave Hudson ---------------------Very much in favor of HOV ramps
Rene Matsumoto ------------------Does not oppose HOV ramps at Executive Pkwy
(Rene will look at EIR released in 2014 & Caltrans/CCTA input before making up her mind)

The Caltrans/CCTA project: 30 ft. high ramps for busses/ trucks (HOV's) in middle of 680 forcing 6o ft widening & cutting mature trees. Two alternates; Norris Canyon or at Executive Pkwy just south. Many Negative impacts of HOV ramps; cutting off safe passage for school kids at Iron Horse Middle School & Central Park, lower housing values & higher crime near ramps, delayed police & emergency response by congestion, $102,000,000 wasted just to get empty busses onto fwy diamond lanes 3 min. faster but diamond lanes are barely creeping at commute hours. Noise for residences near 680 now exceed Ca. Dept. of Health noise limits; HOV ramps will increase noise to all residences west of 680 regardless of which alternate is built.

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