By Tim Hunt
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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add... (More)
About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in addition to writing editorials for more than 15 years. I have served as a director of many non-profits in the Valley and the broader Bay Area and currently serve as chair of Teen Esteem and on the advisory board of Shepherd?s Gate. I also served as founding chair of Heart for Africa and have travelled to Africa seven times to serve on mission trips. My wife, Betty Gail, has taught at Amador Valley High (from where we both graduated) since 1981. She and I both graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, as did both of my parents and my three siblings. Given that Cal tradition, our daughter went south to the University of Southern California and graduated with a degree in international relations. Since graduation, she has taken three mission trips and will be serving in the Philippines for nine months starting in September. (Hide)
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Let the campaign start
Uploaded: Mar 3, 2016
The majority of the Pleasanton City Council made the right call Tuesday night when they scheduled an election to determine whether the public will uphold their approval of a 43-home development on Lund Ranch on the southeast side of town.
The expense is not-trivial (about $250,00), but it is cheap compared to letting a neighborhood with some wealthy residents pervert a reasonable government process—even if, in Pleasanton’s way, it took way too long. This pits one neighborhood against another and the council did its best to split the baby by routing streets so about 25 percent of the traffic went through one neighborhood, while the rest went through the other one where homeowners were notified when they closed their purchase that there was the possibility of traffic to Lund Ranch as well as to the Callippe Preserve golf course.
Folks in Sycamore Heights and Bridle Creek neighborhood hired a consultant and paid signature gatherers to mount the petition drive. It certainly was not a community-wide uprising—it was driven by a tiny percentage of Pleasanton citizens to overturn a decision that they should have expected before they moved in.
Just how this will play out at the ballot box given the misleading material used by the signature gatherers remains to be seen. One difference is the developer, Greenbriar Homes, will be engaged with its cash to get its side of the story out to the public.
It was disappointing to see Councilwoman Karla Brown calling for her colleagues to rescind their approval based on finances when family wealth paid for the petition drive.
There is a core principle at stake here—a reasonable process that led to a major compromise (174 acres of open space that is publically accessible unlike Karla’s neighborhood where the open space is private) vs. folks with money buying a way to overturn a council decision. Since the signature-gathering drive hit the required number (barely), then it’s time for the citizens to decide.
What is it worth to you?
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