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Candidate profiles to start Monday

Original post made on Oct 10, 2014

With vote-by-mail balloting underway and Election Day less than a month away, DanvilleSanRamon.com staff sat down with each of the qualifying candidates for Danville Town Council and San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board of Education.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, October 9, 2014, 2:06 PM

Comments (18)

Posted by Danville mom
a resident of Danville
on Oct 10, 2014 at 7:45 am

Topics voters may want to hear about:

Is it true that we have people trying to approve one or more halfway houses for convicted criminals to rehabilitate in Danville? If so, which candidates support or oppose that?

Which candidates support keeping our unique, quaint small-town feel vs building and growing into a crowded Walnut Creek type city?


Posted by Just the Facts
a resident of Danville
on Oct 10, 2014 at 10:29 am

@Danville mom: All the candidates will Say they support keeping Danville quaint, etc. and that they will preserve Open Space. What you need to examine are the actual facts that show you the truth about the candidates, particularly the 2 incumbents that have been in office for a long time and have plenty of actions that belie their words.

Here's some questions I want answered from Incumbent Mayor Robert Storer:

1. While you were a Danville Planning Commissioner, was it ethical and appropriate for you to receive for a "single family-residential" Danville property you bought: a. a discretionary rezoning to "med/high high-density residential"; and b. granting of a deferment for payments of $150,000 in taxes and permit fees from the Planning Commission and Town Council, for a for-profit, high-density 22-unit housing complex you wanted to build (and that you still own and operate)in downtown Danville? Please do not avoid answering by telling us how great the complex is; let's assume that it is the best one ever in the history of high-density projects.

2. What will you say to the next applicant who wants to build a high-density project in Danville? Now that you got your project approved when you were a government official, will it be fair to turn down someone that doesn't have your government connections?

3. What projects of yours and/or your family's will you seek to get approval for if you get elected to Council?

4. Because you are a builder of high-density housing, why should Danville residents trust you to make decisions on whether high-density housing projects are appropriate for Danville?

5. Why did you approve for the draft 2030 General Plan (the blueprint for Danville development over the next 16 years) the designation of historic downtown Danville as a "Priority Development Area" (PDA) for high-density residential development? The PDA designation was only removed from the Plan after hundreds of residents showed up to each of the Planning Commission and Town Council hearings on the Plan to express outrage over the designation and threatened to referend the Plan and take it to a pubic vote.

6.Why did you violate the Danville General Plan to avoid a Measure S (Ballot Measure passed by 75% of Danville voters in 2000) public vote on the Elworthy West KB Homes 100-unit development along SRV Blvd. and the SummerHill Homes 75-unit development in the Diablo Road area, as Judge Austin has ruled in SOS-Danville v. Danville Town Council?

7.Why do you refuse to put Danville's voluntary membership in the Council of Government called the Assoc. of Bay Area Governments ("ABAG") on the agenda for public discussion at a Danville Town Council meeting? ABAG's One Bay Area plan calls for more and more high-density, low-income housing in Danville. Do you think ABAG's plan is appropriate for Danville to follow?

Questions for Incumbent Councilwoman Karen Stepper:

1. Was it ethical and/or fair for you to give special benefits/favors (rezonings and tax/permit fee deferrals) to a Danville Planning Commissioner (Robert Storer)?

2. Is it appropriate/wise for a builder/owner of high-density housing (Robert Storer) to be on the Danville Town Council?

3. Will you approve special benefits/favors for Robert Storer or any other government officials if you are elected?

4. Why did you approve for the draft 2030 General Plan (the blueprint for Danville development over the next 16 years) the designation of historic downtown Danville as a "Priority Development Area" (PDA) for high-density residential development? The PDA designation was only removed from the Plan after hundreds of residents showed up to each of the Planning Commission and Town Council hearings on the Plan to express outrage over the designation and threatened to referend the Plan and take it to a public vote.

5. Why did you violate the Danville General Plan to avoid a Measure S (Ballot Measure passed by 75% of Danville voters in 2000) public vote on the Elworthy West KB Homes 100-unit development along SRV Blvd. and the SummerHill Homes 75-unit development in the Diablo Road area, as Judge Austin has ruled in SOS-Danville v. Danville Town Council?

6.Why do you refuse to put Danville's voluntary membership in the Council of Government called the Assoc. of Bay Area Governments ("ABAG") on the agenda for public discussion at a Danville Town Council meeting? ABAG's One Bay Area plan calls for more and more high-density, low-income housing in Danville. Do you think the One Bay Area Plan is appropriate for Danville to follow?

Questions for Tony Adamich, the challenger to the incumbents:

What do you think about each of the above questions? How would you address the issues of high-density housing in Danville and honoring of Danville's Open Space Preservation Measure S?


Posted by voter
a resident of Danville
on Oct 10, 2014 at 11:17 am

@Just the facts: You have given me a lot to think about in deciding who to vote for in the election. Thanks.


Posted by wishing for change
a resident of Danville
on Oct 10, 2014 at 5:21 pm

We just need a change!!!! We need someone who thinks they might have to accountable to the residents of Danville. We need someone who will not approve another development like KB Homes. What a legacy! Thank you Karen Stepper and Robert Storer.


Posted by Samantha
a resident of Danville
on Oct 11, 2014 at 5:49 am

Wake up people-- we have the power. Throw the lying incumbents OUT!!!!


Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2014 at 8:49 am

psmacintosh is a registered user.

I am so disappointed that we don't have TWO new candidates to vote for in order to oust these incumbents.
Now, one of the incumbents, at the very least, will still get in. And the Council will be stacked against Tony anyway.


Posted by It's the law
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2014 at 8:58 am

@Danville Mom

The updates of to the municipal code regarding certain housing for recovering drug addicts and others labeled as "disabled" under California law (drug addiction is a disability under California law) are mandated at the State level - the Town doesn't have a choice but to amend the municipal code accordingly.

I am not sure what you are referencing regarding criminals (aside from those who qualify as disabled) - is there some other amendment to the municipal code that is proposed?


Posted by Peter Kluget
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2014 at 9:30 am

And before any of you folks listen to self-interested tub-thumpers like "Just the Facts" [a moniker I assume is meant ironically] ask that person:

Why do you insist on calling a residence built for seniors and developmentally disabled adults "high density housing?" Is it because it sounds scary, when the reality is actually a positive addition to our community? Is it because you're trying to present a fundamentally false image of what happened to people who don't know the facts - that the "high density housing" you're referring to is right next to an even larger residence for seniors that required massive governmental and charitable subsidies, while the 22 units you refer to were built without such subsidies? Do you distort the truth because you don't care about the reality of the situation and just want to advance your personal agenda, which you are hiding? Or do you really think that seniors and the developmentally disabled members of local families should simply be run out of town if they're not fabulously wealthy?

Because those are actually "the facts."


Posted by Treetopper
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2014 at 9:49 am

Just a few little facts:

1. There are 43,000+ residents in Danville.

2. Danville is not a town; it is a city. The word "Town" was incorporated into the name of the city to make it quaint. Cute be not so cute.

3. Danville covers an area of 18 square miles.

4. Forty-two percent of the 18 miles is open space and will remain so in perpetuity. For those who do not have a calculator handy, forty-two percent of eighteen is a shade over seven and a half.

5. There are 482 cities in California. Of the 482, only three cities do not have the burden of unfunded liabilities. Danville is one of the three.

6. Danville has a reserve fund of millions of dollars. I know it is in excess of $11,000,000 and could probably be much higher. They have put this reserve in very secure investments. For every dollar invested they get a 30% return.

7. Danville is known as being the sixth safest city in California.


All this said, the town council must be doing something right, wouldn't you think??? Rather than concentrate on the bad things or incorrect things, why not give the town council (the full council) the benefit of doubt and congratulate them for helping to create the Danville of today.


Posted by Just the facts
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2014 at 10:12 am

@Peter Kluget: As I stated, Peter, let's not argue the project's merits. The point is, a government official---then Planning Commissioner Robert Storer---got special benefits from the government---- a rezoning from single-family to high-density residential, and deferment of $150,000 in taxes and permit fees. In my opinion, Peter, it is not ethical and highly inappropriate for a government official to get an insider deal like that. And the other government officials----Karen Stepper, etc.----should have said no to Storer's insider deal. Period.


Posted by Peter Kluget
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2014 at 11:21 am

Of course you don't want to "argue the merits" "JTF." That's because when you consider the merits, it isn't an "inside deal." It was a straightforward deal, executed in public, that any city would love to have the opportunity to approve - not because one of the owners was a city official, but because the deal wasn't "special." That building is good for the city and would have been enthusiastically approved regardless of who submitted the application - "on the merits" and on the exact same terms, which are available to anyone who builds similar housing. There's nothing "special" about it.

That's what makes your transparent attempt at smearing the guy who built housing which only "competes" with projects that have charitable or governmental subsidies, instead of cranking out the typical (and more profitable) cookie-cutter SFR's and townhouses like 99% of the crap built in this city over the past 20 years, so obvious. By trying to fool people into thinking that project is an "inside deal" to build "high density housing" for big profits instead of an honorable exercise in providing nearby housing for elders and the developmentally disabled who otherwise would have to leave their home town - without the sort of governmental subsidies that most such projects require - you are being disingenuous and false. I doubt you would have the courage to spew your dishonest bile face to face with Danville residents who have family members living there, would you?

So what's ***your*** agenda? How are ***you*** trying to influence government policy in a manner which would enrich you? Do you own property near to someone else who has a vested right to build something a lot like your own neighborhood, but you think your house will be worth more if you can stop him from doing it? Is that it? Is that why you're willing to post misleading anonymous posts here?


Posted by local
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2014 at 11:48 am

Why is a developer/builder like Robert Storer running for Town Council anyway, if not for personal enrichment in some way? Why are he and Karen Stepper and Newell Arnerich so desperate to keep any new voices off of the Town Council? They've been on the Council/Planning Commission for way too many years.... What's that phrase about power corrupts, but absolute power corrupts absolutely?


Posted by Treetopper
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2014 at 6:16 pm

To Mr/Mrs/Miss Local
Sometimes folks just do things because of a community spirit. Karen Stepper grew up in Danville. She loves the town and has been on the council for ages. Kudos to her for having the spirit to do things for her community that others just let pass by. Robert Storer is much the same way; why not. To set things straight, the Town Council does not always see eye-to eye. They iron out the wrinkles and try to make the right decisions for the town.
New blood on the council? Actually there are two on the council that, by most standards, are pretty fresh. Renee Morgan is one; Robert Storer is the other. Renee was elected and that’s that. The other is Robert Storer. Robert was appointed to the council to fill the vacancy left by Mike Shimansky’s passing. At the end of Mike’s term( and the appointment of Storer), Storer and Karen both ran for re-election to the council and they were running un-opposed. Such a campaign is expensive for both the town and the individual ( to date, the Town of Danville has spent $77,000 because there is a third individual running for one of the two vacant seats on the council) . Anyway, since they were running un-opposed, the council decided to appoint both Robert and Karen. OK. Now it is re-election time. The town charter prohibits any more than two appointees to the council. (the reason Newell had to be re-elected, even though he was un-opposed). Although I am running on and on, I just want to make it clear that, sometimes, things are not as clear as you might think. Oh, yes, one other thing. I am not a member of the council; I do not work for the Town of Danville; I follow the history of my local government.


Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Peter-

I'm all well & good with any senior-specific housing in Danville and I wish my mom lived here. But despite Just the Facts focusing on one particular Danville project in his first question, Mr. Storer has a great deal more construction history under his belt than just this project-

Web Link

If Just the Facts questions possible conflict of interest in a broader sense than our little 22-unit building, then I feel it is justified. He is deeply involved, along with the planning commissioner, in making local development decisions.
Right now Storer is littering the town with campaign signs, outspending Mr. Adamich by God knows how much. I just don't think that shaking things up slightly with one new council member could possibly be a bad thing, though it may not turn out as we wish even if Tony is elected.


Posted by Treetopper
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm

To Mr/Mrs/Miss Local
Sometimes folks just do things because of a community spirit. Karen Stepper grew up in Danville. She loves the town and has been on the council for ages. Kudos to her for having the spirit to do things for her community that others just let pass by. Robert Storer is much the same way; why not. To set things straight, the Town Council does not always see eye-to eye. They iron out the wrinkles and try to make the right decisions for the town.
New blood on the council? Actually there are two on the council that, by most standards, are pretty fresh. Renee Morgan is one; Robert Storer is the other. Renee was elected and that’s that. The other is Robert Storer. Robert was appointed to the council to fill the vacancy left by Mike Shimansky’s passing. At the end of Mike’s term( and the appointment of Storer), Storer and Karen both ran for re-election to the council and they were running un-opposed. Such a campaign is expensive for both the town and the individual ( to date, the Town of Danville has spent $77,000 because there is a third individual running for one of the two vacant seats on the council) . Anyway, since they were running un-opposed, the council decided to appoint both Robert and Karen. OK. Now it is re-election time. The town charter prohibits any more than two appointees to the council. (the reason Newell had to run, even though he was un-opposed). Although I am running on and on, I just want to make it clear that, sometimes, things are not as clear as you might think. Oh, yes, one other thing. I am not a member of the council; I do not work for the Town of Danville; I follow the history of my local government.
I know this is a late entry in the discussion. However I feel compelled to submit it.


Posted by Danville Hartz
a resident of Danville
on Oct 13, 2014 at 7:35 pm

Thank you, Derek, for the information about Robert Storer's construction company and his background.

So TreeTopper, Storer has been on the Planning Commission for 3 terms (6 years?), Council for about 6 years, and before Planning Commission, apparently the Design Review Board. Hardly a "new face". And Stepper has been a Council woman for about 12 years or so. Oh, and Renee Morgan was a Planning Commissioner and then ran with Arnerich and Doyle as a triumvirate last Council election. It was obvious that Arn. and Doyle didn't want anyone but Renee to be elected. Renee squeaked by with the most votes of the non-incumbents, but way fewer than all of them put together.

What's wrong with having a new voice on Council? The existing members must be afraid of anyone with the status of a Council member attempting to challenge them.


Posted by yokel
a resident of Danville
on Oct 14, 2014 at 6:19 am

So, no teabag ABAG raggers in the running? Is it more fun to just come here and complain?


Posted by Anon
a resident of Danville
on Oct 25, 2014 at 4:40 pm

Been an owner here for 23 years. No longer is this a "quaint" town. Losing the Danville Hotel for exclusive, luxury condos is akin to being the next Walnut Creek madness and high density traffic scenario. I plan to vote out all the council members who have owned a seat for way too many years.


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