By Tim Hunt
Harding Park honors one of Pleasanton's bestUploaded: May 22, 2018
One of Pleasanton’s finest citizens was fittingly honored Tuesday when Harding Park opened in Hacienda Business Park.
The 35th neighborhood park, next to two new apartment complexes across from the eastern BART station, celebrates the late Warren Harding. I was fortunate enough to get to know Warren as a youngster and was a casual friend throughout his life.
Professionally, he was president of Community First National Bank, which was founded by his grandfather. He led the bank for decades until it was sold to another community banking firm. It eventually was rolled up into US Bank. He was a true community banker who knew his customers and was willing to lend almost based on a handshake.
He served as mayor and council member in Pleasanton during the time when the planning foundations were being laid for the community it has come today. He was an active Boy Scout leader for many years and sang in the church choir as well as serving on its leadership board.
More importantly, he was a humble, good-natured man who lived modestly and gave his time and treasure to benefit the community. The recognition is well deserved and overdue.
Congrats to Assemblywoman Catharine Baker and Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty for finding a creative way to bring more parking to the East Dublin BART station.
Baker had cut a deal with the governor for a $20 million allocation to BART for a desperately needed parking structure, but the agency would not accept it. The second garage always has been in the plan for the area around the station. The board decision demonstrates how out-of-touch the majority of the BART board is with suburban issues and the huge challenge that looms for any extension to Livermore.
That said, Haggerty and the county stepped up to provide the land for the $31 million project. The county staff wrote the grant and the money will go to the Wheels bus system agency. The parking garage will have 650-700 more spaces that will help alleviate the parking problem. Lots typically are full by around 7 a.m. on weekdays.
The wait list for reserved parking now has more than 3,000 names on it.
Pleasanton-based Mirador Capital Partners pioneered its Tri-Valley Index of publicly traded companies headquartered here in 2015. The research determined that the local firms out-performed the S&P 500 by 15 percent over the last 10 years and by 22 percent in the five years ending in 2015.
The 2018 update, after the first quarter, showed by the local index beat the S&P 500 by 14 percent in 2017 and was at 15 percent after March 31. The local index is a diverse group of companies with a concentration in cloud computing, but also represented by medical technology, energy, retail and advanced manufacturing. Record levels of mergers and acquisitions helped drive the 2017 index gains, according to the Mirador report.